CNET First Look
Lenovo Miix 520 clones itself for the betterAt right around $1,000, the detachable two-in-one gets an impressive performance bump from its predecessor and increase in battery life.
Lenovo already had a respectable mid-range Surface Pro clone with the MIIX 510 so instead of scraping the thing entirely and starting fresh it kept a design and made a couple of tweaks to just make the whole thing better and called it the MIIX 520. Let's start with the design though, again it's essentially unchanged from the 510, which means it's pretty much identical to the old Surface Pro 4. The built in kickstand is nice and strong and uses Lenovo's watch band hinges that give you a big positioning range. You might still find it awkward to use on your lap though, and in general, I just throw it over across the leg to balance it out. Lenovo includes its magnetic keyboard and its active pen, too, with the tablet. So you're ready to go out of the box. The back lit keyboard in general I like. The key travel is good considering how thin the cover is but there is definitely some bounce to it when you're typing. Its touch pad is on a small side which could be frustrating but there is a 12.2 inch touch screen right in front of you. The screen has a 1920x1200 resolution, so it's not as sharp as a 4K display, but I never felt like I was missing out. For casual sketching or taking notes, the Bundled Active Pen 2 is great, but for creatives who need a screen with accurate colors will probably wanna pass regardless. Also, while the display gets reasonably bright, you'll probably have trouble using it outside. On one side of the screen are the power and volume buttons and a combo headphone mic jack, and on the other side are USB-C and USB 3.0 ports and the power jack. The USB-C port isn't Thunderbolt 3, but you can connect up a dock for video output and peripheral. What's a bit of an annoyance though is that Lenovo's pen storage solution is this little plastic piece that not only ties up your USB port, but partially blocks the power jack and USB-C port. What's new is inside, an 8th gen Intel Core i5 processor. The new chip, along with its other components Gave the system a noticeable bump in multi core performance on our benchmark but just felt snappier overall. And along with the improved performance you'll get slightly better battery life. Well we got 6 hours and 27 minutes in our streaming video test, but you'll definitely hear the fans blowing when they're under a heavy load. So while it's not perfect, between the performance improvements and the overall features, you get a really good mid-range package for around $1,000.