Notebookcheck

Lenovo Miix 520 (i5-8250U, FHD) Convertible Review

The Surface Pro alternative. Faster than the fastest Surface Pro and cheaper as well, the Lenovo tablet returns with Kaby Lake-R to boost the Miix family back on top.

Lenovo introduced the Miix 520 with Kaby Lake-R back in August to supplant the Miix 510 carrying Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs. While the refresh was said to carry both Core i5-8250U and i5-8350U options and LTE connectivity, current SKUs of the Miix 520 are limited to the i5-8250U with no LTE for now. Nearly everything else about the tablet has remained unchanged from the Miix 510 including the 12.2-inch 16:10 FHD touchscreen, 8 GB LPDDR4 2133 MHz RAM, battery capacity, and Yoga-inspired hinge stand.

The tablet detachable is now available in just a single configuration for $999 USD with double the internal storage capacity of the Miix 510. It is one of the first Windows tablets to ship with Kaby Lake-R and it competes directly with the Surface Pro series, HP Elite x2 1012, Dell Latitude 7285, XPS 13 9365, and the Asus Transformer 4 Pro. More manufacturers are expected to unveil Kaby Lake-R Windows tablets at CES 2018.

The Miix 520 is an internal update over the Miix 510. Thus, we recommend checking out our existing Miix 510 Pro review as they both carry identical chassis features and keyboard docks.

Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Core: 300 MHz, Memory: 1067 MHz, DDR4, 22.20.16.4749
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4, 2133 MHz, 10-10-10-28, Dual-Channel
Display
12.2 inch 16:10, 1920 x 1200 pixel 186 PPI, 10-point capacitive, native pen support, Unknown, IPS, glossy: yes, detachable screen
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: MicroSD, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15.9 x 300 x 205 ( = 0.63 x 11.81 x 8.07 in)
Battery
38 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Active Pen 2, Carrying bag, Stylus holder, AAAA Battery and button batteries, McAfee Anti-Virus, Dolby Audio, Wacom Pen, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.2 kg ( = 42.33 oz / 2.65 pounds), Power Supply: 205 g ( = 7.23 oz / 0.45 pounds)
Price
1000 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

As described in our review of the Miix 510, the aluminum chassis of the Miix 520 feels tight and representative of the high four-digit starting price. It's not perfectly rigid, however, as attempting to twist the tablet from its sides will result in slight creaking and visible bending. Fortunately, the degree by which this occurs is minimal and doesn't detract from the build quality of the tablet. Nonetheless, users who want something firmer and more unyielding may want to look at the Surface Pro or Latitude 7285 as they feel stronger in the hand.

The wristband hinge-stand has translated well from Lenovo's high-end Yoga 900 series. The stand is uniformly firm at all angles up to its 150-degree maximum with no teetering when typing or transporting. If we are to nitpick, the stand can be difficult to deploy since it sits tightly against the tablet when closed and its opening notch is a bit too small for users with larger hands.

At a combined weight of 1.2 kg (900 g tablet + 300 g keyboard dock), the Miix 520 is not significantly heavier or lighter than most competitors with the tougher Latitude 7285 being a notable exception. The Surface Pro is slightly thinner at 13.5 mm (8.5 mm tablet + 5 mm Type Cover) compared to the Miix 520 at 15.9 mm (9.9 mm tablet + 6 mm keyboard base). In practice, however, the minute differences are essentially negligible as both systems are very compact and easy to carry. 

Keyboard base can be angled or made flat
Keyboard base can be angled or made flat
Strong Yoga-inspired hinges
Strong Yoga-inspired hinges
304 mm / 12 inch 200 mm / 7.87 inch 15 mm / 0.591 inch 1.2 kg2.65 lbs300 mm / 11.8 inch 205 mm / 8.07 inch 15.9 mm / 0.626 inch 1.2 kg2.65 lbs300 mm / 11.8 inch 205 mm / 8.07 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 1.2 kg2.72 lbs300 mm / 11.8 inch 219.7 mm / 8.65 inch 9.1 mm / 0.3583 inch 1.2 kg2.63 lbs292.1 mm / 11.5 inch 201.4 mm / 7.93 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 1.1 kg2.36 lbs273.2 mm / 10.8 inch 208.5 mm / 8.21 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 1.4 kg3 lbs

Connectivity

No changes have been made to the ports from the last generation Miix 510. Still, it would have been great to see the USB Type-C Gen. 1 port be upgraded to Thunderbolt 3 as Lenovo recently did the same to the Yoga 920. Competing convertibles like the XPS 13 9365 and HP Elite x2 both offer Thunderbolt 3 while the Surface Pro notoriously omits it.

Top: No connectivity
Top: No connectivity
Right: 3.5 mm combo audio, USB 3.0, USB Type-C Gen. 1
Right: 3.5 mm combo audio, USB 3.0, USB Type-C Gen. 1
Bottom: Pogo pins
Bottom: Pogo pins
Left: Power button, Volume rocker, AC adapter
Left: Power button, Volume rocker, AC adapter

SD Card Reader

The spring-loaded MicroSD card reader is tucked underneath the flap for easy access when needed. Transfer rates average about 86 MB/s with our Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2 MicroSD card to be comparable to the MicroSD slots of the HP Elite x2 and ThinkPad X1 tablet. Copying 1 GB worth of photos from the card to desktop will take about 14 seconds.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
 
79.8 MB/s ∼100% +6%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
 
75.6 MB/s ∼95%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
 
72.62 MB/s ∼91% -4%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
 
93.77 MB/s ∼100% +9%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
 
87.4 MB/s ∼93% +2%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
 
86.05 MB/s ∼92%

Communication

WLAN and Bluetooth 4.2 are provided by a 2x2 Intel 8265 module commonly found on mainstream Ultrabooks. We are able to record a real-world average transfer rate of 528 Mbps when standing one meter away from our Linksys EA8500 test router. Connectivity is steady and with no dropout issues.

4G LTE options are supposedly in the works and are not yet available for sale at the time of writing. There are no plans to incorporate NFC.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (jseb)
638 MBit/s ∼100% +21%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
569 MBit/s ∼89% +8%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
528 MBit/s ∼83%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
309 MBit/s ∼48% -41%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
516 MBit/s ∼100%
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (jseb)
500 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
471 MBit/s ∼91% -9%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
246 MBit/s ∼48% -52%

Accessories

Included extras are a carrying bag, Active Pen 2 WACOM stylus, pen holder, AAAA battery, two button batteries, and the detachable keyboard dock. Lenovo bundles all Miix 520 systems with the keyboard dock which is more than what we can say for the Surface Pro series. Docking stations based on Thunderbolt 3 will not be fully compatible with the system.

Included extras (Keyboard base and AC adapter not shown)
Included extras (Keyboard base and AC adapter not shown)
Active Pen 2 stylus could have been a little thicker to be more like a standard ink pen
Active Pen 2 stylus could have been a little thicker to be more like a standard ink pen

Maintenance

There is a set of T5 Hex screws along the bottom half of the back plate. Even with these removed, however, the plating is latched tightly around the edges and corners and it is very difficult to safely remove for the end user. In comparison, the HP Elite x2 tablet was designed to be more easily serviceable while the Surface Pro series has even poorer serviceability.

Warranty

The standard one-year limited warranty applies. Strangely enough, Lenovo is not offering additional warranty options for the Miix 520 when ordered through Lenovo.com at this time.

Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The backlit keyboard (~28.0 x 10.5 cm) provides a key travel of 1.5 mm with the Precision visual style reminiscent of the Ideapad series. Keystroke is firm but uneven because the entire surface of the keyboard dock will rock or shake slightly every time a key is pressed. The instability of the keyboard base compared to a "proper" laptop keyboard means that the center keys of the Miix 520 can feel softer relative to the edge keys because the center keys will rock the keyboard base much more intensely. While not a deal breaker, it can take some getting used to and is a potential area for improvement on future model revisions.

Another more minor complaint relates to the backlight itself. The light can only be toggled on or off not unlike on the HP Spectre series, but the glow is very uneven around the keys as shown by our image below. The center keys are noticeably brighter whereas nearly every other notebook will have a more uniform light.

Touchpad

The trackpad (8.5 x 4.8 cm) is disappointing not only because of its small surface area but also for its cursor tracking and feedback. First, our onscreen cursor would sometimes stop or jump for seemingly no apparent reason when simply gliding along the smooth surface of the trackpad. We're not sure if this is a series-wide bug or an issue with our specific unit, but it is very annoying and not something we experienced on the Miix 510. Even if the trackpad is working as intended, its integrated mouse keys are far too spongy and with very weak feedback for an unsatisfying feel when pressed. It definitely seems like an afterthought compared to the otherwise reliable touchscreen and WACOM pen.

Precision keyboard layout. Center keys could have been firmer and more unyielding
Precision keyboard layout. Center keys could have been firmer and more unyielding
1.5 mm key travel. Trackpad is poor even by convertible standards
1.5 mm key travel. Trackpad is poor even by convertible standards
Strangely, the left and right thirds of the keyboard surface are not lit as brightly as the center
Strangely, the left and right thirds of the keyboard surface are not lit as brightly as the center

Display

The 16:10 FHD touchscreen carries no other resolution options and has a lower PPI than both the Surface Pro and ThinkPad X1 tablet as a result. We're also convinced that Lenovo is utilizing the exact same IPS panel as on the Miix 510 for the Miix 520 based on our measurements below. We can record no significant improvements in terms of brightness, contrast, color accuracy, or even response times between the two generations. Interestingly enough, utility programs like HWiNFO or AIDA are unable to pull the panel ID or supplier for the Miix tablet two generations in a row.

While contrast and brightness levels are both respectable, the latest Surface Pro and HP Elite x2 have even brighter backlighting, more accurate colors, deeper black levels, and wider gamuts for a more vivid viewing experience. The Miix 520 falls a bit short in this regard even though it is still a sharp display with only minimal graininess.

Uneven backlight bleeding is present on our unit and is most pronounced around the corners of the screen. The clouding is thankfully not noticeable during day-to-day use, but it is visible if the screen is darkened.

Pulse-width modulation can be detected on all brightness levels except when on the maximum setting. Users sensitive to onscreen flickering may want to avoid the Miix 520 as a result.

Light-moderate backlight bleeding
Light-moderate backlight bleeding
RGB subpixel array (186 PPI)
RGB subpixel array (186 PPI)
313.6
cd/m²
343.3
cd/m²
331.9
cd/m²
321.4
cd/m²
348.8
cd/m²
350.1
cd/m²
337.9
cd/m²
348.7
cd/m²
359.3
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Basic Pro 2
Maximum: 359.3 cd/m² Average: 339.4 cd/m² Minimum: 2.81 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 348.8 cd/m²
Contrast: 872:1 (Black: 0.4 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 7 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 10.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
90.9% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 58.7% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.22
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Unknown, IPS, 12.2, 1920x1200
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) m3
LG Display LP123WQ112604, IPS, 12.3, 2736x1826
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
Unknown, IPS, 12.2, 1920x1200
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Samsung SDC4A49, IPS, 12.3, 2716x1824
Dell XPS 13 9365-4537 2-in-1
Sharp LQ133Z1, IPS, 13.3, 3200x1800
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
LSN120QL01L01, IPS, 12, 2160x1440
Response Times
-9%
-4%
321%
-18%
17%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
35.6 (17.2, 18.4)
42 (20, 22)
-18%
33 (21, 12)
7%
45.6 (23.6, 22)
-28%
48 (26, 22)
-35%
28.4 (15.2, 13.2)
20%
Response Time Black / White *
28 (14.8, 13.2)
28 (18, 10)
-0%
23 (10, 13)
18%
21.6 (9.2, 12.4)
23%
28 (16, 12)
-0%
22.8 (13.6, 9.2)
19%
PWM Frequency
198.4 (99)
125 (90)
-37%
2119 (50)
968%
221.2 (49)
11%
Screen
35%
3%
30%
33%
14%
Brightness middle
348.8
461
32%
327
-6%
443
27%
348
0%
388.1
11%
Brightness
339
444
31%
324
-4%
446
32%
306
-10%
344
1%
Brightness Distribution
87
93
7%
88
1%
88
1%
78
-10%
78
-10%
Black Level *
0.4
0.34
15%
0.35
12%
0.41
-3%
0.2
50%
0.39
2%
Contrast
872
1356
56%
934
7%
1080
24%
1740
100%
995
14%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
7
3.43
51%
6.54
7%
2.6
63%
2.79
60%
4.6
34%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
16.2
5.55
66%
15.59
4%
4
75%
5.53
66%
9.1
44%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
10.1
3.08
70%
9.52
6%
3
70%
3.47
66%
6.1
40%
Gamma
2.22 99%
3.03 73%
2.35 94%
2.38 92%
2.54 87%
2.07 106%
CCT
9065 72%
7014 93%
8802 74%
6780 96%
6564 99%
7104 91%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
58.7
64
9%
59
1%
62.6
7%
60
2%
59
1%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
90.9
99
9%
92
1%
98
8%
93
2%
91
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
13% / 27%
-1% / 1%
176% / 97%
8% / 24%
16% / 14%

* ... smaller is better

Color space is approximately 91 percent and 59 percent of sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively, to be comparable to the displays of the Dell XPS 9365 and ThinkPad X1 tablet. Artists who demand full sRGB coverage, however, may want to consider the Surface Pro or HP Elite x2 yet again. Gamut is still wider than on many Ultrabooks where <90 percent sRGB coverage is a common occurrence.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. Surface Pro 2017
vs. Surface Pro 2017

Further analyses with a X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal very inaccurate colors and grayscale out of the box. Color temperature is far too cool at about 9000K and both Teal and Red are especially imbalanced across all tested saturation levels. Our calibration efforts improve grayscale and colors significantly whilst creating a more even RGB balance, but Red continues to be a thorn on an otherwise color accurate panel.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
28 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14.8 ms rise
↘ 13.2 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 59 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
35.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17.2 ms rise
↘ 18.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 27 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40.4 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 198.4 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 198.4 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 198.4 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9524 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is acceptable when under shade but below average when under sunlight or on an overcast day. The backlight is not powerful enough to significantly reduce or overcome glare from the glossy display. Viewing angles are as expected from an IPS panel with no major color shifting. Apparent brightness, however, decreases if viewing from obtuse angles to further reduce the effectiveness of the tablet in outdoor conditions.

Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

The Core i5-8250U may be considered an 8th generation Core product, but its Kaby Lake-R architecture is more closely related to last generation of Kaby Lake CPUs than to the current Coffee Lake series. Nonetheless, its advantages in sheer core count should give it the edge over the dual-core i5-7200U and i5-6200U found in the older generation Miix 510. Most Windows tablets have not yet made the jump to Kaby Lake-R as of late 2017 and Lenovo can be considered ahead of the curve in this regard.

RAM has not changed as it is still soldered at 8 GB DDR4 2133.

 

Processor

CPU performance is similar to the Acer Swift 3 notebook equipped with an identical Core i5-8250U CPU. Users can expect a massive raw performance boost of more than 100 percent over the Skylake i5-6200U in the last generation Miix 510 during multi-thread operations. As noted in our existing preview of the Kaby Lake-R series, the i5-8250U is a generational leap in processing power over the ULV Kaby Lake due largely to the quad-core architecture. The highest-end Surface Pro with the i7-7660U clocks in over 20 percent slower than the Miix 520 in multi-threaded operations while being about 15 percent faster in single-threaded operations according to CineBench R15.

Running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop reveals that the tablet is unable to sustain maximum Turbo Boost for very long. The initial score of 566 points falls to 532 points by the second run and the system never recovers throughout the loop test. The 6 percent drop shouldn't be noticeable when browsing or word processing and is relatively minor compared to the throttling that Microsoft imposes on its Surface Pro series.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i5-8250U for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
163 Points ∼75% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Core i7-7600U
162 Points ∼74% +13%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
154 Points ∼71% +7%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
Intel Core i5-8250U
145 Points ∼67% +1%
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
144 Points ∼66% 0%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼66%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
141 Points ∼65% -2%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
137 Points ∼63% -5%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel Core i5-7Y57
133 Points ∼61% -8%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
131 Points ∼60% -9%
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
Intel Core i5-6200U
116 Points ∼53% -19%
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
97 Points ∼44% -33%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
734 Points ∼17% +30%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
574 Points ∼13% +1%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
566 Points ∼13%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
Intel Core i5-8250U
560 Points ∼13% -1%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
519 Points ∼12% -8%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
514 Points ∼12% -9%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
410 (min: 335.35, max: 409.45) Points ∼9% -28%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Core i7-7600U
379 Points ∼9% -33%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
347 Points ∼8% -39%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel Core i5-7Y57
273 Points ∼6% -52%
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
260 Points ∼6% -54%
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
Intel Core i5-6200U
246 Points ∼6% -57%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
1.89 Points ∼77% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Core i7-7600U
1.85 Points ∼76% +13%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
1.77 Points ∼73% +8%
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.73 Points ∼71% +5%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
1.64 Points ∼67%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
1.57 Points ∼64% -4%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
1.53 Points ∼63% -7%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel Core i5-7Y57
1.52 Points ∼62% -7%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
1.52 Points ∼62% -7%
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
1.25 Points ∼51% -24%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.08 Points ∼30% +36%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
6.46 Points ∼24% +8%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
5.96 Points ∼22%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
5.92 Points ∼22% -1%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
5.76 Points ∼21% -3%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
4.55 Points ∼17% -24%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Core i7-7600U
4.03 Points ∼15% -32%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
3.83 Points ∼14% -36%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel Core i5-7Y57
3 Points ∼11% -50%
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
2.83 Points ∼10% -53%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
6501 Points ∼60% +17%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Core i7-7600U
6263 Points ∼58% +13%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
6213 Points ∼57% +12%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
Intel Core i5-8250U
5542 Points ∼51% 0%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
5536 Points ∼51%
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5528 Points ∼51% 0%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
5433 Points ∼50% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
5264 Points ∼49% -5%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel Core i5-7Y57
5132 Points ∼47% -7%
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
4158 Points ∼38% -25%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
4103 Points ∼38% -26%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
21839 Points ∼44% +22%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
17971 Points ∼36% 0%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
17923 Points ∼36%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
Intel Core i5-8250U
17505 Points ∼35% -2%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
16329 Points ∼33% -9%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
14400 Points ∼29% -20%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
13838 Points ∼28% -23%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Core i7-7600U
13170 Points ∼26% -27%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
11798 Points ∼24% -34%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel Core i5-7Y57
9888 Points ∼20% -45%
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
8723 Points ∼18% -51%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
438 s * ∼5% -48%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
402.56 s * ∼5% -36%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
331.085 s * ∼4% -12%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
295.075 s * ∼3%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
251.078 s * ∼3% +15%
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
212.96 s * ∼3% +28%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
684.933 Seconds * ∼3% -7%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
654.006 Seconds * ∼3% -3%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel Core i5-7Y57
638.678 Seconds * ∼3% -0%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
637.446 Seconds * ∼3%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
571.685 Seconds * ∼3% +10%
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
550.75 Seconds * ∼2% +14%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
509.5 Seconds * ∼2% +20%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6068
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
17923
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5536
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
44.09 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
5.96 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.64 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
48.53 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
566 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
144 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks rank the tablet in the same ballpark as the Elite x2 and passively-cooled Surface Pro. Its PCMark 8 Work score is notably lower than expected despite running the benchmark twice, but its score is provided below regardless. In practice, we experienced no software or hardware issues during our time with the review unit.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Acceclerated
PCMark 8 Work Acceclerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
4197 Points ∼64% +56%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4036 Points ∼62% +50%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) m3
HD Graphics 615, 7Y30, Samsung PM971 KUS020203M
3586 Points ∼55% +33%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
2699 Points ∼41%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4869 Points ∼51%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4412 Points ∼46% -9%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) m3
HD Graphics 615, 7Y30, Samsung PM971 KUS020203M
3754 Points ∼39% -23%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3733 Points ∼61%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3289 Points ∼54% -12%
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
3264 Points ∼54% -13%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) m3
HD Graphics 615, 7Y30, Samsung PM971 KUS020203M
2896 Points ∼48% -22%
PCMark 10 - Score
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3295 Points ∼42%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3146 Points ∼41% -5%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) m3
HD Graphics 615, 7Y30, Samsung PM971 KUS020203M
2509 Points ∼32% -24%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3733 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4869 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
2699 points
Help

Storage Devices

Lenovo has swapped out the 128 GB Samsung PM951 on the Miix 510 for the 256 GB Samsung PM961 on its latest Miix refresh. The biggest difference from the older NVMe PM951 is the theoretical sequential write advantage that the PM961 brings to the table - a whopping 1100 MB/s compared to 280 MB/s on the PM951 according to Samsung. Our AS SSD results reflect this disparity and so users should see significantly faster saves and installations on the Miix 520. The PM971 in the Microsoft tablet is measurably slower than our Lenovo likely due to its small BGA form factor and subsequently narrower performance bandwidth.

Sequential write rates are slower than the same PM961 SSD in the HP Elite x2, but double-checking with CrystalDiskMark 5 shows results that are much closer to the theoretical maximum between the two devices.

See our table of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmark comparisons.

CDM 5
CDM 5
AS SSD
AS SSD
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) m3
Samsung PM971 KUS020203M
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Dell XPS 13 9365-4537 2-in-1
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
AS SSD
-22%
-146%
48%
-11%
Copy Game MB/s
410.78
140.69
-66%
379.9
-8%
457.75
11%
Copy Program MB/s
310.37
83.82
-73%
198.18
-36%
264.74
-15%
Copy ISO MB/s
658.5
173.16
-74%
790.63
20%
714.3
8%
Score Total
2378
1847
-22%
1190
-50%
4653
96%
1388
-42%
Score Write
572
284
-50%
60
-90%
879
54%
389
-32%
Score Read
1200
1053
-12%
777
-35%
2545
112%
681
-43%
Access Time Write *
0.33
0.04
88%
4.206
-1175%
0.027
92%
0.041
88%
Access Time Read *
0.49
0.074
85%
0.053
89%
0.041
92%
0.169
66%
4K-64 Write
345.52
144.25
-58%
43.14
-88%
657.04
90%
249.35
-28%
4K-64 Read
998.56
891.36
-11%
611.02
-39%
2279.57
128%
511.72
-49%
4K Write
107.95
88.56
-18%
0.96
-99%
132.2
22%
85.76
-21%
4K Read
48.69
38.82
-20%
39.6
-19%
45.24
-7%
34.77
-29%
Seq Write
1182.07
514.35
-56%
158.33
-87%
897.45
-24%
542.72
-54%
Seq Read
1522.79
1225.84
-20%
1259.77
-17%
2197.21
44%
1342.3
-12%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 1864 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1228 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 453.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 377 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 746.2 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 972.6 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 45.79 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 149.8 MB/s

GPU Performance

The integrated UHD Graphics 620 is identical to the HD Graphics 620 except in name. As shown by our benchmarks below, there is are only minor graphical advantages when compared to notebooks sporting 7th generation ULV Intel CPUs. Even the HD Graphics 520 in last year's Miix 510 is only about 20 percent slower than the UHD Graphics 620 compared to the monumental CPU advantages between the two generations.

See our dedicated GPU page on the UHD Graphics 620 for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm
Ice Storm
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8250U
3236 Points ∼14% +117%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
2784 Points ∼12% +87%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1968 Points ∼9% +32%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1800 Points ∼8% +21%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1681 Points ∼7% +13%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1604 Points ∼7% +8%
Toshiba Tecra X40-D
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1488 Points ∼7% 0%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1488 Points ∼7%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
1401 Points ∼6% -6%
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
1221 Points ∼5% -18%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
3220 Points ∼6% +99%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8250U
2796 Points ∼5% +73%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
2401 Points ∼5% +48%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1980 Points ∼4% +22%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1675 Points ∼3% +4%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1657 Points ∼3% +2%
Toshiba Tecra X40-D
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1629 Points ∼3% +1%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1617 Points ∼3%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
1343 Points ∼3% -17%
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
1306 Points ∼3% -19%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8250U
2324 Points ∼6% +126%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
1903 Points ∼5% +85%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1315 Points ∼3% +28%
Toshiba Tecra X40-D
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1088 Points ∼3% +6%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1030 Points ∼3%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
786 Points ∼2% -24%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8250U
16227 Points ∼9% +88%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
14594 Points ∼8% +69%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
10486 Points ∼6% +21%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
9349 Points ∼5% +8%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
9243 Points ∼5% +7%
Toshiba Tecra X40-D
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
8708 Points ∼5% +1%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
8631 Points ∼5%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
6924 Points ∼4% -20%
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
6271 Points ∼3% -27%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
98218 Points ∼13% +120%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
44622 Points ∼6%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
37343 Points ∼5% -16%
3DMark 11 Performance
1800 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
65197 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
7775 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
952 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
437 points
Help
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 54.329.324.17.4fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 21.311fps

Stress Test

We stress the tablet with synthetic benchmarks to test for potential throttling or stability issues. With only Prime95 active, the CPU can be observed running as fast as 3.2 for the first few seconds of the test before stabilizing in the 2.1 to 2.4 GHz range as shown by the image below. The results match with our CineBench R15 loop test from above as the first score is the highest while subsequent scores are slightly slower. It's disappointing that the i5-8250U is unable to maintain its maximum Turbo Boost clock rates for very long, but it's not exactly surprising considering the tablet form factor. Core temperature peaks and averages at around 72 C.

Running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously will throttle the CPU down to the 1.3 to 1.9 GHz range compared to its base clock rate of 1.6 GHz. Core temperature appears to plateau in the low 70 C range compared to 80 C on the Surface Pro with i7-7660U CPU.

Running on battery power will not throttle CPU or GPU performance. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 6095 and 1601 points, respectively, compared to 6182 and 1617 points when on mains. Users can get the full performance of the tablet when on the road and away from a power outlet.

Prime95 stress (first few minutes). Note the faster clock rates at the start of the test
Prime95 stress (first few minutes). Note the faster clock rates at the start of the test
Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.1 - 2.4 -- ~73
FurMark Stress -- 449 46
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.3 - 1.9 449 ~67

Emissions

System Noise

White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Green: Prime95+FurMark)

Like most devices sporting 15 W ULV Intel processors, the Miix 520 utilizes an active fan whereas the slower Core m versions of the Surface Pro and XPS 13 9365 are passively cooled. Our main gripe with the fan in the Lenovo is that it's very sensitive to onscreen loads. Although the fan is inactive when the tablet is idling on desktop or performing word processing tasks, slightly heavier loads like browsing or video playback will be enough to get it spinning.

The Lenovo tablet is slightly louder than the highest-end Surface Pro SKU when under medium (3DMark06) or heavier loads and its tendency to pulse makes it more conspicuous than it should be. When compared to the older Miix 510, fan behavior hasn't improved by noticeable margins.

Our test unit exhibits no audible coil whining or electronic noise.

Noise Level

Idle
28.2 / 28.2 / 29.6 dB(A)
Load
34 / 36 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.2 dB(A)
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Dell XPS 13 9365-4537 2-in-1
HD Graphics 615, 7Y54, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
HD Graphics 615, 7Y54, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Noise
-1%
-5%
1%
off / environment *
28.2
29.6
-5%
30.15
-7%
29.5
-5%
Idle Minimum *
28.2
29.6
-5%
30.15
-7%
29.5
-5%
Idle Average *
28.2
29.6
-5%
30.8
-9%
29.5
-5%
Idle Maximum *
29.6
29.6
-0%
31
-5%
29.5
-0%
Load Average *
34
33.4
2%
36.8
-8%
30.6
10%
Load Maximum *
36
34.1
5%
33.8
6%
32.5
10%
Witcher 3 ultra *
33.4

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures are flat on both sides of the tablet when idling except for the very bottom where the keyboard dock attaches to the unit. This particular edge is always a few degrees warmer than the rest of the tablet as shown by the temperature maps below. The general location of the processor can also be spotted on the back of the unit where the hot spot can be observed.

The system grows warm very quickly when under heavier processing loads. Certain areas can be as warm as 45 C after an hour of extreme stress testing, but these surfaces are thankfully near the top half of the tablet adjacent to the ventilation grilles where users are less likely to touch. The general temperature gradient is steeper compared to the Surface Pro and so users can feel more of a temperature difference when handling the Lenovo. Using the tablet in landscape orientation is never uncomfortably warm so long as the user is holding onto the tablet from its bottom half where airflow cannot be constricted.

Idling load (front)
Idling load (front)
Idling load (back)
Idling load (back)
Maximum load (front). Note the exhaust on the top right corner
Maximum load (front). Note the exhaust on the top right corner
Maximum load (back)
Maximum load (back)
Max. Load
 32.6 °C
91 F
39.4 °C
103 F
44.8 °C
113 F
 
 31.4 °C
89 F
35.8 °C
96 F
34.6 °C
94 F
 
 35 °C
95 F
34.6 °C
94 F
33.4 °C
92 F
 
Maximum: 44.8 °C = 113 F
Average: 35.7 °C = 96 F
44.2 °C
112 F
44 °C
111 F
35.8 °C
96 F
38.4 °C
101 F
41 °C
106 F
36.4 °C
98 F
33 °C
91 F
33.8 °C
93 F
33.2 °C
92 F
Maximum: 44.2 °C = 112 F
Average: 37.8 °C = 100 F
Power Supply (max.)  38 °C = 100 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.7 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 30.3 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 44.8 °C / 113 F, compared to the average of 35.4 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.8 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 44.2 °C / 112 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28 °C / 82 F, compared to the device average of 30.3 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (35 °C / 95 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29 °C / 84.2 F (-6 °C / -10.8 F).

Speakers

The stereo speakers are nothing special and are average in quality as one would expect from a tablet form factor. Bass is severely lacking for a "tinny" audio experience. Maximum volume is satisfactory for personal use, but it is too low for conference meetings and medium-sized rooms where an audience may be present. The chassis reverberates slightly when on higher volume settings, but it will thankfully not rattle or introduce any static.

Lenovo Miix 520 (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
Lenovo Miix 520 (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
Lenovo Ideapad 120S 14IAP
Lenovo Ideapad 120S 14IAP
HP Pavilion 15t-bc200
HP Pavilion 15t-bc200
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2037.235.22533.333.23131.331.34030.931.25029.831633130.18028.829.810027.827.51252726.916026.427.320025.132.425025.139.231523.646.840023.651.550022.85663022.457.980021.655.7100021.254.412502156.8160020.553.7200020.757.5250020.660.8315020.561.4400020.256.5500020.353.8630020.450.5800020.245.51000020.449.11250020.548.91600020.440.4SPL33.268.8N222.8median 21median 51.5Delta1.6835.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CGApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (61.35 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.1% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (10.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 77% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 20% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 80% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 15% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Idling on desktop will draw about 5 W to 12 W depending on the power profile and screen brightness setting similar to the Miix 510 Pro. Heavier loads like 3DMark06 will demand about 38 W to be comparable to the Surface Pro with the more powerful Iris Plus Graphics 640. The Microsoft tablet offers a 20 to 40 percent graphics boost over the Miix 520 without necessarily drawing more from the outlet.

Maximum load with Prime95 and FurMark will also draw around 38 W from the small (~6.5 x 6.5 x 3.0 cm)  45 W AC adapter.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.3 / 0.61 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.5 / 8.3 / 11.5 Watt
Load midlight 38.3 / 37.7 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1200, 12.2
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
7660U, Iris Plus Graphics 640, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M, IPS, 2736x1824, 12.3
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i5
7300U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM971 KUS030202M, IPS, 2736x1824, 12.3
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
6200U, HD Graphics 520, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256, IPS, 1920x1200, 12.2
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 2716x1824, 12.3
Dell XPS 13 9365-4537 2-in-1
7Y54, HD Graphics 615, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK, IPS, 3200x1800, 13.3
Power Consumption
-2%
26%
6%
-0%
-3%
Idle Minimum *
5.5
4.2
24%
3.6
35%
4.2
24%
4.1
25%
8.2
-49%
Idle Average *
8.3
10.1
-22%
8.1
2%
11.5
-39%
9.2
-11%
10.8
-30%
Idle Maximum *
11.5
14
-22%
8.7
24%
11.7
-2%
11.1
3%
12.7
-10%
Load Average *
38.3
37.4
2%
25.5
33%
31
19%
33.8
12%
22.6
41%
Load Maximum *
37.7
34
10%
23.5
38%
27.4
27%
49.2
-31%
24.6
35%
Witcher 3 ultra *
38.1

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The internal 38 Wh battery is similar to the one in the Miix 510 but significantly smaller than the 50 Wh battery in the Miix 510 Pro and many other convertibles in this size category. Its WLAN runtime of just 5.5 hours pale in comparison to the Elite x2 1012 and especially the Surface Pro when under similar testing conditions. Lenovo advertises a battery life of 7.5 hours and so our WLAN conditions are likely more demanding than Lenovo's battery testing methodologies.

Despite the differences in battery capacity between them, average runtimes are actually still very similar to the Miix 510 Pro.

Charging from near empty to full capacity will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
12h 19min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
5h 35min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 06min
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 38 Wh
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i5
7300U, HD Graphics 620, 45 Wh
Lenovo Miix 510 Pro 80U10006GE
6200U, HD Graphics 520, 50 Wh
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 47 Wh
Dell XPS 13 9365-4537 2-in-1
7Y54, HD Graphics 615, 46 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
7Y54, HD Graphics 615, 37 Wh
Battery Runtime
107%
19%
45%
22%
42%
Reader / Idle
739
1054
43%
696
-6%
833
13%
662
-10%
WiFi v1.3
335
744
122%
322
-4%
378
13%
410
22%
441
32%
Load
66
168
155%
111
68%
138
109%
134
103%

Pros

+ Active stylus, carrying case, and backlit keyboard base included
+ USB Type-A, USB Type-C, and MicroSD reader
+ strong watchband hinge
+ excellent chassis quality
+ fast NVMe SSD
+ optional LTE

Cons

- small and spongy trackpad; tracking issues on our unit
- pulse-width modulation on nearly all brightness levels
- CPU unable to maintain maximum Turbo Boost
- dimmer display backlight than the competition
- average battery life; small battery capacity
- keyboard backlight could be more uniform
- narrower color gamut than Surface Pro
- audible system fan; tendency to pulse
- no higher display resolution options
- light-moderate backlight bleeding
- difficult serviceability
- no Thunderbolt 3

Verdict

In review: Lenovo Miix 520 81CG00NBUS. Test model provided by Lenovo US
In review: Lenovo Miix 520 81CG00NBUS. Test model provided by Lenovo US

The best aspects of the Miix 520 are its processor performance, SSD performance, port versatility, and price. Its performance-per-Dollar is one of the best in the market at the moment as most other Windows tablets are still stuck with Core Y or 7th generation options. Users who can exploit the additional horsepower will find the Miix 520 to be a suitable faux-Ultrabook for traveling.

Everything else about the Lenovo detachable is not necessarily bad or even average, but there is definitely room to improve when compared to some close alternatives. The Surface Pro and Elite x2 are more robust in design, have brighter and higher resolution displays, more accurate colors, and longer battery life. The HP tablet in particular also carries Thunderbolt 3 for an even wider range of connectivity options. A firmer keyboard base for the Lenovo would have improved the spongy typing experience relative to the keyboards on most Ultrabooks.

The most noticeable drawback of the faster processor performance is the fan noise. The fan is slightly louder than on the Surface Pro and will cycle much more frequently during day-to-day use. It's not nearly as loud as the HP Spectre series of convertibles, but it's noticeable nonetheless especially for a tablet form factor.

The Miix 520 is a great buy so long as users are aware of its disadvantages. The fast CPU performance comes at the cost of louder and more frequent fan noise. We're hoping that future revisions will update the display and incorporate Thunderbolt 3 to make the Miix series even more competitive against Microsoft.

Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG - 12/10/2017 v6
Allen Ngo

Chassis
84 / 98 → 86%
Keyboard
82%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
40 / 80 → 50%
Weight
73 / 35-78 → 87%
Battery
85%
Display
80%
Games Performance
58 / 68 → 85%
Application Performance
87 / 87 → 100%
Temperature
88%
Noise
92%
Audio
59 / 91 → 65%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
73%
82%
Convertible - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo Miix 520 (i5-8250U, FHD) Convertible Review
Allen Ngo, 2017-12-10 (Update: 2019-03-25)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.