PC makers are announcing 8" Windows 8.1 tablets left and right. The latest one to hop on the bandwagon is Lenovo, whose new Miix2 slate couples an 8" IPS screen with one of Intel’s new Bay Trail Atom processors for $299.
Now, don’t get too excited: that IPS screen has a resolution of just 1280×800. Even with Windows’ ClearType mojo smoothing out fonts, that kind of pixel density (189 PPI, by my count) pales in comparison to what’s available in the Android and iOS camps.
Lackluster resolution aside, the Miix2 doesn’t sound badly equipped. It has a quad-core Bay Trail-T chip, up to 128GB of eMMC solid-state storage (though Lenovo says nothing of the base storage config), room for an extra 32GB of storage via a microSD slot, and two cameras (five megapixels at the back, two megapixels at the front). Lenovo will offer an optional stylus and detachable cover, as well. The cover protects the screen and, in SmartCover fashion, "doubles as a stand for viewing content on the device."
Lenovo’s press release says the Miix2 weighs "a mere 350 mg," which sounds pretty light. Actually, it sounds impossibly light, since 350 mg is about the weight of a regular-strength Tylenol. More likely, the Miix2 tips the scales at 350 g, which is equivalent to 12.3 ounces—about an ounce and a half heavier than the 7" Kindle Fire HDX. The Miix2 is a little thinner than the Amazon tablet, though, at 0.33" vs. 0.35".
Look for the Miix2 in stores (or at least on Lenovo’s website) "later this month." Windows 8.1 comes out tomorrow, so I figure we might even see a listing as early as this week.