Comparing Microsoft and Lenovo Windows 10 tablets

Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro 4/5 and Lenovo Miix 720 Windows 10 tablets

Windows 10 tablets - Lenovo Mixx 720 tablet PC with detachable keyboard

Windows 10 tablets – Lenovo Miix 720 tablet PC with detachable keyboard

Windows 10 tablets that come with a detachable keyboard, such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro models, are really small, ultra-portable laptop PCs capable of running office applications and other heavy-duty software. Not the case with most tablets that use the far more limited Google Android operating system.

Microsoft is not the only manufacturer of Windows 10 tablets. Other major manufacturers, such as China’s Lenovo, are competing strongly with Microsoft in that market.

Both Microsoft and Lenovo are set to launch new Win10 models in 2017. For Microsoft, it is the Surface Pro 5 and for Lenovo it is the Miix 720. Specifications of the Miix 720 are available ahead of the April 2017 launch date. No specifications are available for the Surface Pro 5, not even a launch date, also expected by insiders to be some time in the spring of 2017.

The cost of both tablets should start from around US$1,000.00. If you are going to pay that much for a tablet, a few hundred dollars either way is not going to matter much. What you want is the best tablet for your money.

Comparative specifications

Since the specs of the Surface Pro 5 are not available, the table below compares the basic specs of the Miix 720 to the Surface Pro 4. The most likely basic specs for the Surface Pro 5 are in brackets. Both tablets are available in a range of processors, memory, storage capacities, etc. The higher the specs, the more expensive the model.

Lenovo Miix 720 Microsoft Surface Pro 4 / [5]
Screen size – 12 inches Screen size – 12.3 inches
Processor – Intel Core – latest Kaby Lake models Processor – Intel Core – previous-generation Skylake models [Kaby Lake models]
Kickstand – Yes Kickstand – Yes
USB Type-C port – Yes USB Type-C port – No [USB Type-C – expected]
USB 2.0/3.0 ports – Yes – both types USB 3.0 port – Yes – only one
Screen resolution – 2880 x 1920 pixels – Intel HD Integrated Graphics 620 Screen resolution – 2736 x 1824 pixels – Intel HD Graphics 520
Up to 16GB of faster DDR4 RAM memory Up to 16GB of the older and slower DDR3 RAM Memory [up to 16GB DDR4]
1-megapixel front camera; 5-megapixel rear camera Front camera 5-megapixel; rear camera
8-megapixel
Storage capacity up to 1TB SSD drive (1000GB) Storage capacity up to 1TB SSD drive (1000GB)
Battery – 41 WHr; Up to 8 hours  Battery – 31.5 watt-hours – Up to 6 hours

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Review

Below is a link to a decent video review of the Surface Pro 4 and a tour of the Lenovo Miix 720. As shown, the build quality of the Surface Pro 4 is excellent. It is a better tablet than the Surface Pro 3. If that kind of improvement continues, the Surface Pro 5 is going to be enticing enough to make many laptop users switch to buying this kind of tablet. The optional extra docking station is shown in the review. As soon as video reviews are available for the Surface Pro 5 and the Lenovo Miix 720, I’ll update this page with the links.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Review –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gbhl8fmQL8k

Lenovo Miix 720 Tour –

The USB Type-C (USB-C) connection port

Note that a single USB Type-C (USB-C) port (also known as USB-C) can connect up to 6 peripheral devices via a docking station, USB hub, daisy chaining devices, using adapters, etc. The Lenovo Miix 720 only provides a single USB-C port (no other USB ports). Apple’s iPad tablets also only provide a single USB-C port. Note that Thunderbolt 1 and 2 use the same connector as Mini DisplayPort (MDP). The latest version, Thunderbolt 3, uses only a USB Type-C connector.

The image below shows a USB-C Gigabit Ethernet network adapter (£30 in January 2017). Use it to connect the tablet to a router that provides connections to broadband Internet and other computers by Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Other adapters, such as those that connect to DVI and DisplayPort monitor ports, are available.

Belkin USB-C Gigabit Ethernet network adapter

Belkin USB-C Gigabit Ethernet network adapter

The image below shows a Belkin USB 3.0 hub and a USB-C adapter cable (£80 in January 2017). The USB-C end of the cable connects to the tablet and the USB 3.0 end connects to the hub, allowing up to four USB 3.0 devices to connect to the tablet.

Belkin USB 3.0 4-port hub with a USB-C adapter cable

Belkin USB 3.0 4-port hub with a USB-C adapter cable

Conclusion

Depending on its prices, if Microsoft uses the latest Intel Core Kaby Lake processors, DDR4 RAM memory, provides a USB-C port and improves the battery life in the Surface Pro 5 models, they will hold their own or be a preferable purchase to the Lenovo Miix 720 models.

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