The Lenovo Ideapad Miix 520 aspires to compete with Microsoft’s Floor Professional, and it checks practically the entire packing containers: wonderful efficiency; a shiny, high-resolution show; and a snug typing expertise. Solely in battery life does it fall effectively quick. Nonetheless, the Miix 520 is a superb different to the pricier Floor lineup.
As Home windows tablets coalesce towards the 12.2-inch panel dimension utilized by the Miix 520, evaluating them is all about tradeoffs. The Miix 520, which is presently obtainable in just one configuration (presently about $990 on Amazon), upgrades the everyday pill show from 1080p to a 1920×1200 panel. However that larger decision impacts battery life, as you’ll see later in our assessments. The opposite main options are detailed beneath.,
Lenovo Miix 520: Fundamental specs and options
- Show: 12.2-inch (1920×1200) IPS
- Processor: Intel 1.6GHz Core i5-8250U (Kaby Lake-R)
- Graphics: Intel 620 (built-in)
- Reminiscence: 8GB DDR4 (2,133MHz)
- Storage: 256GB SSD
- Ports: 1 USB three.zero (Kind C), 1 USB three.zero (Kind A), microSD, headphone jack
- Wi-fi: 802.11ac (2×2), Bluetooth four.1
- Cameras: Entrance (5MP, fixed-focus) Rear (8MP, autofocus)
- Battery: 39Wh
- Working system: Home windows 10 Dwelling
- Dimensions and weight: 11.eight in. x eight.1 in. x zero.four in., zero.6 in. with keyboard; 1.9 lb (pill), 2.72 lb (with keyboard), three.06 lb (pill, keyboard plus charger)
- Worth as reviewed: $999
In contrast to Microsoft, Lenovo bundles the removable keyboard in addition to a stylus, often called the Lively Pen 2.
Lenovo Miix 520: Construct high quality and show
Save for Lenovo’s silvery “watchband” hinge, the Miix 520’s platinum silver exterior is discreet, as is the case with most tablets. In contrast to the crisp, minimalist strains of the Microsoft Floor Professional (2017), nonetheless, there’s far more of a way of “busy:” a fan grille runs alongside the highest of the pill, ports cluster to the left-hand-side, and speaker grilles come out right here and there.
The watchband hinge isn’t only for present. It helps the burden of the pill (which, at 2.72 kilos with the keyboard, is a bit heavier than the competitors), and it reclines to 150 levels (the identical vary because the Floor Professional) with hardly a wobble. Lenovo makes use of the skinny “sheath” kickstand that the majority pill makers (besides HP) make use of, although, which may jab your thighs after extended use.
When powering on the Miix 520, it’s possible you’ll discover one of many design touches that please recurring Lenovo customers: the on-screen battery gauge. You even have the choice (through the Lenovo Vantage software program, mentioned later) of inserting a battery icon widget in your taskbar.
Whereas the Miix 520’s 12.2-inch, 1920 x 1200 IPS panel taxes battery life and lacks the visible pop of, say, the OLED display utilized by the Samsung Galaxy Book, the expertise is value it. There’s a perceptible enchancment in show high quality in comparison with 1920×1080. The luminosity maxes out at simply 298 nits, which is considerably lower than the competitors, however we take into account one thing between 250 and 270 nits to be comfy for common use.
Sadly, one side the place the Miix 520 skimps an excessive amount of is Home windows Whats up. The pill lacks a fingerprint reader, and the 5MP front-facing digicam just isn’t Home windows Whats up-capable. The rear-facing 8MP digicam is appropriate for Mixed Reality Viewer, a enjoyable new characteristic in Home windows 10 the place you’ll be able to snap a photograph together with your pill after which drop in one in all hundreds of 3D objects to spice it up.
(In case you learn our original report on the Lenovo Miix 520, we seen one change. Lenovo had initially informed us that the rear-facing digicam, dubbed WorldView, would pair with a bundled MagicWindow app that might allow you to insert 3D photos into common photos. That app has not been bundled, and it’s not clear—even after checking with Lenovo—what occurred with WorldView.)
Lenovo Miix 520: Keyboard, ports, and audio system
Lenovo is thought for its keyboards, and the Miix 520 usually doesn’t disappoint. As an alternative of the Alcantara materials which have develop into the design pattern du jour, Lenovo opts for a extra fundamental pleather, which surrounds the keyboard and works simply positive. Every secret is massive sufficient to supply a snug touchdown, and the 1.5mm journey lends itself to extended typing.
The row of comparatively tiny operate keys on the high consists of devoted controls for toggling the touchpad, adjusting the brightness and sound, and locking the pill. Customers may toggle the keyboard backlight, a pleasant contact that isn’t at all times duplicated on rival machines. In contrast to the Lenovo X-series tablets, the Miix 520 additionally forgoes each trackpad buttons, in addition to the long-lasting pink TrackPoint pointing stick.
Although the trackpad feels somewhat small, the glass floor permits easy scrolling, and clicks registered in all however the very higher areas of the trackpad.
About the one flaw I discovered was a small quantity of keyboard flex, although you’ll solely discover it by urgent firmly on a key close to the middle. It’s not sufficient to have an effect on on a regular basis typing.
Lenovo greater than makes up for that with the seemingly bulletproot magnetic connection between the keyboard and the pill itself. Like different tablets, the Miix 520 makes use of a twin hinge that folds again, creating two factors of contact and angling the keyboard barely. The keyboard grips so tightly that I used to be in a position to droop the pill itself from the keyboard. In different phrases, if the pill is perched in your lap and falls backward over your knees, it in all probability ain’t going wherever.
Ports are a key concern with any Home windows pill, particularly as producers handle the transition from legacy USB-A connectors to the brand new USB-C normal. The Miix 520 properly splits the distinction with two USB three.zero ports: one Kind A and one Kind C. The Kind C port doesn’t help the high-speed Thunderbolt protocol, neither is it used for charging—there’s nonetheless a devoted energy port, leaving each ports obtainable to be used. No dongles are included.
Don’t overlook concerning the microSD slot tucked away on the again of the pill, both. (On Lenovo’s web site, the producer erroneously reviews that the Miix 520 features a microSIM slot as a substitute.)
The Miix 520’s audio system ship audio at passable ranges—just a little softer than, say, a comparable HP pill, however with good midrange and response within the higher registers. Over headphones, the Miix 520 digs deep to ship the low-end bass response its personal inner audio system lack, with among the most satisfying audio I’ve skilled from a pill. A pleasant bonus is an precise Dolby Audio app, full with the graphics equalizer so usually lacking from Home windows machines. (Considerably sadly, although, it lacks any presets.)
The Miix 520 ships with what Lenovo calls the Lively Pen 2, a sturdy stylus with four,096 ranges of strain, although no tilt help. Lenovo additionally helpfully consists of Wacom’s personal Wacom Pen stylus app to handle the Lively Pen 2.
Although utilizing the Lively Pen 2 is a breeze, assembling it’s far more sophisticated than with different pens. You’ll have to unscrew the highest, then use a coin to disassemble that piece into two extra items, set up the smallest pair of coin batteries I’ve ever seen, reassemble the highest, then drop in a AAAA battery to energy the entire contraption. It’s a process you’ll need to dedicate some care to. Lenovo seems to make use of separate batteries for powering the wi-fi connection to the pill in addition to the overall stylus capabilities, however the payoff isn’t instantly obvious.
Although the Lively Pen lacks the eraser-nubbin operate of the Floor Pens, two configurable barrel buttons can help you set off Cortana, launch OneNote or different apps, or erase.
There’s one further catch: Lenovo’s answer for the pesky downside of pen administration is a plastic pen holster that plugs into the USB-A port. It’s a dumb determination that sacrifices productiveness for aesthetics, and also you threat snapping off or by accident detaching the holster inside your backpack or carry-on.
Further software program
Lenovo usually excluded bloatware from the Miix 520. The corporate bundles a trial of McAfee LiveSafe, the Microsoft Workplace apps (which require a subscription to Workplace 365 to activate) and Minecraft, plus the ever-present Sweet Crush Soda Saga and March of Empires: Warfare of Lords.
Considerably oddly, Lenovo bundled each its personal Lenovo Settings app in addition to the brand new Lenovo Vantage, a neatly designed utility to do every little thing from handle updates to discover a number of affords. When opened, although, Lenovo Settings merely informs the person that the Settings app and Vantage have merged, and Settings may be uninstalled. Perhaps you can go the additional mile subsequent time, Lenovo?
Vantage and the associated Lenovo App Explorer additionally function entrance doorways of kinds to further, optionally available apps like Lenovo Le-Notice, a OneNote-like inking app that enables you jot a observe on the display, even when the pill is locked.
Lenovo Miix 520 efficiency: Marred by poor battery life
Lenovo’s Miix 520 is likely one of the first crop of tablets to make use of Intel’s Eighth-generation Core chips, and particularly its most up-to-date Kaby Lake-R components that promise as much as 40 p.c extra efficiency in contrast with prior-generation components. The profit is borne out in most of our assessments beneath. Battery life issues in a pill too, although, and on this regard, the Miix 520 misses the mark.
The assessments beneath present how the Miix 520 compares favorably to the Microsoft Floor Laptop computer, a full-fledged laptop computer, and different tablets we’ve most well-liked, such because the Samsung Galaxy Book. Lenovo’s pill will plow by way of any workplace process with ease, and the 8GB of reminiscence Lenovo affords is ample for Net searching with 20 or so tabs. Relaxation assured that your pill will play again Netflix or different video at full body charges, as effectively.
PCMark eight’s Work 2.zero check measures how the pill will deal with duties like spreadsheets and phrase processing. As you’ll be able to see, the Miix 520 handles it with ease.
Each the Dwelling and Artistic features of the PCMark check suite are extra related to the Miix 520’s meant use. Although each assessments share among the identical components, the Dwelling check tends to emphasise mild gaming and picture manipulation, whereas Artistic pushes ahead into video enhancing. All of those duties are related to residence customers, and the Miix 520’s success right here signifies that it’s a stable selection.
Maxon’s Cinebench benchmark, which renders a fancy 2D scene, measures how effectively a tool’s CPU performs from each a single-core and multicore perspective. An important measurement on this case is the latter: How effectively does the four-core Core i5-8250U carry out? Excellently, because it seems.
We additionally use the Handbrake open-source video conversion app to transcode a top-tier Hollywood film right into a lower-resolution video format appropriate for an Android pill. On this case, Handbrake serves as a stress check, placing the CPU below load for a protracted interval. An unexpectedly sluggish consequence may point out CPU throttling below load. The Miix 520’s quick consequence suggests it did not take that step.
Our final benchmark examines the pill’s 3D efficiency utilizing 3DMark’s Sky Diver benchmark, which supplies a stable base of comparability for different laptops and tablets. No pill that we all know of makes use of a discrete graphics chip; as a substitute, producers choose and select amongst built-in chips. Whereas the Miix 520 cannot match the efficiency of the considerably costlier Floor Professional (2017), it fares fairly effectively because of its built-in Intel 620 3D graphics core.
Lastly, we arrive on the Miix 520’s smooth underbelly: battery life. We gauge it based mostly on a rundown check the place we set the show brightness to 250 nits and join earbuds to the audio port, with quantity set to a midrange stage. With the battery absolutely charged, we unplug it and loop a 4K video till the system provides out, and document the time.