Hands-on: Lenovo's Miix 700 looks and feels like a Surface, but better

If you like Lenovo keyboards, though, you should take a look at this.

The Lenovo Ideapad Miix 700 is simply a Lenovo Surface – just a bit better.

That might not be the most intriguing way of introducing Lenovo’s Surface clone, but it’s the most accurate. Place them side by side, eliminate some of the external markings, and you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two.

But which Surface? It depends on which one you’re comparing Lenovo's tablet against. The Miix 700 is a 12-inch tablet, the same form factor as the Surface Pro 3. But with processors reportedly ranging up to the new Skylake Core m7 (Lenovo demonstrated it with a Core m5 at its stand at IFA) it might be more on par with the Surface 3. The Miix 700 can be configured with up to 8GB of memory, and will run Windows 10.

As for the price, well, it’s somewhere in the middle: $499 for the Surface 3, $799 for the Surface Pro 3, and a starting price of $699 for the Miix 700. We’ve heard that it should be out in the United States this fall, most likely November.

lenovo miix 700 1

Why this matters: We’ve yet to see the Surface Pro 4 or Surface 4 from Microsoft (reportedly, that’s all happening in November). But for now, Lenovo is offering a cheaper Surface Pro 3 that steps down a bit in performance. Yes, it’s a Surface clone – but don’t mock Lenovo for that. I suspect that this was done with Microsoft’s blessing, as Microsoft has indicated that it plans to blaze a trail with new products to empower the industry, and not just itself.

Surface, reMiixed

If you’ve ever used a Surface, you’ll be right at home with the Miix 700. Yes, there’s a kickstand, with the full range of motion as found in the Surface Pro 3. The Miix also adds the styling of the Yoga hinge, although that doesn’t seem to make any functional difference.

The screen resolution is 2160x1400, the same as the Surface Pro 3. Even the way that the keyboard folds back and connects via a long rectangular hinge is similar to the way that Microsoft does things. If I had to guess, Lenovo likely packed that space behind the tablet screen with a battery. With a 4.5-watt Core M chip hiding behind a larger, SP3-style screen, I’d estimate the Miix 700's battery life to be pretty darn good – at least 8 hours.

And that keyboard is decidedly Lenovo. Instead of the closely spaced keys of the Surface and Surface Pro Type Covers, the Miix 700's keys are smaller, spaced out a bit, and offer much more resistance. I can’t say which you’ll prefer; my fingers have become used to gliding over the smooth expanse of the Surface keyboards, but Lenovo fans will undoubtedly find much to like here.

Reportedly, Microsoft plans to launch a Surface Pro 4 and possibly a Surface 4 at an event in October. It’s a safe bet that the next Surface Pro 4 will add an Intel Skylake chip, and thus more performance. That’s going to help it pull away from the Surface Pro 3 and the Miix.

If you own a Surface 3 or a Surface Pro 3, keep them – they’re solid products. But if you’re interested in a new Surface-style PC, definitely add Lenovo’s tablet to the, um, mix.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags IFAtablets

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?