LAS VEGAS -- The Lenovo Miix 2 is an ultraportable computer for the indecisive.
The Miix 2 is essentially a Windows 8.1 tablet with a keyboard dock, just in case Lenovo's labeling of it as a "detachable" has you confused. That way if you want to travel light, you just leave the dock behind and take the tablet.
For when you want a laptop experience, you dock it.
This keyboard seems to be a better solution than the folio-style keyboard case that was available for the original Miix and is closer to what you could get with the ThinkPad Tablet 2. It's sturdier, so you should be able to more easily use it on your lap and there's a built-in touch pad.
The tablet rests in a slot at the back of the keyboard, so you're stuck with just one viewing angle when it's docked, which might be the biggest negative for the design. However, to go along with its tablet and laptop modes, you can flip the screen around and use the dock as a stand for media playback.
The Miix 2 will be available in 11- and 10-inch sizes. The 11-inch version is designed for performance with up to a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, up to 256GB of SSD storage, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, and a 1,920x1,200-pixel-resolution IPS with 10-finger touch support. It weighs 1.8 pounds with the dock adding another 1.2 pounds.
For the 10-inch version, the focus shifts to mobility instead of performance, though it still should perform well for a tablet. Measuring just 0.36-inch thick and weighing 1.3 pounds (add another pound for the dock), it features a new 64-bit-enabled quad-core Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, and up to 128GB of eMMC storage. A microSD slot lets you pop in up to 32GB more of storage. It, too, is running on full Windows 8.1 and has a 1,920x1,200-pixel-resolution 10-finger touch screen.
The 11-inch model has an SD card slot, a USB 3.0 port, and a Mini-HDMI port to connect to larger screens. There are two USB 2.0 ports on its dock as well. For the 10-inch the USB 3.0 port gets swapped for a Micro-USB port and it has just one USB 2.0 port on its dock.
Both models have Intel integrate graphics, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11n Wi-Fi and optional 3G, 2-megapixel front and 5-megapixel rear cameras, and up to 8 hours of battery life. Also, the tablets have JBL-designed stereo speakers and there's a subwoofer in the keyboard dock.
The 10-inch model rolls out in March starting at $499, while the 11-inch Miix 2 comes in at $699 when it arrives in April.