The new Lenovo Miix 520 is the company’s latest direct competitor to Microsoft’s Surface Pro … and it offers a few extra surprises. Its biggest advantage might be the eighth generation of Intel quad-core Core i7 processor. This is a significant upgrade compared to Core M processor without the need to compromise performance in order to maintain good battery life; a common problem for ultra slim and ultra-light laptops. One might say that Lenovo Miix 520 is a new version of the Yoga for the kind of users who value tablet functionality but still demand mid-range laptop PC performance.
To be precise, this 2-in-1 is designed to function as a primary computer and comes with a 12.2-inch 1920 x 1200-pixel IPS display and can be equipped with up to 16 GB of DDR4 RAM with Kaby Lake, up to 1 TB PCIe SSD and Intel’s HD Graphics 620. The price for the basic model starts at $1000 for the US market and, unlike Microsoft’s Surface Pro, it includes a keyboard and a Lenovo Active Pen 2 with 4096 pressure levels.
Clearly – Intel’s latest platform is the main lure when it comes to Lenovo Miix 520 but the device is also slimmer and lighter than its predecessors in the Miix series. The notebook’s construction is at a level we would expect from Lenovo – robust, convincing and with an elegant matte finish.
The keyboard is comfortable with lushly arranged keys and a shallow depth that one might expect from a 2-in-1 keyboard. It is equipped with a fingerprint reader which enables logging onto Windows 10 with a single touch and plenty of tasks can be performed without it if the Active Pen 2 is used. This means that purchasers will be able to carry Miix 520 with them in many situations, without necessarily dragging the keyboard with them. Powerful magnets allow you to attach and disconnect the keyboard, which functions well in practice – slightly greater force needs to be applied in order to separate these two parts of Miix 520, but when they are connected the pair feel like a single device. It is possible to hold the device by the keyboard and have the display ‘dangling’ downwards without fearing it might fall.
Just like the Yoga 920, which Lenovo revealed at IFA 2017, the Miix 520 also comes with a Far Field microphone which allows voice controls for Cortona from a 4-meter distance. While many will find the WorldView camera interesting it is questionably useful at the time of this writing unless you need to take 3D photographs.
Even in its basic configuration, the Lenovo Miix 520 offers more than Microsoft’s Surface Pro does, both in terms of hardware and design. While we reserve our final judgement for a full review, the Lenovo Miix 520 might just represent one of the most well-balanced 2-in-1 computers in the world based on the combination of reliability, performance and usability.