Lenovo Miix hands-on: Affordable $550 Windows 8 tablet with its own keyboard case

A dual-core Atom processor and 10-inch screen, with its own keyboard case. At least it only costs $550.

Scott Stein

Scott Stein

Editor at Large

I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets.

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Windows tablets are starting to become a painfully familiar blend of me-too products, much like Windows laptops. The Lenovo Miix, a 10-inch Windows 8 tablet with its own keyboard case, is like the consumer version of the ThinkPad Tablet 2, with slightly different accessory hardware. It's really just a rebranding of the Tablet 2, in a sense, for a different market, with a different design. What it doesn't amount to is anything worth getting too excited about.

Lenovo Miix tablet folds in a keyboard (pictures)

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The ThinkPad Tablet 2 had a dock and attachable keyboard, but the Miix, first unveiled overseas earlier this month, opts for a folio-type case with its own dockable keyboard bonded in. There's no touch pad, however, nor is there a red rubber trackpoint, a feature that was on the ThinkPad Tablet 2's keyboard. It's more like the Acer Aspire P3 in that way, but Lenovo's keyboard connects via contact points on the tablet for faster responsiveness than you'd get from a pure Bluetooth connection. The folio magnetically snaps into place with its base when open, and otherwise feels like many iPad keyboard cases we've seen.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The good news: you're not paying a lot for that keyboard case. The Miix is $500, or $550 with its keyboard. That makes this tablet very price-competitive with iPads and Android tablets, and undercuts similar 10-inch tablets like the Samsung Ativ Tab 3.

The 10.1-inch, 1,366x768-pixel-resolution, 16:9 IPS display supports five-finger multitouch, and the 10.1-millimeter-thin, 1.27-pound design resembles that of other thin and lower-power Windows 8 tablets.

Putting the Miix in its case. Sarah Tew/CNET

You're getting familiar stats: an Intel Atom dual-core Z2760 processor, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of eMMC storage, a microSD card slot that can support an additional 32GB of memory, a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, a Micro-USB 2.0 connector, a Micro-HDMI port, and Bluetooth 4.0 plus 802.11n Wi-Fi. The front-facing camera's only 1 megapixel, suitable for Web chat but not much else. There's an optional 3G micro-SIM port, too.

Lenovo claims the Miix will get about 10 hours of battery life, and we've seen good battery performance out of previous Atom Windows 8 tablets. But with newer Intel processors coming down the pike, products like the Miix might be better off with next-gen CPU updates. You, the tablet owner-to-be, might want to hold out and see what else gets announced as Windows 8.1 and new processors emerge toward the end of the year. Right now, the Miix blends into the crowd: another Windows 8 tablet in the mix, so to speak.

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