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Lenovo MIIX 2 10-inch Laptop/Tablet Hybrid Review

Lenovo Mixx 2 Lenovo Miix 2-2
The 10-inch Miix 2 has a high resolution of 1,920x1,200 display and a clever magnetic keyboard dock. The 128GB SSD is large for a hybrid tablet. Some hybrids are laptops that want to be tablets. Some are tablets that want to be laptops, Lenovo tries different approach than most in the Miix 2, an oddly named $599 slate-style tablet with a feature-rich keyboard docking station.

In the UK and Europe, the tablet can only be had with a 64GB hard drive but it can be expanded up to 128GB via MicroSD in the US, and begins at £399.99 and €499, respectively. The tablet itself has a 10.1-inch screen, which is larger than most Windows 8 tablets we've seen, with 8-inch screens being the most common though the recent HP laptop/Tablet hybrid the HP Spectre 13x 2 comes with 10.6-inch display. The screen resolution is an unusually high 1,920x1,200, which can be good or bad, depending on how well the apps you want to use scale in Windows 8. Personally, I'm never going to say no to extra resolution.

What makes the Miix 2 an especially interesting take on the hybrid concept is its included keyboard dock. Some hybrids, such as the Yoga line from Lenovo, keep their keyboards attached, folding them out of sight. Others, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro or Asus T100, have detachable keyboards which range from nearly-flat keyboard covers to full clamshell-style ones. The Miix 2's keyboard feels primarily like a dock with additional USB ports and a slot for holding the screen up at a slightly reclined angle. The dock also includes a full keyboard and touchpad, although both are on the small side. Both magnets and a multi-pin connection keep the screen and dock attached, and the two sides can slot together to form what looks like a closed clamshell laptop shape for travel.

So far, so good. And for under $600, it's a nice package that allows you to enjoy some of the portable and entertainment features of tablets, while still having the ability to set it up as a mini-desktop. The problems come when you rely on the keyboard dock too much for productivity. The keybord layout doesn't fit just like the keyboard we are used to and their are occasional lag with both the keyboard and touchpad, which is a common Windows tablet problem this system has not fixed. It is powered by an Intel Atom processor, which felt rather sluggish at times, especially with the larger screen and the increased expectations that come with it.

The Miix 2 still offers a nice set of features, including a big 128GB SSD for a budget price (only in the US), and Lenovo's typically excellent build quality (a 64GB SSD version is $499). If you are the type that rely much on keyboard to get through your day i'll suggest you go for a traditional laptop.

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