Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 10 review

Windows 8 in a thin tablet

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The Lenovo Miix 10 is a tablet that runs full Windows 8 (not Windows RT), yet is less than a centimetre thick. This is thanks to Intel's latest Atom chips, known as Clover Trail, which are designed to offer the kind of battery life you expect from tablets, combined with the power to run normal Windows programs.

Specifically, the Lenovo Miix uses the Intel Atom Z2760 processor, which is a 1.8GHz dual-core chip, though it does feature Hyper-Threading, so can act as four virtual cores.

Lenovo IdeaPad Miix review

Now, when you consider that some recent laptops that use Intel's shiny new Haswell chips, such as the MacBook Air, run at a much lower clock speed than this while being dual-core, you might think that this is a fairly powerful machine.

However, the chips used here are much simpler than full laptop processors, such as those used in the Surface Pro. This is the exact same CPU used in the Samsung Ativ Smart PC and Acer Iconia W510, meaning that it's roughly equivalent in processor power to the A6X chips used by Apple in the iPad 4.

Lenovo IdeaPad Miix review

Similarly, the graphics capabilities of this machine are not in line with Intel's integrated graphics in its more powerful chips. The Atom Z2760 offers effectively lower-end smartphone graphics in the form of the PowerVR SGX545. In terms of raw power, it's a less capable GPU than the one in the iPad mini.

This is all backed up with 2GB of RAM, which is very favourable compared to other tablets - only other Windows tablets and the likes of the Nexus 10 match it - but it's still only half what we'd consider to be the minimum we'd expect in a laptop.

Lenovo IdeaPad Miix review

We'll go over what all these specs produce in practice in the Performance section, but basically expectations need to be managed here: as a Windows machine, this simply isn't equipped to be much of an entertainment centre, or a machine for intensive apps.

For storage, it's equipped with a 64GB SSD, which enables it to wake quickly, but isn't very large for containing Windows 8 as well as your files - there's less than 30GB of actual free storage. This is typical for this kind of machine, and the Lenovo Miix does at least come with a microSD card slot, so you can add some extra storage yourself.

Lenovo IdeaPad Miix review

The 10-inch multi-touch screen is an IPS panel, so should work excellently at just about any angle, with a resolution of 1366 x 768. This again is normal for this kind of machine, but it lacks sorely behind the high-res displays in the iPad 4, Google Nexus 7 or Nexus 10.

As far as battery life goes, it's quoted for 10 hours of use. These figures are usually based on turning the brightness down and other power-saving measures, of course, but it's the sort of time we're looking for from a tablet.