Offering serious versatility, Lenovo's new Miix 2 10-inch and 11 inch Windows 8.1 hybrids have three modes. You can use the tablet portion by itself for kicking back with some apps; flip the screen around and re-attach it in stand mode (good for presentations and movie watching); or use the keyboard dock for notebook mode. We just went hands-on with the 10-inch, Atom-powered Miix 2 ($449) and beefier Core i3 11-inch model ($599) here at CES 2014, and liked what we saw from both convertibles.
Available in February, both Miix 2 devices sport a full HD display (1920 x 1200 pixels) with 178-degree viewing angles, microSD Card expansion and JBL speakers. In fact, the dock has its own mini subwoofer. You'll also find a 2-MP front camera and 5-MP back camera.
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During our hands-on time with both new Miix 2 detachables, we appreciated the magnetic latch, which makes it a cinch to go from laptop to tablet mode and back again. There's no button to press; just pull up and go. Our only quibble is that the Start button on the bottom of the slate gets slightly obscured by the top of the dock in stand mode.
The difference between the 10- and 11-inch Miix 2 is what's under the hood. The more value-oriented 10-inch model sports a quad-core Atom Bay Trail processor, 2GB of memory and 128 eMMC storage. The 11-inch Miix 2 steps up to a more powerful Core i3 CPU (up to Core i5), 4GB of RAM (up to 8GB) and a 128GB SSD (up to 256GB). Only the 11-inch version offers a USB 3.0 port on the slate portion. Lenovo says to expect up to 10 hours of battery life for the 10-inch Miix 2 and 8 hours for the 11-incher.
As you might expect, the 10-inch Miix 2 is a lighter 1.3 pounds in tablet mode; the keyboard dock brings the weight to 2.3 pounds. The 11-inch model starts at 1.8 pounds and the dock adds 1.3 pounds.
Both tablets feature mini HDMI port and a microSD Card reader. The 10-inch Miix 2 opts for a microUSB port, while the 11-inch has a full-size USB 3.0 port. The keyboard dock houses a USB 2.o port on the hinge (2 ports on the 11-inch model). We like that the AccuType keyboard provides plenty of travel for touch typists, though it's not backlit.
Lenovo includes some of its handy software on the Miix 2, including motion control for flipping through photos and going hands-free for recipes in Lenovo's cooking app. We can't wait to bring you full reviews of these hybrids.