Lenovo Miix 510
CAN LENOVO’S LATEST 2-IN-1 TAKE THE FIGHT TO MICROSOFT’S SURFACE PRO 4?
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