Lenovo Miix 510
The articulated stand that offers a lot of positioning possibilities, the USB-C port for video and peripherals (with adapters), the backlit keyboard that is excellent, the Active Pen pen that works very well
The Lenovo Miix 510 is an excellent, and more affordable, alternative to Microsoft’s 2-in-1 hybrids. It might even be the best choice for you.
By combining the efficiency of Windows 10 with a sleek design, the Surface Pro 4 was the first hybrid from Microsoft to demonstrate that a tablet could actually replace a laptop. Anyone who wants to design a 2 in 1 tablet would therefore benefit from this work.
This is the case of Lenovo’s Miix 510 which borrows including the concept of articulated stand that runs the screen 12.2 inches in width. But the Chinese brand has added its touch with the hinge type watch strap inaugurated with its portable Yoga 900 and that can tilt the screen in all positions up to 170 °.
Added to this is the removable magnetic keyboard that also serves as a screen protector that can be comfortably typed on a desk or a little less easily on his lap. With keys offering a depth of 1.5mm, it feels like typing on a classic laptop keyboard. That of the Surface always prefers its more spacious touchpad and its normal-sized right-shift key. But apart from that, the backlit keyboard of the Miix 510 is excellent. In addition, it comes with the tablet while Microsoft sells it as an option.
The Miix 510 starts less than the Surface Pro 4. We tested the intermediate configuration equipped with a Core i5-6200U, 8 GB Ram and 256 GB of SSD. A version almost equivalent to that of the Surface Pro 4 without the keyboard.
Similar But Different
There are some differences between the Miix 510 and the Surface Pro 4 that can tilt the scale on one side or the other. For example, instead of a proprietary port like Microsoft’s Connect, Lenovo offers a USB-C 3.0 port. With a single cable and a set of adapters, you can connect a display, peripherals, and add Ethernet and external storage. For its part, Microsoft offers the Surface Dock docking station, but this limits the choice of users to the solutions of the brand.
Both tablets have a single USB 3.0 port and a handset headset and microphone. But the Surface also has a microSD memory card reader. Not necessarily unacceptable for the Miix 510. On the other hand the lower resolution of its 12.2-inch screen could be problem: 1.920×1.200 pixels against 2.736×1.824 pixels for the Surface Pro 4. Compared to the Miix 510, the latter offers a sharper display. But the difference in quality does not justify the price gap.
Last but not least, the Surface Pro 4’s camera is compatible with the Windows Hello face recognition system that allows you to log in to the machine without entering a password.
The two competitors are equal in terms of performance and will be suitable for professional use or for students. The Miix 510 easily handles photo editing or basic video editing in full HD. It even has enough resources to run video games not too demanding graphically. Working while reading a video or music does not slow it down either. Just be aware that the fans are quite noisy which can be annoying in quiet environments.
The Active Pen Pen is based on Wacom technology and its performance is similar to that of the Intuos styli of this brand. It offers a sensitivity of 2,048 pressure levels, double that of the Surface and if we found it more effective to write than to draw the whole is quite convincing. One flaw, the pen sleeve connects to the USB 3.0 port which makes it lose use. And when the stylus is stored, it comes to cover the USB-C port and the headphone jack.
Since this is a tablet, one could expect that the autonomy of the Miix is rather important. However, it is not the case. In his defense, let us specify that it is the same for any 2 in 1 under Windows with similar components, including the Surface Pro 4. The Miix 510 held a little less than 5h30mn during our test of endurance. It’s 30 minutes better than the Surface.
If you are considering acquiring a Surface Pro 4, you should seriously take a look at the Miix 510. Unless you are put off by the lower resolution and some design differences, you have an excellent 2 in 1 more affordable alternative to the Microsoft Hybrid Tablet.