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REVIEW: Lenovo’s New 2-in-1 A Slam Dunk For Modern Workers

Notebook manufacturers have made leaps and bounds in recent years with the evolution of the transformative 2-in-1, and Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet Chromebook has managed to take this mandate even further.

Coming in at A$599, the ideaPad Chromebook offers a reliable, highly portable notebook that is suitable for a plethora of work and recreational tasks – complete with detachable keyboard, fabric cover and kickstand.

The 2-in-1 is light (around 950g), well-built to the touch, and fits perfectly into most ‘work bags’ without feeling like you’re carrying extra bulk or significant weight. 

Portability is taken to the next level, with its compact size extremely comfortable for ‘coffee workers’ who crave work-life-balance on small cafe tables, or professionals who find themselves frequently visiting client sites (pre-COVID, of course).

The 10.1-inch screen accompanies a robust kickstand which offers the freedom of significant adjustment, and has enough strength to reliably sit upon a person’s lap when in relaxed positions – often a con in other 2-in-1 devices with ‘flimsy’ stands.

The screen is well illuminated, colours are vivid and immersive courtesy of FHD 1920 X 1200 resolution – great for simple graphic design on Canva, enjoying Netflix, or showing your friend pre-COVID holiday photos on slideshow.

Software is extremely user-friendly courtesy of the latest ChromeOS, with split screens and other shortcut controls making it an excellent device for basic to moderate professional multitasking.

Entertainment is also a pleasurable experience courtesy of excellent audio components, such as dual speakers.

Video conferencing is facilitated via dual mics and a great forward-facing 2 MP camera, further increasing its suitability for today’s modern workers who prefer to conduct business from ‘anywhere’, or on-the-go.

The value proposition of the device is also lifted by automatic Chrome OS updates for up to eight years.

For those moments of reduced productivity, a picture-in-picture feature offers users the ability to watch a video app and work at the same time, catering to broader work-life-balance.

Google integration also offers seamless Drive and cloud storage functionality, buoyed by 128GB storage. Employees who operate with Google Mail will be most pleased with the holistic calendar and email integration, likely further appreciated by mobile Google Android users. 

Access to the Google Play store increases the freedom to customise apps for both work and pleasure, which for some consumers offers a leg-up versus the Microsoft Store on the Surface Go 2.

Concerning software, the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is most reliable, with an extremely quick boot-up time and enough grunt to seamlessly pass most processing tasks with ease. That being said, don’t misuse the 4GB RAM with the same amount of excessive Chrome tabs you may deploy onto a desktop computer, or higher-end laptop.

For client presentations or note taking, I especially appreciate that the 2-in-1 device can transform into a standalone 10.1” tablet (stylus not included) with ease.

If I may gripe, on some occasions the keyboard did accidentally detach, however, some minor behavioural tweaks minised this. 

The trackpad is also not as sensitive as I’ve seen on other laptops, but I did find the keyboard most seamless to type on.

Lenovo claims that the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook offers a ten hour battery life with general use, a claim I stand behind. Its battery life renders it excellent, once again, for remote workers who crave the freedom to take their ‘work’ anywhere.

Overall, the Lenovo Duet Chromebook is an excellent, reliable 2-in-1 device which offers the freedom of a notebook and tablet combined. 

It does not, and should not, be used in the same way as a high-end traditional laptop – it has a very different mandate, and is a perfect accompaniment to the transient worker.

Its compact, lightweight, premium build makes it most suitable for modern workers who crave a super portable device, boosted by excellent battery life and video conferencing capabilities.

If you’re looking for a product under $1000 that allows you to carry out work tasks in a reliable fashion, and cater to entertainment moments with ease, this is a product to definitely consider.

Functionality is further enhanced with access to the Google Play store, with a world of apps further bridging the divide between work and play. 

I could also see myself buying this for less tech-savvy individuals who would enjoy the simplicity of ChromeOS, engulfed in a premium build – not limiting its benefit to transient workers amid the work-from-home mandates of COVID-19.

This product does not claim to cater to everyone, but to those who fall within its target market, it caters very well indeed.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is available to purchase from several local retailers including Bing Lee now.

RATING: 8/10