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.
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.