Lenovo Miix 720 goes to art studio and office
Lenovo has put out several Miixes with active pens–the Miix 510, 520, and IdeaPad Miix 700. The Miixes have been somewhat quiet competition to the Surface Pro. Now the Miix 720 has come.
Lenovo has gone on a listening tour, and is trying to deliver what people want. The Miix 720’s assortment of varying USB ports makes it so you can use your existing peripherals without dongles.
Download the Miix 720_Spec Sheet (PDF)
This tablet is aimed at artists, designers, writers, business, and general use. Its integrated graphics can handle 4K video. It has the latest Kaby Lake processor. And it has fast memory.
Storage goes all the way up to 1TB. That way, you can be choosy about what you save to the Cloud. As well, you can work offline.
Lenovo Active Pen 2
The new Lenovo Active Pen 2 now has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. It’s not hiked to the 8,192 of the newer Wacom Pro Pen 2 for the art-specific Intuos Pro (2017) and MobileStudio Pro, but it’s plenty. Even 1,024 wasn’t bad.
Lenovo has long used Wacom digitizers in its PCs. Lenovo went from using Wacom EMR to Wacom AES in laptops and 2-in-1s. It switched back to EMR in the Yoga Book (which is really a graphics tablet with a separate screen), but is continuing to use AES on the Miix.
Lenovo’s Pro Pen and Active Pen 1 and 2 are both AES. The Active Pen 2 has raised the pressure levels to 4,192.
The Miix 720 comes in two colors, Champagne and Iron Gray.
Lenovo Miix 720 vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Though it’s certainly thin, the computer part is a hair thicker than the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, at .35″ to the Microsoft’s skinny-Minnie .33.” There is little weight difference. The 12″ screen is a bit smaller than the SP4’s 12.3, but the Miix’s resolution is higher. The Miix, as far as I know, will not have a version with dedicated graphics the way the Surface Pro 4 does.
The Surface Pro 4’s pen is the less-sensitive N-trig, but the Surface Pro 5‘s pen also has 4096 levels as well as tilt, shading, and a soft eraser.
The dual watchband hinge on the Miix’s kickstand is adjustable up to 150 degrees, as well as aesthetically appealing.
Type of tablet: detachable 2-in-1
Display: 12″ QHD (2880 x 1920)
400 nits with Gorilla Glass
Digitizer: Wacom AES, 4,096 levels
Processor: Intel up to i7, Kaby Lake
Build: one-piece metal alloy
RAM: Up to 16 GB DDR4
inches : 11.5″ x 8.27″ x 0.35″
mm: 292 x 210 x 8.9
inches : 11.53″ x 8.5″ x 0.57″
mm): 293 x 216 x 14.6
One USB 3.1 (Type-C1)
One USB 3.0
One USB 2.0
Audio Combo Jack
Cameras: front 1MP, rear 5MP
Storage: up to 1 TB PCIe SSD
Weight: tablet starts at 1.72 lbs (780 g). With keyboard, starts at 2.42 lbs (1.1 kg)
Full-sized Backlit Keyboard
Lenovo Active Pen 2
Colors: Champagne Iron Gray
The Lenovo Active Pen 2 is listed as a separate purchase in the US from Lenovo.
Up to 8 hours of mixed use
It’s very thin. At a little over half an inch thick and a little under 2 1/2 lbs. including the keyboard, it can fit into bags and backpacks without a bulge. The penholder keeps the pen where you can find it.
It has Windows Hello, the somewhat creepy facial-recognition program that keeps you from the sweat of typing in a password. It’s optional. Here’s some privacy info about Windows Hello if you’re concerned.
Here’s a neat factoid from Lenovo: 20% of 2-in-1 users use a pen every day.
With the Thunderbolt 3 has a download speed of 40 GBps, you could attach this to a 4K monitor for video feed, and download stuff at the same time.
The keyboard is full-sized and has 1.5″ of key travel, just a shade (.1″) over the Surface Pro 4’s detachable keyboard. Unlike the Surface Pro 4’s bouncy slab, the Miix’s keyboard is rigid, and fully backlit.
Kickstand with dual-watchband hinge
The kickstand goes up to 150 degrees, which is almost upright, so you can watch movies or videoconference. Or you can adjust it down to draw on.
Drawing on the Lenovo Miix 720
Update: I tested the Lenovo Active Pen, the one that says it gets 4096 levels of pressure, yet lives in the body of an Active Pen 1. I can’t quite tell from the feel how many levels it’s getting, but it was smooth and sensitive, and performed as it should. There were no blobs; it’s the standard Windows interface, with plenty of power to run Photoshop. The screen is not that slippery.
You can use this in a multi-monitor setting, connecting up to two displays.
If this is as it sounds, if the price is right it could be pretty appealing.
Lenovo Miix 720 review: the verdict
Right now the Miix 720 is a bit ahead of the Surface Pro 4 on most counts but has some competition in the Surface Pro 5. Still, if you like Wacom, you may want to go with the Miix. As pens are starting to have similar specs and that Wacom-Microsoft pen is finally here. So now the pen and digitizer may still be important, but there may be more factors to look at.
In the past, I’d be wiilling to compromise on other things in favor of a positive pen experience. Now, since tablet PCs are getting more and more drawing-friendly, the other features become more important. Companies should start adding dGPUs to more of them if they really want to get the Photoshop crowd, and ways to attach the pen, and Adobe could do a few things better too, such as maybe fixing icon scaling.
4096 seems to have become the new 1024. Things get ever more interesting.
End of Lenovo Miix 720 review.