Barcelona has been buzzing this week as it hosts the Mobile World Congress – and perhaps you’ll be buzzing too when you discover that Lenovo used the event to launch its new Miix £20: a laptop designed for ‘the side hustle.’

The ‘Side Hustle’ GenerationLenovo Miix 320

So, what’s the premise?

“From part-time Uber® driver to freelance blogger, no doubt the “gig economy” has taken hold,” Lenovo state in their launch blurb. “Throughout the past decade, the part-time workforce in both the EU and the US has steadily risen… While millennials didn’t quite invent the phenomenon, they’ve certainly branded the “side hustle” attitude and lifestyle.”

“Millennials and post-millennials who have grown up alongside technology advancements in mobility and connectivity are some of the largest groups to juggle multiple side jobs.”

All well and good. I’ve long had my eye on the Windows detachables market, stuck as I am with a hefty Kobo that doesn’t really work for me as a portable workstation (which increasingly gets left at home in favour of my Kindle – much lighter, just as useful but fiddlier). And we freelancers know we are a growing breed and the competition is heating up. How can Lenovo and the Miix 320 get us ahead of the game?

A New Laptop for A New Workforce

“From speaking with consumers, we understand the side hustle necessitates more personalized and accessible PCs that offer people the versatility, mobility and connectivity they need,” says Lenovo. They believe they’ve achieved this with the Miix 320, “blending affordability with connectivity on-the-go.”

Portability:

  • Weight: The Lenovo Miix 320 (with Wi-Fi only) weighs 1.02kg with keyboard and 550g without keyboard. The Lenovo Miix 320 (with LTE) weighs 1.03kg with keyboard and 560g without keyboard.
  • Depth:5mm

“The Miix 320 offers true mobility and productivity,” claims Lenovo.

  • Battery Life: “The Miix 320 has up to 10 hours of battery life,” says Lenovo, with the usual caveats about product configuration and usage, software, operating conditions, wireless functionality, power management and screen brightness settings, plus expected depreciation with time and use.

Versatility:

  • The Miix 320 is a Windows® 10 detachable that doubles as a laptop with full keyboard or portable tablet. “For those who need to lighten the load commuting across town, they can detach the keyboard and take the Miix 320’s 10.1-inch Full HD (1920 x 1200) touchscreen display weighing only 550g6with Dolby® Advanced Audio™ speakers to share a pitch video with a prospective investor,” suggests Lenovo
  • It comes with Windows Continuum™ to automatically adapt it to laptop or tablet mode – “making the multimode transitions seamless,” claims Lenovo. “The Miix 320’s detachable form factor matches a multitasker’s need for instant flexibility. For blogging or budgeting on a fully loaded laptop, simply attach the stable docking keyboard with precision touchpad and get to work wherever you are.”
  • You can also purchase the optional Lenovo Active Pen, which allows you to draw, sign documents, take notes

Performance:

  • Intel® Atom™ X5 processor
  • Intel HD graphics
  • up to 4GB memory
  • up to 128GB eMMC storage
  • Speaker: 2 x 1.0W Dolby Advanced Audio™
  • 1″ FHD (1920 x 1200) Touchscreen
  • Camera: Front, 2 MP with Analog Microphone; Rear,5 MP Auto-Focus

Connectivity:

  • WLAN & Bluetooth®: 2 x 2 WiFi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth® 4.2 Combo with WiFi Card
  • LTE Dual-Antenna (Optional)
  • Input/Output Ports: 1 x USB 3.0 Type-C™ (Data Transfer), 2 x USB 2.0 (On Dock), Micro HDMI™, microSD™, Nano SIM, Audio Combo Jack

“Those capitalizing on side job opportunities know building and maintaining valuable connections on and offline is key…That’s where technology and the Miix 320 step in with Wi-Fi and optional dual antenna LTE connectivity, so users can enjoy connectivity on the go.”

Of course, this versatile 2-devices-in-one technology is now far from new; quite literally, everyone’s doing it. As a freelancer with a good business head, you’re not going to rush out and buy one of these without comparing it to other similar devices, particularly with the UK retail as yet unconfirmed.

As a rough guide, the Miix 320 (keyboard included, Wi-Fi only without LTE) starts at €269, and the Miix 320 (keyboard included, with LTE) starts at €399 and are available beginning in April 2017.

“What is clear to us is that the side hustle is a phenomenon here to stay,” says Lenovo. “[We’re] committed to creating products like the Miix 320 that not only meets, but ultimately anticipates, the needs born out of such cultural changes. As consumers demand more from their devices than ever before, users can expect future Lenovo detachables to continue powering their on-the-go lifestyles – with next-gen features like digital pen support enabling Windows Ink™, biometric authentication enabling Windows Hello™ and lightning-fast ports for even greater productivity and convenience.”

Watch this space…