LAS VEGAS—With a starting price of $799, the Lenovo Miix 630 detachable Windows tablet is on the cheaper end of a brand-new crop of PCs that run power-sipping Qualcomm Snapdragon processors rather than CPUs from Intel or AMD.
The Miix 630, announced on Monday here at CES, looks nearly identical to the Chinese electronics giant’s other detachable Windows tablets, such as the Miix 520. It’s got a 12.3-inch full HD (1,920 by 1,080) touch screen that’s fortified with Corning Gorilla Glass. There’s a kickstand built into the back of the tablet for propping it up when the keyboard is attached, and the whole thing weighs just under three pounds.
Where the Miix 630 differs from other convertibles is its CPU, a Snapdragon 835. That’s the same unit that powers high-end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, which translates into a compelling blend of performance and battery life. Lenovo boasts that the Miix 630 will last up to 20 hours between charges. Even better, that estimate assumes that you’ll use your device as you would a smartphone: rarely turning it off and accessing the internet both via Wi-Fi and the included LTE modem.
Other niceties include a fanless design, also made possible by the Snapdragon 835’s efficiency—fan noise is one of the main drawbacks of the Miix 520 compared to, say, an Apple iPad Pro. Storage options on the Miix 630 include 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB SSDs, and you can equip it with 4GB or 8GB of memory. There’s even an infrared camera that supports face-recognition logins via Windows Hello, and the tablet is compatible with the Lenovo Digital Pen for drawing and writing on the screen.
On the downside, the Miix 630 will come pre-loaded with Windows 10 S, a hobbled version of Microsoft’s operating system that can only run programs you download from the Windows Store. You’ll have to shell out extra to upgrade to the full version of Windows 10.
There are some unknowns about the performance of the Snapdragon 835 when it comes to running Windows. In addition to the Miix 630, which goes on sale in April, other Qualcomm-powered Windows machines include the upcoming HP Envy x2 and the Asus NovaGo. We’ve yet to test these devices in PC Labs, so we can’t corroborate the manufacturers’ claims of extraordinary battery life. We also don’t know what service plans will be like. If mobile carriers require a separate, more expensive data plan for the Miix 630 that you must add to your cell phone contract, the total cost of ownership will be far greater than $799.