Lenovo Duet 3 Assessment: Extra Than I Anticipated From a Finances Laptop computer

I like low cost laptops. Extra precisely, I like good low cost laptops… however these may be arduous to seek out. For each hundred bucks that will get trimmed off a laptop computer’s value, its options, design and efficiency all sometimes take a success. However once I discover one which rises above Black Friday doorbuster degree, it is one thing to cheer about. 

In case you want a price range laptop computer that appears first rate, has a satisfactory keyboard, is sufficiently small to go wherever and is versatile sufficient to double as a video-streaming pill, then take a look at the Lenovo Duet Chromebook. It is not particularly quick, and the touchpad is not nice, but it surely’s nonetheless probably the greatest computer systems you should buy for underneath $400. Simply notice that it makes a greater secondary or journey laptop computer than a main system — which is one thing I would say about virtually any 11-inch laptop computer. 


  • Features a keyboard cowl
  • Works as a laptop computer or pill
  • Glorious total worth

Do not Like

  • Touchpad is not nice
  • Slower efficiency
  • No headphone jack

At present promoting for $379, that is an 11-inch ChromeOS pill with a keyboard cowl and kickstand. Meaning it may well work as a standalone touchscreen pill, or as a clamshell-like pocket book. In that manner, it is sort of like a less expensive Microsoft Floor 2-in-1. The model examined right here has 64GB of eMMC storage, however the mannequin in shops proper now has 128GB, which is a plus. 

Microsoft already makes a price range Floor, the most-recent model of which is named the Floor Go 3. It is $400 and runs Home windows as an alternative of ChromeOS, and has an Intel processor as an alternative of the Snapdragon 7c right here. However the greatest sensible distinction to me is that the Lenovo Duet consists of its fairly darn good keyboard cowl within the field, whereas Microsoft forces you to purchase its keyboard cowl for an additional $100 to $129, relying on the colour. When procuring at this finish of the price range pool, a 25% premium to get the keyboard (which is a must have) makes an enormous distinction.

Lenovo Duet with keyboard cover

Dan Ackerman/CNET

As a Chromebook, the Duet is much less succesful than a Home windows system in some respects, however as trendy Chromebooks can run virtually any Android app, the use instances the place this may make an actual distinction to you proceed to slim. And head-to-head, a sub-$500 laptop working ChromeOS is often going to really feel speedier and extra responsive than a equally priced Home windows PC, due to the lighter OS. 

Learn extra: Tips on how to Purchase a Finances Laptop computer in 2022

Keyboard and kickstand 

I’ve at all times mentioned the keyboard cowl design and construct high quality are the most effective issues in regards to the Floor line, and that is true for the Lenovo Duet as properly. The Lenovo keyboard is equally stable, not flimsy like another clip-on keyboards, and its smallish keys have wonderful depth and a satisfying clacky really feel. The tiny touchpad, in distinction, is the one most annoying factor about this method — it is usable, however does not really feel as correct or responsive as I would like. 

This is a fast ChromeOS trackpad tip. If you wish to get a extra acquainted Home windows-like really feel, soar into the system settings, situated at Settings > Machine > Touchpad, and ensure tap-to-click and faucet dragging are each enabled. 

For infrequent long-form typing, I may get by with this keyboard cowl. However for critical enhancing, which requires navigating throughout a doc with the touchpad, it wasn’t enjoyable. However actually that is asking rather a lot from such a reasonable system. 

Not like the Floor line, which has a wonderful built-in kickstand, the kickstand here’s a separate again cowl piece that magnetically snaps onto the again of the system, and matches the aesthetic of the keyboard cowl. You may take it off for a extremely stripped-down slate look, however I do not know why you’d trouble. 

Lenovo Duet with kickstand

Dan Ackerman/CNET

An honest show 

The show is one other sturdy level, with a 2,000×1,200 display screen decision and an 11-inch (actually 10.9-inch) display screen. Lenovo additionally makes a bigger 13-inch Duet with a good higher OLED show that is typically on sale for underneath $500, and that is value a glance should you want one thing bigger. The IPS touchscreen right here was greater than acceptable for video streaming and productiveness, with a max brightness of 400 nits. 

Since it is so small and lightweight, lower than 1.2 kilos with simply the display screen (or simply over 2 kilos with the keyboard and again cowl), that is nice for holding one-handed in panorama mode for prolonged studying periods. 

Lenovo Duet as ebook reader

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Efficiency and battery life

As a performer… properly, this is not on the speedy aspect, even amongst current Chromebooks. I undoubtedly felt it when hitting a dozen or extra open tabs within the Chrome browser. In benchmark checks, it was center of the pack. 

Nonetheless, working Android apps needs to be high-quality, because the Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU right here is much like what you may discover in some telephones. From the Google Play retailer, I attempted a few current Android video games with first rate graphics, together with Diablo Immortal. The free-to-play motion RPG performed high-quality, however was restricted to decrease in-game graphics settings, together with a 30fps versus 60fps body price. 

Lenovo Duet  playing a game

Dan Ackerman/CNET

I additionally tried cloud gaming through Xbox Cloud Gaming. For that, I performed through the Chrome browser. When you have a stable web connection, it may be a really satisfying various to downloaded video games, and cloud gaming is barely going to turn out to be increasingly mainstream. On this specific case, I had bother getting my Bluetooth controller acknowledged by the Xbox cloud gaming app, so I hardwired my controller through USB-C. 

You continue to run into occasional compatibility points with Chromebooks. Whereas most apps and cloud companies right here labored as anticipated, I could not get Adobe’s beta cloud model of Photoshop to run, as an alternative getting an incompatible browser message.

And whereas I just like the Duet total, there are a number of different issues that is perhaps a dealbreaker for you. The keyboard cowl is included, however a stylus just isn’t. Any USI pen will do, and there is a rubber holder that snaps into the again cowl should you resolve to get the official Lenovo model, which is $35.  

You have solely obtained two USB-C ports for charging, which may be limiting (but it surely’s additionally the identical as a MacBook Air). And doubtlessly most essential, there isn’t any headphone/audio jack. 

If these flaws aren’t deadly, the Lenovo Duet 3 makes an amazing second or journey laptop computer. I would be hard-pressed to make use of it as an all-day, daily system – but when I solely wished to spend $400 on a laptop computer, I would even be hard-pressed to consider an total higher possibility.

Geekbench 5 (multicore)

Asus Chromebook Removable CM3


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

3DMark Slingshot Open GL

Lenovo Ideapad Chromebook Duet 3

Asus Chromebook Removable CM3


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Google Octane 2

Asus Chromebook Removable CM3


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

JetStream 2

Asus Chromebook Removable CM3


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

System specs

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 ChromeOS; 2.55GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2; 4GB RAM; 64GB eMMC SSD
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 ChromeOS; 3GHz Intel Core i3-1115G4; 8GB RAM;128GB PCIe SSD
HP Chromebook x2 11 ChromeOS; 2.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c; 8GB RAM; 64GB eMMC
Asus Chromebook Removable CM3 ChromeOS; 2GHz MediaTek 8183; 4GB RAM; 128GB eMMC SSD
Acer Chromebook 714 ChromeOS; 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-1235U; 8GB RAM; 256GB SSD

The assessment course of for laptops, desktops, tablets and different computer-like gadgets consists of two elements: efficiency testing underneath managed circumstances within the CNET Labs and in depth hands-on use by our professional reviewers. This consists of evaluating a tool’s aesthetics, ergonomics and options. A ultimate assessment verdict is a mix of each these goal and subjective judgments. 

The listing of benchmarking software program we use modifications over time because the gadgets we check evolve. An important core checks we’re at present working on each suitable laptop embrace: Primate Labs Geekbench 5, Cinebench R23, PCMark 10 and 3DMark Fireplace Strike Extremely. ChromeOS programs run browser-based checks like Jetstream and Google Octane.

A extra detailed description of every benchmark and the way we use it may be present in our How We Take a look at Computer systems web page. 

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