Today, I have been struggling to discover a stable sub-$400 laptop computer to suggest to price range consumers that I truly discover, properly, usable. So I had excessive hopes for Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet three, a tiny 11-inch Chromebook with a removable keyboard and foldable kickstand. I used to be an enormous fan of the unique Duet that launched in 2020, a quick 10.1-incher with exceptionally lengthy battery life.
The mannequin I’ve with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage is $369 (the subsequent most costly possibility is $379 at Greatest Purchase with 128GB of storage – I would in all probability go for this one for $10 additional). The detachable waterproof keyboard is included in that low value. However typically units that seem like nice offers on paper become crap whenever you flip them on.
So I used the Chromebook Duet three for a complete day, from morning to nighttime. Whereas it fell wanting a full distant workload, it was an ideal gadget for leisure and leisure. And whereas it isn’t as high-tech because the bigger, OLED-equipped Duet 5, I believe it will be a extra sensible buy for college students and occasional customers. I would quite use this than an inexpensive Home windows laptop computer any day.
I first used the Duet three at my workplace The Vergehis Manhattan workplace. I needed to write a fast information story, which concerned a whole lot of quick typing, quick scrolling, and leaping backwards and forwards between a bunch of Chrome tabs and paperwork with Slack and Spotify working on high. I linked a mouse for this half, however did not use a monitor – all the things was crammed onto the 11-inch display screen.
The very first thing I observed was that the Duet’s keyboard is That is nice. I am usually afraid to make use of removable keyboards as a result of the keys (particularly the peripheral ones like Backspace and Tab) typically need to be squeezed to attain the compact measurement.
However this keyboard wasn’t cramped in any respect. The keys had nice journey and a cushty texture. The scale of the Backspace and Shift keys made me nervous once I noticed them, however I pressed them each time I wanted them. Lenovo actually nailed the keyboard on this one, and I actually miss typing on it.
The Duet three’s display screen can be an actual standout. It is so shiny that even 50 p.c was beginning to harm my eyes. Our workplace can be fairly shiny, however at 30-40% brightness, we noticed nearly no obtrusive glare. Colours are shiny and vivid — I would watch a film on this gadget over all types of dearer laptops.
Battery life wasn’t wonderful, however acceptable for the value. We needed to join the Duet at about six and a half hours. It was leaking quite a bit Nevertheless, quicker once I had a number of apps open than once I was simply in Chrome. I wager you would possibly come near us with a Chrome-only workload.
That stated, whereas I used to be capable of efficiently use this for a day’s work, anybody contemplating shopping for it as a main work gadget ought to pay attention to its limitations. My workload was primarily restricted by the 11-inch display screen. To make use of two home windows aspect by aspect (which I usually do), I typically zoomed out to about 50 p.c to see all the things I wanted.
I additionally felt the processor (the identical Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 that powers the Duet 5) drag a bit below this workload. It dealt with Chrome very properly, however as soon as I had 5 to 6 completely different apps open and tried to change actually shortly between them, I felt myself getting somewhat impatient. Had issues with Zoom calls particularly. The PWA crashed the primary few occasions I attempted to take part in a digital briefing, and even once I was on the decision, the shared display screen took some time to load and different apps had been a bit gradual within the background.
And the Duet additionally solely has two ports — one USB-C three.2 Gen 1 on all sides. This is not uncommon for the pill type issue (or skinny and light-weight laptops usually), and it is good that there is one on all sides. Nevertheless, it meant that I could not join each the mouse and separate keyboard to the gadget whereas it was additionally linked to energy. (No headphone jack both, so wi-fi headphones must do, too.)
With all that stated – as quickly as I left the workplace, all these complaints grew to become non-issues. My night exercise was a restaurant with pals, and this was precisely the gadget I wanted for that.
This gadget weighs simply 2.09 kilos with the keyboard and canopy hooked up, and lugging it round felt quite a bit like lugging round a small pill. Matches simply in my purse – no backpack wanted. The compact measurement was additionally good for the espresso desk the place I needed to match my drink and croissant in addition to my pc. Any bigger gadget would have been a ache on this state of affairs, however I may snap up the Duet in a heartbeat.
Right here I used to be utilizing the touchpad, which has a surprisingly deep and satisfying click on for a detachable deck. I did not really feel cramped when scrolling or navigating with gestures (although folks with larger fingers would possibly). And it did an honest job of repelling my fingerprints, staying fairly easy on the finish of the day.
And for the actions my pals and I had been doing that night time—watching movies, studying articles, and modifying Google docs with out the frantic rush of the workday on the workplace—the Duet was quick with no slowdown in sight. The strong keyboard and wonderful display screen had been the icing on the cake.
Conform to proceed: Lenovo Chromebook Duet three
To begin utilizing your Chromebook Duet three, you will must conform to the next:
You may also say sure or no to the next:
- Mechanically ship Chrome OS utilization and diagnostic knowledge to Google
It is a obligatory settlement and an non-obligatory settlement for using Lenovo Chromebook Duet three.
All in all, I believe the Duet is a good price range purchase, supplied you already know your wants. It isn’t for you in case you want a piece gadget for heavy analysis and quick multitasking, or if it is advisable join a whole lot of issues (together with wired headphones – there is no headphone jack). Whereas there are different removable Home windows laptops and Chromebooks on the market, you are unlikely to search out this mix of display screen, model, portability, and efficiency wherever below $400.
If you happen to like this package deal however want a much bigger display screen, the $500 Duet 5 presents a really related package deal in a 13-inch chassis (and with an OLED panel, extra RAM, and extra storage). For anybody else who can deal with the 11-inch compact, the Duet three presents the identical processor and comparable construct at a lower cost. If you happen to’re on the lookout for a price range moveable for homework, watching movies, looking on the espresso store, or what have you ever, the Duet three ought to be in your record.
Picture by Monica Chin / The Verge
Accessibility for Lenovo Chromebook Duet three
Lenovo Chromebook Duet three (all measurements are approximate)
- The letter keys are 1.5 x 1.three centimeters, with zero.four centimeters between them. The keyboard just isn’t backlit and has no indicator lights. The gadget begins robotically when opened. The amount keys are 1 x zero.2 centimeters. The keys are darkish blue with white textual content and require little or no drive to press.
- The display screen is a touchscreen with a decision of 2000 x 1200. It reaches 400 nits.
- The audio system averaged 70 decibels in my testing, which is noticeably quieter than a normal exterior speaker.
- The laptop computer might be opened simply with one hand. It may be rotated 360 levels.
- The touchpad is eight.7 x four.9 centimeters and requires reasonable drive to press.
- Duet doesn’t help fingerprint or facial authentication.
- ChromeOS features a built-in display screen reader (ChromeVox).
- ChromeOS helps dictation, accessed in Settings.
- Excessive distinction mode might be toggled with Ctrl + Search + H.
- Subtitles seem within the backside heart of the display screen. The next legend properties are adjustable: measurement, font, shade, opacity, shadow, background shade, and background opacity.
- The next keyboard keys might be remapped: Search, Ctrl, Alt, Escape, Backspace, Assistant and Caps Lock. The highest row might be remapped to behave as perform keys.
- The next keyboard options might be toggled: sticky keys, on-screen keyboard, object highlighting with keyboard focus, sprint highlighting when showing or shifting, web page navigation with textual content cursor, and toggle entry.
- The next cursor settings might be adjusted: shade, measurement, velocity, click on energy, and haptic suggestions. The next might be toggled: mouse acceleration, reverse scrolling, contact drag, contact to click on, touchpad acceleration, and auto click on.
- ChromeOS features a Snap Format function, accessed by long-pressing the Maximize button on an open window.