The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is pretty close to a perfect low-end Chrome device, in my opinion. Essentially a tiny Chrome-powered Surface tablet, it excels at portability, media consumption, and basic work tasks. After a bit of a fake-out with a very similarly-named Chromebook CM3 convertible, the CM3 Detachable is now official. And yeah, it’s pretty much the same device as the Chromebook Duet, with a couple of extra quirks.
First, the ways in which it’s similar. The CM3 Detachable features a 10-inch, 1920×1200 screen, a keyboard that attaches via POGO pins and doubles as a case/cover, and a detachable fabric-covered rear with a built-in kickstand. It runs on a MediaTek ARM processor, includes 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage (with a 128GB upgrade option), and it has a low price, starting at $350. The cameras are the same 2MP front-facing and 8MP rear.
What about the differences? Well, that screen is slightly larger, 10.5 inches versus 10.1 (though the resolution is the same and the brightness is actually lower by 80 nits). While it’s still a fairly basic platform, the processor is the newer octa-core MediaTek 8183, with boosted speeds of up to 2GHz. According to MediaTek, this SoC was designed specifically for Chromebooks, but both of them have been used in several different models with nearly identical results.
Physically, the Asus tablet has a few more tricks. It includes a stylus which docks in the body itself, plus a headphone jack, which the Duet is unaccountably lacking. The rear cover is also dual-hinged, working as a kickstand for both portrait and landscape modes. (Of course you won’t be able to use the keyboard in portrait mode.)
Are those changes worth an extra $100 at today’s prices, versus the older Lenovo design? You be the judge. You’ll have a little while to decide: On the Asus US website, both the $350 64GB model and $370 128GB model are “Coming Soon.”