Lenovo Miix 720 hands-on review

Although it’s been around for a good while, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 has some new competition from Lenovo. At CES 2017 we took a look at the firm’s latest 2-in-1 hybrid laptop tablet so here’s our Lenovo Miix 720 hands-on review which features a Quad HD+ screen and Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processor. See also: Best 2-in-1 laptops 2017.

The market for Windows devices might have become a little more boring in recent years but Lenovo has done it’s best to excite with the Miix 720 describing it as “an all-purpose digital vehicle with state-of-the-art components that not so much blur as altogether eradicate the lines separating today’s work hard, play hard mentality.” 

Lenovo Miix 720 review: Price and release date

The Miix 720 was unveiled in Las Vegas with a hoard of other new laptops and will have a price starting at $999 (around £800 converted) which includes the keyboard. That’s a little more than the Surface Pro 4 but the Miix 720 has up to date specs and features. 

Release date wise, the Lenovo Miix 720 will hit shelves in April – that’s fine but watch out for a possible Surface Pro 5 by or around that time.

Lenovo Miix 720 review: Design and build

Not much has changed when it comes to design and build compared with the Miix 700 Lenovo launched back in 2015 at IFA. The device is extremely similar to the Surface Pro 4 in concept and you could understandably say Lenovo is copying Microsoft here. 

Whether or not it’s a clone, the Surface Pro 4 (and previous models) is a fantastic piece of technology so it’s a compliment to Microsoft that so many have tried to emulate it. After all, the Miix 720, like others, is a Windows machine so that’s good for Microsoft and competition is good for development.

Lenovo Miix 720 champagne

With the Surface range, Microsoft set a high standard for build quality and Lenovo has impressively matched it with the Miix 720. The device is great looking and the metal alloys chassis is both light and strong.

As you’d expect, the backlit keyboard attaches and detaches as you please very easily with magnets (just the right strength) and like the Surface Pro 4 can be set at an angle if you don’t like typing on it completely flat.

See also: Surface Pro 3 vs Surface Pro 4 comparison.

At the back you’ve got the kickstand which holds the device up when on a flat surface (or potentially your legs but that’s pretty awkward). As with the Miix 700, the 720 has a stylish watch strap style hinge which we really like – it can adjust up to 150 degrees so you get the right viewing angle.

Portability is the idea here and the Lenovo Miix 720 14.6mm and 1.1kg when the tablet and keyboard are together. The tablet itself weighs 780g which is similar to the Pro 4.

The Miix 720 will be available in two colours: Champagne and Iron Grey.

Lenovo Miix 720 design

Lenovo Miix 720 review: Specs and features

The screen remains at 12in, slightly smaller that Microsoft’s rival, but the resolution has jumped up from 2160x1440 to 2880x1920. That’s better than the 2736x1824 resolution of the Surface Pro 4.

We doubt anyone will be disappointed with the crisp Quad HD+ display – it’s bright, colourful and responsive.

Many users, particularly designers and illustrators, will also want to make use of the optional Active Pen 2 stylus ($59, available in February). This now has a click button on top and twice the sensitivity of the original thanks to an impressive 4,096 levels of pressure.

It might be a bit more expensive than the Pro 4 but as well as the higher resolution scree, the Miix 720 comes powered by Intel’s latest 7th-gen Core i7 processors in the highest-spec model. The Kaby Lake range of chips is new for 2017 and you can expect top-notch performance. To go with the processor is Intel HD Integrated Graphics 620 which can support 4K video. 

The Lenovo Miix 720 tablet supports up to 16GB of RAM. That’s the same as the Surface Pro 4 but it pushes forward with faster DDR4 DRAM. The internal storage capacity maxxes out at 1TB.

Lenovo Miix 720 laptop tablet

What we don’t know, sadly, is what specs you’ll get for the starting price of $999. We imagine it will be something similar to the Pro 4 which starts at 4GB RAM, 128GB storage and a Core m3 processor.

The device has a 1Mp front camera with infrared, allowing users to log via Windows Hello face recognition. It also has a 5Mp rear camera should you need it.

Ports are an area that has changed a bit since the Miix 700. This time around the 720 has a USB-C port, which is also a high-speed Thunderbolt 3 port to connect external peripherals like displays and storage devices. Other ports include a USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, a Micro-SD slot and an audio combo jack. Wireless connectivity includes 11.ac Wi-Fi with 2x2 MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1.

Last but not least is battery life and Lenovo claims you’ll get up to eight hours of juice from the Miix 720 based on MobileMark 2014. You can handily charge devices like your phone from the tablet should you need to.

You’ll get a choice of Windows 10 Home or Pro and the Miix 720 comes pre-loaded with software such as Lenovo PhotoMaster 2.0, Dropbox and McAfee LiveSafe.

Lenovo Miix 720: Specs

  • Windows 10 Home or Pro
  • Up to Intel Kaby Lake Core i7 processor
  • Intel HD Integrated Graphics 620
  • Up to 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Up to 1TB storage
  • 12in display Quad HD+ (2880x1920)
  • USB-C (Thunderbolt 3)
  • USB 3.0
  • USB 2.0
  • Micro-HDMI
  • Micro-USB
  • Micro-SD
  • 1Mp front camera with IR for Windows Hello
  • 5Mp rear camera
  • Micro-SD
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Battery life up to eight hours
  • 780g (1.1kg with keyboard)
  • 14.6mm with keyboard
  • Windows 10 Home or Pro
  • Up to Intel Kaby Lake Core i7 processor
  • Intel HD Integrated Graphics 620
  • Up to 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Up to 1TB storage
  • 12in display Quad HD+ (2880x1920)
  • USB-C (Thunderbolt 3)
  • USB 3.0
  • USB 2.0
  • Micro-HDMI
  • Micro-USB
  • Micro-SD
  • 1Mp front camera with IR for Windows Hello
  • 5Mp rear camera
  • Micro-SD
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Battery life up to eight hours
  • 780g (1.1kg with keyboard)
  • 14.6mm with keyboard

OUR VERDICT

There’s no doubt that the Lenovo Miix 720 is an impressive Surface Pro 4 rival. It might be a bit more expensive but includes the keyboard and has the latest specs including faster DDR4 memory and Intel’s new 7th-gen Kaby Lake processor. We’d like to know what the base price gets you and there’s also the complication of the upcoming Surface Pro 5.