One of the biggest crazes that we’ve seen come into fruition over the past couple of years is the “transformer” series of laptop — the laptop that can be undocked from a traditional keyboard to function as a tablet. This Lenovo Miix is one of them, and considering Lenovo’s great success with the Yoga, this should be a great computer ….right?
I first want to preface this review by saying I’m an extensive Mac OS X user. I haven’t touched Windows computers since the early Windows 8 Beta days of 2012(?) and haven’t wanted to go back since I got my first Macbook. Be sure to remember that when reading this information as my opinion will be biased but I will also keep this review factual.
Let’s take a look at the specs, remember though that you’ll get some tablet specs in the main part of the computer itself, with only a bump in battery life for adding the keyboard.
- Intel® Atom™ X5 Z8350 Processor
- Operating system
- Windows 10 Home
- 10.1″ (1280 x 800)
- Intel® HD Graphics
- Up to 2 GB DDR3L
- Hard Drive
- Up to 64 GB eMMC Storage
- Micro HDMI™, microSD™ Card Reader, Audio Combo Jack, Micro USB 2.0, 2 x USB 2.0 (on keyboard)
- Up to 10 Hours Local Video Playback (additional in keyboard but amount not stated)
Just checking out the specs, you’ll find nothing TOO impressive, but take into account this is a budget device and they become a bit more reasonable. The model I got did indeed have the 64Gb of Storage and 2GB of RAM so I was able to test the highest version that Lenovo offers.
During use, there were some times where the laptop stuttered or had to load, and this was only due to either watching videos or have 3 or 4 apps loaded. I almost always had twitter loaded up, along with Chrome, Hangouts, and Reddit (all in standalone apps).Switching between them or doing anything graphically intense caused usual slowdown. Treating this computer as an essential Chromebook though (only having Chrome open) prove to be a breeze — I never found the sweet medium though.
As far as other spec aspects go, the battery was one of the areas that I’d give a gold medal to Lenovo for (catch that Olympics reference?). It easily lasted 10 hours undocked and more with the keyboard attached. The only problem with that though is having to have the keyboard attached, which I’ll get into in a bit.
The size of this compared is nominal, it only weighs 2lbs (half without the keyboard) and can easily fit a tablet sleeve or small backpack no problem. With it being so light definitely be prepared to take it with you everywhere you go and throw it down when you’re done with it. The 10.1in screen that accompanies the small statue of the computer fills some big roles by being IPS which improved its colors and the viewing angles.
Now let’s talk about this janky keyboard. Seriously, the only reason you’ll want to use your keyboard on this device is for the additional battery and usb ports, but even then you won’t want to type on it. It is very, VERY cramped and compact — as one should expect, but that doesn’t help what was produced. Once I used the keyboard once, I knew right then and there that I’d never use it again (I tried), the Miix is actually very capable with the on-screen Windows split keyboard, so… stick with that. Trust me.
The Miix doesn’t fool you into thinking it’s a luxury device with it’s looks either, but that’s not a down point in this review. It doesn’t NEED to look like a thousand dollar device.The outside is more of a matte/dry plastic finish with a glass screen on the inside. On the sides is where you’ll find all the IO i listed above along with the two empty ports that connect to the keyboard dock with the help of magnets. The keyboard dock also continues the color scheme or outer silver and inner black, so that when you close the device it’s that matte silver on the fill exterior with a nice black for the inside.
Again, I won’t talk too much about the Windows 10 experience that this computer provides since I’m primarily a Mac user, but as with other Lenovo computers you’ll only find a few branded Lenovo apps. These apps include things like backup and Lenovo ID. Windows also switches ‘seamlessly’ between clamshell and tablet mode without any interaction on your side, which helps with the quick addition/removal of the keyboard. Lenovo also includes a ‘home’, ‘task switcher’ and ‘back’ buttons while you’re in tablet mode (akin to Android’s navbar) to assist with jumping through activities while in Tablet mode.
Now even though i have portrayed a lot of ups and down with this computer, there’s one thing that is a universal pro for this device: the price. The price of the Miix starts at only $300, and that gets you the version I have here with 2GBs of RAM, 64Gb of storage, and the Intel Atom processor. From there you can add a host of different accessories and software, but the hardware remains the same — you do get the keyboard dock though included.
The Lenovo Miix 310 is a great tablet that tries to be a replacement for a casual user’s computer. It could go back to the drawing board to redesign its keyboard, and maybe get a bit of a spec bump to account for some lag, but for $300 this is a perfect compact device to get some small work done. Go grab it today on Lenovo’s website and have the ability to do some work while you’re travelling in the back of that Uber.Get it from Lenovo