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(Not so) great little thing!
on 17 January 2014
Initially I wanted to buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 10 2014 edition with its super-high resolution screen and lightness. But then I thought I didn't need another Android device when I'm already using a Galaxy Mega 6.3 as a daily driver and a more or less jobless (though ageing) Galaxy Tab 7.7...
So I went to a Currys to buy a certain Samsung TV. No connection here, sure. The TV wasn't in stock and I strolled through the aisles and spotted the Miix 10. What a great concept! A 10" tablet in a rather thin bookcase which also doubles as a keyboard, that's a lot better than those litte but very thick and heavy netbooks. The price of £329 was striking, too, but sadly it also wasn't in stock, too, anywhere. And stock seems to be a problem, John Lewis didn't have it either and Amazon came to my mind, where it was £20 more but still acceptable, given it's more than £400 elsewhere.
Cutting a long story short: I ordered it and got it the next day. I spent the time in between reading reviews, only being backed that I bought a good device. So I was prepared for what to expect when the parcel arrived.
What can I say? The battery was totally flat when the tablet arrived so charging came first. Then installing loads of updates, which - I didn't believe what I'd read here and elsewhere - took more than 3 hours and another 2 hours for the upgrade to 8.1 (in case you get an error message: install ALL available updates!).
Finally I could appreciate this little guy. The keyboard is, as stated in almost any review, stunningly brilliant despite being very thin and the keys not having a lot of travel. But they're perfectly spaced and the keyboard is big enough for being up to almost every job. It being very flat on the table makes typing even easier. Mit keyboard bends very slightly upwards on both front corners, but that might work out over time.
Folding the keyboard all the way back to the back of the tablet makes the whole package thick and doesn't make it very easy to hold, so better take the tablet off it for stand-alone operation. I also doubt the "hinge" will be up to its job for a long time when bent all the way around.
Snapping the tablet out of the case is easy, simply slighly bend the top corners over and it pops out.
Using Windows 8.1 on my laptop and being annoyed by that Metro thing (the "Start Screen") I was curious how it works on a tablet with its rather small and slow processor. What can I say: it boots up extremely quickly even having been shut down completely before. Metro does its job very very well suddenly, most of the common websites like Facebook, Google Plus etc. are available as Metro apps and work like a charm. Speaking of charms: those slide-in menus do as well do a good job on a tablet as you normally won't use a mouse (I've turned them off on my laptop as I couldn't stand them). While Metro apps work perfectly without a mouse you won't have much fun without the little rodent on the standard desktop, too small are most of the icons and buttons, hitting the right spot can be very laborious. But that's surely not the Miix's fault. I ordered a BT mouse, that should sort it out.
Battery life seems to be very good. Overall speed and snappyness is surprisingly good so far.
Overall I can't find any fault with this package, but it as long as it's available! The Miix 2 will be available soon but that will be much more expensive and also not as compact as it will come with a Ultrabook-style keyboard which adds a lot of overall thickness.
UPDATE 15 months later:
In October, after only 9 months, the Wifi board stopped working. Instead of returning it to Lenovo for a repair I stored it in the cupboard and bought a Lenovo Thinkpad 10.
In January I got it out of the cupboard, replaced the Wifi board (ordered in the USA) and got it back to work. But still, the touchscreen is rather unresponsive, an issue which I found out a few days after I bought it. Compared to the Thinkpad 10 the Miix 10 is sluggish, the keyboard is still good, but the key travel could be longer (but is even shorter on the Microsoft Surface). The screen is ok, but at 1366x768 on a 10" screen it's not really great. The microUSB port, that is covered by the keyboard, is still a gamestopper.