Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 vs HP Chromebook x2 11: Battle of the Chrome OS tablets

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 vs HP Chromebook x2 11: Battle of the Chrome OS tablets

HP recently unveiled the new Chromebook x2 11, available from Best Buy and HP’s own website. The Chromebook x2 11 appears to have kicked off a wave of new Chrome OS tablets. If you’re in the market for a Chrome OS tablet, you now have more options than ever before. Lenovo just released their own large-screen contender in the Chrome OS space, the Chromebook Duet 5. In this comparison, we’ll take a look at how these Chrome OS tablets differ and which one you should buy today. This is the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 vs HP Chromebook X2 11

HP Chromebook x2 11 vs Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5: Specifications

SpecificationHP Chromebook x2 11Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5
Dimensions & Weight
  • 9.94″ x 6.96″ x 0.3″
  • 2.57 lbs
  • 7.35″ x 12″ x .29″
  • 1.54 lbs
Display
  • 11″ 2160 x 1440 (Full HD+)
  • IPS LED
  • Touchscreen
  • 13.3″ 1920×1080 pixels
  • Touchscreen
Processor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Compute Platform
  • 8 core
  • Qualcomm Adreno 618 GPU
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Compute Platform Gen 2
  • 8 core
  • Qualcomm Adreno 618 GPU
RAM & Storage
  • 8GB RAM
  • 64GB eMMc storage
  • up to 8GB LPDDR4X on board
  • up to 256GB eMMC storage
Battery & Charging
  • 2-cell
  • Lithium-Ion
  • Up to 15 hours with fast charge
  • Estimated based on lower brightness settings
Security
  • H1 Secure Microcontroller
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Titan C Security Chip
Front camera
  • 5MP camera
  • 5-megapixel
World-facing camera
  • HP Wide Vision 8MP camera
  • 8-megapixel with autofocus
Port(s)
  • 2 SuperSpeed USB Type-C 5Gbps
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • microSD card reader
  • 2x USB-C (Gen 2)
  • 5-point pogo pins
Audio
  • Audio by Bang & Olufsen with dual speakers
  • Built-in microphone
  • 4x Dolby Audi0 speakers
  • Smart amp
Connectivity
  • Atheros 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2×2) Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, MIMO, 2×2, 2.4GHz/5GHz dual band
  • Bluetooth 5.1
SoftwareChrome OSChrome OS
Other Features
  • Detachable keyboard
  • USI pen support
  • Starts at $599
  • Detachable keyboard
  • Abyss Blue, Storm Grey
  • Starts at $429

HP Chromebook x2 11 vs Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5: 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 5 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 Duet 5 is a bit heavier when both keyboard cases are attached.

As mentioned in the specs table above, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 is a slim tablet that has a 13.3 inch OLED display offering 400 nits of brightness. It’s a Full HD panel, or 1920 x 1080 resolution, and supports 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 on window shelf

The Duet 5 has a similar design language to the Apple iPad Pro, which should be considered a compliment in the tablet space. You get the rounded display corners with harder edges that feel good on your hand.  Given the large screen size, this won’t be the lightest tablet around. Even without the keyboard and kickstand attached, it weighs 1.5 pounds.

The HP Chromebook x2 11 is also made from an aluminum alloy. Sliding on the keyboard case, you get a fabric texture for grip when carrying around the Duet 5, as well as a similar experience on the Chromebook x2 11. There’s no doubt these are both premium Chrome tablets, something you would feel comfortable taking to work and using at home for media.

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 5 is unfortunately an optional accessory. You can buy a USI pen from Lenovo themselves or as a third-party option from Amazon.

HP Chromebook x2 11 on light blue background

One key difference worth noting is the lack of biometric security on the Duet 5. This is somewhat expected at the $429 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, it’s tough to call a true winner. With a higher resolution FHD+ panel, the Chromebook x2 11 looks much sharper, though both tablets offer sufficient brightness. On the other hand, the Duet 5’s OLED panel should have deeper blacks than we expect from an OLED screen. You should be happy with the display on either of these devices — just make sure you check them both out to see which you prefer.

HP Chromebook x2 11 vs Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5: Keyboard and pen support

With the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5, 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 5 you’ll need to buy a pen yourself. This means the price difference between these two tablets can actually be a little less if you need the pen support anyway.

HP Chromebook x2 11 in two orientations

When it comes to keyboard quality, the HP Chromebook x2 11 has received mixed reviews. The initial reviews of the original Lenovo Chromebook Duet keyboard were also not too impressive, so that gives some pause for concern with the Duet 5. Many reviewers found the keyboard to be a bit small and cramped — if you have large hands, that might not be ideal. We look forward to getting the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 in-house so we can put these keyboards through their paces.

HP Chromebook x2 11 vs Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5: Performance and battery

If you’re looking for the performance winner on paper, both have the Snapdragon 7c inside so it should be very close. Although we haven’t ran benchmarks for both devices, the Snapdragon 7c gen 2 inside the Duet 5 should have a slight advantage over the original Snapdragon 7c gen 1 inside the HP Chromebook x2 11. In fact, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 is the first Chromebook with the second generation Snapdragon 7c chip.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 on couch cushion

The first generation 7c wasn’t a powerhouse, but it was fine for everyday tasks. You can get by with 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 7c is probably not the right processor for you. It seems likely the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 will take the crown between these two 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. Lenovo rates the Duet 5 to get 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 gen 2 processor inside the Duet 5. If Lenovo optimized the tablet to take advantage of the 7c’s efficiency capabilities, we could see significantly improved battery life.

HP Chromebook x2 11 vs Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5: 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 5. 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 5, it also comes with an 8 MP rear camera and 5MP 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.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 on white table next to plant

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 5 could be even more impressive with a quad speaker setup. If you enjoy consuming media on your tablet, you won’t be disappointed with either of these options.

Conclusion

These two tablets have a number of key things in common. Both have a premium build, keyboard and pen support, and solid cameras and audio. One advantage for the HP Chromebook x2 11 is the availability of LTE capable models. If you need LTE connectivity, the Chromebook x2 11 will be the way to go.

If you want to spend a little less money, need a bigger screen, and don’t mind the lack of an included USI pen, the Chromebook Duet 5 is the better value. Either way, both of these tablets should be two of the best Chromebooks of 2021.

    HP Chromebook x2 11
    The HP Chromebook x2 11 combines the power of Chrome OS with the portability of a traditional tablet. You can work anywhere thanks to the optional 4G LTE capability. This is the new top of the line Chrome OS tablet experience.
    Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5
    The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 is a larger, more premium version of the Chromebook Duet from 2020. You get a bright OLED display, detachable keyboard, and USI pen support. All of those features for $429 makes this a solid value in the Chrome tablet space.

About author

Jeff Springer
Jeff Springer

Applied mathematician with a love for Android. I am interested in inverse problems for imaging and integration with camera software for mobile phones.