Some reasons the Lenovo Duet 5 should outperform other Snapdragon Chromebooks
We’re not too far away from the release of the recently announced Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 and in preparation for this device’s arrival we’ve done some research on the 2nd gen Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c that will power this interesting removable Chromebook. You see, the Duet 5 isn’t just a sequel to the original Duet from early 2020: it’s an entirely different take on the Chromebook’s detachable form factor that has a few unique tricks up its sleeve.
First of all, Lenovo has gone for display and speakers, which perhaps makes it the king of media consumption that many people are looking for in a tablet / detachable form factor. While we can’t be 100% sure how the OLED display and quad speaker setup will perform in real life (until we get a review unit, that is- There is one other part of this great Chromebook tablet that is of interest that could make a big difference to its current competition.
Snapdragon 7c Gen 2
In all of our follow-up to this new Duo, it became clear right away that this device is the “Homestar” development board we’ve been keeping an eye on for months at this point. The OLED display and quad-speaker functionality was a dead giveaway, but the inclusion of the new Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 SoC baffled me a bit.
For this new Gen 2 chip, we started to see it in the Chromium repositories in the form of the SC7280 (compared to the SC7180 which is the Gen 1 7c) and the two baseboards that we saw fitted to this new chip were “Herobrine” and “Senor”. . It all made sense, but the existing Snapdragon Chromebooks in development were all cloned / built from the original “Trogdor” baseboard designed for the Snapdragon 7c Gen 1, including “Homestar”. When we saw Lenovo announce a Chromebook 7c Gen 2 with an OLED panel and four speakers, I knew it was ‘Homestar’, but I wasn’t sure if it was really a Gen 2 processor. all of our research on this device would indicate that it is a Snapdragon 7c Gen 1 device.
Ultimately, it switches 100% to the Gen 2 chip. While I don’t fully understand how it all works in the Chromium repositories, apparently some of the upcoming Snapdragon Chromebooks in the original “Trogdor” family can simply be migrated to this new SoC Gen 2 from Qualcomm. . Previously released “Trogdor” Chromebooks (think Acer Spin 513 and HP x2 11) have all used the Gen 1 processor, but that doesn’t seem to be the rule here. With a handful of these devices still on hold, maybe more of them will follow suit and launch with the Gen 2 7c chip instead of the Gen 1 chip.
As you can see from the Geekbench 5 results above, there is a marked difference in clock speed between the HP Chromebook x2 11 (“Coachz”) and the upcoming Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (“Homestar”). The main cores are upped to 2.55 GHz just like Qualcomm announced with this Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, so the Duet 5 is clearly equipped with the newer chip.
And from those same tests, you can see benchmark improvements in single and multi-core scores. The increase is not massive, but it is clearly there. With around a 5% gain in single-core and multi-core scores, there will be a slight increase in the overall performance of the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 compared to the Gen 1.
It’s not a huge step forward, but it’s a slight step in a positive direction that will only benefit the Lenovo Duet 5 in addition to the fact that Lenovo wisely chose an FHD display instead of cramming more pixels than necessary. The HP Chromebook x2 11 looks great, but QHD on an 11-inch display isn’t really necessary and only serves to reduce performance for a device that doesn’t need to be slower.
Pairing the slightly faster Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 with few pixels on the screen, Lenovo has probably already won the performance war with the new HP detachable. This is a very good thing, as one of the only issues I had with the HP x2 11 Chromebooks was the performance of the tablet. The Snapdragon 7c just isn’t that fast and anything manufacturers can do to speed that up is welcome. Switching things over to the newer, faster version of the Snapdragon 7c chip and reducing unnecessary pixels on the screen is a good step in that direction. Hopefully that means a better overall Chromebook experience when the Duet 5 arrives in the near future.