Over the past two years, a surprising number of people have happily bought the Lenovo Duet Chromebook. The 10.1-inch Chrome OS tablet debuted at $299 with included keyboard attachment and stand. Sure it wasn’t the fastest device by far. But it was highly capable and for not much money. That’s why I dubbed it my 2020 Chromebook of the year. Now there’s a $399 successor: The Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook.
Lenovo announced the new Chrome OS tablet on Monday in tandem with this year’s Mobile World Congress event.
A good mix of old and new for the Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook
There’s a price bump of $100 over the original, which I’ll get into shortly. And there’s an appealing mix between similar features to the 2020 version and more modern updates.
For starters, the Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook gets a subtle screen boost. The original has a 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 LCD with a 16:9 aspect ratio. This time around? It has an 11-inch 2K display with a slightly taller 5:3 ratio. You still get touch and stylus support.
Oh and when you fold that keyboard under the Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook, it disables the keys and switches into Chrome OS tablet mode.
Inside, the capable but aging MediaTek processor is replaced with a second-generation fanless Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c.
Yes, that’s aging too, but it’s the same setup as the bigger Lenovo Duet Chromebook 5 I recently reviewed. And for most people, it has enough day-to-day performance. And unlike the original Duet Chromebook tablet, you’re not limited to just 4 GB of memory. There will be options with double that.
With the Snapdragon 7c, you’re still limited to WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1, but that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. You still get both a 5- and 8-megapixel camera.
Storage is still the slower eMMC type, but I’d expect that for a device in this price range. You’ll get a choice between 64, 128, and 256 GB capacity options. Sorry, there’s still no microSD card slot for expansion. But there is an additional USB Type-C port. This year’s model has one on each side, which I’d take over a microSD slot any day personally.
The Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook is expected to last up to 12 hours on a charge so I’d expect a full work-day out of it.
Well, if you plan to use it full-time for work, that is. It’s definitely possible as I know some readers use their old Duet tablet with an external display and keyboard for this purpose.
All in all, this is a relatively solid upgrade. It offers a performance boost and a slightly larger but still portable package. The tablet itself weighs 1.14 pounds, while the keyboard folio adds another 0.95 pounds. This year, a Storm Grey color is added alongside Misty Blue.
What about that price point?
Now let’s get back to that price. The Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook starts at $399 and will be available in May. The real question is: Is that the base model price?
If so, I think the price is a smidge high. I’d rather see it at $349 with 4 GB of memory and see an 8 GB model at that $399.99 price point in the U.S.
The main reason? If the 8 GB model is priced at $449 or so (that’s just my expectation), it’s awfully close to the $499 Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook price point. And that has a much better OLED display, albeit bigger, and likely typing experience due to the keyboard size.
I’m curious what you all think of this pricing, not to mention the follow-up to one of the most recent popular Chromebook models.