When things get tough, and commitments pile up by the dozen, tough 2-in-1 laptops get going. There’s something wonderfully reassuring about efficient mobile laptops like the new Microsoft Surface Go and the Lenovo Miix 630. These 2-in-1 laptops are designed to be compact, adaptable and yet high-performing for your personal and professional demands. Let’s assess what they each bring to the table.
Both laptops are equipped with 4GB RAM (up to 8GB in the Surface Go) and 128GB of memory. While they deliver excellently in the performance domain, offering speed and efficiency, the Lenovo Miix 630 inches ahead because of its Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. Designed to be incredibly power efficient, it retains battery juice for up to 20 hours compared to 9 hours in the Surface Go (fueled by an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor).
Additionally, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 also endeavors to prolong the life of the Lenovo Miix’s 4-cell, 48Wh battery with a superb standby mode. On standby, the device lasts for a week or more, considerably reducing power consumption and preventing overcharging. Bonus: the design is entirely fan-less, so you are guaranteed quiet and peaceful work.
Windows 10 S mode is the operating system of choice in both these 2-in-1- laptops, so you get the comfort of productivity, security tools and apps from the Windows store. For instance, the Surface Go lets you make the most of Windows Defender, the Photos app, parental controls, OneNote and Office. You can also avail of a 30-day trial of Microsoft Office 365 Home. If you so desire, the Lenovo Miix 630 lets you switch to Windows 10 Pro within three months of first activation (180 days), at no additional cost.
A Connected World
Of course, it is a connected world, and these laptops understand this down to their core. The Microsoft Surface Go is compatible with IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and supports Bluetooth 4.1. It also has two 1080p HD-video cameras — a 5.0MP front-facing camera and an 8.0MP rear-facing one — to let you stay connected with everyone in your world. The front camera supports Windows Hello face authentication, and the rear one has smooth autofocus. The Dolby Audio Premium stereo speakers (2W) make video-calling and other media pursuits a rewarding experience.
But, bate your breath for the Lenovo Miix 630, the clear winner when it comes to keeping you connected. This machine, besides 802.11 AC and Bluetooth 4.1 support, also has inbuilt 4G LTE and Qualcomm Snapdragon technology. The result? Download-speeds almost twice of what you’ve been used to, seamless connectivity across networks (through an optional eSim), and faultless sync even in sleep mode.
The Lenovo Miix 630, too, invests in quality cameras to connect you to those who matter — a 5.0MP front and a 13.0MP rear camera. Since the front camera supports Windows Hello, this laptop lets you use your smile as the password. Quick and very neat! (Notably, the dual speakers in this one are 1W each.)
Both devices also have adequate device-support: one USB-C port, a card reader, and microphones (two dual array microphones in the Lenovo Miix 630 and a single one in the Surface Go).
Display & Graphics
The Lenovo Miix 630 offers a larger display — a 12.3” screen and a resolution of 1920 x 1280. The Integrated Qualcomm Adreno 540 display is bright and smart, with In-Plane Switching and multi-touch support.
Even with smaller numbers (10”, 1800 x 1200), the Surface Go also succeeds in providing a beautiful display experience. With Intel HD Graphics 615, PixelSense, and an aspect ratio of 3:2, your photos and videos render accurately, in sharp coloring. The multi-touch is 10-point and comfortable to use.
You can also use a pen (stylus) to embrace the display more deeply, and doodle, take notes, or sketch. The Lenovo Miix 630 comes with a Lenovo Active pen that is sensitive to 1,024 levels of pressure. The Surface pen, in turn, pairs brilliantly with Windows Ink and Microsoft Edge, making interaction with your device a breeze. Note that the Surface Pen is sold separately.
Buddy or Baggage?
A 2-in-1 laptop that becomes top-heavy or a burden to lug around has failed its life’s mission. Thankfully, these devices remain ultra-portable despite their many features and desktop-class performance. The Surface Go, measuring 9.65 x 6.90 x 0.33″, weighs a feather-light 1.15 lbs. It has a built-in light sensor, accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope to sense where things are headed. You can acquire a cool Signature Type Cover to get the ease of a full-sized keyboard. Once you’ve paired a keyboard and a mobile mouse, the device pretty much resembles a full-fledged desktop.
The Lenovo Miix 630 is only a little heftier, weighing 1.69 lbs and measuring 8.23 x 11.54 x 0.29″. Its detachable full-keyboard is a miniature victory — backlit, responsive and precise. It is clearly built for the on-the-move population, as the keys are minimally spaced (1.3mm), and the keyboard also acts as a screen protector. Suffice it to say, the machines add very little to your baggage and lend themselves effortlessly to travel.
Two robustly designed machines, with unique merits to boot — how should you decide which one to opt for?
The Microsoft Surface Go is priced at an immensely affordable $399.00. In this price range, it delivers stellar performance and portability and also displays the versatility to function in different settings/roles. The Lenovo Miix 630 is priced at a reasonably higher $899.99. However, it also labors to earn those extra bucks, scoring big wins in processing, power efficiency and connectivity.
To create an effortless desktop experience, it also comes with an included full-size keyboard and a digital pen, both of which you will have to purchase separately in the Microsoft Surface Go. Revisit your priority list and your budget to decide which machine better fits your bill.