Lenovo miix 510
Lenovo Miix 510 Review
It’s been over a year since Microsoft has released its Surface Pro 4, and the lack of a 2016 refresh means there’s room for a new king of detachable two-in-one laptops. The Lenovo Miix 510 looks like a worthy successor to the crown. The durable aluminum design is understated, yet attractive. The display is colorful with a clear picture, and under the hood is a competitive collection of specs at nearly half the price of the Surface Pro 4.
With all of that, you’d expect the Lenovo Miix 510 to be a shoo-in for the next must buy detachable. Unfortunately, all of that is held back by lackluster battery life. The Lenovo Miix 510 runs incredibly well, but it doesn’t run for very long.
Lenovo Miix 510 Build and Design
The Lenovo Miix 510 offers a premium look and feel, with a beautiful silver magnesium-alloy unibody design. The tablet is rounded at the corners and slants outward towards the screen. The silver on silver “Lenovo” lettering adds a nice understated look to the back panel. Below that sits a pair of mechanical watchband hinges. The hinges provide consistent reliable resistance while remaining easy to maneuver. This makes it possible to prop the tablet up at virtually any angle you want.
In addition to the tablet, the Miix 510 ships with a detachable keyboard. The back of the keyboard is coated with a synthetic faux leather finish. The material won’t fool onlookers, but it’s still pleasing to senses and helps to create a clean complete aesthetic when the keyboard is closed up against the display.
Along the bottom of the tablet is a magnetic dock, that guides the prongs of the keyboard to quickly lock into place. This makes connecting and disconnecting the keyboard a breeze. No guiding is necessary, simply hover the device over the metal prongs and the magnets will do all the heavy lifting.
Measuring 11.8 x 8.1 x 0.6-inches and weighing 2.68 pounds with the keyboard attachment the Lenovo Miix is relatively lightweight and portable for a two-in-one. The device comfortably fits on your lap, and hardly takes up any space in a bag. With the detached tablet weighing close to a full two pounds the device can feel a bit unwieldy for a tablet, but that’s the norm, as both the Acer Switch Alpha 12 and HP Spectre x360 weigh in at 2.8 pounds and 2.7 pounds respectively.
Lenovo Miix 510 Ports and Features
With its limited real-estate, the Lenovo Miix 510 doesn’t offer an extensive suite of ports, but it does manage to cover the bare essentials. The left side of the device houses a USB 3.0, a USB Type-C port, and a power connector. The right side features the power button, independent volume controls, and an audio combo jack.
The Lenovo Miix 510 also offers an optional Lenovo Active Pen stylus, which is sold at a $40 premium. The stylus itself is battery powered and offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. Unfortunately, the unit that NBR tested did not come outfitted with the stylus, but it’s easy to see how the device’s watchband design is conducive to creatives. Even at wide angles, the hinge holds its tension, allowing you to apply pressure without moving the display.
Lenovo Miix 510 Screen and Speakers
The Lenovo Miix features a 12.2-inch FHD (1920 x 1200) resolution IPS touch display. The first thing I noticed when looking at the Miix were the chunky bezels, they are a bit thicker than the ones on Microsoft Surface Pro 4. It’s not unseemly by any means, but I couldn’t help but wish Lenovo found a way to access more of that valuable screen real estate.
It’s not all bad news, the Miix 510 boasts excellent color contrast and a clear picture. NBR was impressed by how well the device captured the grit and grime of the red sand metropolis in the opening shot of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer. Viewing angles are also surprisingly flexible, with images holding up well past 100 degrees without any noticeable color loss or distortion.
There is one caveat, the screen doesn’t perform all that great in heavily lit areas. The panel’s reflective nature is in large part due to its limited brightness. Measuring at 307 nits the Lenovo Miix 510 falls well behind the Acer Switch Alpha 12 (432 nits) and the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (382 nits). Typically 307 nits brightness isn’t all that bad, but as a tablet and a drawing device the Miix 510 will often find itself at a flat orientation with its screen pointing upwards towards the ceiling. With overhead lighting, the Miix 510 produced a noticeable glossy sheen and colors appeared slightly washed out. This is a relatively small gripe, but it does separate the Miix 510 from the higher-end two-in-one tablets.
The Lenovo Miix 510 doesn’t produce much in the way of sound. The two-in-one tablet is suitable for filling a small sized room with audio but will struggle to do much else. While the device does struggle with amplitude, it does manage to capture sound accurately. NBR was impressed how clear the dueling guitar and violin combo of Duo Sonidos rang out in the piece Histoire du Tango – Nightclub 1960.
Lenovo Miix 510 Keyboard and Touchpad
The Lenovo Folio keyboard isn’t all that bad, as far as detachable two-in-one keyboards go. The peripheral pales in comparison to standard clamshell keyboards, but it’s still more than serviceable. Along the top edge the keyboard there’s a magnetic strip, that lets you lock the keyboard at an incline if you want. The miix features large plastic Chiclet-style keys with an impressive 1.34mm of travel. That certainly makes it one of the deeper key travels that we’ve seen from a detachable. Feedback is also pretty solid. Within a few minutes of using the device, I found myself able to get into a comfortable typing groove.
As with most detachable keyboards, there is a substantial amount of give. When resting your hands on the keyboard it’s not uncommon to feel the entire thing give, especially when striking the center keys. This really only proves to be a mild discomfort. The reduced size and placement of the “right shift” key next to the “upward arrow” key also proved a bit awkward. It took me a few days to get comfortable with that layout, as I’d often find myself striking the arrow key instead of the intended right shift when typing.
A small touchpad is located directly below the keyboard’s spacebar. The small hard plastic pad left me feeling a bit claustrophobic. The limited travel and small size mean that you’ll need to employ several swipes to cross the page. In terms of performance, the Lenovo Miix 510 excels. Swipes, clicks, and multi-finger gestures all read consistently without delay.
Lenovo Miix 510 Performance
Armed with a 2.3GHz sixth generation Intel Core i5-6200U CPU, Intel HD Graphics 520, 8GB of DDR4, and a 256GB PCIe SSD the Lenovo Miix 510 offers competitive performance for it’s $750 price tag. If you’re looking for a more affordable option you may want to consider the base model, which sports a 2.3GHz sixth generation Intel Core i3-6100U, 4GB of DDR4, and a smaller 128GB PCIe SSD and is currently listed for $600.
Similar to other high-end two-in-ones the Miix primarily focuses on productivity. In that arena the Miix 510 accells. The machine’s responsive PCIe SSD allows the device to boot in seconds and programs and files load in a near instant. The powerful processor and ample RAM storage also make the Miix a great multi-tasking tool. While testing the device NBR was able to run 10 active Google Chrome tabs along with two HD video streams without any lag or drop in performance. The integrated graphics are suitable for simpler visual tasks, such as video playback and HD video streaming. More demanding processes such as gaming and 4K video streaming will prove to be too much for this device.
The Lenovo Miix 510 review unit that NBR tested had the following specifications:
- Windows 10
- 12.2-inch FHD (1920 x 1200) resolution touch display
- Intel Core i5 6200U 2.3GHz
- Intel HD Graphics 520
- 8GB DDR4
- 256GB PCIe SSD
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.1 x 0.4 inches (0.6-inches with keyboard)
- Weight: 1.98 pounds (2.65 pounds with keyboard)
- Price: $750
Lenovo Miix 510 Benchmarks
PCMark8 Home (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for general activities from web browsing and video streaming to typing documents and playing games (higher scores mean better performance):
PCMark8 Work (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for work-related productivity tasks (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark 11 measures the overall gaming performance of the GPU (higher scores mean better performance):
CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:
Lenovo Miix 510 Heat and Noise
The Lenovo Miix 510 remains relatively cool even under duress. After streaming HD video for a full 45 minutes the back panel of the Miix was still only slightly warm. NBR believes this has a lot to do with the fact that there is throttling going on under the hood. Depending on your performance needs that may be a deal breaker, but with most productivity apps NBR didn’t notice any real world significant performance drops. However, if you need to eek out every ounce of performance it’s something to consider.
Lenovo Miix 510 Battery Life
To test battery life, we used Futuremark’s PowerMark benchmark in balanced mode. The test consists of a combination of automated web browsing, word processing, gaming and video playback workloads. The test is far more strenuous than typical web browsing alone, measuring the machine under a litany of scenarios to better simulate high-stress usage. With the test being far more demanding the scores are understandably lower than what you’ll experience just checking Facebook or watching Netflix.
PowerMark “Balanced” battery life test results listed in minutes (higher scores mean better life):
Here we have the Achilles heel of the Lenovo Miix 510. The Miix ran for 2 hours and 58 minutes before shutting down. With our tests being a bit more strenuous than general use you can expect to get upwards of 5 hours of battery life on a single charge, putting it well below Lenovo’s estimated 8 hours of battery life. While the Miix’s battery life isn’t atrocious it’s clearly a step back from its predecessors. One of the main draws of this category is its portability. Ultimately all of that is moot if you need to be tethered to a power cord.
Lenovo Miix 510 Final Thoughts
If Lenovo had hit their battery life projections this would likely be the best detachable two-in-one on the market. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The Lenovo Miix 510 is still a great device it’s own right. Save for the somewhat thick bezel, NBR absolutely loved the design. The unibody aluminum chassis and faux leather keyboard both look and feel great, and no one in the industry designs better hinges than Lenovo. The specs to price range are also on point, though the clear throttling issues may dissuade some users.
However, the biggest hurdle for the Lenovo Miix 510 is the Acer Switch Alpha 12. Both laptops hit that $750 price point, but the Alpha has a brighter display with higher resolution and slightly more consistent performance. It’s worth noting that the Alpha actually has even worse battery life than the Miix 510, but the difference isn’t all that much.
Still, if you’re looking to eek out a few extra minutes of battery life and want something more affordable than the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, than the Lenovo Miix 510 is a solid choice.
- Attractive design
- Strong performance
- Sensitive to light
- Weak battery life
Lenovo Miix 510 review
Because we’re looking at the Intel Core i5 variant of the Miix 510 here, performance isn’t really an issue. There’s plenty of ‘everyday’ power on offer.
Naturally, you’re not talking about gaming performance, but between the fast PCIe SSD and the processor, there was no issue with any kind of everyday tasks we tried.
Plus there’s plenty to like in terms of entertainment performance and we found the Miix 510 genuinely likeable for watching movies on with the kickstand.
Here’s how the Lenovo Miix 510 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
3DMark: Sky Diver: 3,269; Fire Strike: 761; Time Spy: Couldn't run Cinebench CPU: 323 points; Graphics: 42.11 fps Geekbench: 3110 (single-core); 6570 (multi-core) PCMark 8 (Home Test): 2515 points PCMark 8 Battery Life: 2 hours and 57 minutes Battery Life (techradar movie test): 4 hours and 40 minutes
The Lenovo Miix 510 showed, well, mixed performance in our benchmark tests. Performance was good, the multi-core Geekbench test and 3DMark scores are understandably comparable to other similarly-powered competitors.
However, battery life on the Lenovo Miix 510 fell short compared to other Windows tablets, namely the Surface Pro 4 and Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12 that we’ve mentioned earlier. The Surface Pro 4’s battery life was 35 minutes longer on our looped TechRadar video playback test. Meanwhile, the Pro 4 lasted for 18 minutes longer on the harsh PCMark 8 battery test.
It’s refreshing to see USB-C included with the Lenovo Miix 510 – the manufacturer has provided plenty of options here with legacy USB support, too, but we’d prefer to see a USB-C charger rather than the round-ended standard charger included with the Miix 510. Next time. It’s a nice, light and compact power, brick, however, so it won’t weigh you down. Still, in a world where Microsoft continues to pretend USB-C doesn’t exist, this is a definite benefit for the device. Microsoft thinks people aren’t ready for USB-C, but Apple doesn’t seem to have any problems convincing its users.
Lenovo hasn’t included a microSD port here though; surprising in our book but not a deal-breaker. As you’d expect, you get a 2 megapixel front camera for video calling, as well as a decent if uninspiring 5 megapixel unit on the back. Dual-microphones cancel out background noise and we had no problem with being understood on calls.
In terms of audio playback, it’s fine for everyday YouTube viewing, but you’ll want to hook it up to a Bluetooth audio system (there is a headphone jack, too) for any movies or music.
There’s a lot to love about the Lenovo Miix 510. It’s a powerful device that has no problem dealing with everyday workloads. Hook it up to a secondary monitor or use it on the move – the usual tablet/keyboard caveats apply – it really needs to be used on a flat surface – but the kickstand does work well for that.
Still, with all of its competitors above and beside it, like the 2017 Surface Pro, it’s hard to recommend unequivocally. The display isn’t as high resolution as some, even if it is great quality – whether that will bug you is a matter of personal preference. However, it’s the battery life that really grates, especially when competitors have similarly specified innards and better displays. We really would have expected more here.
But, if you’re just looking for an affordable Windows tablet, you’ll find the Lenovo Miix 510 as a fantastic alternative option.
Current page: Performance, features and verdictPrev Page Introduction, value and design
Lenovo Miix 510
The Lenovo Miix 510 (starts at $599.99; $749.99 as tested) is a midrange 2-in-1 Windows tablet that gives you both the portability of a large-screen mobile device and a keyboard cover for use in long typing sessions. Like the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and the Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 700, it's a true laptop replacement, giving you the power to do everything you'd expect from an ultraportable and the convenience of being able to remove the keyboard when you don't need it. It builds upon the solid framework of its predecessors, and adds more memory, more storage, and the future-proofing of both USB 3.0 (Type-A) and USB-C. The Miix 510 is our latest Editors' Choice for midrange Windows tablets.
Design and Features
The Miix 510 is one of the many Windows tablets to take its design cues from the Surface Pro line. Our review unit has a matte silver back panel and black keyboard cover, though some models come with a black exterior. It measures 0.6 by 11.8 by 8.1 inches (HWD) alone, and is 0.8 inch thick with the included keyboard case attached; altogether, the Miix 510 weighs 2.72 pounds. That's a bit larger and heavier than the Miix 700, but comparable to it and many tablets with keyboard cases, such as the Acer Switch Alpha 12.
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The system is principally a slate tablet with a kickstand so you can prop it up on a work surface. The kickstand swings smoothly out from the back panel, using a pair of watch-gear hinges, like those on the flagship Lenovo Yoga 910. It's functionally the same as the kickstand on the Surface Pro tablets and competitors, swinging through a 170-degree arc that gives you a wide range of use whether you're standing, seated, or lying down with the tablet on your chest.
A keyboard case is included, and as per the norm, it uses a two-stage magnetic latch and pogo plugs to pass signals to the tablet. It's more secure and responsive than the Bluetooth keyboards used by many slates, like the Huawei MateBook. It also makes the Miix 510 a better deal than the Surface Pro tablets, which don't sell with keyboard cases. The backlit keyboard is just as comfortable as any Lenovo Ideapad laptop's, and the integrated touchpad is responsive and ready to control the cursor anytime you don't want to use the touch screen.
The 12.2-inch IPS screen is clear and bright, and it has a 1,920-by-1,200 resolution. That's lower than the resolution on the Miix 700 (2,160 by 1,440), though you probably won't notice the extra pixels on such a compact screen. Text is sharp enough to be readable in a brightly lit room, and there's plenty of space for your spreadsheets or website layouts. Touch sensitivity is excellent, and you can use the optional Active Pen ($39.99) if you need pressure-sensitive input for drawing or capturing accurate signatures, for example. The Active Pen comes with a removable plastic nub that connects it to the USB 3.0 port for storage (and, irritatingly, blocks it from other use), but you can also clip it to your shirt pocket or use the magnets in the keyboard cover to hold it when you're not using it. The tablet's included protective cloth pouch has a built-in loop for holding the Active Pen, so you have multiple places to stow it. The Active Pen has two side buttons for right-click and erase, but unlike the Surface Pen, it lacks a shortcut button on the top for opening OneNote or another program.
Sound from the built-in speakers is well defined and fills a small-to-medium-size room. It has very little low end, though; as it tends to favor voice over music and sound effects, it's best suited for video conferencing and spoken-word files like audio books. Speaking of sound, one of the few nits to pick is the occasional noise from the Miix 510's cooling fan. It wouldn't be annoying in a noisy café, but it's loud enough to be audible in a library or other quiet room.
There is a headset jack on the right side of the Miix 510. On the left, you'll find the jack for the AC adapter and two USB ports, one 3.0 and one USB-C. This way, you're all set for current and future accessories like USB memory sticks, printers, hard drives, external SSDs, and USB-C docking stations. That's an improvement over tablets like the Miix 700 and the Surface Pro that lack USB-C. For wireless connections, there are 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0.
The system's 8GB of RAM is more than enough to keep a few dozen browser tabs open along with your messaging client, word processor, streaming music, and maybe even an e-sports video stream going all at the same time. And the 256GB SSD is plenty for local storage these days, especially if you store your personal pictures on cloud-based services like Google Photos or Amazon Prime Photos. This is double the memory and storage of the Miix 700, and that will also help the Miix 510 last longer before it seems out of date. The drive has a few preinstalled programs, but for the most part, it's the standard Windows 10 load. Lenovo covers the Miix 510 with a one-year warranty.
Performance and Conclusions
The Miix 510 comes with an Intel Core i5-6200U processor with Intel HD Graphics 520. It was among our leaders on the PCMark 8 Work Conventional test (2,820 points), way ahead of tablets like the Acer Aspire Switch 11 V, the Huawei MateBook, and the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S. It should feel fast for several years on day-to-day tasks like editing office documents, video conferencing, and Web browsing. Multimedia test results were also very good: 3 minutes, 3 seconds on HandBrake, and 5:58 on Photoshop, again ahead of the Switch 11 V, the MateBook, and the Galaxy TabPro S. But the Surface Pro 4 and the HP Spectre x2 were better performers on these tests.
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As expected given the integrated graphics, the Miix 510 had trouble with our 3D gaming tests, returning less-than-smooth frame rates on our Heaven (17 frames per second, or fps) and Valley (20fps) tests at 1,366-by-768 resolution with the graphics quality set to Medium. The top performers (the Switch Alpha 12 and the Surface Pro 4) were only a little faster on each, so it's not a huge gap. In any case, you'll be able to play less-taxing games like Minecraft and Diablo III at moderate quality settings, but you'll probably want to stay away from the latest AAA FPS titles with all the details cranked up.
Battery life is good: The Miix 510 lasted 7 hours, 49 minutes on our rundown test. While that's almost enough to qualify as all-day computing (8 hours is our floor), it is a bit behind other tablets like the Spectre x2 (9:38), the Surface Pro 4 (10:19), and the TabPro S (11:13). Still, the Miix 510 held out longer than the Switch 11 V and the MateBook, each of which only managed about 6 hours.
The Lenovo Miix 510 offers a good blend of features, performance, and value. Its fast Intel Core i5 processor makes it a better performer than the Miix 700 across the board, and it has double the memory and storage. The Miix 700 has a higher-resolution screen and longer battery life due to its use of a lower-wattage processor, but otherwise the less-expensive Miix 510 is a better buy.
Lenovo Miix 510
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07 May 2017 / 11:00BST
Oh look, another top-spec tablet with detachable keyboard and pressure-sensitive stylus. Must be a new Surface Pro, right?
Not so fast - Microsoft isn't the only one cranking out high-end hybrids.
The Miix 510 is Lenovo's take on the tech, one that borrows more than a bit of design inspiration from the company's Yoga range of convertible laptops. Because hinges that look like watch bands will apparently never go out of fashion.
What'll really make you sit up and take notice, though? The Miix 510 goes toe-to-toe with the Surface Pro, and even exceeds it in some areas, but somehow does it for significantly less cash.
Lenovo Miix 510 reviewIt might be a mouthful, and lacking when it comes to pixel count, but the Miix 510-12IKB 80XE is still a hybrid hero.
Latest-gen CPU means snappy performance
Bundled stylus is a nice extra
Works great as a tablet, and as a laptop
Keyboard oddities rule out even basic gaming
Battery ain't amazing
Screen resolution is lacking against the Surface Pro
The Lenovo Miix 510 is yet another Surface-inspired 2-in-1
The Windows 10-powered Lenovo Miix 510 takes plenty of design inspiration from Microsoft's Surface Pro line, complete with a kickstand and digital inking capabilities. The Miix 510 will come in multiple configurations and different price tiers, boasting LTE support, a FHD+ display and a USB Type-C connector.
|Processor||Up to 6th Generation Intel Core i7|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|Graphics||Intel HD Integrated Graphics 520|
|Camera & Microphone||MP Fixed-Focus Front, 5MP Auto-Focus Rear, Dual-Array Microphone|
|Memory||Up to 8GB LPDDR4|
|Storage||Up to 1 TB PCIe SSD|
|Audio||Integrated Dolby Enabled Stereo Speakers|
|Battery||29 Whr, up to 7.5 hours|
|Connectivity||4G LTE Category 4, WiFi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Connectors||1 x USB 3.0 Type-C, 1x USB 3.0 (Always-On Charging), microSD, Audio Combo Jack|
|Display||12.2 inch FHD+ (1920x1200), 320 nits with Gorilla Glass|
|Dimensions||(W x D x H with keyboard) 11.81 inches x 8.07 inches x 0.62 inches|
|Weight||Starting at 2.76 lbs with keyboard, 1.94 lbs without|
|In the box||Keyboard and Lenovo Active Pen included|
The highest-end configurations of the Lenovo Miix 510 don't compare to the 16GB RAM, Iris-powered graphics Surface Pro 4, but for those who find value in 4G LTE support, the Miix 510 could be a worthy contender.
Lenovo Miix 510 Gallery
As more and more companies jump on the Surface bandwagon, it's becoming harder to stand out in the crowd. Lenovo's newest Miix includes some interesting watchband hinges that give it an air of uniqueness, but comparisons to the Surface Pro-line are coming in thick and fast already.