Microsoft building its own devices, including the Surface, was an interesting move; going against its partners but we appear to have reached a point where those manufacturers are taking lessons from the software giant. Lenovo has made a rival and/or a clone, depending on how you look at it, of the Surface Pro. Here’s our Lenovo Ideapad Miix 700 hands-on review.
RELEASE DATE AND PRICE
Arriving in November, the Miix 700 will set you back $699 and that price tag includes the keyboard cover. We’re waiting for UK specific details at the moment.
That might seem like quite a lot for a single device but when you compare the price with the Surface Pro tablet (in dollars for now to keep it simple), choosing the Lenovo will save you a fair few quid. The Microsoft rival starts at $799 and that doesn’t including the Type Cover which you’ll pretty much have to buy for the device to make sense and that costs an extra $130.
DESIGN AND BUILD
To say that the Ideapad Miix 700 is a clone or a copy of the Surface feels like an understatement. The design is, it seems, unashamedly identical down to some small details.
At first glance you wouldn’t even know that the device wasn’t a Microsoft Surface if it wasn’t for the Lenovo logo. It’s hard to tell the two apart because the Miix 700 uses all the same design and build traits of the Surface.
The kickstand is present, albeit with Lenovo’s watchstrap style hinge, and is adjustable to almost any angle. So too is the keyboard cover which connects to the main device with the same magnetic snap and even offers an angled mode for easier typing. The device even looks like the Surface in its shape, with the angled edge which the Surface has.
We’re not saying that any of these design features are bad, Lenovo wouldn’t have copied them if they were no good. It’s a well put together product which feels premium but it’s just something of a shame that it’s so closely matched to the Surface despite calling it ‘recognisably different’. Lenovo being the biggest PC maker in the world surely could have done something at least a little different.
It is slightly thinner and lighter than the Surface but we’re talking small numbers so not enough to be a noticeable difference in real life.
HARDWARE, SOFTWARE AND SPECS
As you would expect, the Ideapad Miix 700 comes pre-loaded with Windows 10 Home and we’re not going to avoid comparing it the Surface in this section since it’s so similar.
For a lower price, you’re getting pretty similar specs to the Surface if you pick the Miix 700. The screen is also 12in with a resolution of 2160×1440. It also has a 5Mp rear facing camera and up to 8GB of RAM. We found performance to be good during a hands-on play but as usual that needs properly testing in the lab.
There are a couple of things which are different on the specs sheet though. The Ideapad Miix 700 comes with a new 6th-generation Intel Core M processor with the Surface running a 4th-generation chip, although it’s Core i. However, its advantage to the Surface on the storage front with up to 512GB available while the Miix 700 maxxes out at 256GB.
It’s good to see Lenovo offering a 4G LTE model in case you need data on the go without the awkwardness of tethering on finding a hotspot. The Miix 700 also has a nice range of ports on the side including USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Micro-HDMI, Micro-USB and Micro-SD which is an extra USB port compared to the Surface.
Both Lenovo and Microsoft claim up to nine hours of battery life for their devices so we’ll have to test this out properly benchmark style.
- Windows 10 Home
- Intel Skylake Core M processor
- up to 8GB DDR3 RAM
- up to 256GB SSD
- 12in display (2160×1440, 216ppi)
- USB 3.0
- USB 2.0
- 5Mp camera
- battery life up to nine hours
The Lenovo Ideapad Miix 700 is embarrassingly similar to the Surface Pro but saying that, it’s got very decent specs even outdoing the Microsoft rival in places. All this at a lower price with the keyboard cover included means it’s in with a great shout for being the best hybrid tablet/laptop around. Stay tuned for a full review.