CES 2020 | Lenovo debuts two new Chromebooks: IdeaPad Duet tablet and IdeaPad Flex 5
Chrome OS may be successful in the education market, but its popularity in the general consumer space has generally waned over the past year. However, Lenovo may spark new interest in the operating system with its latest Chromebooks, the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook and the IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook.
The more interesting of Lenovo’s new Chrome OS devices is the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. The Duet is technically a 2-in-1, but unlike Lenovo’s Yoga series, the Chromebook detaches from its keyboard like a tablet. As such, the device looks more like a Chrome OS tablet than a traditional Chromebook.
The Duet sports a 10.1-inch FHS (1920x1200) IPS display rated at 400 nits. Lenovo claims the Duet’s screen covers 70% of a color gamut, though the company did not specify to which color space they referred.
The touch display also supports a USI stylus for low-latency pen input, which may be attractive to students. The detachable keyboard is included with the Duet and features a full trackpad, though the keys look a bit squished given the small form factor. The Duet itself has a built-in kickstand (like the Microsoft Surface) that opens to a full 135 degrees.
Lenovo says that Google will support the Duet for eight years. The Duet will also support the Google Play Store for full access to Android apps.
On the other side of the Chrome OS coin is the IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook. The Flex 5 has a more traditional clamshell design, though it does sport a 360-degree hinge for use as a tablet.
The device makes for a large tablet thanks to its 13-inch FHD IPS display, but it should be manageable in the hands at 1.35 kg (2.97 lbs). The touch display is rated at 300 nits and supports Lenovo’s digital pens with pressure sensitivity.
More intriguing are the Flex 5 Chromebook’s internals. The device is certified for Intel’s Project Athena innovation program. It is powered by up to a 10th gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, and up to a 128 GB PCIe SSD. Lenovo claims the battery will last up to 10 hours (based on use case). The Flex 5 Chromebook also supports WiFi 6 and charges via a USB-C port.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook and IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook will start at US $279.99 and $359.99, respectively. The Duet will be available in May 2020, while the Flex 5 will launch in late June 2020.
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