A new challenger approaches.
It’s a challenger to the Chromebook- announcing the Lenovo Miix 320.
It’s a cheap, $199 laptop running Windows OS that’s made to compete with Chromebooks for the “cheap and affordable laptop” market share. Before the Miix, there’s the HP Stream. It’s a decent laptop but it’s seriously underpowered. It had trouble even updating to Windows 10 on its own platform from Windows 8.
Enter the Lenovo Miix
Now, the Miix by Lenovo is here. It has a few things going for it that make it better than the HP Stream.
For starters, the Miix is a detachable laptop, which means you can pull the screen off of the keyboard and use it as a tablet if you want. This is something that Chromebook can’t do as of now, but there has been a recent discovery stating something along the lines of a “detachable UI” in the works.
It works just like a Windows Surface computer with a magnetic connector between the screen and keyboard. The screen is a 10.1’’ display with a 1920×1200 resolution. This isn’t full HD, but it’s actually better than the resolution of most cheap laptops (at 1366 x 768 pixels). The screen is also very light, so you can carry it around just like a tablet.
From people who’ve tried the Miix, they gave it positive reviews so far. PC World says that the Microsoft Precision Trackpad recognizes “additional touching” and it also has swiping gestures just like a Chromebook does.
Lenovo Miix 320 specs and performance
The performance of the Miix 320 is very…average.
It features an Intel Atom X5, which is a very dated processor. It can only handle simple tasks like surfing the ‘net and doing some basic productivity tasks- spreadsheets, presentations, and documents. You can also watch videos, view images, and play light games.
You can multitask with the 4GB of RAM and store your stuff with 128GB of storage, which is a lot more space than your typical Chromebook.
But don’t forget, Windows 10 takes up to 20GB of your space, unlike Chromebooks.
As for connectivity, the Miix 320 has a USB-C port and two USB-A port. Both pieces have USB ports, so you’ll always be “connected.”
It also has your standard 802.11ac WiFi connectivity for faster speeds and even LTE support for your mobile network. It’s basically a laptop with a cellular connection like your smartphone. It’s not free of course.
This just brings back the HP Stream again. It was a weak machine that couldn’t do its tasks well without some performance issues. Now, the Miix 320 may also suffer from the same problem with that processor. It needs more power.
How does the Miix mix in versus Chromebooks?
As of now, the Miix looks decent, but I think it’s way underpowered. What good is a sub $200 laptop if it’s slow, can’t do much, and only offers basic functionality? You can get a Chromebook for the same price and do a lot more.
If the goal of the Miix is to take the market share, we’ll have to see how the market reacts. I can only see very budget-limited consumers buying the Miix, or elementary students in school. Chromebooks already dominate the school arena, but the Miix may prove otherwise.
It’s a step up with its design, but its basic under-the-hood CPU may be a limiting factor and bottleneck the whole thing. If it had a Celeron, that’d be much better. But then again, it’d raise the price and make it that much more difficult to compete in a crowded market.
I’ll have to see how the Miix stacks up. I’ll be grabbing one for review when it launches. Sit tight if you want a review.