Lenovo's Miix 720 is a more powerful rival to Microsoft's Surface Pro


Digital Arts | 03 January 17

The Lenovo Miix 720 is a 12-inch Windows tablet with a faster processor, a higher-res screen and a better (and Wacom-developed) pen than the Surface Pro 4.

The Miix 720 will cost US$999 – around £815 in the UK, though actual UK pricing has yet to be confirmed – and will ship in April. That's about $100/£75 more than the starting price of the Surface Pro 4, but the Miix 720 has superior features.

For designers and artists, one key feature of the Lenovo tablet is the Active Pen 2 – which was developed with Wacom. This has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity to the Surface Pen's 1,024 – and feels better in the hand too.

The Lenovo Miix 720 runs on an Intel Core processor based on the latest Kaby Lake architecture and has an integrated graphics processor capable of supporting 4K video. Surface Pro 4 is a generation behind with Skylake chips, but the next Surface tablet will likely get Kaby Lake.

Lenovo has borrowed some ideas from the Surface with a kickstand at the back of the Miix 720, which helps the tablet sit upright on a desk or tabletop.

Another difference-maker in the Miix 720 is the USB-C port, which is also a high-speed Thunderbolt 3 port to connect external peripherals like displays and storage devices. Surface Pro 4 only has one full-sized USB 3.0 port. Additionally, the Miix 720 has USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports.

The Lenovo tablet supports up to 16GB of faster DDR4 DRAM. The Surface Pro 4 supports up to 16GB of the older and slower DDR3 memory. Data moves faster with DDR4 memory, and that means faster computer performance.

The Lenovo's 12-inch screen is smaller than the 12.3-inch screen on the Surface Pro 4 but displays images at a higher resolution. The Miix 720 displays images at a 2880 x 1920-pixel resolution, which is better than the 2736 x 1824-pixel resolution of the Surface Pro 4.

The Miix 720 has storage capacity up to 1TB, and a keyboard attachment turns the tablet into a laptop. Those capabilities are available on the Surface Pro 4. Lenovo will separately sell a stylus allowing users to take notes and draw on the tablet.

Lenovo's tablet weighs about 780 grams, or 1.1kg with the keyboard attachment. It has a 1-megapixel front camera with infrared, allowing users to log into Windows PCs via face recognition.The tablet also has a 5-megapixel rear camera.

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