This is when things start getting interesting for Chrome tablets.
What you need to know
- Lenovo is launching several new products at its Tech World event on Wednesday.
- The Chromebook Duet 5 and Tab P12 Pro are among the new tablets Lenovo unveiled at the event.
- Lenovo also revealed new wireless earbuds and a 5G model of the Tab P11 tablet.
- The new Chromebook Duet 5 and Tab P12 Pro start at $450 and $610, respectively.
Lenovo Tech World today is showing off the latest and greatest from one of the largest manufacturers in the world. While the PCs and USB-C Monitors are all well and good, what faithful readers of this site will really be looking forward to are its Chrome and Android offerings. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 goes on sale next month, and here’s why it’ll absolutely earn its $450 price tag.
Far and away, one of the best Chromebooks of 2020 and one of the most important was the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. It was the first Chrome OS tablet that felt like a full, well-rounded experience, and it came with the kickstand and keyboard in the box, unlike the overpriced Pixel Slate of 2018.
The Duet wasn’t perfect, though. While the 10.1-inch screen made it easier to slip into a sling or purse, the accompanying keyboard felt cramped to many. It also only had one USB-C port, so you needed a USB-C hub. The Mediatek Helio P60T processor was fine for watching videos, e-reading, and light games, but it was easy to bog it down when you had multiple tabs or windows going at once.
By contrast, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 gives up a 13.3-inch OLED screen that will allow us to spread out our tabs much more easily — or better enjoy our weekend binge of The Witcher. Of course, the larger screen means we get a full-size keyboard with a much larger trackpad, which will make the Duet 5 a much better fit for anyone with larger hands.
While the processor upgrade here might not seem huge, going from the Helio P60T to the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 should allow the Duet 5 to better handle multitasking, especially with the upgrade up to 8GB of RAM. The battery’s been upgraded to match the bigger screen, with Lenovo claiming up to 15 hours on a single charge. Given the battery on the original Duet when I reviewed it, I’m not all that doubtful of the number, but we’ll test it with a long, lengthy movie marathon!
|Display||10.1-inch touchscreen1920x1200px400 nits||13.3-inch touchscreen1920x1080px400 nits • OLED|
|Processor||Mediatek Helio P60T||Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 Compute Platform|
|Memory||4GB LPDDR4x||4-8GB LPDDR4x|
|Storage||64-128GB eMMc||Up to 256GB “SSD supported”|
|Ports||1x USB-C (USB 2.0 + DP)Pogo pin||2x USB-C (USB 3.0)Pogo pin|
|Peripheral features||Pre-bundled with keyboard and kickstandOptional Stylus||Pre-bundled with keyboard and kickstandOptional Stylus|
|Audio||Dual speakers||4 speakers|
|Battery||7000mAh10 hours||42WhrUp to 15 hoursRapid Charge|
|Price||From $250||From $430|
While the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 looks like it could make a very good run for Best Chromebook of 2021, it was not the only tablet Lenovo debuted today. The Lenovo Tab P12 Pro, the successor of the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro from earlier this year, starts at $610 and is the first tablet to feature Lenovo’s new Project Unity method of extending your Windows laptop over to your Android tablet. (The apps for Project Unity will also be available on Google Play and the Microsoft Store).
The feature looks cool when it works, letting you turn your tablet into an easy way to sign documents, annotate notes, or a drawing pad for media apps, but it’s probably not something you’ll use it for every single day. The P12 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 870, and it’s got Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos for the quad-speaker setup. Lenovo says the tablet will get 17 hours when you’re just watching videos, but once you switch over to using more intensive apps or web browsing, that number drops down to 10 hours.
There will be some bundles with the keyboard and kickstand so you can get the complete package. It appears there will also be some 4G LTE-enabled models, but it’s unclear which regions they will be sold in. If you want a 5G tablet, you’ll have to backtrack to the Lenovo Tab P11 5G, which will only be sold in Europe at 500€ starting in October.
Lenovo Smart Wireless Earbuds will also launch this fall for $100, but we’re reserving judgment until we can actually test them, as they seek to compete with the ridiculously crowded $100 earbuds segment. The Bluetooth 5.2 true wireless earbuds will have ANC, IPX4 water and sweat-resistance, 11mm drivers, and you’ll get 4.5 hours (with ANC on) per charge, plus 3 extra charges from the case. The stems house a wide touch area, though some will find the particular shape here a bit large.
Most of these new products will go on sale next month, and we will be reviewing the Lenovo Chromebook Duet as soon as we can. Even if it’s going to be a bit unwieldy when used without the magnetic kickstand, it still looks to be an impressive tablet.