Lenovo Miix 2 review: first look

The first IdeaPad Miix failed to set the pulse racing, but Lenovo’s not one to give up easily. It’s delivered a pair of new hybrid devices – the 10.1in Miix 2 10 and 11.6in Miix 2 11 – which transform from tablet to laptop with the help of a magnetic docking keyboard.

Body beautiful

Where Lenovo’s Yoga devices work their magic with a 360-degree hinge, the Miix 2 uses hidden magnets. This allows the tablet and keyboard combo to flip into three positions. The tablet snaps flush, face-down onto the keyboard for when you’re on the move; slots in upright for laptop use; or turns about-face to allow the keyboard to act as a stand.

This isn’t a subtle tweak to the original Miix design – the Miix 2 range has been entirely transformed. Both the 10.1in and 11.6in models look sleek and sharp, finished in tough-feeling silver plastics, and they have a nice heft to them, too. Our only moan? Lenovo’s use of plastic rather than aluminium means there isn’t the solidity of Microsoft’s Surface tablets.

Physically, though, the pair have a pretty enviable set of vital statistics. The Miix 2 10 weighs in at 590g for the 9.2mm-thick tablet, with the keyboard adding 440g. The Miix 2 11, meanwhile, comes in at an Ultrabook-rivalling total weight of 1.35kg, and the 11mm-thick tablet alone weighs 798g.

What’s inside?

The smaller of the pair – the Miix 2 10 – fires into life with Intel’s quad-core Bay Trail platform, 2GB of RAM, up to 128GB of eMMC storage and a 32-bit installation of Windows 8.1. Its big brother - the Miix 2 11 – uses low-voltage Haswell processors, with anything up to Core i7-class CPUs taking the helm, alongside mSATA SSDs with up to 256GB of storage.

Up front, the Miix 2 10 packs a 1,920 x 1,200 display while, curiously, the 11in model plumps for a 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD panel – both support 10-point multitouch, however.

While many tablets and hybrids sacrifice connectivity, Lenovo has made the most of every opportunity. Whichever model you choose, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi makes the grade, as does Bluetooth 4 and optional 3G. Micro-HDMI has external displays covered; microSD is ready to give storage a boost; and while the Miix 2 10 charges via its micro-USB port, the larger model charges via its dual-purpose USB 3 port.

Our verdict

It looks like it might be second time lucky for Lenovo’s Miix. Both models are destined for release in February of this year, and although UK pricing hasn’t yet been decided, we’ve got high hopes for the pair. With the 32GB Miix 2 10 slated to launch at $449 and the Core i3, 64GB Miix 2 11 coming in at $599, these two could make a big impact.

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