Movies Games and Tech

Review of the Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1

We first saw the Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 back at IFA in September. Now it’s time for our review.

The ultimate entertainment tablet—loaded with great apps and optimized for enjoying movies, music, social networking and the Web.

IdeaPad Tablet K1: Open the Box and Play

Weighing just 1.63 lbs, the highly mobile IdeaPad Tablet K1 offers integrated Bluetooth and 802.11 Wi-Fi connectivity. The IdeaPad Tablet K1 offers several key features and tools as standard, for flexibility, power and security to enjoy digital content anywhere. Simply put, the Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 helps users who want:

More out of the box: The Android-powered Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 is preloaded with more than 40 apps from partners like Netflix, Amazon, Adobe, Electronic Arts, Rovio, Zinio, Dataviz, and others (over $50 in value), including favourites like Need for Speed Shift, Angry Birds, Kindle reading app and Documents to Go.

More entertainment: Users can browse all websites and watch online videos with ease thanks to Adobe Flash Player 10.3. Plus, with DRM, they can rent movies in every available format. At a later date shortly after launch, users will also be able to both rent or buy movies to play off-line with a new application Lenovo will pre-load.

More social networking: Users can access an entire network of friends and social sites all in one place, with Lenovo’s exclusive SocialTouch app, which effectively creates a one-stop social connection. And since one picture is still worth a thousand words, the Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 comes with a two-megapixel front-facing and a five-megapixel rear-facing webcam.

More true HD: Users can watch movies and videos in breath-taking HD on a 1280 X 800 resolution screen. The mini HDMI connection allows up to 1080p HD viewing when connected to an HDTV or monitor, resulting in a powerful visual experience.

More cloud sharing: Users can sync, store and share files, music and photos with more integrated cloud storage, and less reliance on their local storage.

More Apps: Users can access hundreds of thousands of apps in Android Market and apps tested exclusively for premium function on the IdeaPad Tablet K1 in the Lenovo App Shop.

Who are Lenovo?

From their website:

Lenovo creates and builds exceptionally engineered personal technology, but we are much more than a tech company. We are defining a new way of doing things as a next generation global company. That means we are years ahead of the game in terms of understanding what it will take to win 5, 10 years from now.

Formed by Lenovo Group’s acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, Lenovo builds on its dominant position in China to grow globally. The expansion from East to West – such as by introducing our newest products in China and then spreading across the globe – is a new way of viewing the world, one we believe will be the way of the future.

That focus on the future is based on a strong history of success that is driving results today. Long the leader in China, Lenovo is growing rapidly and winning market share in all parts of the world. This balanced growth is what has made Lenovo the fastest growing major PC company and enabled us to consistently grow faster than the market.

Achieving optimal balance in all that we do is Lenovo’s operating philosophy. This mind-set encompasses every aspect of Lenovo’s business, from balancing leadership with consensus-building, to valuing both short- and long-term thinking. As a result, we have created a balanced business model and strategy that take maximum advantage of profit and investment across both core and new businesses. The result is balanced performance and market share growth across all regions, customer segments, products and business models.

Our mission is to become one of the world’s great personal technology companies. We aspire to achieve this objective by leading in three key areas:

  • Personal Computers: Lead in PCs and be respected for our product innovation and quality.
  • Convergence: Lead the industry with an ecosystem of devices, services, applications and content for people to seamlessly connect to people and web content.
  • Culture: Become recognized as one of the best, most trusted and most well-respected companies to work for and do business with.

Specifications

What’s in the Box?

Along with the K1 itself, there is an AC adaptor, data cable, quick start guide and other paperwork and a USB host cable. There is also a little device use to open the SIM card slot.

A Closer Look

Using the K1

The first thing I needed to do was charge up the K1.

Initial Setup

The initial setup was simple to complete and I was ready to start using the K1 in no time at all.

The Main Screen

The main screen has pretty much everything you may need in one place – email, music, internet, and so on. All very easy to use and navigate.

Settings

There are quite literally loads and loads of settings you can change.

Screens

There are several screens that you can swipe between that show different things.

Applications

There are various applications that come pre-loaded.

Web browsing worked great!

Search Android Market for apps was simple.

The BBC iPlayer app worked like a charm.

Games

The K1 comes pre-loaded with a number of different games, including one you may have heard of!

Lock Screen

There is even a cool lock sceen!

Here is a short video of the K1 in action:

The K1 Product Tour

 

Performance Testing

Using various free apps you can download from the Android Market, I ran some performance tests.

So fairly good results all round.

Final Thoughts

I liked using the K1 – it’s my first real use of an Android tablet. Previously everything has either been Windows or my iPad 1 or 2.

The menus and screens were very easy to use and I had no problem finding what I wanted.

One really nice thing I found was the screen capture button. As an iPad owner I have been able to do this since day one, but Android owners haven’t had this “luxury” and certainly for the completing of this review, the screen capture button was invaluable to me.

Flash worked fine – just what you would expect to be honest.

I found the battery life to be really good – I got around 8 hours or so of use out of it.

The inclusion of a number of apps on the K1, not just games, was also good, and it was really simple to just pick new ones from the Android Market.

There are a number of ports and connections on the K1, making it more usable than some other tablets and slates I have tried in the past.

Also it is a good spec for a tablet!

A few things I didn’t like – the back felt quite plasticy and felt that if I applied any real pressure to it that it might actually break.

I also found it more uncomfortable to use after extended periods of time than I do with my iPad.

Also, the menu buttons on the screen sometimes got knocked when using the K1, for example, holding the K1 to play Angry Birds (that really important business related function) meant that occasionally the buttons got knocked.

The speakers were ok, although they were nothing exciting – so either listen using headphones or connect up some decent speakers to the K1.

The screen was also not as bright as I would have liked. That’s not to say its really dark – just not as light! Use it and you will see what I mean.

Price wise you are look at around the £370 mark, so it is worth considering the features of the K1 against other tablets, including the iPad 2, although those looking for a simple, yet well specced Android tablet should certainly look closely at this one.

Learn more from the Lenovo website