Lenovo Miix with keyboard folio: Hands on

Summary:Lenovo has more Windows 8 computers than most companies and the Miix with the unique keyboard folio is aimed at those on a budget.

Miix in hand
Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

Lenovo has embraced Windows 8, with laptops, tablets, and hybrids. The Miix is a thin, light tablet that is designed to be a good tablet first and a laptop replacement second. It is sold by itself but there's a $100 folio with a thin keyboard to take full advantage of Windows 8. The folio is also reviewed in this article.

The light weight of the Miix is impressive when it is picked up. Lenovo has crammed a lot of capability into a tablet that is lighter than Apple's iPad. 

Hardware specs as reviewed:

  • Processor: Intel Atom, 1.8GHz

  • OS: Windows 8

  • Memory: 2GB

  • Storage: 64GB

  • Camera: 1-megapixel front

  • Communications: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0

  • Display: 10.1-inch, 1366 x768 resolution, IPS

  • Dimensions: 10.43 x 6.81 x 0.39in; 1.27lb

  • Ports: microUSB 2.0; microSD card reader; audio in/out

  • Battery: 6800 mAh (10 hours)

  • Option: Keyboard folio

Tablet use

side-view
Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

The slim Miix is a solid tablet running Windows 8. It is easy to hold in the hand for extended periods and works as expected. The 10.1-inch screen is bright and has good viewing angles. The Miix weighs only 1.27lbs which makes it slightly lighter than many tablets currently available.

The performance is nothing outstanding but is reasonable with the Atom processor as long as there aren't too many tasks running at the same time. Metro apps run fluidly and desktop apps do too for the most part, except for the heaviest programs. It's important to note that the Atom processor used in the Miix is not a Bay Trail chipset, which is a shame.

Battery life is quoted at 10 hours and hands-on testing puts it at around 9.5 hours without special effort to conserve battery. It can go all day with normal usage.

The Miix has no rear camera, but the front camera does an adequate job as a webcam. 

The Lenovo Miix is a solid Windows 8 tablet that combines adequate performance with good battery life. The listed price of $479.99 would be better if the keyboard folio was included.

Keyboard Folio

Folio opened
Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

Lenovo has taken a unique approach with the Keyboard Folio. The case protects the tablet which is easy to remove when the tablet is to be used without the keyboard. With the Miix in the folio the tablet is held in the proper viewing angle for typing by a magnetic strip. This makes it easy to open the case and have the tablet ready to use with the keyboard with a simple motion.

The chiclet keys are low profile and demonstrate the typical Lenovo flair for keyboards. Typing is smooth and easy with good tactile feedback. The Miix and keyboard folio make for a good laptop replacement.

There is no trackpad nor a trackstick on the keyboard which is a concession to keeping the folio as small as possible. Having one or the other would be nice for operating Windows 8 without having to remove the hands from the keyboard.

The keyboard is not Bluetooth as is common with these accessories. The Miix tablet connects to the keyboard via metal contacts in the tablet stand and since it draws power from the tablet the keyboard requires no charging.

Opening or closing the case does not wake or sleep the tablet as is common with most tablet cases. You need to remember to hit the power button when closing the case to conserve battery.

The folio is $99.99 and highly recommended for purchasers of the Miix tablet.

Lenovo Miix Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Solid construction

  • Good tablet form and weight

  • Not unreasonable price

Cons:

  • Capacitive touch Windows button instead of physical button

  • Keyboard not included ($99.99 option)

  • Not Bay Trail processor

  • No pen support

  • No trackpad/trackstick

See also: 

Topics: Mobility, Lenovo, Reviews, Tablets

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.