Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook drops at CES: A 10.1-inch tablet with included detachable keyboard

Well, well, well, it looks like that 10.1-inch tablet I suggested a few weeks ago would come from Lenovo has indeed arrived. On Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet was introduced and will arrive with a very appealing $279 price tag.

Unlike prior small Chrome OS tablets, this one has a 400 nit 1920 x 1080 touchscreen, which packs a large number of pixels into a portable package.

And you won’t have to buy a wireless keyboard if you want to pound out text: The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook comes with a detachable keyboard that has a trackpad. I’ll have to see how well this keyboard works because it looks like it may be a bit floppy, similar to the Google Pixel Slate Keyboard.

For media consumption or typing the Chrome OS tablet has a cover with a built-in stand that opens up to 135-degrees. I wish all Chrome OS tablets, regardless of their size, had this feature.

So at $279, you can’t expect high-end Intel hardware inside.

Instead, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is powered by a Mediatek Helio P60T processor paired with up to 4 GB of memory and up to 128 GB of eMMC storage.

For a small Chrome OS tablet that’s unlikely to be your only computing device, that hardware is likely acceptable for most people. Although you might be able to use this tablet as a primary device, it’s really aimed at portability on the go thanks to the size and 0.98-pound weight without the keyboard.

Even for its small size, you still get a USB Type-C port, front and rear webcams, and, according to Lenovo, a whopping 8 years of Chrome OS software updates. I think that’s a record! Here’s a rundown of all of the hardware specifications currently available:

CPUOcta-core Mediatek Helio P60T
(4xA73 at 2.0GHz)
GPUARM G72 MP3
Display10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 touchscreen,
400-nits, 70% color gamut
MemoryUp to 4 GB LPDDR4x
StorageUp to 128 GB eMMC, microSD slot
for expansion
ConnectivityWi-Fi (Note, I suspect
Bluetooth as well)
InputIncluded keyboard with trackpad,
optional stylus, 2 MP front camera,
8 MP webcam
PortsOne USB Type-C (2.0 + DisplayPort)
Battery7180 mAh
Weight0.94 pounds without keyboard
SoftwareChrome OS automatic updates for 8 years

With the updated processor, integrated kickstand cover and included keyboard attachment, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook appears to be a solid choice for those who want a small Chrome OS tablet.

The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 didn’t wow the market, although there are some happy customers, so this package starting at $279 could increase demand for a portable Chromebook slate from a small niche to a larger niche. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until May to find out; that’s when the product becomes available.

3 thoughts on “Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook drops at CES: A 10.1-inch tablet with included detachable keyboard

  • January 6, 2020 at 3:32 pm
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    I hope that Lenovo understands its market. Sorry to say but, unless it poses really strong competition for the 11-inch iPad Pro, most institutions and individuals will probably take a pass. Plenty of folks want compact Chromebooks. They just don’t want the embarrassing tradeoffs that always seem to come with them. Still, it will be very interesting to seem how well this CPU performs in this form factor.

    Reply
    • January 10, 2020 at 9:58 pm
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      Keep in mind the price of the Lenovo Duet is less than half the price of the base model iPad Pro. It is hardly trying to compete in the same area although I likely suspect it will have great performance nonetheless.

      Reply
      • January 13, 2020 at 10:47 pm
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        Yes, that is true. This device will appeal to students and people like myself (I am retired and no longer need a computer that breaks speed records) who aren’t always on the hunt for more performance from the processor inside the unit. (Of course, we might reasonably expect improvements in performance and Perf/W of ARM based processors being incorporated into future models of the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook and similar tablet computers in the future). The low price is an unavoidable part of the attraction, though.

        The iPad Pro without doubt will continue to afford Apple the high margin business that it craves. And, if you can afford to go that way – I think that the A14X (if that is what they decide to call it) based iPad Pros will sop up much of the consumer spend in the tablet market – you will get an awfully good tablet.

        Reply

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