Lenovo IdeaPad K1

PC Tablet PC gives the Lenovo Ideapad K1 a thorough testing to see how well it fits this ambitious title. Read our review to find out more.

By Chris Messenger | Published 16/08/2012

The Good

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Heavily customised version of Android

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Available in three different colours

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Battery will run and run and run and run

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Reasonable price

The Bad

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Sound volume is poor. Exceptionally quiet

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One of the heaviest tablets we have seen

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Sluggish performance

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Buggy performance. OS often crashes

Introduction

Lenovo’s ‘Ideapad’ brand is a name probably better known as a laptop than a Tablet PC. However, the Ideapad line branched out to include Tablets as of last year. Lenovo have a long and celebrated history of creating laptop computers, but can that history progress into a future of making Tablet PCs? We took a look at the Ideapad and asked what was good about it and what left something to be desired...

 

This is the heaviest Tablet we have yet seen, weighing in at a dense 771g. In an era where computers are getting smaller this just strikes us as too big.

The Specs

The first thing you’ll notice, is that the Ideapad K1 is a big old boy, but the old excuse of ‘I’m just big boned!’ in this case, really does apply. Underneath the casing you’ll find a very impressive interior indeed.

 

Running a 1GHz processor and utilising the usual 1GB of RAM, the Ideapad somehow also finds room for a stunning 64GB of hard drive, which is twice that of most top range Tablets.

 

Running Android 3.1 brings the system bang up to date and with that the whole package starts to look very impressive indeed. The fact that we have WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity options (but sadly no 3G) doesn’t hurt matters either.

 

With a 10.1 inch screen, and measuring 264 mm x 188mm x 13mm, the Ideapad K1 is big. The screen is the biggest (and heaviest) part of a big (and heavy) device. The screen’s display (featuring 1280 x 800 pixel resolution) is nothing short of breathtaking. You can watch anything on the Ideapad’s screen and it will look impossibly cool.

 

 

The Price

NOTE: Originally about £300, the Ideapad Tablet has dropped in price since this article was first written. Today, you can get one for £199. A fine offer.

Running Android 3.1 brings the system bang up to date and with that the whole package starts to look very impressive indeed.

 

The Performance

The camera is excellent, with 5 Megapixels at the back and 2 at the front, you can be assured of high quality, high definition images and long, free flowing video chats.

 

The battery is also terrific and (if it wouldn’t make for the most boring postcard of all time) would really be something to write home about. Battery life and durability is a very important part of any portable device and the Ideapad’s designers have clearly thought this through with care and attention.

 

In addition, the version of Android that the Ideapad runs is heavily customised to suit the needs of both the Ideapad and its user. Far from being a pain, this actually makes the Tablet feel all the more user friendly.

 

This is the heaviest Tablet we have yet seen, weighing in at a dense 771g. In an era where computers are getting smaller (hence the popularity of Tablet PCs like this one in the first instance) this just strikes us as a bit too big. The machine is impressive enough to still be worth buying, however.

 

The sound reproduction is very poor and it makes viewing content difficult. Though your video chats might look terrific, you do run the very real risk of having no idea what the other party is trying to say to you and embarking on a modern business edition of Chinese whispers, where the stakes are potentially very high indeed. Given that media playback is a really big deal to today’s computer user, we can’t help but feel that this dodgy sound reproduction is a real knock to an otherwise fine device.

 

What Other Users Say

Over on Amazon.co.uk, 14 of the Ideapad’s 18 customer reviews are positive, giving 4/5 or higher. In fact, 11 of them give a perfect 5/5 score.

 

John farmer (5/5) posted a novel disguised as a positive review, but also offered  up some very helpful and specific information in his mammoth text. ‘Stavvy’ (5/5) also praised the Ideapad, saying, “My kids use their tablets for browsing, Facebook and games, with no issues so far. I use mine for e-mail, browsing, music, shopping, video and photo's, again, no issues so far”. For users who put a high premium on reliability – the Ideapad is a good choice, apparently.

 

Our Verdict

Its big, its heavy and it plays sound rather badly, but apart from that, what we have here is a lovely little device. Whilst it is true that the Ideapad will set you back about £300 (NOTE - Now £200), this is, in Tablet PC terms, not a whole lot of money at all. We would have to say that this certainly is good value, as the positives far outweigh the negatives and the price is very reasonable indeed.

 

The Ideapad is a nice little device at a nice little price (see what we did there?). A good idea from Lenovo.

 

 

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Tags: Lenovo IdeaPad K1 Tablet PC Review, Tablet PC Review

 

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