Yesterday, we welcomed into the world the Miix2, Lenovo's fresh entrant into the eight-inch Windows 8.1 tablet market. So when we spotted this newborn slate at a recent Pepcom event in San Francisco, we decided to take it for a spin. Our initial impressions veer positive. We admired the colorful 1,200 x 800 HD display and the 178-degree viewing angle certainly seemed sufficient to our eyes. There might be little too much bezel at the top and bottom for some, but that's a minor quibble. Measuring 8.48 inches x 5.18 inches x 0.32 inch, the Mixx2's all-plastic build doesn't feel quite as premium as metal, but its glossy front and smooth rear finish prevents it from feeling cheap. On the right side are the microUSB charging port, a microSD slot that accommodates up to 32GB cards, the volume rocker and the power button. Other specs of the Miix2 include GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and up to 128GB of eMMC onboard storage.
Baked inside the Miix2 are Intel's quad-core Bay Trail-T Atom processor -- the same chip you'll find in the current wave of similarly sized Dells and Acers -- along with integrated Intel HD graphics. There wasn't too much lag when swiping through the tiled Start screen or the app menu, but we did detect a bit of a delay when launching apps and snapping pics. Typing with the on-screen keyboard seemed smooth enough. Though it's difficult to tell from such a short experience, photos from the 2-megapixel front-facing camera appeared rather grainy and we weren't exactly blown away by the low-light performance of the 5-megapixel rear shooter (That said, we're guessing most people don't choose tablets based solely on the camera). As for the Miix2's optional cover case or capacitive stylus, they were unavailable for us to test. Still, at first blush, the Miix2 seems like a decent offering if you want full fat Windows 8.1 tucked in a slim package for a not unreasonable price. For a closer look at the Miix2, check out our hands-on gallery below or simply wait until later this month to pick one up for a starting price of $299 each.