HP Chromebook x2 11 vs Lenovo Chromebook Duet: Battle of the Chrome OS tablets
HP recently unveiled the new Chromebook x2 11, available from Best Buy and HP’s own website later this month. The Chromebook x2 11 is the first new Chrome OS tablet we’ve seen in quite some time. It looks like a compelling product, but it’s always a good idea to consider all available options. On the other hand, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is quite a bit more affordable. In this comparison, we’ll take a look at how these Chrome OS tablets differ and which one you should buy today.
HP Chromebook x2 11 vs Lenovo Chromebook Duet: Specifications
|Specification||HP Chromebook x2 11||Lenovo Chromebook Duet|
|Dimensions & Weight|
|RAM & Storage|
|Battery & Charging|
|Software||Chrome OS||Chrome OS|
HP Chromebook x2 11 vs Lenovo Chromebook Duet: Design and display
Starting off with design and build, these tablets are similar in a number of ways. First, the HP Chromebook x2 11 and Lenovo Chromebook Duet are both true detachable devices. This is something to take note of, especially since the keyboards can add some bulk on convertibles when used in tablet mode. Both tablets have similar weights, if you don’t include the detachable keyboard when measuring the HP Chromebook x2 11. The Duet is a bit lighter when both keyboard cases are attached.
One thing to mention here is we don’t know if HP is including the Chromebook x2 11’s keyboard in their weight calculation. This would mean the true weight of the device as a tablet could be a bit different than what’s shown in the specs sheet. This is something we’ll test and update when we review the HP Chromebook x2 11 ourselves. The nice thing is HP includes the detachable keyboard in the base price of the HP Chromebook x2 11.
The HP Chromebook x2 11 is made from an aluminum alloy. On the other hand, Lenovo Chromebook Duets have an attractive, albeit mostly plastic build. Sliding on the keyboard case, you get a fabric texture for grip when carrying around the Duet. There’s no doubt the HP Chromebook x2 11 is the more premium device, but the Lenovo Duet looks nice enough.
Both of these tablets also support pen input. The HP Chromebook x2 11 and Lenovo Chromebook Duet both support the USI pen standard. HP actually includes the USI pen with the Chromebook x2 11, which attaches to the tablet magnetically. The USI pen for the Duet is included with certain models, otherwise you can buy it separately or as a third-party option from Amazon.
One key difference worth noting is the lack of biometric security on the Duet. This is somewhat expected at the $329 price point, but still a bit disappointing. The HP Chromebook x2 11 thankfully does feature a fingerprint scanner. This is refreshing to see as many high-end Chromebooks leave off biometric security options that improve user experience.
As for the displays, the HP Chromebook x2 11 is the clear winner here. With a higher resolution FHD+ panel the Chromebook x2 11 looks much sharper, though both tablets offer sufficient brightness. At the end of the day, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is simply outmatched in this category.
HP Chromebook x2 11 vs Lenovo Chromebook Duet: Keyboard and pen support
With the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, the detachable keyboard is included in the price with all models. The HP Chromebook x2 11 includes both the detachable keyboard as well as the magnetically attached USI pen. With the Duet, certain models include the USI pen, while others do not. This means the price difference between these two tablets can actually be a little less if you need the pen support anyway.
When it comes to keyboard quality, much is still unknown about the HP Chromebook x2 11. The initial reviews of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet keyboard were mixed. Many reviewers found the keyboard to be a bit small and cramped — if you have large hands, that might not be ideal. The Chromebook x2 11 keyboard layout looks nice, but we can’t say for sure how good it is until we test it out.
HP Chromebook x2 11 vs Lenovo Chromebook Duet: Performance and battery
If you’re looking for the performance winner on paper, that’s the HP Chromebook x2 11 quite handily. Although we don’t know much about real-world performance just yet, the newer Snapdragon 7c in HP’s tablet will handily outscore the MediaTek processor inside the CM3 in benchmarks.
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is quite underpowered with the MediaTek Helio P60T inside. You can get by for basic web browsing and light productivity, but any serious multi-tasking will be quite difficult. If you want to do any type of gaming or run powerful Linux apps, the Duet is not the right Chrome tablet for you. It seems likely the HP Chromebook x2 11 will take the crown in overall performance on paper and in practice, something we can and will test in our review.
In theory, both devices get similar battery ratings from their respective OEMs. The Duet reviews indicate the Lenovo tablet gets about 10 hours of real world use, with over 12 hours if you’re only browsing the web. This is fairly common to see and we would typically expect similar battery life from the HP Chromebook x2 11. One thing that might improve battery life however, is the Snapdragon 7c processor inside the Chromebook x2 11. If HP optimized the tablet to take advantage of the 7c’s capabilities, we could see significantly improved battery life.
HP Chromebook x2 11 vs Lenovo Chromebook Duet: Cameras and audio
Over the course of the last 18 months, video calling rose to prominence thanks to the ongoing pandemic. Most Chromebooks still have mediocre 720p webcams and don’t feature a rear camera at all.
Camera quality is an outstanding feature on the HP Chromebook x2 11 and the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. HP and Lenovo feature FHD or FHD+ resolution cameras on both the front and back. The HP Chromebook x2 11 features a 5 MP front camera and 8MP wide-vision rear camera. As for the Duet, it comes with an 8 MP rear camera and 2MP front camera for video calls.
In the age of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, these cameras are a big deal. Fortunately, both of these Chrome OS tablets are up to the task when it comes to video calling.
The HP Chromebook x2 11 has dual speakers tuned by Bang and Olufsen, so this tablet should perform admirably when it comes to audio. Speakers on the Lenovo Chromebook Duet are also quite impressive, with a dual setup as well. It’s quite impressive what Lenovo accomplished on the Duet in terms of audio for such a low price.
This is a really tough one to call. While the HP Chromebook x2 11 has a premium build and comes with some high-end features, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet offers lots of value for under $250. If you plan to do a lot of Android gaming or need to type for longer periods of time, it’s probably a good idea to go with the HP Chromebook x2 11.
The Duet is a great option if you just want to consume media and handle the occasional productivity task, for a much lower price. Either way, the Lenovo Chromebook was definitively one of the best Chromebooks of 2020. The HP Chromebook x2 11 looks poised to be one of the best Chromebooks of 2021.