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Lenovo Miix 510 hands-on review: A new Surface competitor

Lenovo Miix 510 hands-on review: Lenovo’s IFA 2016 showcase brought a ton of new tech to the table, including the company’s Microsoft Surface competitor, the new Miix 510.

Not unlike Microsoft’s detachable 2-in-1 line, the Miix sports a finely milled 9.9mm thick aluminium unibody with an integrated kickstand that you can position at any angle through its 150-degree range. Borrowing premium elements from the company’s own Yoga line, the kickstand’s hinge uses a similar watchband-style design comprised of 280 individual pieces too.

The back of the 510 is where you’ll find a 5-megapixel snapper, whilst the sides feature hardware controls, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a full-sized USB 3.0 port and an always-on Type-C USB port so that you can charge up other devices, like your smartphone, even when the Miix 510 is turned off – a smart inclusion that some of Lenovo’s other IFA announcements feature. The sides also house stereo speaker grilles, under which lie drivers backed up on the software side by Dolby Audio and vents for cooling (as the 510 isn’t fanless).

On the front, you’re presented with a 12.2-inch Full HD+ IPS multi-touch panel with a 1920×1200 resolution and Gorilla Glass for protection. The screen looks fantastic head on, but we did notice a touch of brightness drop-off and a slight loss of contrast at more extreme viewing angles. Lenovo has also added support for its (bundled) Active Pen stylus, or if you don’t need the pressure sensitive element, the company’s AnyPen functionality so that you can doodle with whatever implement you fancy.

Above the display sits the obligatory (2-megapixel) front-facing camera for video calling, bolstered by the inclusion of twin noise-cancelling microphones, but in a pinch, you can snap a selfie with it too.

The Miix 510 also comes bundled with a detachable mechanical keyboard, which magnetically snaps to its base and supports both a flat and raised typing position. The keyboard itself is predominantly hewn from plastic and although rigid enough to provide a reliable typing experience, does feature some level of flex when typing.

The keys themselves are backlit and offer an impressive amount of travel for such a thing keyboard and as this is a 2-in-1 you can simply fold it upwards to protect the screen when not in use.

On the inside, the 510 brings some respectable hardware to the table. You can spec it to support up to a 6th-generation (Skylake) Intel Core i7 processor, with up to 8GB of DDR4 RAM and up to a 1TB SSD. The 510’s design also conceals a microSD slot for easy expansion and depending on release market will be made available with LTE connectivity too. All that grunt means this 2-in-1 may suit ‘creatives’ always on the go, to borrow from the press release handbook, or at the very least, media junkies who like a tablet with a smattering of productivity capabilities thrown in there too.

The 39WHr battery charges via a conventional dedicated power port and Lenovo quotes battery life at up to seven and a half hours on a single charge.

Running full Windows 10, the Miix 510 comes pre-loaded with a gamut of own brand software including access to the company’s own App Explorer app store and Cloud Disk remote storage solution. As ever you can also expect a Microsoft Office trial to reap the benefits of its productivity abilities at purchase too.

The Lenovo Miix 510 hits stores in October, starting at £699. That places it squarely in the same territory as Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, which doesn’t ship with its compatible Type Cover keyboard. Food for thought if you’re in the market for a hybrid like this.

Watch our hands-on review of the Lenovo Miix 510 here:

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