Lenovo ideapad k1 review from August 26 (th3volution.blogspot.com)
Well i have spent quite a few days with the Lenovo Idepad and Honeycomb (Android 3.1) and I think I’m finally ready to give my opinion on what is exactly right and what is exactly wrong with the Ideapad K. It should be noted I was slow to get a tablet. Mostly because I couldn’t make up my mind and also in part because I just wasn’t sold on the usefulness of one of the things when considering the bundle of money they are asking you to drop to get your hands on one.
I chose Ideapad K for the reason that most people would have left it on the shelf. The fact that it’s rather early in the tablet’s life cycle actually was a plus to me. I’m a fan of Lenovo’s products and I would rather gamble on what they will do than pick the lackluster tablets that are already established aside from the Asus Eepad. Most looks i saw at the tablet previous to buying it did not do it a lot of justice. The main complaint that I have with the tab is the software needs an update desperately. A lot of the problems are the ones I see inherent with Android 3.1 and I can only imagine what 3.0 was like. The tablet decides to reboot occasionally on it’s own which is not so bad because it takes about 1 second to boot back to a useable state, however if your working on something this could ruin your line of thought and cost you progress on important work. I am confident Lenovo has software updates in the works and they have already released one that I installed upon removing the tablet from the box. I do not want to put a lot of weight on this aspect of the tablet and that is why i placed it at the beginning of the review. Small gripe that doesn’t occur often enough to be a frustration.
The 10 inch Ideapad weighs in at 1.65 pounds which is considered a little hefty in the tablet world. I don’t find this complaint valid. I think it feels great in the hand especially with the lenoveesque soft touch back which actually makes it look quite a bit like the ideapad branded notebooks. I heard complaints about sound but in the 32 GB version that I have the sound is actually excellent.
The grip the back provided is sufficient though not the best and it comes in different colors mine being charcoal grey as you can see there in the image. I won’t spend a lot of time on camera here. Who buys a tablet to take pictures. The camera was standard I actually didn’t think some of the shots i was able to get from its rear facing 5MP camera were half bad.
I don’t call the software packed with the Ideapad bloatware it hardly gets in the way and cab be uninstalled. The one most worthy of note was social touch which aggregates the calendar, email, facebook and twitter in one easy to use app. It has some aesthetic value for sure but a few changes are in order to make it a totally useful application. I use it daily myself. Bottom line the Ideapad comes packed with some great software to get you started. If you like the stock android gallery and etc simply remove Lenovo’s and for the record the e reader they pack in is quite useless. The 4GB of free storage from ArcSynch was a nice touch.
The Ideapad gives a decent Honeycomb experience and it’s quite early in the game (less than a week) to be overly critical of the tab. It has all the things you’d expect. There is a fairly thick level of bezel around the screen and at the top the front facing camera is easy to see. On the left side you will find the mic hole, power button, volume rocker, and sd card slot. On the bottom is the HDMI out and 3.5 mm headphone jack. Unfortunately the power supply plugs in here which is annoying at times. One of my favorite coolness factor things on the right side of the tablet is a home button which for a while i thought served very little purpose in reality this is a touchpad! Swiping down is like hitting the back button and swiping up pulls up settings menus in most apps. Press the key and it takes you back to the default home screen. This feature actually comes in handy when your holding the tablet in your hand and doing things because you don’t have to remove a hand from the tablet to hit honeycomb’s onscreen back button. Nice touch.
Lenovo has simplified Honeycomb and overall I’m quite impressed. I was able to find a 32 GB version for 450$ you can’t beat that anywhere. The one i’m reviewing here at a 32 GB hard drive and i must say this tablet is a worthy contender. We will see what Lenovo does in the software update that takes this tablet to 3.2 and we think this is a great first run leading up to it’s bigger brother the Lenovo Thinkpad. The 9 hours of battery life I get was sufficient for me as well as the overall attractiveness. I don’t really need a USB port but if you do look elsewhere. Very nice tablet for the money overall. I’m waiting on the HTC Puccini and I will be using this one everyday in the meantime. Overall a very good tablet lets just hope the the developer community takes notice because when they do I think they will find a beast within.
Editor in Chief