Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 review: $300 well spent

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

MSRP $300.00

“The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is fast enough for the tasks it’ll be expected to perform, with excellent battery life and a beautiful display.”


  • Adequate productivity performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Surprisingly good display
  • Folio kickstand and keyboard included
  • Strong value


  • Keyboard is just too cramped
  • Limited to Wi-Fi 5

Expensive, top-of-the-line laptops are fun to review in their very own right. But it surely’s budget laptops where the rubber hits the road — and where most persons are shopping.

Chromebooks are a very good place to look on this regard, and the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 has at all times been one among our favourite devices to recommend on that list. $300 for a compact, powerful, and surprisingly well-built 2-in-1.

My review unit got here with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 CPU and a ten.9-inch 2K (2,000 x 1,200) display, and it’s the one configuration sold here within the states. Despite the uncomfortably small keyboard, Lenovo continues to impress by how much they’re capable of squeeze right into a device this low-cost.


Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 rear view showing camera and kickstand.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Chromebook Duet 3 has been updated from the previous generation, with essentially the most significant change being a rise in screen size from 10.1 inches to 10.9 inches. That leads to the new edition being barely larger, about half an inch wider and 1 / 4 of an inch taller. The bezels remain the identical size, which is excessive for a contemporary device.

The Chromebook Duet 3 has increased barely in thickness to 0.31 inches from 0.29 inches, and it weighs 1.14 kilos, up from 0.9 kilos. Essentially the most direct competitor, HP’s Chromebook x2 11, is barely narrower but half an inch taller, at 0.3 inches thick and 1.23 kilos. The bottom Apple iPad with a ten.2-inch display is narrower and taller but thinner at 0.29 inches and lighter at 1.07 kilos, and the Microsoft Surface Go 3 with a ten.5-inch display can be narrower and taller while being thicker at 0.33 inches and heavier at 1.2 kilos.

The tablet is constructed of a mixture of aluminum along the sides and plastic on the back cover. I discovered it to be as well-built as other comparably priced tablets, with no bending or flexing. This doesn’t feel like a $300 tablet, which is saying quite a bit.

The kickstand here works in addition to the built-in version on Surface devices.

Aesthetically, the Chromebook Duet 3 is a simple slate design with two color decisions. My review unit was the Storm Grey, which was dark grey along the underside three-quarters of the sides and the back cover and a lighter grey along the highest. There’s also a Misty Blue option. Today’s tablets are very similar, with none of Lenovo’s competition standing out by way of appear and feel.

The included cloth-covered folio rear kickstand cover and detachable keyboard is a two-part unit, which is less convenient than one-piece designs. Nevertheless, the back cover attaches solidly via magnets and doesn’t feel prefer it’s prone to come off by accident, and the kickstand works in addition to the built-in version on the Microsoft Surface Go 3 with a big selection of angles. Combined, the folio adds 0.95 kilos to the tablet’s total weight, bringing it as much as 2.09 kilos.


Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 left side view showing ports and folio.

lenovo chromebook duet 3 review right side

You get two USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 ports and a pogo pin connector for the keyboard, and that’s it. There’s no audio jack, which is disappointing, nor an SD card reader, which isn’t surprising.

Wireless connectivity is provided by Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1, a limitation of the Qualcomm chipset.


Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 tablet.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

One other change from the previous generation is a switch from a MediaTek Helio P60T CPU to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, an 8-core ARM CPU running at as much as 2.4GHz. That gives a small bump in speed with a more up-to-date ARM processor. There’s 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, each of that are enough for a smooth Chrome OS experience due to the operating system’s inherent efficiencies.

During my testing, I discovered the Chromebook Duet 3 to be quick enough for the sorts of tasks for which a Chromebook is often used. I could open quite a couple of Chrome tabs and run some Android apps within the background before I noticed any slowdown. Actually, I could tell that the Chromebook Duet 3 was slower than laptops equipped with Intel Core CPUs, but for the cash, the 2-in-1 was greater than adequate.

Objectively, the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 wasn’t fast at running the Geekbench 5 benchmark, equaling the identical CPU within the HP Chromebook x2 11 but falling behind the Intel Chromebooks and the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 with a more recent MediaTek Kompanio 1380 CPU. It hit 45 within the Speedometer 2.0 benchmark, again similar to the HP and slower than the remainder of our comparison group.

You’ll be challenged in running essentially the most intense Android games. For instance, Asphalt 9 suffered some stuttering during gameplay. You’ll likely need to limit yourself to more casual titles.

(single / multi)
Speedometer 2.0
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2)
623 / 1,709 46
Acer Chromebook Spin 513
(MediaTek Kompanio 1380)
936 / 3,438 76
HP Chromebook x360 14c
(Core i3-1125G4)
898 / 2,866 N/A
HP Chromebook x2 11
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c)
590 / 1,689 45
Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
(Core i5-1135G7)
1,190 / 4,151 163
Microsoft Surface Go 3
(Core i3-10100Y)
920 / 1,704 47

Display and audio

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 front view showing display.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The 11-inch IPS display is available in at a resolution of two,000 x 1,200, labeled as 2K, and with a really unusual 15:9 aspect ratio. That’s just a little taller than 16:9, but just barely so. The display is sharp enough you could’t see any pixels unless you search for them, and I discovered it to be vibrant and colourful during my testing. Lenovo guarantees 400 nits of brightness, and I feel the display comes close.

I can’t apply my colorimeter to the display since it’s not supported in Chrome OS. Subjectively, though, along with being vibrant and colourful, the contrast is fairly deep with true blacks and text that pops on a white background.

The closest competitor is the HP Chromebook x2 11, which has a more traditional 3:2 display at 2,160 x 1,440. That makes the HP’s display sharper and even taller, but I might characterize the general quality as similar.

Two side-firing speakers provided audio that was clean and vibrant but didn’t get very loud. Mids and highs were nicely done, but there was zero bass. The sound quality is sufficient for system sounds and watching YouTube videos by yourself, but pull out a pair of Bluetooth headphones for bingeing Netflix and listening to your tunes.

Keyboard, touchpad, and webcam

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The keyboard is a distinct story. While it’s well-built and water-resistant, it’s also quite cramped, with small keycaps and significantly less key spacing than the standard laptop keyboard. The switches aren’t very smooth, with sufficient travel but a loose feeling and a bottoming motion that lacks confidence.

It took me quite a while to get used to the keyboard, and I never did feel comfortable typing on it. The HP Chromebook x2 11’s keyboard was just as disappointing, while the Microsoft Surface Go 3’s version was a lot better. One of the best thing in regards to the Chromebook Duet 3’s folio attachment is that it’s included within the $300 price.

The 5MP webcam provides a higher-resolution video image than many laptops costing tons of more.

The touchpad is small but comfortable to make use of, with a smooth surface and reliable support of the total range of Chrome OS multitouch gestures. The buttons provide a solid and quiet click. The display is touch-enabled, after all, and supports Lenovo’s USI lively pen. I didn’t receive the pen with my review unit and couldn’t test inking.

The front-facing camera is a full 5MP, meaning it might probably provide a higher-resolution video image than many laptops costing tons of (or 1000’s) more. It’s a fantastic option for hybrid employees who desire a highly portable device for videoconferencing.

Battery life

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 side view showing kickstand.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Chromebook Duet 3 has just 29 watt-hours of battery capability, which doesn’t sound like quite a bit, nevertheless it’s powering a small display and an energy-efficient ARM CPU. The HP Chromebook x2 11’s battery is barely larger at 32 watt-hours, while the Microsoft Surface Go 3’s battery is barely smaller at 28 watt-hours.

Nevertheless, the Chromebook Duet 3 demonstrated exceptional battery life. It made it to 11.5 hours in our web browsing test that cycles through a series of popular and sophisticated web sites, lower than the Chromebook x2 11 but still a powerful showing. In our video test that loops a neighborhood Full HD Avengers trailer, the Chromebook Duet 3 hit 16 hours, a surprisingly excellent result.

Battery life is an actual strength of the Chromebook Duet 3, and it beats out all its similarly priced competition. This budget laptop will run for a full day of labor and into the evening.

Web browsing Video
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2)
11 hours, 29 minutes 15 hours, 59 minutes
Acer Chromebook Spin 513
(MediaTek Kompanio 1380)
11 hours, 7 minutes 12 hours, 42 minutes
HP Chromebook x360 14c
(Core i3-1125G4)
7 hours, 44 minutes 8 hours, 2 minutes
HP Chromebook x2 11
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c)
12 hours, 42 minutes 10 hours, 59 minutes
Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
(Core i5-1135G7)
9 hours, 25 minutes 8 hours, 50 minutes
Microsoft Surface Go 3
(Core i3-10100Y)
5 hours, 24 minutes 11 hours, 42 minutes

Our take

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is a incredible value at $300, particularly provided that the folio kickstand and detachable keyboard are included. And it’s not only in regards to the price — this little Chrome OS tablet can handle a surprising range of tasks, falling in need of only essentially the most demanding productivity and inventive workflows.

You’ll spend tons of of dollars more for the same setup that won’t gain you much additional functionality. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is the very best budget Chrome OS tablet (just a little) money should purchase.

Are there any alternatives?

The closest Chrome OS tablet is the HP Chromebook x2 11. It’s about twice as expensive and offers similar performance but less battery life. It, too, includes its kickstand and keyboard add-ons, and its display is barely sharper.

If you happen to’re on the lookout for a Windows 11 tablet, then the Microsoft Surface Go 3 is an option. It would also cost you extra money, especially once you add on the detachable keyboard, but you’ll get a built-in kickstand and a a lot better typing experience.

Finally, the Apple iPad is a solid alternative. It starts at in regards to the same price but doesn’t include the keyboard. Nevertheless, you’ll recuperate performance and more apps, making the iPad a powerful competitor.

How long will it last?

The Chromebook Duet 3 is built well enough to last for years of service, and its components will keep the streamlined Chrome OS running efficiently for just as long. And the one-year warranty is greater than acceptable at this price.

Must you buy it?

Yes. At $300, the Chromebook Duet 3 makes a fantastic secondary computer for demanding users and a fantastic starter tablet for everybody else.

Editors’ Recommendations

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