Lenovo unveils 2 affordable Chromebooks: the detachable IdeaPad Duet and the convertible IdeaPad Flex 5
Chromebooks are more about power-efficiency and mobility than performance. This is why their market share among laptops is relatively smaller. OEMs such as ASUS and HP are among the brands that routinely churn out Chromebooks while Samsung chips in sometimes. Google, on the other hand, has a yearly ritual of launching a new Chromebook (or Chrome OS device) but the high prices often deter prospective buyers to cheaper options. For those planning to grab a Chromebook without spending too much, Lenovo has launched two new devices: the IdeaPad Duet, which is a Chrome OS tablet with a detachable keyboard, and the IdeaPad Flex 5, a Chrome OS laptop with a 360º hinge and Intel Core i5 CPU.
With a sub-$350 pricing, both of these Lenovo Chromebooks can be seen as realistic replacements to Google’s own premium offerings.
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chrome OS tablet
The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet tablet is built pretty much on the principle as the 2018’s Pixel Slate but nearly one-third of the price. It features a 10.1-inch Full HD display and comes with a single USB Type-C port for I/O. A cover attaches to the back of the tablet, and it has a kickstand which helps tablet stay upright when being used on a table. The detachable keyboard connects magnetically and has a full keyboard and a trackpad. Both the back cover and the keyboard come pre-bundled with the IdeaPad Duet tablet in the same packaging. The tablet also has USI stylus compatibility but you’ll be required to buy the stylus separately.
Inside, there’s a MediaTek Helio P60T processor along with 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage. To keep the hardware up and running, Lenovo promises eight long years of software support. This means those who buy the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook will get Chrome OS updates till 2028 and that pretty endearing. Plus, there are cameras on both front and back – 8MP on the back and 2MP on the front.
While a lot of Chromebooks also support Linux apps besides Android apps, we don’t clearly know if this particular one will and that’s primarily because of the onboard MediaTek chip. Even if it doesn’t, at $279.99 with the keyboard included, the IdeaPad duet is a pretty sweet deal, especially if you want the experience of an Android tablet as well as a laptop and not just a tablet with a keyboard.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet should go on sale starting in May 2020.
|Specifications||Lenovo IdeaPad Duet||Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5|
|Dimensions and Weight|
|Processor||MediaTek Helio P60T||up to 10th Gen Intel Core i5|
|Memory||4GB LPDDR4x RAM||8GB DDR4 RAM|
|Graphics Configurations||Mali-G72||Intel integrated graphics|
|Camera||2MP front, 8MP back||720p webcam|
|Audio||Dual speakers||Dual speakers|
|OS||Chrome OS||Chrome OS|
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook is a more like conventional a laptop but with its quirks of being a convertible. The swivel hinge allows for the screen to be rotated 360º while the touchscreen allows inputs using both – a finger and a stylus. The IdeaPad Flex 5 has a 13.3 Full HD display which is claimed to get as bright as 300 nits. You can choose up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB or 8GB of RAM. Plus, in terms of storage, there’s an option to either choose between a 32GB or 64GB eMMC storage or go for a 128GB PCIe SSD for a smoother experience.
The keyboard on the IdeaPad Flex 5 is also backlit and spill-resistant. There are two tiny 2W speakers on either side of the keyboard. Additionally, it supports Wi-Fi 6 and has a promised 10 hours of battery life, even though there’s no announcement about the long Chrome OS support such as in the case of the detachable Chromebook.
The IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook will start at $359 but you’ll have to shell out more for the upgraded specs. It will be available for purchase starting June 2020.