BERLIN: LENOVO HAS UNVEILED updated IdeaPad devices at IFA this week, aimed at those looking to upgrade to Windows 10 systems in time for the holiday season. One of these was the Miix 700, an Intel Skylake-powered Microsoft Surface competitor.
Looking a little like a clone of Microsoft's tablet, the IdeaPad Miix 700 offers a Windows 10 experience in a portable form factor and with RealSense camera functionality.
We got our hands on the IdeaPad Miix 700 on the IFA show floor to see whether it is just as similar to the Surface in real life as on paper, as well as to see how well it fared in our usual initial tests. Here are our thoughts ...
The Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 700 sports an integrated kickstand, optional keyboard cover and the same dual watchband hinges as seen on the Yoga 3 Pro, of which we are fans.
The familiarity of the Surface was evident in our hands-on. For example, the kickstand works in exactly the same way and has a similar 'full friction' feature. This allows the kickstand to move so that the tablet sits in almost any position. It rested well at any angle without slipping, even when applying pressure to the screen.
The IdeaPad Miix 700‘s metal chassis makes the device feel robust and expensive, and so it should for $700 (£450), which we might add is considerably more than the lowest priced Surface 3 ($499).
It feels around the same weight as the Surface 3, although it is a little thicker. Unfortunately, we do not have exact measurements yet but it does feel light and thin enough to carry around in a small backpack or satchel, for example. We'd say it probably weighs less than 1kg with the keyboard.
One thing we do not like, however, is the keyboard dock. It's an exact rip-off of the that seen on the Surface, and cheapens the overall look of the device. We also found that it makes it difficult to use because of the odd layout of the trackpad and cheap-feeling keys which have poor travel.
Lenovo said that the IdeaPad Miix 700 features an option for Intel's RealSense 3D cameras alongside Windows 10 for "never-before-seen PC performance" while "giving discerning shoppers multiple reasons to upgrade this holiday season". We didn't get a chance to see how well the RealSense 3D camera worked in our short hands-on, but we will give it a go in a full review soon.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 700 has a 12in Full HD+ 2160x1440 touchscreen display, which is quite bright and the resolution doesn't lie. Images are detailed with deep colour representation and no jagged text. It also proved very responsive to touch, in the same way as the Surface.
Performance and software
A 6th-generation Intel Core processor and up to 8GB of RAM make the IdeaPad Miix 700 quite a powerhouse for its size. It runs Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Home and this seemed to run smoothly, being responsive to touch with no lag. This is thanks to the updated Intel 6th gen processor running on the latest Skylake 14nm architecture.
Skylake is the successor to the chipmaker's Broadwell architecture and is touted to deliver significant increases in performance, battery life and power efficiency. Intel's latest chipset is the first mainstream Intel desktop platform to support DDR4 memory, and is claimed to deliver 30 percent better performance than a three-year-old PC based on Ivy Bridge architecture, 20 percent better performance than a two-year-old PC (Haswell), and 10 percent better performance than a one-year-old PC (Broadwell).
Essentially, this means that devices such as the IdeaPad Miix 700 can have a smaller form factor without any decrease in speed or performance.
There's up to 256GB of SSD storage, meaning that files, photos and videos should be stored quickly.
The IdeaPad Miix 700 starts at $699 (about £450), and will be available sometime this year, Lenovo said. We'll update this article with a launch date as soon as we know. µ