The main reason we prefer the “bigger” laptops over tablets is their high graphic and computing performance, the huge (in some cases) storage and the ease of use. Serious graphic performance is only needed for gaming and the processors, even those found in smartphones, have advanced sufficiently for us not to be concerned about their speed. Available disk space is increasing, and adding a MicroSD card to the equation solves the problem to some extent.
The only matter that remains to be solved is the one of convenience, and admittedly, the sensor touchscreen keyboard can’t replace the tactile feedback of the physical one. Manufacturers are currently working on the matter, searching for an effective way to implement a screen with transmuting topography, based on what elements you have on it. However, there are no breakthroughs as of yet, providing sufficient speed and a relatively cheap manufacturing process.
Until scientists figure out how to fix this problem, manufacturers of mobile devices are going to split their focus between conventional tablets and the so-called “convertibles”, which we can simply call hybrids, because of their ability, through a docking station, to convert into devices that highly resemble laptops.
One of the newest members in that field is the Lenovo Miix 3, from a company that invests a lot of effort into research and development of new types of mobile computers, some of which have become hits on the market.
Lenovo Miix 3 attempts to combine the advantages of laptops (high functionality, performance, ease of use) with the positive aspects of the tablet (light weight, portability, lack of noise from the fans). How successful the result is, we will check in this review.
Check the price of the 10-inch Lenovo MIIX 3 here: http://amzn.to/2iSiIHA
Here is a short video review made by our colleague Georgi Dobrikov, showing the specs and some of the features of the device.
What’s in the box?
Inside the Miix 3 box, along with the tablet itself, you will find the docking station, USB cable and charger, manual, and the standard surprise for Windows tablets – a product key for the Microsoft Office 365 package.
Design and construction
Design and construction in hybrid devices are the features that prove to be decisive factors when picking one model over the other. This is because most convertible devices have similar specs and performance, but build quality and design differ quite a bit.
The tablet is made out of plastic, but even so, it feels stable in your hand. The device has premium look-and-feel. The surface of the docking station is rubber coated. It has the Lenovo logo inscribed on the top side. The tabled is connected to the keyboard via magnets and a special slot. You can bend the back of the case to use it as a stand for the tablet, which is pretty useful, but the unfortunately, it is locked at a certain angle which cannot be changed.
The keyboard itself is rather small, with some keys visibly missing, but given that the screen of the device is 10.1-inch in diagonal, that doesn’t come as a surprise. The letter keys are comfortable enough in size (14.9 mm x 14.9 mm), and the keyboard uses Lenovo’s patented “AccuType” construction, so all that is required for quick and correct typing is just a little bit of getting used to. Below the keyboard, you will find a small trackpad that supports multitouch and has integrated gestures.
The design of the tablet itself is clean and simplified. At its thickest point, the device measures at 9.3 mm (0.366”) and its weight is relatively low, sitting at 556g (19.61 oz). When attached to the keyboard, which weighs 476 g (16.79 oz), the combined weight is 1032 g (2.275 lbs).
The front and the back of the device are pretty simple; there aren’t any unnecessary buttons.
On the sides of the MIIX 3 you will find an audio-combo jack, Mini HDMI port, MicroUSB port, MicroSD slot (behind a plastic cover) as well as the standard on/off button and volume rockers.
The display of Lenovo MIIX 3 (10.1) has a FullHD IPS panel with a glossy cover, model ID B101UAN01.7. The diagonal measures 10.1 inches (25.65 cm), and the resolution is 1920 x 1200 pixels. Aspect ratio is 16:10, pixel density – 224 (PPI), pixel pitch – 0.113 x 0.113 mm. When you look at the screen from a distance equal or greater than 38 cm, your eyes aren’t able to spot individual pixels, which makes the display “Retina”.
To help you evaluate image quality, here are some images of the screen taken at a 45° angle.
The measured average maximum brightness before profiling with running external power supply is 299 cd/m2, and the maximum deviation over the area is 11% (within the permissible). The average value of the color temperature, measured on a white screen and maximum brightness, is 6948K – a little cooler than the optimal 6500K (D65), but there are no unacceptable deviations.
Color Gamut Coverage (CIE)
The display of Lenovo MIIX 3 (10.1) covers 68% of the sRGB and 48% of Adobe RGB color gamuts. The incomplete coverage of sRGB will affect the accuracy of some of the colors on the Web.
We profiled the display at maximum brightness, charging the battery and D65 target color temperature. We measured a high contrast ratio – 1130:1.
The inspection of colors later indicated an average DeltaE(76) = 4.19. The accuracy isn’t the best, but it is sufficient for all applications, provided that color precision isn’t crucial.
Pulse-width modulation (PWM)
The backlight of Lenovo MIIX 3 (10.1) doesn’t emit eyesight-straining width-modulated light. Our assessment of this aspect of the device is excellent.
The graphic below, mainly of interest to gamers, illustrates the response time of the pixels in the “Black” to “White” plus “White” to “Black” mode for levels from 10% to 90% and vice versa. It is published by the panel manufacturers and is thus suitable for comparison and ranking.
We measured the Fall Time + Rise Time to be 22 ms, which is about twice as much, compared to a TN matrix display. Naturally, this is an important argument for the staying power of TN in many gaming machines.
The display of Lenovo MIIX 3 (10.1) has high resolution and contrast, comfortable viewing angles and adequate brightness levels. You might experience difficulty using the device only in direct sunlight. The screen is “friendly” to users’ eyesight due to the lack of aggressive ripples throughout the whole brightness level range.
If we assume a distance of 58cm (~23in) between the human eye and the notebook monitor, then normal (20/20) vision would require a pixel density of at least 150ppi in order to interpret an image as perfectly detailed.
|Lenovo Miix 3 10.1-inch, AUO B101UAN01.7, 1920 x 1200 pixels||224.17|
|Lenovo Miix 2 10″ 10.1-inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels||224||-0.08%|
|Toshiba Satellite Click Mini (L9W-B-102) 8.9-inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels||254.40||+13.49%|
|ASUS Transformer Book T100 10.1-inch, 1366 x 768 pixels||155||-30.86%|
Higher panel brightness is of key importance for visual comfort when working outside or in a brightly lit room.
|Lenovo Miix 3 10.1-inch, AUO B101UAN01.7, 1920 x 1200 pixels||299|
|Lenovo Miix 2 10″ 10.1-inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels||381||+27.42%|
|Toshiba Satellite Click Mini (L9W-B-102) 8.9-inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels||326||+9.03%|
|ASUS Transformer Book T100 10.1-inch, 1366 x 768 pixels||212||-29.1%|
Delta E is a CIE measurement unit of color difference. Higher values indicate that the display produces less accurate colors. (lower results are desirable).
|Lenovo Miix 3 10.1-inch, AUO B101UAN01.7, 1920 x 1200 pixels||4.19|
|Lenovo Miix 2 10″ 10.1-inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels||1.91||-54.42%|
|Toshiba Satellite Click Mini (L9W-B-102) 8.9-inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels||2.05||-51.07%|
|ASUS Transformer Book T100 10.1-inch, 1366 x 768 pixels||3.3||-21.24%|
The sRGB color gamut, introduced as a standard for the Web, shows the percentage of colors used on the Web that can be displayed on the screen of the device being tested (higher values are better).
|Lenovo Miix 3 10.1-inch, AUO B101UAN01.7, 1920 x 1200 pixels||68|
|Lenovo Miix 2 10″ 10.1-inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels||70||+2.94%|
|Toshiba Satellite Click Mini (L9W-B-102) 8.9-inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels||67||-1.47%|
|ASUS Transformer Book T100 10.1-inch, 1366 x 768 pixels||71||+4.41%|
Lenovo MIIX 3 has a 2 cell, 25 Wh Lithium-Polymer battery with a capacity of 6800 mAh. According to the manufacturer, it should be able to last for about 7 hours, but since we are not aware of at what conditions this result achieved in, we ran our own tests at 120cd/m2 brightness setting and turned on Wi-Fi. (Note that the tablet was connected to the keyboard, which additionally drains the battery.
For this test we use our own custom script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
Lenovo MIIX 3 (10.1”) holds on for 250 minutes (4 hours and 10 minutes) of browsing the web.
This test is run under the same conditions every time using a 720p HD video.
The result is similar – 268 minutes (4 hours and 28 minutes).
We used the Metro Last Light benchmark running on a loop with the minimum graphic settings to achieve accurate simulation.
228 minutes (3 hours and 48 minutes) is not a satisfying result, considering the chip and OS.
|Processor||Intel Atom Z3735F (4 cores, 1.33 – 1.83GHz, 2MB cache)|
|Graphics card||Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)|
|Display||10.1-inch IPS multitouch display at 1920 x 1200|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi|
|Battery||up to 7 hours|
|Thickness||9.3 mm (0.366″)|
Lenovo Miix 3 configurations
Lenovo MIIX 3 comes with a preinstalled, fully functional Windows 8.1 operating system with Bing, no different from any PC or laptop setup. You can install and work with Word, Excel, Chrome, Skype and any other Windows app you want. The system is sufficiently optimized to allow applications to run smoothly. The “Bing Smart Search” function is available only in Windows 8.1. It offers a faster way of working and is created to help you get the most out of the multitouch capabilities on your tablet. With just one search, you get accurate results from the Web, your tablet, your apps, as well as the cloud.
The SoC in Lenovo MIIX 3 (10.1”) is Intel atom Z3735F. It is power-efficient and has 4 cores clocked at 1.33 – 1.83 GHz. The performance and energy efficiency have been improved compared to its predecessor, thanks to the optimized 22nm low-power design process with Tri-Gate transistors.
The cores of the processor are based on the new Silvermont architecture. The performance per clock is increased by about 50 percent, thanks to the increased utilization of the pipeline and many other improvements. Sadly, the Hyper-Threading feature found in the previous generation has been removed. Other Improvements worth mentioning are the support for new instruction set extensions such as SSE 4.1 and 4.2 as well as AE-NI (depending on the model).
Z3635F is significantly faster than the previous Atoms like Z2760 thanks to the 4 CPU cores and improved performance per clock. It handles everyday tasks such as Web browsing and woking with MS Office quite adequately, but it can’t handle the pressure of modern games or very complex software. The quad-core processor has a Bay Trail graphic accelerator. It is based on the Intel Gen7 architecture, found in the Ivy Bridge (HD Graphics 4000) series. The GPU is slower than the HD Graphics of Ivy Bridge due to having only 4 execution units and relatively low clock speed (646 MHz).
The whole SoC consumes under 4 watts, which makes the chip perfect for tablets with passive cooling.
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
It’s only a matter of time before more and more consumers learn about the advantages of this type of devices and start trading in their conventional laptops for hybrids. The so-called “ultrabook” devices – light and thin notebook devices, will always have their place in the marketplace.
Lenovo’s MIIX 3 (10.1”) offers the portability that we need, along with relatively high performance for a passive cooling device.
The thing that we didn’t enjoy about the hybrid was the locked viewing angle when docked to the keyboard, which can be a problem if you want to use your device while lying in bed. Overall, we are satisfied with the development of convertible devices, and MIIX 3 (10.1”) is a wonderful example of that.
Check the price of the 10-inch Lenovo MIIX 3 here: http://amzn.to/2iSiIHA
- Simple and clean design
- FullHD IPS display
- Docking station
- Good performance in everyday tasks
- Relatively good battery life
- Low available storage
- Locked viewing angle while docked