Len­ovo Miix 510

CAN LEN­OVO’S LAT­EST 2-IN-1 TAKE THE FIGHT TO MI­CRO­SOFT’S SUR­FACE PRO 4?

TechLife Australia - - WELCOME -

THE 2-IN-1 TABLET hy­brid is no longer a nov­elty. The mar­ket is flooded with de­vices with de­tach­able key­boards that of­fer up Win­dows 10’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties as a tablet and desk­top OS, in­clud­ing Mi­cro­soft’s own Sur­face range. The Miix 510 is equipped with a lat­est­gen Kaby Lake ver­sion of the In­tel Core i5 and a strong cen­tral pair­ing of 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. There are cheaper vari­ants, but this is the one to go for in our book.

The Miix de­sign lan­guage cen­tres around two watch­band-style hinges that give you more con­trol and flex­i­bil­ity than the Mi­cro­soft Sur­face when it comes to the an­gle of the kick­stand and, therefore, the screen. It’s an ef­fec­tive bit of in­dus­trial de­sign from Len­ovo. The abil­ity to poise the de­vice at al­most any an­gle is a boon. An­other plus is that the key­board cover is in­cluded with the de­vice. Like pre­vi­ous mod­els, the Miix 510 comes with an ac­tive pen. Len­ovo’s sty­lus doesn’t at­tach to the de­vice via a mag­net, although there is a loop on the in­cluded case.

There’s an In­tel Core i3 vari­ant of the Miix 510, which has half the amount of mem­ory and stor­age as well. The Core i3 ver­sion will be fine for most ba­sic tasks, but if you’re look­ing at any kind of photo or video edit­ing, we’d rec­om­mend the Core i5.

The Miix 510 is a well-de­signed tablet hy­brid. That’s not to say it’s a stun­ner, but it does look dis­tinc­tive and those watch­band- style hinges give it a cer­tain some­thing. The de­tach­able key­board with op­tional back­light also dou­bles up as a pro­tec­tive faux leather fo­lio case, which works well. The side con­trols are a lit­tle pla­s­ticky, but it’s a mi­nor com­plaint. The key­board cover sports Len­ovo’s Ac­cuType-style keys, which are slightly curved along the bot­tom edge. They’re suf­fi­cient in size but don’t pos­sess as much travel as the Sur­face Pro 4 cover, and this doesn’t make for a great ex­pe­ri­ence when you have a lot of words to type. The big­gest prob­lem is that the key­board flexes a bit. If you’re a hard typ­ist in any way, the key­board bounces rather angrily.

Else­where, the bezels around the dis­play seem wide, but they don’t make the de­vice look chunky. Quite the op­po­site, the tablet looks sleek and pro­fes­sional. And there’s a lot to like about the dis­play — view­ing an­gles are ex­cel­lent. What is a bit of a prob­lem is the res­o­lu­tion, which sticks with Full HD, but it’s not a prob­lem in use, un­less you’re de­ter­mined to have best-in-class specs.

There’s plenty of ‘ev­ery­day’ power on of­fer. Nat­u­rally, we’re not talk­ing about gam­ing, but be­tween the fast PCIe SSD and the pro­ces­sor, there was no is­sue with any kind of ev­ery­day tasks we tried. Plus, there’s plenty to like in terms of en­ter­tain­ment per­for­mance and the Miix 510 is great for watch­ing movies.

In our bench­mark tests, the Miix 510 was mixed. It scored a cred­i­ble 6,570 in our Geek­Bench multi-core test, but bat­tery life was sub­stan­dard com­pared to ri­vals, last­ing four hours and 40 min­utes dur­ing our looped video test, 35 min­utes shorter than the Sur­face Pro 4.

It’s great to see USB-C in­cluded, but we’d have pre­ferred a USB-C charger rather than the round-ended charger we get here. Len­ovo hasn’t in­cluded a mi­croSD port, which is sur­pris­ing but not a deal-breaker.

So de­spite a com­pelling spec sheet and gen­er­ally like­able ap­pear­ance, the Miix 510 re­mains hard to un­equiv­o­cally rec­om­mend. That’s be­cause of the ri­vals that loom above and be­side it, not least the Sur­face Pro 4.

But if it’s price that’s your main mo­ti­va­tor, you’ll find the Miix 510 a fan­tas­tic al­ter­na­tive choice to the more ex­pen­sive Sur­face 2-in-1s.

LEN­OVO MIIX 510 $1,475 www3.len­ovo.com CRIT­I­CAL SPECS 12.2-inch IPS, 1,920x1,080 screen; 2.7GHz In­tel Core i5-7200U; In­tel HD 620; 8GB mem­ory; 256GB PCIe SSD; 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Blue­tooth 4.0; USB 3.0 Type-C; USB 3.0; au­dio combo jack; 30 x 9.9 x 20.5cm; 1.25kg

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