Sleek design and magnetic attachments shine in these nearly identical convertible tablets.
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At today's CES Unveiled event in Las Vegas, Lenovo showed off new 10.1- and 11.6-inch iterations of its second-generation MIIX convertible tablets. The two detachable slates offer marked improvements over the clumsy "quick flip" keyboards on previous models.
Both models sport full-HD displays and 10-point touchscreens which can be configured in three different ways:
The MIIX 2 tablets run the colorful Windows 8.1 operating system. The larger tablet runs on 4th-generation Intel Core i5 processor while the smaller is powered by an Intel Atom quad-core chip. Each provides up to eight hours of battery life, according to Lenovo.
Both models offer front- (2-megapixel) and rear-facing (5-megapixel) cameras. Ports are limited to a HDMI mini socket on each model, a micro USB port on the 10.1-incher, and a USB 3.0 on the 11.6-inch tablet. But the dock offers more connectivity: the smaller version comes with a single full-sized USB 2.0 port, while there are two on the larger.
The tablets' real highlight comes in the satisfying magnetic snap with which the slate secures to the keyboard. It's the same reassuring feeling Mac users get when their power cords grab into the side of their laptops.
Unlike most tablets, the MIIX 2 convertibles utilize solid-state drives that provide up to 256GB of storage in the larger model, and 128GB for its little brother. Additional storage is available via microSDHC.
The sleek brushed metal body has a soothing coolness and a solid feel in the hand, but can feel slippery at times. Manufacturer specs show the smaller model weighing in at roughly 2 pounds with the keyboard attached, or 1.3 pounds on its own. The larger tips the scales at just under 3 pounds with the keyboard.
The MIIX 2 starts at $499 for the 10.1-inch model and $699 for the 11.6-inch. The smaller of the two will be available beginning in March with the larger model following in April.