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Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5: Great Chromebook, great tablet

This two-in-one Chromebook/tablet boasts a fabulous display.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5

I'm usually not keen on either ARM-powered Chromebooks or dual Chromebooks/tablets. But, the latest Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5has me reconsidering.

This hybrid laptop is a 2-in-1 Chromebook and tablet. The lightweight 13.3-inch tablet/display is completely detachable. 

Its screen is one of the things I love about this combo. It's an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) Samsung Display, which provides incredible colors, darks, and contrast. I am not a fan of watching videos on screens. That's why I paid serious money for an LG OLED77C1 4K TV. I mean, why would I watch something on a small display when I have a 77-inch TV? But, for the first time, I have a portable screen I'll be happy to watch the next episode of Star Trek Discovery on.

Technically, it has a default resolution of 1920x1080. This is backed up by a Qualcomm Adreno GPU. You can also adjust it to cut down on blue light if you're worried about staying up nights watching a TV show on the display when you should be sleeping.  

This is all powered up by an 8-core, 2.55 GHz Qualcomm ARM Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor. Inside this, you'll find two fast Kryo 495 Gold cores based on the ARM Cortex-A76 architecture and six small power-efficient Kryo 495 Silver cores built on the ARM Cortex-A55 design. This isn't fast enough to make this laptop much of a gaming machine, but it's more than quick enough for watching 4K videos. 

For storage, the Duet 5 uses 128GBs of eMMC Flash Memory. That's more than big enough for a Chromebook. It also has 8GBs of RAM. 

When it comes to talking with the rest of the world, it comes with Bluetooth and 802.11ax, better known to me and you as Wi-Fi 6.

Its one lack is that it only comes with a pair of USB-C ports. That's it. The end. 

I benchmarked the machine using Principled Technologies' Chromebook-specific, second-generation CrXRPT benchmark using the latest Chrome OS. Principled Technologies, a descendant of Ziff-Davis Benchmark Operations, is one of the best private benchmarking and testing companies on the planet. 

This test tells you how fast a Chromebook handles things you do every day. This includes doing work and more fun activities such as playing video games, watching movies, and editing pictures.

The performance test gives you an overall score. With this benchmark, the higher the score, the better. In this case, it scored a decent 61. For ARM-powered Chromebooks, this is a good number. Its battery life came to a healthy 12+ hours. 

Altogether, the IdeaPad Duet 5 retails for $499. As far as I'm concerned, that's a great price for a great machine. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've installed Linux on it, which is now fully supported on Chromebooks, and I'm going to work on getting that set up properly.

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