Scores in depth
The Miix 310 is the latest device in Lenovo’s 2-in 1 arsenal. The device claims to offer good performance in an extremely portable and sleek enclosure at an affordable cost.
Is the Miix 310 worthy of your hard earned money? Can it stand out in a market which is saturated with devices like the Lenovo Yoga series, the Micromax Canvas LabTab 2 and the Asus EeeBook Flip? Let’s find out!
Lenovo has taken a very safe route with the looks of the device and it ends up looking quite dull.
The Miix 310’s display can be detached from the keyboard and be used as a tablet. The connectivity ports like the USB port are located on the tablet portion of the device alongside the charging port and power button.
Design wise, the biggest problem I had with the device is the awful weight distribution when used as a laptop. The tablet portion of the device is much heavier than the keyboard, which means the device keeps falling over while typing.
For a device aimed as both a tablet and a laptop, this is a serious shortcoming and needs to be looked upon. It feels much better to use as a tablet rather than a laptop, chiefly because of the weight distribution issue.
The laptop comes with a 10.1-inch full HD display which is adequate at best. Keeping in mind the price point and target audience of the device, the display of the Lenovo Miix 310 is decent enough, with adequate brightness levels and punchy colours.
The sunlight legibility, however is quite poor and so are the viewing angles.
The touchscreen supports ten finger multi-touch and is a bit of a letdown. During my two week review period, the touch response was a hit or miss affair. Sometime the touchscreen worked as smooth as butter, but at other times the display would act out and refuse to recognise a touch until the second or third try.
For a device with such a compact form factor, the keyboard keys are surprisingly full-sized and are spaced apart well enough for there to be no mis-hits while typing. On the negative side, the key travel is a bit too short for my lacking and the keys itself are a bit mush.
The trackpad is too small and is rather slippery and stiff. It’s adequate for light use, but for anything precise I would recommend an external mouse.
Windows laptops have been trying to perfect the trackpad for years but still cannot come close to Apple’s gorgeous trackpad on the MacBook. Gestures are iffy, with both Windows 10 and the trackpad to blame here. The accuracy rate is just not there.
The Lenovo Miix 310 comes with an Intel Atom X5 X8350 processor, 2GB of RAM, up to 64GB of flash storage and claimed battery life of 10 hours.
The laptop comes with Windows 10 out of the box, and by virtue of a detachable display, supports Windows 10's tablet mode. There is a 2MP camera on the front for video calling and a 5MP camera on the rear for taking images whilst using it as a tablet and watching the occasional movie. Switching between web-based apps, local documents and the web is smooth, although lightning quick performance should not be expected.
However, open more than a couple of tabs in the browser or fire up intensive applications like Photoshop and the machine really starts to struggle. Intensive multitasking also bogs down the machine heavily.
Windows 10 issues
Using the Lenovo Miix 310 as a tablet is severely hampered by the fact that Windows 10 is very poorly optimised for touch based devices.
This is 2017, and still Windows has so many scaling errors. Text and icons in certain locations of the operating system look incredibly jagged and low res. In the process of scaling to a resolution this high, the touch points become too small and it is jarring to see low res text in a sea of crisp ultra high res content.
The Windows 10 store is sparse, to say the least. There are several major apps lacking such as all Google Apps. Let’s take a scenario here. What are tablets used most for? Browsing the web and confusing multimedia content. Well, the Edge browser is okay, but still not optimised very well. And using any other desktop browser such as Chrome or Firefox is a nightmare in tablet mode.
All touch targets are too small, the scrolling is very patchy and so on and so forth. Now let’s tackle multimedia. There’s no YouTube app on the Windows 10 store. Now you might say why don't i just open YouTube on the browser?
Because on the browser again the experience is optimised for use with a mouse and keyboard and not touch. It’s just not as smooth an experience as using the official YouTube app on an Android tablet or iPad.
With companies like Apple out on a mission to ditch as many legacy ports as possible, it is refreshing to see the Miix 310 come with a SD card reader, microHDMI port, 2 USB 3.0 ports and 1 always-on USB 2.0 port.
Additionally the device supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/c and Bluetooth 4.1 for wireless data transfer.
The battery life of the Miix 310 is the highlight of the device. The device can reach MacBook Air levels when it comes to endurance.
The device lasted me around 7-8 hours on average with the maximum being a whopping 10.5 hours, which is 30 mins above even Lenovo's estimates.
The Lenovo Miix 310 is available for Rs 17,490 and makes makes an extremely value for money buy for those looking for a hybrid running Windows 10.
What confuses me is who is this 2-in-1 aimed at? The Miix 310 struggles as a laptop because of poor weight distribution, underpowered internals and small trackpad. As a tablet on the other hand the experience is marred by the iffy touch-screen and Windows 10’s inherent issues.
Those who want to use it as a tablet will be much better off buying proper tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A or the iPad Mini 2 and those who want the functionality of a laptop will be better serviced by cheaper full-fledged laptops like the Acer Aspire ES1 or the Dell Vostro V15.
However, for those looking for a portable device which can also be used for the occasional productivity use, the Miix 310 presents an affordable option.
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