Lenovo unveils Miix 2: 8-inch tablet, Bay Trail, and Office for $299

Lenovo unveils Miix 2: 8-inch tablet, Bay Trail, and Office for $299

Summary: The small tablet space is heating up with this 8-inch model from Lenovo that packs Bay Trail inside for a low price.

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Miix 2 w cover
Lenovo Miix 2 with optional cover and pen (Image: Lenovo)

Lenovo is going small with the Miix 2 tablet. The 8-inch slate puts Bay Trail, Intel's newest Atom technology, inside a svelte case and includes Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 for only $299. The optional smart cover ($20) with a stylus rounds out the Miix 2.

The dimensions of the Miix 2 are impressive: 5.18in x 8.48in x .32in, so the tablet is very small. The weight is just 0.77lb making it a highly portable 8-inch tablet that runs Windows 8.1.

The Lenovo Miix 2 is one of the first tablets that will be available with an Intel Bay Trail quad-core processor. This latest iteration of the Atom family is designed to run faster and longer than previous generations. The full specifications show just how much Windows tablet you can get for less than $300:

  • Intel Bay Trail-T Quad Core processor

  • Genuine Windows 8.1

  • 8” HD display (1280x800) with multi-touch and 178 degree wide viewing angle; 16:10 widescreen

  • 2GB LP-DDR3 memory

  • 32/64 GB eMMC storage

  • Weight: .77 lbs.

  • Dimensions: 5.18” x 8.48” x .32”

  • Integrated Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and 3G-GPS3 connectivity

  • 2MP front camera / 5MP rear camera

  • Up to 7 hrs. of battery life

  • Price: $299 (32GB) & $349 (64GB), Cover with stylus-pen = $20

The quoted battery life of 7 hours is not as long as we would expect from the newer Intel processor but we'll have to see it in action to make a final determination about it. Tablets need to get at least 10 hours away from an outlet to get through a work day.

Lenovo has informed ZDNet that the stylus/pen that comes with the optional $20 smart cover is capacitive (for working with touch screens) and does not use an active digitizer. Normally capacitive digitizers and the pens with a spongy tip they use are not as accurate as those that use an active digitizer. We'll have to try it to see how well it works for things like handwritten input.

The Lenovo Miix 2 will be available at the end of October starting at $299 (32GB) and $349 (64GB). It will be available from Lenovo and major retailers.

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Topics: Mobility, Lenovo, Tablets, Windows 8

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45 comments
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  • Is that Microsoft Office a trial version?

    Personally, I don't care for "trial versions" of software.
    kenosha77a
    • It's Official.

      From what I recall, it's a Student/Home License (), so no, it's not a trial.

      Last time I checked, all W8 tablets under 10-inches will get Office for free.
      ForeverCookie
    • Not a trial

      This is full Office.
      JamesKendrick
      • I am sold

        Going to pick this up on day one, full Windows /Office , all for $299...hallelujah !
        Owl`Net
        • I'm waiting to see what Dell offers with their "bellair" 8 inch tablet

          Initial estimates list 10+ hour battery life, but about an ounce heavier. I'll gladly take that for the extra 3+ hours of battery.

          The Lenovo does look really good though. It will be a hard choice.
          Emacho
          • same sillicon

            They are built on the exact same Baytrail SoC configuration. With the "same" screen, performance and power will be the same for both devices. Marketing teams are different, some are more conservative than other in their statements, or sometimes less informed.
            Marcel Gheorghiță
      • Can you use full MS Office of an 8" tablet using touch?

        Just wondering how.
        Mah
    • Student/Home

      It's not a trial. But it's also not legal to use for business. Not that this fact will actually stop anyone, but that's the purpose.
      Hazydave
  • Killer price

    Very attractive at this price point
    Owl`Net
    • I agree....

      I plan on purchasing the latest iteration of the iPad.... but I think I might pick this up as well. For this price with real Windows.. not RT.... how can I NOT pick it up?
      Tablazines
    • Unless the iPad Mini 2 gets free iWork and iLife

      and a "Retina" screen, this is going to be the killer tablet between 7 and 9 inches.
      Champ_Kind
      • Oh, silly me.

        I forgot to mention the A7 and I can't edit that in.
        Champ_Kind
      • How much are your eyes worth

        On a pixelated display like this one your eyes will not last for hours and hours.
        MichaelInMA
        • Ridiculous

          MichaelinMA, how is 1280 x 800 pixelated? That's a ridiculous statement...
          Ndiaz.fuentes
        • Nope

          This 1280 x 800 screen is hardly pixelated. I have the same screen size/density on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 -- 189ppi. Not quite as fine a pitch as some of the 10" tablets these days, but an improvement over the iPad Mini and the iPad 2. In practice, it's very good, and you don't see pixels at a normal viewing distance. LCD backlights compete with pixel density... the iPad 4 display (264ppi) doubled the power necessary to deliver the same brightness level. I think it's even more important in a smaller tablet to watch the weight. But you still need to deliver 8-10 hours of operation, or it's going to fail as a tablet.

          This looks pretty good, and it's really competitive with other 7-8" tablets. The problem I see is the lack of a real stylus. That's kind of a luxury for an Android tablet, and yet, when you're on a smaller screen, having so much more precision via the Wacom digitizer sure is nice for typical tablet uses, like note-taking. But on a REAL Windows computer, you also have the advantage that a Wacom-style pen works just like a mouse -- it's accurate, and you can "hover". So while you can't fit many full-fledged Windows applications on a Windows tablet, you can at least use them with full functionality if you have an accurate pen. Not one of those rubber "fake finger" capacitive pens.

          This is interesting also as it illustrates the problem Microsoft has with Windows RT -- here's a full Windows 8 tablet for less than the Surface 2, which is going to run Metro/WinRT applications about as well as the Surface 2, but will let you run full Windows applications too, at least those that make sense on a machine without much RAM or storage. Were it me, I'd put Chrome and a few other regular desktop/laptop tools on it right away.

          And it'll just get more confusing now that Windows Phone 8.1 will allow "phablets" up to 7"... basically yet another Microsoft OS that's incompatible but will be competing in the same market.
          Hazydave
        • Most of us don't notice the difference...

          I'm sitting with an ipad mini, and ipad4, and an Asus Transformer. Throw anything 'normal' at them in terms of magazine or video and nobody gives a hoot at any differences. They all look good, they all work fine, and they all deliver. I'd be more interested in getting the display onto my 52" telly and that's just simpler with the Android. Airplay from the pads is great for YouTube but lets be serious... My displays are fine for that too.

          Zealots and droolers might find a retina display 'cool' to chat aboyt but this real world user doesn't even notice the difference between using a 2 and a 4! Maybe if I did photo-editing but why oh why would I do that on a small display, with a limited app?
          johnmckay
  • question for designers...

    How does Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign work on tablets? I'm asking because even if a tablet has the power to run the suite... how does it all work on touch based interfaces?
    Tablazines
    • Dude...

      Dude, this is an 8" tablet. Why you would want to run Photoshop, or Illustrator on an 8" tablet is beyond me.

      That said, it'll probably run just fine if you can get over the tiny screen.
      dsf3g
      • You could hook it to larger monitor that has HDMI port and

        use it like one step above entry level laptop if it has Micro HDMI port like it's 10" predecessor Miix.
        Ram U
        • Not clear that this has HDMI out

          I can't see a single port in the press photos, which is very odd. It is not clear this tablet will have any kind of physical video-out port. Dell's 8-incher has wireless display only. We'll have to wait and see if Lenovo included the feature or not. This does make me wonder if Microsoft imposes additional restrictions for manufacturers who want cheap versions of Windows/Office on these small machines...
          TrackSmart