Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5: Everything you need to know

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5: Everything you need to know

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet was a huge hit in 2020, one of the best Chrome OS tablets we’ve ever seen, at an incredibly affordable price. Now Lenovo is back with a bigger, more premium version in the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5. In addition to a larger OLED screen, you also get a significant bump in build quality with a beautiful two-tone aluminum design. With the large volume of Chrome OS tablets coming to market, Lenovo has one of the larger screens available for consideration. This is also the first Chromebook or tablet to feature the Snapdragon 7c second generation processor inside. The first generation chip was a bit of disappointment, so it will be interesting to see if Qualcomm can step their game up.

In this article we take a look at everything you need to know about the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5. We cover release date information, pricing and configurations, key features, and more. If this is the Chrome OS tablet you have your eye on, we’ve got you covered with all the details.

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Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5: Specifications

SpecificationLenovo Chromebook Duet 5
Dimensions & Weight
  • 7.35″ x 12.4″ x .29″
  • 1.5 lbs (700 g)
Display
  • 13.3″ 1920×1080 pixels
  • Touchscreen
  • OLED
Processor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Compute Platform Gen 2
  • 8 core
  • Qualcomm Adreno 618 GPU
RAM & Storage
  • up to 8GB LPDDR4X on board
  • up to 256GB eMMC storage
Battery & Charging
  • Up to 15 hours with fast charge
  • Estimated based on lower brightness settings
Security
  • Titan C Security Chip
Front camera
  • 5-megapixel
World-facing camera
  • 8-megapixel
Port(s)
  • 2x USB-C (Gen 2)
  • 5-point pogo pins
Audio
  • 4x Dolby Audio speakers
  • Smart amp
Connectivity
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, MIMO, 2×2, 2.4GHz/5GHz dual band
  • Bluetooth 5.1
SoftwareChrome OS
Other Features
  • Detachable keyboard
  • Abyss Blue, Storm Grey
  • Starts at $429

When is the Chromebook Duet 5 release date?

Originally announced at Lenovo Tech World 2021, the Chromebook Duet 5 will be available in October 2021. Thus far, Lenovo has not provided additional availability details or an exact release date.

What is the price of the Chromebook Duet 5?

The base model releasing in the US will start at $429, though additional may be able. Lenovo has not provided pricing details for any other configurations in the US or international markets.

Chromebook Duet 5 key features

Build and design

When compared to the original Lenovo Chromebook Duet from 2020, the overall look of the tablet is fairly similar, though the Chromebook Duet 5 is a more premium device. The original Chromebook Duet has an aluminum casing, but it’s well hidden by the fabric cover and plastic on the underside of the keyboard. On the other hand, the Chromebook Duet 5 shows off its two-tone aluminum build proudly, while still having nice texture on the keyboard cover/kickstand attachment. There’s around a $200 price difference in these two tablets so you’d expect the more expensive 2021 option to carry a more solid build. Still, the original Chromebook Duet is fairly durable with the fabric/plastic duo covering much of the chassis.

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. The display is certainly going to be brighter and more vivid on the Duet 5, which makes it an excellent candidate for consuming media like Netflix.

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.

Sliding on the keyboard case, you get a fabric texture for grip when carrying around the Duet 5, which is a similar feel as with the original Duet. This tablets can be a bit slippery when used without the keyboard case, so it’s a good idea to slip it on when heading out for the day.

One key specification worth noting is the lack of biometric security on the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 This is somewhat expected at the $229 price point of the original Duet, but is fairly disappointing at the higher price point of the Duet 5. It would really be nice if OEMs would consider adding biometric security to all Chrome OS devices, which is fairly standard on phones in 2021.

Display

One of the most improved aspects of the new Chromebook Duet 5 is the larger, more detailed display. The OLED panel has deeper blacks and still gets a bit brighter than the original Duet. To be sure, the original Duet has an excellent screen at its price point, the 400 nits of brightness is plenty for working outside. This large display is excellent for taking advantage of writing with Google’s new cursive app, or enjoying Android games and streaming content.

It is a fairly large tablet, so it might be awkward to use this tablet for reading or for extensive handheld use. I often use my tablets while lecturing at the university and I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable doing that with a 13.3″ display. On the other hand, if you need to get some work done on your tablet, the screen will have plenty of real estate for using the detachable keyboard with touchpad. You should be able to fit in a couple windows for multitasking easily. With the incredibly bright panel, working outside will also be enjoyable on the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5.

Performance

Although we haven’t ran benchmarks for the Duet 5 just yet, the Snapdragon 7c gen 2 inside the Duet 5 should have a slight advantage over the original Snapdragon 7c gen 1, which didn’t perform too well in our benchmark comparison for Chromebooks. 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 improve things quite a bit when compared to the original Snapdragon 7c.

Battery and charging

As a fairly large tablet, the Chromebook Duet 5 is rated for significantly better battery life. Lenovo rates the Duet 5 to get about 15 hours of real world use, which sounds a little unrealistic to me.  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. The original Duet gets fairly close to the 10 hours of battery life claimed by Lenovo, so perhaps the Duet 5 can be similarly efficient.

Overall, battery life looks like a pretty big selling point for Chromebook Duet 5. In addition to the impressive battery life rating, you also get fast charging with a fast charging brick in the retail box. Lenovo hasn’t given any specs on exactly how fast we can expect the device to charge, but we’ll have a full run down of that in our review.

Advanced features and camera

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 original Chromebook Diet and the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5. Lenovo features FHD or FHD+ resolution cameras on both the front and back. The original Chromebook Duet featured a 2 MP front camera and 8MP rear camera. As for the Duet 5, it comes with an improved 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 original Chromebook Duet has solid dual speakers that many reviewers enjoyed at launch. 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, though the Duet 5 has the larger screen to prepare with the superb audio.

With the original Lenovo Chromebook Duet and Duet 5, the detachable keyboard is included in the price with all models. If you choose to buy a higher-end model of the original Duet, you can also get the Lenovo USI pen as part of the bundle. 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.

lenovo chromebook

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. Considering that some early adopters have found similar complaints with the HP Chromebook x2 11, this seems to be a common theme with Chrome OS tablets. We look forward to getting the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 in-house so we can put this keyboard through extensive testing.

Where to buy the Chromebook Duet 5

At present, we know that the Chromebook Duet 5 will be available for purchase directly from Lenovo’s web store when it launches in October. If prior Lenovo Chromebooks are any indication, you will also be able to purchase it from Amazon at some point after the initial launch.

Chromebook Duet 5 FAQs

Does the Chromebook Duet 5 have LTE or 5G?

At this point, Lenovo has not announced any plans for an LTE or 5G capable model of the Chromebook Duet 5. If you’re interested in an LTE capable Chrome OS tablet, you should check out the HP Chromebook x2 11.

Does the Chromebook Duet 5 come with the pen and keyboard?

The detachable keyboard and kickstand are included with the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5, just as they were with the original Lenovo Chromebook Duet last year. Unfortunately, there isn’t a USI pen included in the retail box. You can choose to either purchase Lenovo’s USI pen from their website, or a third-party option from Amazon (see accessories information below).

Is the Chromebook Duet 5 good for school?

If you’re a high school or college student on the go, the Chromebook Duet 5 is a great choice for a school laptop. Chrome OS is fast and efficient and you can work on all of your assignments using Google Docs and Sheets. The USI pen capability and detachable keyboard make note taking a breeze as well. Finally, the Duet 5 gets amazing battery life so you will be able to work and play all day long.

What configurations does the Chromebook Duet 5 come in?

We do know that the particular model released in the US will come with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The 4GB of RAM is a bit disappointing, especially when you consider that the competing HP Chromebook x2 11 features 8GB of RAM. While the HP tablet launched at $599, it was already on sale for $499, which is slightly under the $429 retail price for the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5.

There will be other variants of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 coming to other markets. Some of those models will feature 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of SSD storage. It is possible that some of those models may go on sale at the US at some point, but they will likely be sold only on Lenovo’s on web store, and not available at other channels like Amazon. It will be on sale outside of North America under a slightly different name, the IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook, due to some peculiarities in the way Lenovo brands its products in different regions. Lenovo has not revealed full pricing for all of the advanced configurations, but we will update this post as more information comes available.

What colors does the Chromebook Duet 5 come in?

The Chromebook Duet 5 comes in Abyss Blue and Storm Grey. Abyss Blue is a rather dark blue, but both of the options come with a two-tone accent on the aluminum chassis.

Does the Chromebook Duet 5 have a good webcam?

Camera quality is perhaps one of the best features available on the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5. Not only does it have an excellent 5MP front camera for video calls, it also boasts an 8MP rear camera in case you need to snap a few pictures in a pinch. Compared to other Chromebooks, the Duet 5 is incredibly impressive in the camera department.

Does the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 come with a charger?

Yes, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 comes with a fast charger in the box. Unlike phones, most laptops still include the charger in the retail box, thankfully. Lenovo has said that the Chromebook Duet 5 supports rapid charge, but no specific charging speed has been indicated at this point.

Does the Lenovo Chromebook Duet run Android apps?

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 can run Android apps directly from the Play Store. Not all Android apps are optimized for Chrome OS, but you can run just about any app you want in a phone-sized window. Android games should look fantastic on the Duet 5. Check out our full guide on Android apps for Chrome OS for more recommendations.

Does the Lenovo Chromebook Duet run Linux apps?

Like most modern Chromebooks and Chrome OS tablets, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 can indeed run Linux apps within Chrome OS. We have a handy guide on how to set this up and recommendations for which Linux apps to use with a new Chromebook, check it out!

What accessories are available for the Chromebook Duet 5?

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 is an awesome Chrome OS tablet, with tons of productivity features. To take advantage of that, you’ll definitely need a few accessories. This machine is light and portable, so a case or sleeve is a necessity for carrying it around day to day. When you get to the office or back home, you can transform the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 into a full workstation with an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard.

Chromebook accessories for students

And that’s not all, you can also add a backup USI pen for note taking, a dock for improved connectivity and more. The good news is that we’ve already created curated selections of Chromebook tablet accessories in several key categories:

If you’re still craving even more customization, we have an even larger collection of the best accessories for the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 in every conceivable category. With all those accessories in hand, you can travel in style and get plenty of work done at the office with your new Chrome tablet.

    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.