Lenovo's Miix 720 is the Surface Pro update you've been waiting for
Lenovo's take on the 2-in-1 tablet, the Miix series, has a updated top-end option: the Miix 720.
Lenovo's shown no shame about how their Miix 2-in-1 tablet series has aped the Microsoft Surface, from the 3:2 aspect ratio display to the integrated full-width kickstand to the snap-on keyboard cover. And that's okay, because the Miix tablets are generally great, and the new Miix 720 unveiled at CES 2017 is no exception — and it brings hardware updates that we're still waiting to see in the Surface Pro line.
This update to the Miix 700 (introduced a a year ago at CES 2016) is an update inside and out, and yet still instantly familiar — both to Surface owners and fans of previous Miix tablets. There's a lot that's carrier over, from the 12-inch 3:2 form factor to the kickstand that's mounted via a small pair of Lenovo's iconic watchband hinges that fold back to 150 degrees. Inside you'll find the 7th-generation Intel Core i7 "Kaby Lake" processors along with Intel HD 620 graphics, up to 16GB of RAM, and an SSD drive of up to 1TB. Naturally, the Miix 720 will run Windows 10, but unlike Lenovo's 2017 ThinkPad laptops, this won't be a bloatware-free Microsoft Signature Image — there's plenty of extra stuff pre-installed on this tablet.
Being a tablet, the focus here is the display; it's a 2:3 aspect ratio 12-inch LCD panel with a dense 2880x1920 resolution and 400-nit brightness. Above that you'll find a 1MP front-facing camera that offers IR support for Windows Hello facial recognition authentication (there's a 5MP shooter on the back). On the bottom of the Miix 720 is a magnetic mount for the keyboard cover, which features keys with 1.5mm of travel and backlighting — and it's included with the tablet.
All of this is built into a 14.5mm-thick 2.4lb metal body. Lenovo includes a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port (also the tablet's charge port), a microSD card slot, and a pair of full-size USB ports — one of which is always-on so you can charge your phone off the Miix 720's battery even when the tablet's off. Speaking of the battery, Lenovo estimates up to 8 hours of battery life for the Miix 720.
In addition to the included keyboard cover, there's an updated Lenovo Active Pen 2 in the box. This AAAA-powered touchscreen pen offers 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity (double the first version) and has a built-in programmable shortcut button.
The Lenovo Miix 720 is due to go on sale in April 2017 for a starting price of $999.99 (keyboard cover and Active Pen included) in your choice of Iron Gray or Champagne Gold. You'll also be able to purchase the Lenovo Active Pen 2 separately starting in February for $59.99.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.