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Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet 3 is a mid-sized Chrome OS tablet

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Plus, the Flex 5i and 3i might have what it takes to challenge Acer’s Chromebook Spin 713

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3
The 11-inch Duet 3’s taller aspect ratio should make it more natural to use in portrait mode.
Image: Lenovo

Lenovo has announced a new Chrome OS tablet at Mobile World Congress 2022 that seems like a stellar value, along with a wave of other promising Chromebooks in its IdeaPad productivity lineup. The IdeaPad Duet 3 tablet seems to deliver more of what we liked about the 13-inch Duet 5 tablet, but smaller. It’s an 11-inch tablet, which should make it easier to lug around, and to hold in your hands. Lenovo says it’s the successor to the well-liked 10.1-inch Duet from 2020.

Compared to the larger Duet 5, the Duet 3 bumps the screen’s resolution from 1080p to 2K, while providing a slightly taller aspect ratio at 5:3 compared to 16:9 in the Duet 5. This should make the Duet 3 feel a little more natural to hold and view in portrait mode. The most notable difference between the two, apart from size, is that the Duet 3 has an LCD instead of an OLED — one of the Duet 5’s most alluring features.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3
A top-down view of the Duet 3 and its included keyboard.
Image: Lenovo

Internally, much about the Duet 3 is similar to the Duet 5. It runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor, and it can be configured with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal space. It has two USB-C ports with video, data, and charging capabilities, though you still won’t find a headphone jack here. Lenovo claims that the Duet 3 can last for 12 hours per charge.

In the box, you’ll get a detachable keyboard that Lenovo says has water-resistant, anti-pry keys. Sadly, the company still isn’t including a stylus in the box, though its touchscreen display supports them.

Lenovo plans to launch the Duet 3 in May 2022, starting at $399.99.

This slider shows the differences in display height, bezel, and chassis size between the Flex 3i (left) and Flex 5i (right).

Chromebook power users who want 2-in-1 flexibility should keep tabs on the 14-inch Flex 5i and 15.6-inch 3i. Their designs have a lot in common with Acer’s Chromebook Spin 713, the reigning champ in the world of Chromebooks, and the Flex 5i seems like a suitable competitor, with a 16:10 aspect ratio IPS display, a generously sized trackpad, and what sounds like promising performance: the 5i can go up to Intel’s Core i5-1235U processor (the base configuration stocks the Pentium 8505). The Flex 3i has a 16:9 aspect ratio screen, and starts with a Celeron N4500 processor, but it can be bumped up to the Pentium N6000.

The 5i offers fingerprint biometrics, along with a 1080p webcam (720p in the Flex 3i). Given the Flex 3i’s larger screen size, its chassis has room for more keys, including a full number pad. Each model comes in a blue or silver colorway, though the specific hues vary depending on the model.

Lenovo Chromebook IdeaPad Flex 5i
A fingerprint sensor is one of a few perks available on the Flex 5i.
Image: Lenovo

While neither is flush with ports, the Flex 5i and 3i include one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, and a microSD card slot on the left side (it’s baffling that Lenovo didn’t include at least one Thunderbolt 4 port for the higher-spec configurations). The 5i features one more USB-C (3.2 Gen 1) port on its right side, next to its power button and volume rocker, whereas the 3i includes another USB-A port and an HDMI port.

The Flex 5i will be released in June 2022, starting at $499.99. The bigger Flex 3i will come out a little earlier, in May, and will start at $399.99.