Lenovo Releases New Bay Trail Mixx 2 Productivity Tablet

Jan 28, 2014 [Updated Feb 4, 2014 for price reduction]

Lenovo just posted on their website their new Mixx 2 10-inch Bay Trail tablet, shipping now. This is a good looking productivity tablet with the same size, weight, and processor as the Asus Transformer T100 I reviewed about 2 months ago. And like the Asus, the price includes a keyboard dock. However, the Mixx 2 posts a price about $300 to-$350 $100 to $200 more than the Asus

Good Productivity Form Factor

If you’ve been following my blogs, you know I’ve been saying since summer that lightweight 10 to 11 inch Bay Trail Windows tablets are the wave of the future for productivity tablets. That’s because many have a true tablet weight (around 1 pound) yet are speedy enough to handle most traditional laptop work functions. However, their release has been much slower than Intel originally predicted, so it’s good to see another model finally released. This unit was originally announced at CES.

Compared to Asus Transformer T100

The model to compare this Lenovo to is clearly the Asus Transformer T100. As I said, the size and weight are similar. The processor is the same and both have 2 GB RAM. Neither has an active digitizer pen. The Lenovo build looks better and has a larger built-in storage option. But does that make it worth $300-$350 more? For $100 to $200 more, it might be worth the higher quality and larger storage option, you decide.

(By the way, the Lenovo website currently seems to have their prices swapped, showing the 128 GB unit as being $50 less expensive than the 64 GB unit; let’s see how long it takes them to fix that, and if they honor their mistake). [they fixed that]

Here is my list of advantages of each (without my yet having seen the Lenovo, so take this with a grain of salt).

Lenovo Mixx 2 10 Advantages:

  • Double built-in storage option (up to 128 GB).
  • Styling and build quality look better.
  • I suspect the total weight (tablet + keyboard) is less than the Asus since this Lenovo uses an offset slot to keep the docked unit from tipping over. Asus had to add weight to keyboard to prevent tipping.
  • Keyboard (and so combined units) slightly thinner than Asus (by 0.1 inch).
  • If like other Lenovos, it probably has a better feel to the keyboard, and probably has a better trackpad.
  • Subwoofer built into keyboard.

Asus Transformer T100 Advantages:

  • Longer Battery Life (advertises up to 11 hours—and it gets that; Lenovo advertises only up to 8 hours—no confirmation yet).
  • Asus is $300 to $350 $100 to $200 less expensive.
  • Accepts added 64 GB SD card (Lenovo is limited to 32 GB SD card for some reason).
  • USB 3 on Asus (only USB 2 on the Lenovo).
  • Asus tablet is slightly lighter (1.2 lbs vs. 1.27 lbs).
  • Folding docked keyboard design on Asus slightly improves keyboard access. With the Lenovo you’ll need to undock first to fold the keyboard against the unit.

You decide, but my take is that the Asus advantages outweigh the Lenovo’s [even with new lowered price on the Lenovo].

Mixx 2 11 also Released

Lenovo is also releasing the Mixx 2 11 which is a Surface Pro 2 competitor (Intel i5, 11 inch screen) with a weight of 1.8 pounds. This is similar to the HP Venue 11 Pro. The Mixx 2 11 is not on their website yet but was described in the CES announcement at $200 more. Again, those prices were off, so who knows what it will cost on release.

Conclusion

Again, it’s good to see more Windows productivity tablets come out, and the Mixx 2 10 clearly meets the spec. But I am really surprised by the high prices; I bet those prices will drop in the months to come—they have to [2/5/2014 update: they did!]. And I am still waiting for Lenovo to release a Bay Trail version of the their ThinkPad Tablet 2, so I can get a speedy lightweight 10-inch tablet with a good active digitized pen.

Michael Linenberger

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5 Responses to Lenovo Releases New Bay Trail Mixx 2 Productivity Tablet

  1. Wolfgang Karl Schneider says:

    Hi Michael,
    Lenovo, Asus and Dell released 8 inch tablets which are a nice option for mobile working.
    When you are back in the office, you can use USB docking stations or with the Lenovo Think Pad 8 as well a micro HDMI cable, to connect to large screens.

    Lenovo Think Pad 8: http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/tablets/thinkpad/thinkpad-8/
    Dell Venue 8 Pro: http://www.dell.com/us/p/dell-venue-8-pro/pd
    Asus Vivo Tab 8: https://www.asus.com/News/a3EO4kFe3blfpQQv

    I will probably go for the Lenovo.

    Best regards
    Wolfgang Karl Schneider

    • Michael Linenberger says:

      Wolfgang, I’ve been watching these, and since I use a pen a lot, I’d go for the Asus Vivo Tab 8, it has a Wacom digitizer, which is the best. But I get confused when I try to justify getting myself an 8 inch Windows tablet. The screen is too small to use the desktop mode when moving about (which is when you use tablets, away from your desk). And sure I can plug it into a monitor at my desk to enlarge things, but then why not use my desktop computer or laptop that is sitting there. And if I do not need to use the desktop mode at all (just use apps instead), why did I buy a Windows 8 inch tablet? An iPad has many many more useful apps. That’s my confusion, so help convince me on why to get an 8 inch Windows tablet, I really want an excuse to get the Asus Vivo Tab 8!
      Thanks, Michael

      • Wolfgang Karl Schneider says:

        Hi Michael,

        I let Michael Gannoti speak for the Windows 8 inch tablets. I hope he can convince you to invest the 400 bucks 🙂 – Please watch his 2 minute video as well. He just replaced his notebook with the Dell Venue 8 Pro.

        “I love my Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Tablet. Not only is it one of the slickest, most capable, and affordable tablets, on the planet but it is also one of the most versatile. It ships with Microsoft Office and since it runs Windows 8.1 it can be domain joined, Bit Locker encrypted for Enterprise strength security, and can run any application in my organization. Top that off with 64gb SSD drive and expanded storage with an additional 64gb micro SD drive….AND the ability to wirelessly project to another screen using built in Miracast and you couldn’t want anything more…right? Wrong! As a power user I am often at my desk running multiple monitors for different applications. Well with the addition of a simple $6 USB adapter (Micro USB to USB) I can do just that!! In this video I show my Dell Venue 8 Pro driving its own monitor as well as two additional monitors”
        Source: http://michaelgannotti.com/multi-monitor-dell-venue-8-pro-windows-tablet/

        Best regards
        Wolfgang Karl Schneider

        • Michael Linenberger says:

          Thanks Wolfgang, I deeply appreciate your reply and that article. But here’s my thing. I am sitting it a coffee shop, or an airline terminal, or some other mobile location. I get an e-mail that shows me work I need to do in the desktop copy of an Adobe product, or something similar. I launch the desktop in my 8 inch Windows tablet, but I keep hitting the wrong buttons with my finger or stylus because the screen is sooooo small. The desktop is essentially unusable. Being able to Miracast to another monitor doesn’t help me, nor driving two additional monitors, in that coffee shop. To me, having mobile access to a traditional Windows desktop is what gives Windows tablets their edge over an iOS or Android tablet. And that edge seems lost at the 8 inch size. Somebody help me out here, I really want an excuse to buy the new Asus Vivio Tab 8, that just went on sale! 🙂 Michael

  2. new says:

    Thanks for sharing, I like lenovo.

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