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First impressions: Lenovo Miix 630

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Lenovo’s Miix 630, which was unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, is a detachable 2-in-1 that promises up to 20 hours of usage (not standby hours, mind you) and weeks (not days) on standby mode.

That’s pretty much all you need to know if you think this is just another Microsoft Surface Pro 4 wannabe (although the resemblance is uncanny). What’s under the hood would prove that the Miix 630 can hold its own, and if you’d like to know more about this device and why it represents a new breed of mobile PCs that will be raved about this year, read on.

First impressions: Lenovo Miix 630LOOK AND FEEL

The Miix 630 comes with a 12.3-inch Corning glass display that can be detached and be used as a tablet. One need not worry about the display easily falling off because it comes with a magnetic strip at the base, which helps keep it secure.

There’s a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer at the bottom right side of the display and a dual-SIM card slot (for Nano SIM or standard SIM) and a 3.5-mm audio jack at the bottom left. There’s a 5-megapixel camera at the rear and a front-facing IR-enabled camera on the other side, which allows for facial recognition required for Windows Hello login.

Powering up the device reveals a full HD (1,920 by 1,080) touch screen. It certainly looks great but we wished Lenovo went for thin bezels or an ‘infinity-edge’ screen for the Miix 630 instead of fat bezels surrounding it.

The textured, leather-like folio case that also ships with Miix 630 comes with an adjustable hinge that allows the case to convert into a kickstand. Attached to the case is the backlit keyboard with touchpad. The keyboard deck is firm and typing is convenient as the keys are spaced out evenly. On the right side of the case is a dedicated holder for the Lenovo Digital Pen, which is also included in the standard package.

With the keyboard, the Miix 630 is 15.6 mm thin and weighs just 1.33 kg, which is a bit heavier than the Surface Pro 4 (1.07 kg). Without the keyboard, however, it is 7.3-mm thin and is lighter than its Microsoft counterpart at only 770 grams (vs Surface Pro 4’s 785 grams).  

First impressions: Lenovo Miix 630FEATURES

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC processor is responsible for the Miix 630’s key features. It is Lenovo’s first Windows 10 device running on Qualcomm’s enhanced chip designed for mobile PCs. What this means is that this ultraportable has features that we’ve come to expect on high end smartphones: all-day battery life and always-on connectivity.

Thanks to the Qualcomm mobile PC chip, which is designed to make devices power efficient, Lenovo claims the Miix 630 can last up to 20 hours on a single charge. That’s twice as long as what’s considered ‘excellent battery’ life, which is eight to 10 hours. As Qualcomm’s smallest chip to date (at 10 nanometer), the chip also allowed Lenovo to craft a thin and lightweight unibody for the Miix 630.

Having Qualcomm’s chipset inside also means the Miix 630 can have 4G LTE connectivity. The 2-in-1 has support for both a standard SIM card and eSIM (embedded SIM).

The Miix 630 ships with Windows 10 S, which is a faster and streamlined version of Windows 10. This configuration allows the Miix 630 to install applications that can be downloaded only from the Microsoft Windows Store. Those who wish to install apps from third-party sites can do so by upgrading to Windows 10, which is free if the user upgrades within 180 days after Windows activation.

Since Lenovo won’t ship the Miix 630 until the second quarter of this year (retailing for $799), we have yet to see whether or not this device will live up to the hype. For now, we can settle for what Lenovo claims this device can do and how it rates in terms of looks.  — MBG