Lenovo Miix with keyboard folio: Hands on

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.

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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

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Talkback

14 comments
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  • I'd disagree on the capacitive button it's better than physical IMO

    Totally agree about not having the Bay Trail chip in this, maybe with all the other devices they have using Bay Trail they thought there would be a supply issue. Hopefully it will get a rev before long.

    IMO trackpads on this size folio keyboard are too small, just not enough real estate to work with but a Trackstick would be welcome. Alternatively a row of arrow keys and mouse buttons would be better than a postage stamp size tackpad. Up, down, left, right, 45 deg left-up, 45 deg left-down, 45 deg right-up, 45 deg right-down. Sounds weird but I'd prefer that to trying to use the micro trackpad.

    And yeah, for heavens sake include the keyboard even if you raise the price to 499.
    greywolf7
    • Agree on the baytrail, probably could have 14-15 hour battery with that.

      But no to the trackpad when the physical touch screen is so close to the keyboard. It'd be a wasted expense. And I like the idea of being able to not pay for a keyboard if you don't care about one. But it should be half that price if you do.
      Johnny Vegas
  • Another Pixelated Dispaly

    At 10.1-inch,for 1366 x768 it is just another pixelated display. My old Kindle Fire 8.9 HD does better than that at 1920X1200. When will tablet makers learn that for long term use these pixelated displays do not cut it.
    MichaelInMA
    • 1366 x768 resolution

      I keep hoping we have seen the last of this tried overworn spec. but PC vendors have an almost religious belief in it for some odd reason.

      It's as if an industry god proclaimed no one will ever need more than 1366 x768 resolution. like other great predictions of the past (no one will ever need more than 640k) it's time to leave this one behind.
      greywolf7
      • Standard

        It's a standard (hopefully short-lived) instituted because it works well with the Win 8.x desktop...higher resolutions present poorly (icons etc too small).
        louishelps
        • No. The icons on my Surface Pro look beautiful and are not small.

          Please use one before lying outright.
          Ram U
  • How on earth is the keyboard folio "unique"?!?

    There are literally dozens of similar keyboard cases for iOS and Android devices. In fact, I dare say it is the most common form factor for these cases.
    .DeusExMachina.
  • I wouldn't take

    ...another 1366x768 screen even if Lenovo paid me.

    Do I want to stare at the "Lenovo" text on the bezel? No. This is the dumbest thing, ever. I know which tablet I bought.

    Finally, are you talking about old Atom Z2760 or new BayTrail? It it is BayTrail (it should be), then 1366x768 is simply inexcusable, especially for the price. Take a look at Dell Venue Pro instead. Or Kindle fire. Or Samsung Android tablet. It seems that some OEMs keep throwing $#!t at the wall with hope that some of it sticks.
    Earthling2
    • 1366x768 not enough???

      Ok, I am a tech entusiast, but by your standards, a mainstream tv-set(1920x1080), would be simply horrible or from a past century. If we follow your thinking 4k monitors for casual tv watching wouldn't even meet the bare minimum. I really don't know if you are being honest or just trolling, but you're certainly exaggerating.
      prszdn4
  • keyboard

    The keyboard should be included as standard not optional for the same price. It's stupid little overlooks like this that will continue to move people to buy a laptop for the same money.
    johnson_robert_roy
  • Kendrick a step behind: Miix 2 a few weeks away.

    Not sure why you are reviewing this dud now. The Miix 2 has Bay Trail and is cheaper at $299. Two cameras and supposedly only 12.3 oz. Not sure I believe that weight spec but that's what I read just now at liliputing.
    ArtInvent
    • Bay Trail and low cost may just gel this whole idea of Windows 8

      Windows 8 1st gen tablets have been a pretty major fail so far. The good ones are heavy and expensive and make lousy tablets. The cheap ones, well, I'd rather have a cheap Android. (I have both of the above - Sony Duo 11 and Nook HD+). But with decent grunt from Bay Trail and very good battery, light weight and thin bodies, and full Windows 8.1 for around $300. Come on, that is pretty compelling. Waiting on some actual reviews but Wintel might just be scrapping back onto the radar.
      ArtInvent
  • James is wrong about important specifications!

    The display is 8.0 in HD 16:9 widescreen with IPS technology (1280 x 800), 10-finger multi-touch support and it does have the Intel Bay Trail Dual Core 1.80 GHz processor. The 64Gb model can be pre-odrered at Microsoftstore.com for $349.00. For the competition this does well because of all the ports and the full size SD slot with a maximum capacity of 64GB.
    quasitraveler
    • Forget last comment...

      My mistake...I thought was a review about the Miix 2. Sorry.
      quasitraveler