Best Lenovo Miix 520 Laptop Black Friday 2020 Deals

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The Lenovo Miix 520 ($999) is gunning for the Microsoft Surface Pro, looking to provide most of the top features of this iconic Windows tablet at a fraction of the purchase price. It’s a hard task, made even harder by the actual fact that lots of other PC makers are trying to do a similar thing. But there is no question that it’s an advisable pursuit, because the the high price of a respectably configured Surface Pro could very well be its most crucial drawback. Lenovo succeeds on the main fronts-a powerful eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor and a good stylus, for instance-but does not improve on some typically common tablet drawbacks, such as for example poor battery life and uncomfortable ergonomics for lap use. Still, the Miix 520 is evidently the very best midrange Windows tablet you can purchase right now.

Flexible Design


The Miix 520 is minimally changed from its predecessor, last year’s Miix 510. Both are Windows tablets with included smart keyboard covers. The cover protects the Miix 520’s 12.2-inch, full HD (1,920 by 1,080) screen if you are not using it, and its own Pogo-style connector magnetically detaches when you wish to utilize the device in Tablet mode. The complete package is built to compete as much with traditional laptops and 2-in-1s much like high-end tablets, especially the 12.9-inch Ipad Pro using its optional Smart Keyboard Cover.

With keyboard attached, the Miix 520 weighs 2.65 pounds and measures 0.6 by 11.8 by 8.1 inches (HWD). That’s marginally slimmer and lighter compared to the Miix 510, which is 0.8 inches thick and weighs 2.71 pounds using its keyboard. While you would definitely examine these tablets to be thin and light, neither is really as feathery as the lightest conventional notebooks, including the 2.45-pound HP Spectre 13 or the 2-pound LG Gram 13. In addition they aren’t as thin as conventional tablets; the iPad Pro is 0.27 inches thick, weighed against the Miix 520’s 0.4-inch thickness without the keyboard. Essentially, you are trading somewhat of portability for a number of flexibility.

And the Miix 520 certainly is flexible. Its keyboard has two magnetized areas, in order to make usage of it flat on a table, or you can prop it up therefore the keys sit at hook angle to the screen. It’s a lot more versatile compared to the iPad’s Smart Keyboard, for example, that may only lay flat. Because the Miix 520’s keyboard is indeed thin, you’ll notice quite a lttle bit of flex if it is angled, being that the table isn’t supporting it, however the keys themselves will be the same large, durable kinds we’ve come to anticipate from Lenovo. They’re even backlit.

Whether you’re using the Miix 520 with or without the keyboard, you can extend the kickstand that’s included in the trunk of the tablet. There are no detents on the attractive watchband-style hinges, which signifies that you can prop up the tablet at practically any angle. It’s sturdy, too-so strong that I noticed minimal screen bounce when I tapped the screen with my fingers or wrote onto it using the included Lenovo Active Pen 2. Screen bounce is a universal problem with conventional touch-screen laptops.

There is one major good thing about conventional laptops that the Miix 520 can’t come near matching, however: It generally does not comfortably fit on your own lap. Actually, when I tried, the stand kept slipping from my knees as I typed and moused around on the tiny but accurate multi-touch touchpad, and I had to seize the most notable of the tablet to keep it from sliding off my lap and onto the ground.

Limited Ports


With laptop computer pieces and a stand included in a tablet-sized enclosure, it’s no wonder that Lenovo had little room left for ports. Whatever you get is a USB 3.0 port, a USB-C port, an music input/output jack, and a connector for the energy cable. The audio tracks port is situated on the proper edge, next to the energy button and a volume rocker, as the other three ports are on the left edge. That side gets especially crowded by using the holder for the included Active Pen 2, a plastic tab that plugs in to the single USB 3.0 port. Not merely must you quit usage of the USB 3.0 port when the holder is installed, however when it’s holding the pen, in addition, it blocks the energy jack and the USB-C port. It’s an unhealthy design which has us desiring the strong magnets that contain the Microsoft Surface Pen to the top Pro. That’s too bad, for the reason that pen itself works flawlessly for sketching and writing on the screen, and you could also use its buttons with a Bluetooth connection for basic navigation within apps.

The Miix 520 itself has both Bluetooth 4.1 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Our review unit, which may be the only configuration you can buy, also has a micro SIM card slot tucked under the kickstand, though it lacks a cellular modem to take good thing about it. Currently, cellular-equipped versions of the Miix 520 aren’t accessible in the US.

The front- and rear-facing cameras on the Miix 520 work fine for everyday Skype sessions with members of the family, although the fixed-focus 5MP front shooter requires you to carry the tablet a set distance from your own face for the clearest picture. The speakers are on the lower-left and lower-right sides of the tablet, and deliver the so-so music that you’d expect from a tablet. Music and voice tracks sound more rich on the iPad Pro.

Admirably Equipped


Our review unit is well-equipped for a tablet. As well as the eighth-generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor running at 1.6GHz, in addition, it includes 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD. Other midrange and high-end tablets offer similar specs and prices; you may get a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Apple’s A10X processor and 256GB of storage for $899. THE TOP Pro is a notable exception here-its $799 entry-level version includes just 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, and a Core m3 processor. A better-configured one is a lot more expensive; the top Pro we tested costs $2,199 and posseses an Intel Core i7-7660U processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. So it is clear that with the Miix 520, Lenovo is wanting to contend with both Microsoft and Apple by offering more versatility than you may get from the iPad Pro and similar performance you’d expect from a Surface Pro.

Does it succeed? Unequivocally, yes. It outscored its main opponents on almost our synthetic and real-world benchmarking tests. The Miix 520’s score of 3,436 on the PCMark 8 benchmark, which spits out a proprietary score to compare videoconferencing, web browsing, and several other common PC tasks, shows the amount of Intel’s eighth-generation Core processor architecture has improved. It’s leaps and bounds prior to the sixth-gen Core i5 that powers the Miix 510 (2,820), the seventh-gen Core i7 that powers the HP Spectre x2 (2,865) and it’s really even faster compared to the Microsoft Surface Pro (3,032).

OK, you could be saying, however the Surface Pro is for professionals, so that it probably performs better on specialized tasks such as for example image editing and video transcoding, right? Wrong. The Miix 520 drastically outscored the top Pro on our Handbrake video-encoding test (1 minute and 18 seconds vs. 2:16) and the Cinebench 3D rendering benchmark (606 vs. 407), and practically matched it on our assortment of Photoshop image-editing tasks (3:20 vs. 3:15). Also keep in mind that the top Pro configuration referenced here has double the memory and is a lot more than $1,000 costlier compared to the Miix 520.

There are two minor downsides to the Miix 520’s configuration (well, three, if you count its dismal gaming performance, but no Windows tablet offers acceptable gaming graphics performance). At 7 hours and 32 minutes, its battery life is a lot shorter than what you’d expect from conventional ultraportable laptops, a few of which push 20 hours. That is clearly a byproduct of putting high-powered pieces right into a tablet; its competitors, like the Surface Pro, offer roughly the same battery life. Secondly, we noticed evidently audible fan noise when performing processor-intensive tasks, such as for example streaming video from a website. The fanless iPad Pro includes a clear advantage here.

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