I mentioned yesterday that I was in the market for a 2-in-1 to replace the dead Venue 8 Pro. Though I mentioned a lot of options conveniently found at the Microsoft Store, I left a different device off the list: the Lenovo Ideapad Miix 700. This is largely because it debuted in September of 2015, and really didn’t make much of a splash. (Not that any PCs have made much of a splash in recent years…)
A Blessed Surface (Pro) Clone
Microsoft created the Surface line to show OEMs what a 2-in-1 is supposed to be, and has seemingly given its blessing to devices which essentially copy the Surface look and feel. Obviously, there is only so much an OEM can do to differentiate its devices–at the end of the day, you’re basically looking at a rectangle with a keyboard. Corners may or may not be rounded, and the devices will vary by a few millimeters and grams here and there. But, for the most part, a rectangle is a rectangle is a rectangle.
When it debuted, the Miix 700–which looks and acts almost exactly like Microsoft’s Surface offerings–fell somewhere in between the Surface 3 and the Surface Pro 3 in terms of price and features.
|Surface 3||Lenovo Miix 700||Surface Pro 3|
|Starting Price: $499||Starting Price: $749 (?)||Starting Price: $799|
(These were the best specs and prices I could determine based on the respective manufacturer’s websites. If they’re inaccurate, I apologize. Things in RED are an advantage, and things in GREEN are a slight advantage.)
I Found a Bargain on the Miix 700
Brand new, the Ideapad Miix 700 is a strong competitor, price-wise, but ends up being on my but-I-really-don’t-want-to-spend-that-much-on-this-thing list. For a lot less, I could get HP’s Pavilion x2, accepting its slower processor and taking a gamble on the stylus. Or, honestly, just leaving the whole thing alone until a new generation of devices comes out.
But last weekend, I decided to finally go visit Houston’s new Microcenter store. (It used to be on the West Loop, which was a traffic nightmare. Now it’s moved to South Rice Avenue, which is slightly less of a traffic nightmare.) I needed to get some toner and photo paper, but ended up discovering that there was an Open-Box special on a Miix 700, which put the price at roughly 40% off. In other words, it was less expensive than the Pavilion x2, including the Active Pen (only $34 on Amazon).
I had a decision to make. I’m wary of deals that are too good to be true (which this seemed to be). And Open-Box specials can be concerning–was there a specific reason this came back to the store? (The sales associate said that it was returned because it was unwanted, not because it was malfunctioning.) Why was there another Open-Box special for a couple hundred bucks more? (Sales associate did not know.) The manufacturer’s warranty (1 year) still applied, and there was a fifteen-day Microcenter return policy on all open-box items. So I bit the bullet, bought it, and ordered the active pen after I got home.