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Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i hands-on review: Shaping up nicely

The IdeaPad Duet 3i marries an impressive 2K display with an impressive design and an attractively low price

Most of the products announced by Lenovo at MWC 2023 focus on the corporate and business side of things but it did at least ice the cake with a pair of new consumer laptops, the most interesting of which is the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i.

It’s the latest model in one of our favourite budget 2-in-1 Windows laptop ranges, and this time around, it’s getting a series of impressive upgrades.

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i hands-on: Key specifications, price and release date

  • 11in 2K (2,000 x 1,200) IPS 400nit display with 100% DCI-P3 colour reproduction
  • Quad-core Intel Processor N100 (max 3.4GHz) or N200 (max 3.7GHz) Alder Lake N CPU
  • 4GB or 8GB
  • 128GB or 256GB SSD
  • 5MP fixed-focus webcam
  • 8MP autofocus rear camera
  • 2x USB-C 3.2
  • Price: 450 Euros
  • Release date: June 2023

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Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i hands-on review: New features and first impressions

Just like previous Lenovo IdeaPad Duets, the IdeaPad Duet 3i is a Windows tablet that comes with a detachable keyboard case. This attaches magnetically to the tablet and connects via pogo pins, with the keyboard folding around to protect the screen when it’s folded up. It’s different this year, though, as the last Duet had a built-in kickstand on the tablet itself. Whether you think this is a forwards or backwards step is up to you but it seemed to work well enough when I went hands on with it at MWC.

They keyboard, too, was comfortable to type on with plenty of key travel and a soft, well damped feel. Note, howeaver, that you cannot tilt the rear of the keyboard up and attach it magnetically to the bottom part of the tablet as you can with devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro 9.

It’s a small and compact machine and feels nicely made, too. The tablet measures 271 x 9 x 172mm (WDH) and weighs 697g and that rises to 1.15kg with the keyboard case attached. That makes it light enough to carry around in a laptop bag with you all day, whether you choose to take the tablet on its own or the keyboard and tablet combo. And that portability goes hand in hand with handsome looks; the “Abyss Blue” model with its two-tone finish looks particularly natty.

It’s a budget device so you’re not getting a particularly powerful CPU but the quad-core Alder Lake-N Celeron N100 and N200 CPUs are new so we can’t be sure how they’ll perform until we’re able to benchmark them.

There are two models available, one with the quad-core N200, 4GB of RAM and a healthy 128GB SSD, the other with a quad-core N100 accompanied by 8GB of RAM and a more generous 256GB SSD. Each model also comes with two cameras: a 5MP fixed-focus webcam and an 8MP rear camera with autofocus. Connectivity isn’t too bad, either, with two USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 ports available for charging and connecting peripherals plus a 3.5mm headset jack.

However, it’s the upgraded screen that’s the star here. Its IPS panel is larger than the previous model at 11.5in across the diagonal, up from 10.3in, and the resolution is an impressively sharp 2K (2,000 x 1,200) as well. Lenovo also says it can reproduce 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, which is very good for a budget laptop, and the screen is rated at a bright 400cd/m².

These are impressive specifications on a laptop starting at a mere 450 Euros and, not only that, but it looked extremely good when we had the chance to go hands-on with it at MWC.

READ NEXT: The best budget laptops you can buy right now

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i hands-on review: Early verdict

In fact, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i is already shaping up to be one of the best budget buys of 2023. As long as performance from the new chips isn’t too sluggish, that is.

With a great screen, nice build quality and a comfy keyboard and stylus thrown in, it looks like cracking value for money.

  • You’ll be able to buy one of these at the Lenovo website from June 2023 at a price of 450 Euros