Lenovo’s IdeaPad Miix 520 is a 2-in-1 Surface clone that’s taking a big step forward with its support of Intel’s latest 8th-generation CPUs. Announced Thursday at Lenovo’s event at IFA in Berlin, the Miix 520 will be among the first products to offer Intel’s quad-core CPUs for laptops. These new chips, which promise up to a 40-percent performance hike, are melting away the compromises we used to assume with thinner, lighter PCs.
When it ships in October with a starting price of $1,000, the IdeaPad Miix 520 will offer these key features and options:
CPU: Up to an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 (quad-core)
Battery: 39Wh, lasting (per Lenovo) up to 7.5 hours
The Miix 520 also offers several new input options compared to the Miix 510. A fingerprint reader enables one-touch Windows 10 login, while Lenovo’s Active Pen 2 (with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity) lets you inking and draw onscreen. A new feature for most users will be the Far Field microphone array, which enables voice activation for Windows 10’s Cortana from as far as 13 feet away.
The most unique feature on the Miix 520 is its WorldView camera, which can take 3D images. Lenovo bundles a MagicWindow app that lets you insert 3D images into regular images.
But the real news is the quad-core CPU. Microsoft’s Surface and its 2-in-1 followers like the Miix 520 always delivered on portability and versatility, but performance often took a backseat. Now that Intel’s promising significantly more performance for thin-and-light laptops, it could remove a major barrier for this class of PC. We’ll let you know how it goes if we review the Miix 520.
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Melissa Riofrio spent her formative journalistic years reviewing some of the biggest iron at PCWorld--desktops, laptops, storage, printers--and she continued to focus on hardware testing during stints at Computer Currents and CNET. Currently, in addition to leading PCWorld’s content direction, she covers productivity laptops and Chromebooks.