Lenovo is the latest company to launch a Microsoft Surface Pro clone… with a significantly low price tag.

The Lenovo Miix 510 is a 12.2 inch tablet with a full HD display, a built-in kickstand, and a starting price of $600. And that price includes a detachable keyboard.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablets have prices that start at $799, and the keyboard is sold separately. Microsoft does include a digital pen though, while Lenovo will sell that separately as an optional accessory.

Lenovo unveiled the Miix 510 at IFA in Berlin in August, and I got a chance to play with one for a few minutes at an event in New York last week.

miix-510_07

Note: The pictures in this hands-on article show a pre-release Lenovo Miix 510 with a gold case, but Lenovo is only actually selling this 2-in-1 tablet in two color options: black and silver. There’s no gold option.

Much like the Acer Switch Alpha 12 I reviewed this summer, the Miix 510 features a 12 inch display, a built-in kickstand, and a reasonably affordable price tag.

But the Acer tablet has a higher-resolution display, a fanless design, and mediocre battery life. I can’t say anything about the battery life from Lenovo’s tablet yet, but I can say that the 2 pound tablet feels solid, but compact when held in one hand, has plenty of vents to help keep things cool (along with a fan in the case), and has a pretty nice little kickstand in the back, which allows you to prop up the tablet at nearly any angle.

The stand is based on the same watchband-style design the company uses for some of its Yoga-branded devices like the new Lenovo Yoga Book.

The tablet features a 1920 x 1200 pixel display, a USB 3.0 Type-C port which is also used for charging the Miix 510, and two full-sized USB 3.0 ports and a headset jack.

The keyboard connects to the base of the tablet via strong magnets which hold it firmly in place at a slight angle so that the front of the keyboard is lower than the back. Typing felt pretty comfortable, and the curvature of the keys give the keyboard a distinctly Lenovo-style feel.

miix-510_02

But like the magnetic keyboard covers used for the Surface Pro, Acer Switch Alpha 12, and many other other detachable tablets, this keyboard isn’t firm enough to make the computer easy to use on your lap… or at least not as easy as an actual laptop PC. It works just fine on a table or desk, though.

The keyboard cover measures about 0.2 inches thick and weighs about 12 ounces, so the tablet + keyboard weighs in at about 2.65 pounds and measures about 0.6 inches thick.

miix-510_11

Lenovo will offer models with up to a Core i7 Skylake processor, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of PCIe solid state storage.

Each model has stereo speakers, a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera as well as dual array microphones, 802.11ac WiFI, and Bluetooth 4.0.

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23 replies on “Hands-on with the Lenovo Miix 510 2-in-1 Windows tablet”

  1. BEWARE if you are planning to purchase the Lenovo MIIX 510 from “Fortress” stores in Hong Kong… the keyboards of the units they sell do NOT come with backlight. This is a deal breaker for some of us.

  2. We are alrdy into mid Oct/16 but still not much info released on how to get this…

  3. I’m on this page again. Brad, you’ve played with it: have you found out if it is completely fanless (like the Acer Switch Alpha 12), or at least, some versions of it are fanless (like the Microsoft Surface Pro 4)? It will be one or the other. Thank you!

  4. Oh my please someone help me, Mixx 510 or Acer Alpha 12 at costco for $649!!! I think I will get $100 discount for Lenovo but if Mixx 510 start at $599 with iCore3 then the match Alpha that will go for $750 (8GB/256GB and iCore5)?? With $100 discount it would be the same price!!

    Big if,but if it start with iCore5 then Lenovo is a no brainer!! I am aware of lackluster battery on Acer. Oh and Mixx does not have 4k display, that will help with the battery but….do I want and need 4k? Oh….my

  5. My interest is piqued. I’m always interested in devices that suit my 40% sized mechanical keyboard.

    There’s a few tablets on the horizon right now that look nice (Transformer 3), but unfortunately are doing away with the full-sized USB port.

    I’m not carrying around an OTG cable for an accessory I’m going to use constantly.

  6. If we consider this the Microsoft Surface equivalent from Lenovo, what can we consider the best, “value” equivalent of the Microsoft Surface Book (from any brand)?

    Further, what’s the best, simple, no frills, fanless laptop these days, if not the Asus Zenbook? I have mixed feelings about Asus as a company.

    1. Clarification: Anything, really, anything better than Atom would suffice, including Celeron, though the fanless Celeron have just been introduced with Kaby Lake. There is a fanless Skylake Pentium, however (4405Y). I don’t need a touch screen.

      1. Depends what you mean by an equivalent. In terms of 2-in-1s that are detachable but can work like a laptop, there’s the Asus Transformer Book series.

        1. First, I said I’m looking for a more laptop-like laptop than a 2-1, tablet-like laptop, as far as the Surface Book goes, it is certainly a very laptop-like laptop.

          Second, I explicitly pointed out that Asus is a brand I’d rather avoid if at all possible, for personal reasons. I mentioned, however, the Asus Zenbook as a laptop-like laptop (with its crappy touchpad, as Brad’s review pointed out). Then you recommend me another Asus, a 2-1, which has even less going for it than the Zenbook, as it isn’t as laptop-like as the Zenbook, and to add insult to injury, it’s an Asus, too, so all in all, worse for me than even the Zenbook would be.

          More info: screen-size should be 11.6″ minimum, not a 10″ toy for me for a laptop.

          Never mind. )

          1. You didn’t say you wanted a laptop-like laptop, I was answering your first question about an equivalent of the Surface Book. I’m not entirely sure what your distinction of “laptop-like laptop” or “tablet-like laptop” since these are terms that no one else uses (not that you mentioned them in your original post), but the Transformer Books are just as much laptops as the Surface Book is – they use the same style to convert between laptop and tablet mode. I mentioned the Transformer Books because they fill my need as being a laptop, not just a tablet.

            You didn’t say you wanted to avoid Asus, you said you had mixed feelings; you also said “from any brand”. I was answering your first question, where you clearly said “what can we consider the best, “value” equivalent of the Microsoft Surface Book (from any brand)?”. The Asus Zenbook was the answer you gave to your second question, not the first.

            Of course the Transformer Book isn’t as laptop-like as the Zenbook, because the Zenbook *is* a laptop! One could say the same thing of the Surface Book. You asked for a value equivalent of the Surface Book, separately to your question about laptops. A Zenbook isn’t remotely a Surface Book equivalent.

            I disagree that 10″ makes it a toy, I value ultra-portability, but it’s irrelevant, as there are larger Transformer Books. As for which has more going for it, I apologise for not being psychic – I prefer the Transformer Book to the Zenbooks.

            Wow. Next time I won’t bother trying to help.

          2. Hey Mark,

            Sorry for the confusion. Sure, I had to include some very important points in my follow up, couldn’t edit first post, I just realized I’m writing a ‘wish list’ on the fly.

            My high level overview on the Microsoft Surface vs. the Surface Book: the first is a tablet with a detachable keyboard, the latter is a full fledged laptop (which you can take apart, but that’s not the main point, compared to the Surface). I though it was the impression for nearly anyone (when read feedback on the models as they came out), maybe I could have emphasized this point more prominently.

            “I have mixed feelings about Asus” is an euphemism for “I’d rather not buy from this brand.” 😉 I eagerly watched Brad’s review of the Zenbook, Brad said it has a crappy touchpad for that price, and it’s more expensive than any of the Transformer Books for a simple laptop, the Transformer Books add touchscreens for a cheaper price, I wonder how their touchpads function for that price. There is not much to speak about when it comes to customer service to Asus products, or at least a community forming around them. I don’t have experience with their driver updates.

            OK, I went over to the Tranformer Books page a Asus, it’s like 5 very different models, one is certainly very tablet-like, like the above Lenovo Miix 510, or the Microsoft Surface. Sure, there are more laptop-like models, but I haven’t found any that laptop-like as the Microsoft Surface (Or Asus Zenbook, but hey! that’s a laptop), or even the Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Yoga recommended by llvee (https://disq.us/p/1c0ifpy).

            A 10″ laptop is a toy, for my purposes. 😉 We are people with different requirements. In conclusion, I see I should just go and buy a 11.6″ MacBook Air at least, and put whatever OS I want to but on it. Currently $760 on Amazon.

            Peace

          3. I’m not sure about price right now, but there are quite a few Thinkpads and Ideapads made by Lenovo out there right now for around $600-800. Heck, I’ve even seen some deals on the Dell 13″ that everyone has been going crazy for the last year or so.
            I did buy a Lenovo for myself – the Flex 14. It has a different name now, but same basic thing. Its okay.
            Oh gosh, just realized you need something that’s a) fanless; b) not a toy; and c) similar to a Surface Book, but roughly a third the price with an Amazon review of at least 4/5. I might have to think a little bit more.

          4. Hey Andrew,

            Let me clarify: when comparing Microsoft Surface to the Surface Book, the only major plus it gives me over the Surface is that it’s a ‘proper’ laptop. So I’m just looking for a cool, portable laptop.* Fanlessnes is a plus, not a must. A 4/5 or better review score on Amazon is a must, however. 😉 I said above I’m happy to pay twice as much as the $320 Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Yoga @Ilvee recommends, that is $640, which is more than 1/3rd of the price of the Surface Book, which price you suggested on behalf of me. It’s almost half, depending how you view it. 😉

            But let’s see the market: we are talking under the post about a fine (but not for me) $600 dollar gadget. I mentioned the Asus Zenbook, which Brad reviewed and concluded it has a crappy touchpad, usually sells for $700.

            * A laptop meaning a fully fledged device, with working, decent controls, such as a (large) touchpad, or a pointing stick, if it’s a ThinkPad. Hauling around a mouse is not a good user experience to me. Portable means it’s ~13″ maximum, but also 11.6″ minimum, as for me a 10″ screen size is toy category.

            So, the price category of $600-$640-$700 is a good starting point. I just learned about the $800 ThinkPad 13. Might be a nice machine. But I’m conscious about resale value, any value of my purchases, and in this price range, no PC can compete with a 11.’6 MacBook Air (currently $760 on Amazon), or a 13.3″ MacBook Air (currently $830 at B&H Photo Video), regardless which OS you are planning to use on it. Correct me if I’m wrong. Seems I just sold myself on the MacBook Air, though I’m not tied to the platform. I’m conscious of value, though.

          5. Hello Mark,

            I’m on this post again. You recommended the Asus Transformer Books, I was skeptical about it (I hate how Asus, and only Asus shrinks their keyboards vertically on 11.6″ machines,), but heck, let’s give them another look!

            The Asus Transformer series is a lot of different things, like 5 different models with different screen sizes and other distinguishing features… and Asus’ confusing home page didn’t help correctly assessing each one of them.

            So, which one of the 5 you think is awesome? If we are still in talking terms, I appreciate your insights! 😉

      2. Did you consider Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Yoga? It’s got 11.6″ screen, 4gb ram upgradable to 8gb, 128 gb SSD which is also upgradable and celeron N2940. The only issue is its screen is not full HD.

        1. Thank you, I actually have better feelings about a ThinkPad, even a budget ThinkPad than an Asus. 😉 It certainly _may_ be a great value, in fact, it’s so cheap I’d venture to as far as something twice as expensive as the $320 base price.

          * My pet peeve is, nearly with _all_ laptops, which are below a MacBook Air, or a Dell XPS, is that they have crap reviews on Amazon. For me, any review below 4/5 is a no buy. That is a review score with a 3.5/5 is a no buy. On Amazon, where normal people go, not on the manufacturer’s site, where the fanboys go. In fact, many ‘value’ laptops by Lenovo, Dell, etc. are rated equally crap on the manufacturers’ sites as well.

          OK, the ThinkPad 11e Yoga in question is rated 3.5/5 for the _newest_ model on Amazon. It has a 4/5 review score for an older model. That’s 3.75/5 in summary. That’s an edge case. By the way, that’s an old Celeron inside. I wonder if they plan an update. Sadly, Brad didn’t review it. Yet. 😉

          1. Then hp spectre x2 will probaby suit your needs. it’s about $470 with core m3 processor. The only thing is it only has 4 gb ram, which is not upgradable. I was considering it but I was put off by the ram not being upgradable.

          2. The HP Spectre x2 is something different: It’s a tablet staring at $849 with up to 8 GB RAM. you may have mixed it up with another model, I may find later when I have time.

            Speaking of Lenovo, the ThinkPad 11e (both Yoga and non-Yoga) models are sold out. they were announced about a year ago. Time for an upgrade? My major pet peeve with these, being ThinkPads, is the lack of TrackPoint. the first ThinkPads without a TrackPoint. Life just can’t be too perfect.

          3. I am pretty sure I saw the spectre being sold in Amazon for about 470. Personally, I just can’t get used to track pads or track points. I always end up using a mouse in the end so I bought a Bluetooth mouse this time around since the 11e only has 2 USB ports.

          4. Yes thank you! Where is my convertible with a track point and USB C charging?

            One company will make this and get my $$$. Lenovo your trackpoint patent is up this year, better listen to your customers!

      3. Fairly affordable, too. Only $320 and has Windows 10 x64 pro. I just bought one and I am waiting for it to be shipped.

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