The Chromebook industry has been very popular because of its very cheap price. Chromebooks are geared towards college students as they provide the essential features that most college students need to get by at a very reasonable price. The principle reasons as is to why the Chromebook is so cheap is that it runs Google Chrome’s OS, as opposed to the much pricier Windows 10 or Mac OS X. Chromebooks also generally rely on a stable internet connection for cloud storage as there is no onboard storage. Chromebooks offer a very powerful and cheaper alternative to most other laptops out today.
But recently, Lenovo had announced a new laptop that could be direct competition to both Chromebooks and other laptops. The Miix 320 is only $199 and offers a Windows-OS experience as opposed to Chromebooks that only offered the Google-Chrome-OS. Lenovo has announced that the laptop will ship in April, along with a pen-enabled version being released in July.
One of the main features that Lenovo has advertised is its form. The Miix 320 is a 2-in-1 detachable laptop, a feature that does not exist in Chromebooks. When attached, there is a secure, but easily removed magnetic joint between the two halves of the laptop. The display of the Miix 320 is approximately 10.1 inches and is light enough to have the functionality of a tablet. Although the display of the Miix 320 is smaller than the Chromebook, the differences in resolution make up for it. Compared to the Chromebooks’ 1366×768 resolution, the Miix 320 boasts a 1920×1200 resolution, offering a much finer quality of video.
For many critics, the main concern for Chromebooks is the lack of quality of material used to actually create the laptop. Melissa Riofrio from PCWorld described typing on the Miix 320 as an improvement from Chromebooks, whose “hard plastic buttons” made it seem as if you were “typing on rocks.” The built-in Microsoft Precision Trackpad has also seen positive reviews as there is a better recognition of some additional touching and swiping gestures that allow navigating Windows 10 much easier.
For Chromebooks, connectivity between devices was also a major concern for consumers. But, the Miix 320 is rumored to include one USB-C port on the actual display along with two USB-A ports o the bottom portion of the laptop. Including the various ports on both the display and keyboard encourages consumers to at least experiment with the Miix 320 and still use legacy devices. The Miix 320 also has LTE capabilities, allowing the users to use the laptop virtually anywhere they have access to connection.
Looking further into the specs of the Miix 320, it has a relatively weak processor (Intel Atom X5), meaning that you would not be able to do CPU-heavy activities, unlike web-browsing and built-in applications. The battery life of the Miix 320 goes up to 10 hours, a major improvement compared to Chromebooks. The laptop also comes with 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of eMMC storage. Although this storage is much higher than that of the Chromebooks, you must remember that the Windows OS will take up 20 GB to install.
Looking at the various features and specs, the Miix 320 is offering a promising alternative to both Chromebooks and more premium laptops. The 2-in-1 model of the Miix 320 will definitely be a selling point for many consumers and the overall design offers a similar experience to laptops at the price of a Chromebook.
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