Lenovo has taken to CES 2020 to release the world's first detachable Chromebook in the budget segment with the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. As its branding suggests, the new gadget falls into Lenovo's affordable lineup at under $300. It's also not the most powerful Chrome OS laptop as a result. But it does bring quite a lot to the table.
In terms of design, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is remarkable in that it doesn't necessarily look cheap. The company has given the tablet-style device a dual-tone aluminum build in a silvery-blue and gray finish. That sits within a kick-stand-enhanced casing so that it can be easily used at least partially hands-free. An evenly-spaced but not insubstantial bezel houses the 10.1-inch display.
As mentioned above gadget is detachable. That means that it connects to and disconnects from a keyboard as needed. In this case, that keyboard accessory ships with the device — which weighs under a pound with the keyboard detached. Stylus support is part of the package but those accessories will be sold as an optional device.
Under the hood, Lenovo equipped its IdeaPad Duet Chromebook with a respectable octa-core Mediatek chipset. Up to 4GB RAM and 128GB storage back that up.
Not just a first for Lenovo in the budget detachable Chromebook market
The performance of the new Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook should be impressive for the price bracket. But this device isn't just impressive as the first sub-$300 detachable Chrome OS gadget either.
Not only did Lenovo give the tablet an impressive-looking keyboard in a frame that should last for a long time. The company is also holding up a statement on the software side that not many Chrome OS OEMs have ever made if any. Lenovo says it's IdeaPad Duet Chromebook will receive as many 8 years of automatic updates. That means this Chrome OS tablet should last around two years longer than its competitors on that front.
The average Chromebook is given a shelf-life of up to six years after launch as per Google policy. Support for up to eight years means that buyers have just that little bit extra value-added to consider.
The specs in the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook aren't anything to write home about in but that's not always a bad sign for a Chromebook. That's especially true where portability takes precedence over raw power. The operating system is exceptionally efficient with even low-levels of memory and storage with this Chromebook is respectable, as laid out in the specifications provided by Lenovo.
|Display||10.1" (1920×1200), 400-nits|
|Processor||Mediatek Helio P60T (Octa-core: 4xA73 2.0GHz)|
|Graphics||ARM G72 MP3|
|RAM||Up to 4GB LPDDR4x|
|Storage||Up to 128GB eMMC|
|Cameras||Front: 2MP FF + LED Indicator|
Rear: 8MP AF
|Audio||Dual speakers, dual-array microphones|
|Charging||Up to 10 hours usage|
|Inputs/Outputs||1x Type-C (USB 2.0+DP)|
|Colors||Just Black, Not Pink|
|Dimensions||Length: 9.44 in (239.8 mm)|
Width: 6.29 in (159.8 mm)
Height: 0.29 in (7.35 mm)
|Weight||430g (w/o keyboard set), 0.94lbs|
|Materials||Dual-tone design with Aluminum|
|Keyboard Set||One-piece Trackpad, 88.5mm x 52mm|
18mm key pitch
1.3mm key travel
Stand cover with 0-135° free stop
Pricing and availability
Now, Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook isn't slated to hit the market until May 2020. That's just a few months away but there's no exact launch date. Lenovo hasn't said precisely where its budget-friendly detachable Chrome OS tablet will become available as of CES.
Pricing will start out at just $279.99, helping the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook squeeze its way into the budget category. But it will certainly go up from there to land at the highest specs available, as listed above. Lenovo hasn't revealed how much the top model will cost just yet.