Hands-on with the MIIX 700, Lenovo's answer to the Surface

One of Lenovo's many announcements at IFA was a 12-inch Windows 10 that has a kickstand and a detachable keyboard.

Sound familiar?

Yes, the MIIX 700 looks a lot like a Surface. But there's more to it than that. Lenovo has put its own touches onto the MIIX 700 that make it a pretty interesting device.

The first thing to say is that Lenovo tells us the MIIX 700 comes with the detachable keyboard included. No additional purchase is required. And it's a good keyboard. It's of a similar style to some of Lenovo's mid-range notebooks and feels good to type on. It's also Bluetooth, meaning you can use it detached from the tablet if you wish. Attaching it will charge the onboard battery. It also has a leatherette feel on the back, which actually looks really good as a sort of folio case.

To recap on the specs:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CategorySpecification
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home or Pro
CPUUp to 6th-gen Intel Core m7 (Skylake)
RAMUp to 8GB LPDDR3L
Display12-inches, 2160 x 1440 resolution
StorageUp to 256GB SSD
GraphicsIntel HD
Weight1.7lbs
Ports1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, Micro HDMI™-out Micro Sim (LTE / 3G SKU only), microSD™, Audio Combo Jack
Battery LifeUp to 9 hours claimed
LTEOptional
OtherKeyboard dock, Intel RealSense camera (Rear)
PriceFrom $749

Of those options, we also need to point out that you'll apparently either be able to have a RealSense camera, or LTE, but not both. Otherwise it gives you a very 'Surface-like' experience. It's about the same size, perhaps a little lighter, and importantly the same 3:2 aspect ratio. We're told there will also be a pen made available for it in the future.

Oh, and not forgetting the kickstand. It's not as sturdy feeling as that on the Surface as it's pretty simple to make it flex. But that's only when you're pressing on it. When it's standing the tablet up, all is well. The hinge is Lenovo's own, fancy watch-band style that we first saw on last years Yoga 3 Pro. And it is smooth. It also means you can position the kickstand infinitely between being fully closed and it's most extreme open position.

MIIX 700

Surface spawned a legion of fans and it was only a matter of time before someone else jumped onto the bandwagon. The MIIX 700 is a nice device. Whether or not we'd recommend it over the Surface, would be a harder question to answer.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine

109 Comments
  • I have the strangest feeling I saw this exact device at my local Best Buy.
  • Considering it won't be released until November, doubt it.
  • maybe all MIIX models look like that...
  • Possible you saw the Yoga 3 Pro http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/lenovo/yoga-laptop-series/yoga-3-pro-laptop/ Super thin laptop 2-in-1 based on previous generation Core m processors and uses a similar hinge mechanism to a permanently attached keyboard. Touch display. Existing MIIX tablets don't have attachable keyboards or integrated kicstands.
  • Highly doubt it. And I think it'd be hard to mistake a 12" 3:2 tablet like this for their Miix devices. But that's IMO :P At the author: I think you meant "spawned" rather than "spurned" in the last paragraph. Big difference :) (but thanks for the hands on!) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Being that I work at Best Buy, I highly doubt it lol
  • This is awesome!!! Serious competition.... Keep MS up on it's Surface game..
    .........
    In other news....... Nobody will be making "Lumia" 950 clones,,, because they are already clones of Lumia devices...
  • Lol!
  • MS should sue itself for patent infringement...
  • It lacks the design part of design patents
  • Microsoft most likely will not. MS has managed to succeed with the Surface enough to actually get OEMs to up their game in the two-in-one area. In turn, this will keep MS finding new ways to improve their own devices. This was their intent from the start, as they were the only real 2-in-1 device manufactures at the time. Sure, there were other devices with foldable keyboards and all, but the Surface was a true PC, with true tablet capabilities. It wasn't perfect, but you did have the best of both worlds in terms of mobility and usage. The battery life on the Surface was the only device hindrance, IMO.
  • That's like saying all OEMs should be sued for the "laptop" design. You can't patent a form factor. Even if you could, that would be literally the worst thing for PC makers.
  • Jesus, Daniel... It was a joke from the beginning... Didn't you read???.... I said "MS should sue itself".... I'm joking about the new Lumia devices... Way to ruin everyone's day... Lol.
  • Knowing that MS can't make last minute changes to the Lumia 950 design, they should at least release back covers with different designs and/or colors (taking advantage from the removable back): maybe one that looks like the Lumia 800, another like the 720, another with aluminium or steel, like the Surface or the 930, and so. If they don't do that, maybe I will.
  • Instead of this cheap chinese knock off ... I still prefer my SP3
  • I don't trust Lenovo with all the spywares and malwares they put on their products.
  • Yes!!!!  Including the keyboard will make this a better value, and Microsoft will need to stay competitive.  
  • Exactly, I agree!
  • If that realsense camera was on the front, this would have done it for me.  Microsoft has made them step their game up.  Hope other OEMs will follow.
  • I care more about the specs and functionality than the design, but that's just me.
  • GPS? Its lacking into surface 3 was the reason I did not buy it
  • And yet you can pre-order one now with LTE
  • For me, a big pro is the port selection compared to the Surface. Unfortunately, that Core M may be a big con. I'll have to wait and see before I make any final judgement. That being said, that keyboard looks much better than the Surface.
  • I'm glad to see this product coming to the market... This will mark the first time there's serious competition within the Windows tablet space..
  • don't call it a tablet, its a hybrid. 
  • Its a crossover
  • SUT or CUT ? Sports Utility Tablet or Compact Utility Tablet?
  • More appropriate is SUC (Sport Utility Computer) or CUC (Compact Utility Computer). Lol.
  • Core M skylake will be very different from core M broadwell. I suspect performance should be quite a bit better, in bothbpeak and sustained. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Curious how the SP4 will stack up against it.
  • Probably kill it..... You know MS, and Lenovo, plan this... MS probably helped Lenovo directly..
  • *Dalek Voice* exterminate! exterminate! EXTERMINATE!!!!
  • At first I read SP4 as PS4 
  • Does it have a user-facing real sense camera for Windows Hello ? I heard somewhere that the real sense camera is on the back for some reason...
  • *for no reason... Fixed that for you.
  • I wonder what they think the camera could be good for on the back side... Because I can't think of a single situation.
  • It's a 3D camera. Take a photo and 3D print something.
  • As fun as that is, its an awful lot more niche than Windows Hello, IMO. While Real sense is always cool, they lose a point in my books for picking the far field camera over the near version for front facing. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Did you read the article. All the answers are within.
  • Real sense camera on the back?
  • That way those sitting across the table from you can log into your device via windows hello... Hello!
  • For 3Dscanning
  • Competition is always a good thing. Now we just need OEMs to up their game for Windows 10 mobile.
  • Not when all the Windows 10 mobile look the same. They want differentiation from other OEMs.
  • We saw similar moves from Acer last week.  It's starting.
  • Well, this is what MS was shooting for. They kept saying their hardware is supposed to establish the blueprint for OEM's. Well, here it is.
  • im suprised other OEM havnt already used this design style already, i guess better late than never
  • A couple of questions, if I may... - Does the pen work as well on it as the Surface? - Is there no front-facing camera?? Thanks
  • also, is it fanless?
  • Can anyone confirm if the Real Sense camera is on the rear?
  • That's what they're saying
  • Firstly: RealSense camera on the back? Why not the front?
    Second: What's it made of? Looks like plastic to me...
  • They could have at least made a janky pop up mirror setup reminiscent of the stupid little pop out LED nightlight on the screen bezel from when they were trying to avoid making backlit keyboards.
  • I'm liking this a lot.  Especially dat price!
  • I think at the end there you meant spawned not spurned.
  • So, it's basically a Surface that 90% of the world will be able to buy.
  • Yes, the greatest advantage this has against the Surface. Not that it matters. 90% of the world doesn't exist in Microsoft's view. Will be waiting for the model with pen.
  • Surface spurned a legion of fans
    Spurned means to reject something with disdain or contempt. Bungie or Activision could be said to have spurned their legions of fans, the Surface on the other hand has spawned a legion.
  • Lol good eye. I didn't even notice it was the wrong word; I just interpreted it as 'spawned'
  • Another example... Lumia 950 series spurned fans. Surface phone however... Todd McFarlane those fans baby....
  • Also, "last year's Yoga." Need the apostrophe.(Sorry, editors gonna edit.)
  • Since we're getting picky, "Oh, and not forgetting the kickstand.' is not a complete sentence.
  • Lol you got to love the windows oems..... they need core M to match the weight of the Surface pro 3 using a U series cpu with fan. A core m 12" surface pro 4 will likely be 1.3-1.4 lbs.
  • Nice catch there. I really hope MS will impress everyone with SP4 so they can consolidate on their hardware division.
  • ^this. if sp4 will impress, ms has the surface line untouchable for the near future and can think more securely, more time, on upcoming models, without being pushed to hurry just for the sake of getting something out, because the competitors do.
  • Didn't know, Windows 10 had a kickstand :P
  • Please show us the PEN.  No pen no gain.
  • I think its chip is the 'M' version. That's what they said on Windows Weekly.
  • It literally says in on our specs above: Up to 6th-gen Intel Core m7 (Skylake), so yeah. Core m7 though is a different beast from current Core Ms.
  • This is so similar to a Surface, that I think we need to redefine the word "Similar", kind of how like "literally" may mean "literally" or "figuratively"..  Everyone is reporting the RealSense camera on the back.... WTH?  
  • it's a shameful copy, and not a good one...
  • Yeah, and all those OEMs just copied that whole "laptop" design too. I'll be honest, the fact you cannot see this as a good thing really bothers me.
  • Yes, this is my favorite kind of daniel comment in posts! Put those trolls on their places. I personally think the device looks great. I love Lenovation in functional computing design. X1 carbon is still a sexy beast.
  • Would not even be particularly surprised if MS had even provided consultancy/advice to Lenovo on the design. :)
  • I use a Lenovo Carbon X1, and it is a great little laptop, despite what our IT department did to it.  I am curious how the MIIX compares to the Surface.  Is this device more comparable to Surface or Surface Pro?  I am guessing the former.  But still.... Why is the RealSense camera on the back?  That makes NoSense to me :D  Is there something that I am just not understanding?
  • You mean the RealSense cam being at the rear is more like a NonSense cam.
  • Pen or stylus? How's the writing recognition?
  • Does it have a pen and if so wacom or ntrig or synaptics. Sp2 wacom was great sp3 ntrig was good synaptics sucks and useless. If there isn't a pen they forgot to clone one of the best bits and is a nonstarter imho.
  • Well it starts at 749 which is the price of the keyboard included, so I don't see anything special about including it. The hinge is a little ugly looking but I wouldn't care too much for it. Trackpad is still small, a little bigger than surface trackpad it looks like but can't really tell. Bluetooth keyboard might be useful but it should still detect keyboard removed for continuum. And finally I think it not having the camera for windows hello is silly, its no use for general consumers having it on the back.
  • Well maybe with its specs I shouldn't be comparing it to the surface (for price with keyboard), maybe surface pro, but I will be waiting to see what SP4 has to offer including windows hello camera.
  • Would anyone actually consider buying Lenovo after the recent discovery of rootkits and Sailfish on their systems? 
  • I have multiple Lenovo devices. No problem buying more.
  • Yeah no worries here.
  • Get over it and stop spreading FUD, it was an ad software not malware, Lenovo apologised and even the affected consumer models were updated and current models no longer come with that software.
  • Uh no windows hello? epic fail.
  • $699 keyboard included? Bye bye Surface!
  • Your move, MS.
  • Man, look at those SICKERS!!! Take that, Microsoft!
  • Did anyone else notice the connectivity of the keyboard cover?  It looks exactly like it would fit the current Surface models.  It also has the magnetic strip to sit on the lip of the tablet.  Hmmm.... Does that mean this accessory was made to work with the Surface Pro 3 as well.  Can Richard or Daniel confirm that?
  • About the keyboard: Is it sold separately? Price? Is it compatible with Surface Pro 3? My only issue with the SP3 is the keyboard. It lacks a few keys I need, and it has just a little too much flex which results in bounce when I'm typing quickly. This seem to remedy both those issues.
  • As I wrote... We've been told it comes included. That could always change, but that's what we got today.
  • Yeah, I read it's included, I was hoping they'd tell you if it's ALSO sold separately, and if so, what price it is. For those down-voting valid questions, I'm interested in the keyboard to replace my SP3 keyboard. I'm sorry for assuming the commenters on WC could deduce that.
  • Plz Dell and Asus, HP, any! Bury Lenovo so I never have to see there computers again! Oh how I hate.
  • This is why Microsoft made the Surface. To showcase how their tech can work and look. Nice.
  • Go 3:2 ratio! I hope more manufacturers start using 3:2,makes so much more sense than 16:10,16:9, and 4:3
  • No pen support... no thank you.
  • Try reading the post again.
  • Considering the superfish and disabling of windows update fiasco.  I wonder what Lenovo has added claiming to help its end user ... No thanks Lenovo I think I will wait for SP4.  And the watch band hinge is ugly as all get out.
  • But How good are the m Processors against i Core really?
  • Wow, it looks sexy
  • Did you happen to note whether or not the keyboard would work with a Surface? I know it's BT but the connection looks very similar to that on the Surface keyboard. I like the dedicated PgUp and PgDn keys - bit of a pain on the Surface when you're trying to manuever around a large spreadsheet and you have the top row defaulting as function keys.
  • Where is the pen? Where are OEMS releasing so many useless touch tablets with no stylus support?
  • States that a pen may be available in the future.  I would rather these companies sell the pen separately for those who do not have a use for it.  The keyboard on the other hand should be included as it is here.
  • The most important point here is that Lenovo Miix 700 will be available around the World unlike Surface which is limited to handful of countries.
  • if doesn't come with a pen, is it confirmed that it supports that? i found out the hard way that many of their models that are touch screen do not support the pen feature, which is my fav. (Especially w/ Edge!)
  • No USB-C is pretty unfortunate.
  • This is great.  An entire article about Surface, tablets, hybrids and stuff and not a single mention of iPad in the article or in the comments (self-references not withstanding).  Of course, FruitCo will respond next week with their iPad for Business - an iPhone with an even bigger screen. And maybe, just maybe, it'll finally have that USB port you don't need or want.  Maybe even a stylus - wooohooo!.  It will be the perfect opportunity to do head-to-dead and show just how far ahead the Windows 10 ecosystem is for anyone who actually wants to do something with the expensive device they purchased.  With Acer last week also jumping in with OEM variations of W10M these are interesting times.
  • Always the shortcoming of Surface is lack of keyboard. 
  • Very promising new device! I like my SP3, but the keyboard is the weak link. I can't do any serious typing on it. This looks like it could solve that issue. I'd purchase.