SP4 owner compares to Lenovo Miix 700

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by spinedoc77, Dec 26, 2015.

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  1. spinedoc77

    spinedoc77 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Owned a i5/256gb SP4 the day it came out, it replaced a SP3. Upgraded to a i7/512gb but then felt as if I paid too much for the functionality and the battery life was really insulting. The Lenovo Miix 700 is the tablet most close in appearance and functionality to the SP4 and I thought others might have the same quandary in choosing between the 2.

    Overall appearance I'd say the Miix wins hands down. It's black, metallic and very solid and high quality feeling. The black paint is of a very high quality and really looks nice in person. The watch band hinges are georguous and really give it some bling. Even the Lenovo logo is kind of a muted dark chrome, which looks very classy instead of how gaudy bright chrome looks. The front of the devices goes to the SP4, smaller bezel, larger screen, higher resolution, no logo to mar the front.

    They are both extremely close in thickness. Even though in my pics the SP4 looks thicker, the Miix is actually slightly thicker, slightly wider, but a good amount taller. The keyboards seem to be virtually the same thickness, but the miix keyboards is taller.

    The keyboard on the Miix is junk. Functionally the keys move well, have about the same travel as the SP4 kb and seemed accurate, bonus they are much quieter then the SP4 keyboard. The miix keyboard borders on awful looking, the keyboard side isn't bad, very understated as befits a business machine but I wasn't too keen on the rubberized surface, it just felt cheap. The back part is just a very cheap feeling piece of faux pleather plastic stretched around it and glued at the seams, the seams seem cheap as well IMO. It doesn't look like it will have longevity, but that's not based on anything other than aesthetics and it may very well wear and tear a long time. I had some issues right off the bat with the Miix 700 keyboard, I had a lot of ghost swipes on the trackpad where the faintest of swipes while going to another key would cause havoc with the UI. The Miix keyboard also would think it was disconnected when I folded it backwards and sometimes when just typing on it, I'd hear the MS chime for disconnected hardware and would make this happen at will. I also had a lot of odd UI issues, desktop focus being taken by something invisible, windows switching, I have no idea where this was from.

    Software: Both of course are win10 pro, kudos to Lenovo for providing the pro version at such a price point. Lenovo does have shovelware installed though of questionable usefulness, although that depends on your needs. Lenovo did go to the trouble of allocating disc space to store drivers out of the box. The SP4 has issues with waking, staying asleep, waking up with a black screen, graphics driver crashes, etc. The Miix ran very smoothly overall other than the UI changes, it was awesome to not have a fan and the tablet did not get very warm unless run hard. Power seemed abundant, I've ran Fallout 4 on my i7 SP4 and I get 20-25 fps with everything turned down at 720p. It only ran a few fps slower on the Miix. I know the SP4 throttles voltage after a few minutes, so maybe the miix didn't have that limitation. Once again did I say how nice it was to not have the fan?

    Battery life: The Miix by far. It slept and stayed asleep and consumed almost nothing while asleep. While powered on it wouldn't take too much power, a reasonable amount IMO. I feel comfortable I'd get a solid work day out of it. The SP4 by comparison was crap, the fan would come on randomly and start going nuts, the battery would be pretty bad with the screen on. It would often not sleep and usually when turned on would show it had ran down the battery, once in a while it would turn on in my bag and I'd get to work and take out a boiling $2100 piece of metal, not good.

    Upgradability: Huge plus to the Miix for this. The back pops off with 6 screws. You can put in a brand new M.2 SSD, a 512gb evo 850 is $177 on Amazon. You can put in a LTE antenna and there is even one on their parts list already, although I have no idea if the antennas are prewired, or available for purchase, and there is the issue of a SIM slot as well. Still just upgrading the hard drive is huge. You can really save your money and get the M3 version for I think $749, add $177 and have a 512gb hard drive and you save because the keyboard comes with it.

    Verdict for me: The SP4. Mainly because of 2 reasons: 1) the Keyboard on the miix is awful. I'm impressed with how much quality is packed into the tablet itself, but am dumbfounded why they cheaped out on the keyboard. Still, I would have forced myself to accept it if it was only backlit, a completely stupid decision IMO. 2) the customer service: Having issues with my keyboard being faulty made me realize what a pain in the butt it was going to be to service this thing, especially with the fame Lenovo has as being terrible at customer service. Versus just waltzing into a MS store and having them do whatever it takes to make me happy. Once you get used to that kind of service it is very hard to go back, let me tell you.

    Anyhoo some pics...
    EDIT: The cheapie forum will not let me upload files because they are too large, time to get the forum off of hamsters.
     
  2. spinedoc77

    spinedoc77 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Just a couple pics, as I really don't feel like posting every single pic on a hosting site, then having to link each one here.

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    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
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  3. MOFO

    MOFO Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Very nice comparison.
    I love the fact the the Miix 700 is around and glad to hear overall it's a decently well built machine besides the keyboard but no matter how much money you save I would go with the SP4 every time myself.
    Reason, the awful customer service is absolutely true and never mind the sneaky tracking programs they install without telling anyone (not saying the Miix has one but just them installing it in past hardware is a huge turn off)
    Do you know if Lenovo the full 7W of the m7 ? I've heard manufactures can configure it up or down to suite there needs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015
  4. dartho19

    dartho19 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Do you tested the pen on the miix ? How is it compared to the surface pen?
     
  5. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    Was it possible to run the Miix with the SP4 keyboard?
     
  6. HionHiFi

    HionHiFi Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I too had a Miix 700 but alas had to return it because the Wi-Fi card was bad. I didn't end up getting a replacement. I'd echo pretty much everything that the Doc said about it. Keyboard sucks and it's bigger than the SP4 overall.

    Performance wise it was good to go but I too had the same expedience with wierd bugs.

    I've since moved onto a Lenovo TPY14. It's a bigger machine but it's solid and it works damn near flawlessly.

    Sent from my LG-H815 using Tapatalk
     
  7. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    I wonder if they cheaped out of the keyboard because it is an ideapad and the X1 (which is the Thinkpad version scheduled to arrive in February *or June if Lenovo stays true to form*) will have a better keyboard in the Thinkpad tradition. If that was the case, the X1 would solve not only the keyboard problem but the service issue as well. Could be worth a wait (not for me, however, since I'm waiting for the Surface 4). Thanks for the review.
     
  8. spinedoc77

    spinedoc77 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I didn't have access to the pen. I thought it was included, but apparently you have to buy it separate.
     
  9. spinedoc77

    spinedoc77 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Physically they are very different. One of them had more prongs than the other, I forget which one. Depending on the magnet location, what prongs line up with, maybe it's possible to shave the keyboard case down and make it fit, IF you had some skills.
     
  10. Scampo

    Scampo Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I've been using the Lenovo Miix 700 and the SP3 with new SP4 keyboard for a while now. I agree that the SP4 keyboard is rather better, but that the older Microsoft SP3 keyboard is worse. The Lenovo keyboard isn't, I'd say, deserving of the epithet "junk" in any way at all. It looks good and works well. The key spacing and travel of the Lenovo are excellent and allow for fast easy typing. When not on a table, the Lenovo keyboard flexes very slightly more than the now very rigid SP4 kb does (it is similar to the old SP3 kb in this respect) - that and the lack of backlight are two differences that put the SP4 keyboard slightly ahead. The flexing causes some of the keys to "click" a little when pressed but other than that, the keys are absolutely fine and suit my large fingers.

    In everyday use I am finding both keyboards are effective and work well. The covering of the Lenovo is smooth, whereas the SP keyboard has a pleasant suede effect - both are plastic, though, and both have sharpish edges created by the plastic being welded. Keeping in mind the much lower overall price of the Lenovo makes it very good value for such a fantastic bit of kit - the keyboard and stylus both come in the purchase price but both cost a good deal extra for the Microsoft SP4.

    All in all, the Lenovo is a superb piece of kit being sold in the UK at a very attractive price. If they do improve the keyboard, as Microsoft have done with theirs, then it will be retro-fittable.
     
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