Lenovo’s Miix type of Windows 10 tablets are unmistakably modeled after Microsoft’s Surface Pro. So much in order that seeing them hand and hand from the front, you would be hard-pressed to inform them apart initially. But, because they’re look-alikes, doesn’t mean the Miix models aren’t excellent within their own right.
The top-of-the-line Miix 720 is stiff competition for the most recent Surface Pro on specs and price, nonetheless it flat-out wins on total cost of ownership. Microsoft charges $129 or $169 for just one of its Surface Pro Type Cover keyboards and $99 because of its Surface Pan. Lenovo includes both its keyboard cover and first-gen Active Pen using its current base model coming in at $1,250. The same package comes in Australia for AU$1,700 and even though it’s currently unavailable from Lenovo’s UK site, you can discover a higher-end configuration for £1,730.
If getting the pen and keyboard in the box at no additional expense doesn’t sway you, maybe the 720’s Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port will. Microsoft continues to use its proprietary Surface Connector to power the top Pro and also offer port expansion using its Surface Dock. With Thunderbolt 3, you’re absolve to use a sizable and growing number of USB-C adapters for peripherals, storage, Ethernet or driving up to two external displays.
Scratching the surface
These exact things — the Thunderbolt 3 USB-C and included accessories — are essential to the package, but they’re not at all the only good stuff about the Miix 720. From its fold-out kickstand that adjusts the viewing angle up to 150 degrees to its IR cameras for quickly logging into Windows with facial recognition to its bright 12-inch 2,880×1,920-pixel multitouch IPS display, there exists a lot to like here. Even its stereo speakers sound good considering how thin the tablet is.
With 1.5 millimeters of key travel, typing on the Miix 720’s backlit keyboard feels similar to a regular notebook computer than you may expect, too. I still prefer Microsoft’s because of its larger clickpad and full-size right-hand Shift key, however the Miix’s is otherwise excellent. The Active Pen uses Wacom technology, and its own performance is comparable to that of the Wacom Intuos styluses I’ve used, with a pen tip that glides smoothly on the glass. Personally, i found it better for writing than for drawing. One minor irritation, though: the pen holder blocks up among its two USB ports.
When Lenovo announced the 720 earlier this season, it said configurations would start at $999, however the current base reaches $1,250. Lenovo did say another wave of the tablet is planned that may ship with the updated Active Pen 2 with 4,096 degrees of pressure sensitivity (twice that of the first-gen Active Pen). For as soon as, though, the only other configuration option in america is to double the memory to 16GB and storage to 512GB.
Our tablet’s hardware blend is okay for business use or assignment work and it does not have any trouble with image editing or basic HD video editing. The 720 also offers enough oomph for everyday games, if nothing more demanding. Getting work done while a video or music streams in the backdrop won’t slow it down either. You need to be prepared for the fans to activate under load, which could possibly be distracting in quiet environments but generally aren’t loud.
If you are expecting the long battery times of an iPad, you be disappointed with what the Miix provides. In its defense, Windows 10 ($139.95 at Amazon.com) tablet PCs with similar pieces don’t generally have “all-day” batteries. Still, the Miix 720 was noticeably short in mixed use and ran for 6 hours and 40 minutes on our streaming video test — that’s one hour and 45 minutes significantly less than the most recent Surface Pro.
The clone to possess
Lenovo’s Miix 720 gets you more for your cash when compared to Microsoft’s 2017 Surface Pro. It is also a clear intensify in features from the midrange Miix 510. While there are always a couple niggling things that keep it from being much better than Microsoft’s tablet, there are none that I’d consider deal breakers. Well, apart from its shorter battery life anyway.