Reviews » Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 review: a great sequel

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 review: a great sequel

by Clinton Harding
5 minutes read
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 review

The first Lenovo Chromebook Duet was a cool computer. We bought one and thought it was great. The fact that it could be carried around like a tablet and had an OS made for laptops was a big draw. As was being able to use the few Android apps we wanted to use on a tablet. The hardware was great, the screen was great, and even though the keyboard was small, it worked well.

Only one thing was wrong with it: it was very slow. ChromeOS works fine on simple hardware, but the MediaTek CPU in the Duet just wasn’t up to par. But Lenovo didn’t give up. Instead, it tried even harder. For the follow-up, you can choose between two Duet Chromebook tablets. The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook is already one of our favorites, but now it’s time to look at the smaller of the two and the direct successor to the first.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook is an 11-inch tablet that runs ChromeOS and stays true to the original’s design. From what you can see, it might be hard to see the changes. And that is a good thing to say.

The most important change Lenovo made was to switch to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7c chip on the inside. The Duet is no longer slow. This is one of the best Chromebooks you can buy right now, and it’s much easier to recommend without having to add a caveat.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 review: Design

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 review

We have to say that the design of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is the least interesting thing about it. Well, that’s before you snap on the extra parts that come with it and make it 2-in-1. The Duet 3 is just a dull piece of plastic and metal by itself. The Storm Grey model we have been testing has a purple-grey color on the bottom half of the tablet and a graphite color on the top.

Together, the Chromebook doesn’t have enough contrast, which makes it easy to forget and unappealing. But that’s not all! And we mean that in a good way, because when you put the woven-textured kickstand case and compact keyboard together, you get a stylish tablet that can do a lot of different things and has a bit of a rugged look.

With the accessories that come with the tablet, you not only get better viewing angles, physical typing, and a much-needed grip, but it’s also more fun to use. You can buy this Chromebook from its official website.

Keyboard and touch pad

The detachable keyboard that comes with the Lenovo Duet 3 is surprisingly good. Even though the keys don’t move very far, they feel good to type on. The keyboard is also a little tight and uncomfortable for my big hands, but that’s to be expected from an 11-inch tablet with a detachable keyboard. The keyboard on the Duet 3 is good enough that I’d be willing to type emails, blog posts, and even whole term papers on it.

This Chrome tablet is a great way to get work done quickly when you need to. One more thing: the detachable keyboard isn’t very thick or sturdy, so you shouldn’t use it on your lap for serious typing. Instead, use it on a desk or table.

Still, this keyboard is very good for how small it is, and Lenovo gives it to you for free, which makes the Duet 3 a great deal. The touchpad on the keyboard is just as useful, and it comes in handy when you don’t want to risk getting Cheetos on the screen by putting your finger out to turn up the volume.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 review: Connectivity

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 review

The Duet 3 has two USB-C ports, one on each side of the tablet part of the machine that can be taken off. But that’s all physical ports can do. You can plug in power to these USB-C ports, or you can use an adapter to connect USB, HDMI, or Ethernet.

And you’ll need to plug your headphones into the same USB-C ports. This means that you can either use an adapter that turns USB-C into a headphone jack or USB-C headphones. But it’s not possible to just plug in a spare set of wired headphones. Also, the Duet 3 can wirelessly connect to the internet through Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 review: Display

The display is also a strong point, with an 11-inch (actually 10.9-inch) screen and a resolution of 2,000×1,200. Lenovo also makes a 13-inch Duet that has an even better OLED screen and is often on sale for less than $500. If you need something bigger, that’s worth a look.

With a maximum brightness of 400 nits, the IPS touchscreen here was bright enough to stream videos and get work done. Since it’s so small and light, less than 1.2 pounds with just the screen and just over 2 pounds with the keyboard and back cover, it’s easy to hold with one hand in landscape mode for long reading sessions.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 review: Sound

The speakers on the Duet 3 aren’t very good. There are two of them, and since they are on opposite sides of the screen, the stereo separation is good. However, the sound from the speakers is hollow and lacks bass. The sound of kick drums is more like a click than a thump.

If you’re in a pinch, the speakers are fine for watching YouTube, but if you want to listen actively to something on the Duet 3, you’ll need earbuds or an external speaker. There’s also no place to plug in headphones.

Performance and battery life

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7C Gen 2 is built into the Lenovo Duet 3. When it comes to how well this device works, you need to set your expectations straight first. Will this laptop let you edit multiple 4K streams? Most likely not.

But it’s not supposed to do that either. So, we decided to take the laptop at face value, open a few tabs, edit some documents, and play very simple games.

Surprisingly, the 4 GB of RAM that came with the computer didn’t slow things down at all. In fact, we opened about 13 tabs and kept switching between Spotify, a YouTube video, and a Google Docs document to see how well the laptop worked.

We didn’t notice any lag at all. We don’t like benchmarking mid-range laptops. What’s the point of all those numbers and scores if most people who buy this laptop are just going to use it for casual work? So, after a lot of testing,  found that the Duet 3 does exactly what it’s supposed to do. Simple, easy work.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 review: Conclusion

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is a remarkable 2-in-1 device that works just as well as other higher-priced Chromebooks despite its more affordable price tag. The tablet is ideal for students, workers who are constantly on the move, and casual users who want a dependable machine at a price they can afford, despite the tablet’s limited operating system and power, which could be a turnoff for professionals.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 Ratings

  • Design
  • Display
  • Sound


With the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3, you’re getting a beautiful 11-inch 2K display and a portable and lightweight solution that’s great for lounging around the house or hitting your favorite coffee shop.

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