The new Lenovo Miix 700 is pretty much a straight-up clone of the Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3. Same size, same weight, same idea. I don’t care. The Surface was pretty great — minus a bunch of annoying flaws — and I can’t wait for someone to perfect it.
The Lenovo Miix 700, hitting shelves this November for $US700 and up, might not be the perfection I’m looking for, but it certainly looks like a great start. Just like the Surface Pro 3, it’s got a gorgeous 12-inch, 2160 x 1440 touchscreen with a remarkable 3:2 aspect ratio which is more totable and lets you see more of your favourite webpages than your standard 16:9 tablets and laptops.
Like the Surface Pro 3, there’s a magnetic keyboard folio dock that snaps right into the bottom of the tablet, and a pretty neat infinitely adjustable kickstand to prop the contraption up. It even makes a cool snapping sound when you close it. Though, unlike Microsoft’s machine, Lenovo made use of the awesome watchband hinges from its Yoga 3 Pro laptop to get that smooth, smooth hinge action.
Like the Surface Pro 3, it’s also got up to 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of solid state storage, which will no doubt cost you a good bit more cash than $US700 to max out. But — and this is key — it comes with the keyboard folio dock, unlike the Surface Pro.
You can optionally add an Intel RealSense 3D camera to the back or optionally add an LTE modem to connect it anywhere, but the keyboard folio is totally included.
This is a big deal, because these machines never feel complete without a keyboard, and Microsoft always makes you pay an extra $US150.
But I digress.
The second biggest difference between the Surface Pro 3 and the new Lenovo Miix 700 is actually the processor, and I’m curious to see if it makes or breaks the system. Instead of being configurable with standard Core processors, the Miix 700 uses Intel’s new Skylake-based Core M chips instead. It can house up to a Core M7 processor, which will likely — but not definitely — feel a good bit slower than a comparable Core i7. But, it could potentially mean longer battery life, and for all we know the new Core M7 is all a standard PC user really needs anyhow. Can’t say till we test.
Oh, and the Miix 700 has two full-size USB ports, one on each side. It charges via one of these USB ports, instead of a proprietary adaptor. Score one more for Lenovo.