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Lenovo Miix 2 is a capable tablet held back by a flawed keyboard dock

Published on Jun 6, 2014 5:00 AM
 
Lenovo Miix 2 (11-inch)

Lenovo continues to churn out hybrid Windows devices that can be used as both laptop and tablet.

Its latest is the Miix 2, an 11-inch tablet with a companion dock. Unlike Lenovo's Yoga devices that use a flexible hinge, the Miix 2 attaches to its dock with magnets.

The computing bits are found in the tablet, which has a nice matte finish and feels solid despite its plastic chassis. It weighs around 745g, which is typical for its size.

The dock has a keyboard and two USB 2.0 ports but no secondary battery or storage, which keeps it light at around 480g.

With an Intel Core i5 chip onboard, the Miix 2 is expected to compete with laptops. It is slightly slower than the latest ultrabooks in benchmarks, but good enough for most consumers.

It packs 128GB of storage, which can be expanded further with a microSD card (up to 2TB, which is rare). It supports 3G connections via a microSIM card slot.

The 11.6-inch touchscreen has excellent viewing angles and a 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution. But I had to dial the brightness all the way up as it was too dark.

The keyboard dock comes with two grooves. Place the Miix 2 into one of the grooves to turn it into a laptop, though you cannot adjust the angle of the screen.

Flip the screen around and face it outwards (pictured). Lenovo calls this the Stand Mode, which is great for watching videos and playing touch-based games such as Blizzard's Hearthstone.

The JBL-branded speakers are helpfully positioned on the dock to face the user while in Stand Mode, sort of like a mini sound bar. It improves the audio slightly, but the speakers lack punch and volume.

The other groove lets you slot in the tablet such that it covers the keyboard. This looks like a typical notebook with its lid closed, which makes it easy to carry around.

With its full-sized keys, the keyboard feels expansive compared with others of its size. But there is a fair amount of flex while typing and little key travel. The layout takes some getting used to, as the Function keys have been merged with the numbers.

I was rather annoyed with the spartan touchpad, which, for some reason, does not support multi-touch or Windows 8 swipe gestures. So I had to move my fingers from the touchpad to the screen and back again.

The tablet lasted 6hr 54mins on a single charge while playing a video, which is good for a laptop replacement.

The Miix 2 will likely face stiff competition from Microsoft's new Surface Pro 3. But it has a head start in the market as, unlike its rival, you can buy it now.

  • A capable tablet with an excellent screen, the Miix 2 is hampered by a flawed keyboard dock.

vinchang@sph.com.sg

This article was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life on June 4, 2014.

Background story

TECH SPECS

Price: $1,499
Processor: Intel Core i5-4202Y (1.6GHz)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
RAM: 8GB
Screen size: 11.6 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Connectivity: 2 x USB 2.0, micro-HDMI, microSD card slot, microSIM card slot, headphone and
microphone combo jack
Battery: 36 watt-hour

RATING

Features: 4/5
Design: 3/5
Performance: 4/5
Value for money: 4/5
Battery life: 5/5

Overall: 4/5

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