Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 Review – When considering sequels, the goal is always to at least try to outdo the old format. That, as we all understand, does not always happen. However, in the case of Lenovo’s latest Chromebook tablet, the company has provided an improvement over the much-loved original which provides a better ChromeOS tablet as well as Chromebook in almost every way.
So, let’s take a look at how they achieved the ideal sequel in the innovative Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 via Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 Review.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 Review – Build quality and design
Before you even start this device, you will notice some improvements. The kickstand back as well as the detachable keyboard are back with their cloth exteriors, but the finish and fit are much improved this time around.
The back plate is incredibly skinny, and while the keyboard portion remains roughly the same, the entire piece makes it feel more sturdy. Furthermore, the magnets that hold everything together are far better than on the original Duet, providing a more solid feel in the hand when it all is closed up.
When everything is closed up, the keyboard latches on firmly, the back plate drops right into place, and the keyboard portion retains its place against by the screen in a very satisfying way.
Around the outside, the speakers are in a much stronger place for stereo separation, and there is a USB Type C port on both sides this time. I wish Lenovo had included a microphone/headphone jack in the selection, but it is once again absent. With only the volume rocker, power button, and camera on the outside of this device, there’s not much else to say, which is a good thing. It creates a simple, clean aesthetic that makes it feel great and looks great.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 Review – Small, meaningful screen upgrades
The screen is one of the most important components of a tablet’s hardware. When we take everything else off this Chromebook, you’re essentially holding a display, so it better be good. Thankfully, Lenovo improved on the original Duet once more. We have an 11-inch 16:10 screen as opposed to the original’s 10.1-inch size, and things are all still bright, colors are vibrant, and viewing angles are ideal.
With a brightness of 400 nits, this Chromebook is suitable for use outside when there is some shade, and it has all the light output you could want indoors. Things look extremely sharp at 19201200 resolution as well, making this my preferred Chromebook tablet display yet.
With a device like the HP Chromebook x2 11, you have the benefit of a 3:2 screen, but its QHD resolution pushes way more pixels than necessary.
The Duet 3 achieves the ideal pixel density for the screen size as well as the mobile processor inside, and it accomplishes so with an aspect ratio that works well both on the desk and when held hand; if I had to pick, I would have preferred to see Lenovo go with a 3:2 19201280 layout.
Furthermore, the display’s rounded corners add a thoughtfully polished look to the perfectly symmetrical bezels, and I have virtually no complaints about this display.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 Review – Big keyboard and trackpad upgrades
The Duet 3’s keyboard and trackpad are even better, providing a solid choice for navigating ChromeOS’s desktop UI. Is it the best trackpad or keyboard I’ve ever used? No way, no how, but the difference between this version and the original cannot be blown out of proportion.
With a larger display size comes more room for better key spacing, which Lenovo took advantage of to deliver a far superior overall typing experience. While the keyboard is still tinier than standard, it is very comfortable to type on once your hands have the hang of it.
The trackpad is small but functional. The click is excellent, and the surface, despite being plastic, remained smooth throughout my use. Even outside, where humidity can make trackpads sticky, this one performed admirably for me. I keep a Logitech Pebble mouse in my bag for distant work situations, but I didn’t feel the need for it with the Duet 3. For shorter work periods, the trackpad is adequate.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 Review – Huge performance gains
When particularly in comparison to the original, the greatest improvement is in terms of performance. The Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor which impressed me in the Duet 5 is used in the Duet 3, and you can feel it at every turn.
There’s no denying that the Duet 3 outperforms the original Duet when it comes to productivity on the desktop as well as swiping around in tablet mode. While not incredibly fast, the Duet 3 is fast-sufficient for most things you’ll want to do on a Chromebook, and it can even handle multi-monitor setups.
The bottom line
However, once the USI Pen issue is resolved, there’s little to criticize Duet 3. It’s the device I envisioned for the original Duet, and I believe Lenovo went above and beyond when putting the little Chromebook together. With so many improvements, this tablet is an easy recommendation for a wide range of users. It’s potent enough for mobile productive output while also being sized appropriately for tablet use.
With a great screen, dramatically improved keyboard, trackpad, and speed, I’d have to call this the best ChromeOS tablet available right now. With a few changes on the way – more RAM and a supported pen – it will be difficult for anybody to make a better Chromebook tablet in 2022, in my opinion. Perfect? No, but it feels like the perfect sequel.