The eight-inch Windows 8 tablet has quickly become a favorite among consumers, and manufacturers have been in a hurry to capitalize on the surge in popularity. That’s good news for consumers, who now find themselves presented with more choices than ever.
The Miix 2 is the first entry into the fray for Lenovo tablets, and the result is an imperfect but compelling slate.
Compared to tablets like the Dell Venue 8 Pro, the 8.5-by-5.2-by-0.31 inch Lenovo Miix 2 is of fairly average size. It’s 0.05 inches thinner than the Venue, and it feels quite comfortable to hold with one hand.
It can’t quite compete with the construction quality of a premium device, but the polycarbonate shell feels durable and has only modest flex. The Miix 2 weighs in at a svelte 12.2 ounces (0.35 kg / 0.77 lbs), making the 13.6-ounce Venue and 15.7-ounce Toshiba Encore feel like overly bulky tablets in comparison.
The Lenovo Miix 2 features a bit of an odd layout. Almost all of the action is arrayed along the right edge, with a power button, volume rocker, microSD card slot and micro USB port. The microSD slot is covered, but the micro USB socket is open to the elements.
There’s a standard 3.5-millimeter headphone jack on the top edge, and that’s about it. The back sports a 5.0-megapixel camera and small stereo speaker grilles, and there’s a capacitive Windows button on the front bezel.
Resolving the Details
As with its competitors, the Miix 2 features an eight-inch, 1,280-by-800 pixel display. It won’t be confused for an iPad’s Retina display, but the panel is impressive nonetheless. Comparing tablets with the Dell Venue 8 Pro, image quality is very similar.
Both offer rich color, vivid contrast and a reasonably sharp image. Where the Lenovo excels is the superb 534-lux brightness, which easily outpaces the Venue’s 377-lux screen.
Under the Hood
Powered by a 1.3-gigahertz Intel Atom Z3740 processor and two gigabytes of RAM, the Miix 2 will never be considered a performance powerhouse. Its usefulness in terms of productivity is somewhat limited, though it handles routine tasks with relative ease.
The Miix can be sluggish at times, however, as evidenced by its average 2.1 seconds to shift orientations. In a tablet comparison, the Venue 8 Pro and Toshiba Encore both delivered similar performance.
As would be expected, Windows 8.1 tablets like the Miix 2, Venue 8 Pro and Toshiba Encore offer many similarities. Each of them handles routine tasks well, though you’ll be disappointed if you expect any of them to handle demanding games or other resource-intensive tasks.
The Encore’s subpar display holds it back, while the Miix 2’s superior brightness gives it a slight edge. The Venue, meanwhile, offers the quality construction typically found on Dell devices.
What Customers Say
Many customers have hailed the Lenovo Miix 2’s thin, light design compared to its beefier competition. The display’s brightness is also a frequent target of praise, as is the inclusion of GPS functionality. Users also report excellent performance for an Atom-based tablet.
Conversely, many users consider the construction quality to be subpar compared to tablets like the Dell Venue 8 Pro. Also, despite the superb brightness, some users consider the display’s color reproduction to be less accurate than some competitors.