Lenovo Miix 2 Takes on the Surface 2 [Video]

If you’re a little confused by the headline, there’s good reason – yes, Lenovo already did release something called the Miix 2 last year. That was an 8” Windows 8.1 tablet – what Lenovo is unveiling at CES are the 10” and 11” models, and they’re taking a bit of a different approach than the plain-old-tablet approach of the 8” model.

The new Miix 2 models are the detachable answer to the Lenovo Yoga, which is known for its 360 degree hinge. With the 10” and 11” Miix 2, the display can be removed from the keyboard completely. The 3-in-1 refers to tablet, laptop, and stand mode – you can dock the tablet into the keyboard facing the opposite direction, if you’re going to be using it to make presentations or watch movies.

The new Miix 2 models, like the 8”, run Windows 8.1. From there, the two diverge a bit. The 10” model is made to be more portable (.36”, 1.3 pounds), at the expense of some higher-end specs. The 10” Miix 2 runs on a quad-core Intel Atom processor and comes with just 128 GB of eMMC storage. From here, it gets a little nearer to its 11” partner – a 1920 x 1200 touchscreen display, optional 3G connectivity, and 2 MP and 5 MP front and rear cameras, both of which are capable of video in 720p. Audio gets a big boost from JBL speakers. Around the sides, you’ll find a mini HDMI port, a microSD card slot, a micro USB charging port, plus a USB 2.0 port on the keyboard.

The 11” eschews the mobile-friendly Atom processor for a 4th generation Intel core processor, up to an i5. You can get as much as 256 GB of eMMC storage here, but everything else is the same as in the 10”. Not too much different, but if you want a more powerful computing experience when you’re using the Miix 2 as a laptop, you’d probably want to opt for the 11” model.

The 10” and 11” Miix 2 will be available this spring – the 10” in March and the 11” in April – starting at $500 and $700, respectively. Both will come in either silver grey or clementine orange, like the Yoga notebooks.

First Impressions

The Miix 2 feels like Lenovo’s competition for the Surface 2. And while it may not have quite the same premium display as the surface, it does feel like a premium detachable system. The inclusion of powerful JBL Speakers with a subwoofer make its stand mode extra practical for watching movies on the go, and also help make the Miix 2 even more desirable. The system also offers optional 3g connectivity which is something most Windows 8 detachables aren’t offering, at-least not yet.