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Lenovo IdeaPad Lynx
What's Hot: Thin and light, long battery life, optional keyboard dock doubles battery life.
What's Not: Not a gorgeous design, keyboard dock could have more ports.
Reviewed April 3, 2013 by Lisa Gade, Editor
in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)
Not too long ago we looked at the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2, one of the smallest Windows 8 Atom tablets, and now we're looking at the consumer line counterpart, the Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx. The Lynx is also powered by a 1.8GHz dual core Intel Clovertrail Z2760 Atom CPU, with the usual 2 gigs of DDR2 RAM and 64 gigs of flash storage, but the form factor and accessories are quite different. The IdeaTab Lynx is an 11.6" tablet that's very thin and fairly light at 1.4 pounds. Like the ThinkPad Tablet 2, it has an IPS display with wide viewing angles, though colors aren't as eye-popping as the Tablet 2's nor does it look quite as sharp.
This isn't a gorgeous tablet: the front is the usual slab of glass and the back is textured gray plastic that's grippy though dull looking. The IdeaTab Lynx shares a good deal of design DNA with the Lenovo IdeaTab S2110 Android tablet, and even their optional keyboard docks are similar. Both use a wrap-around slot for the tablet that's very secure but not elegant looking. The optional dock, priced from $129 to $199 depending on where you shop, has a secondary battery inside that doubles runtimes. The keyboard is quite good for an 11.6" machine, though not quite at ThinkPad level or even IdeaPad laptop level. Key spacing is generous and the smile-shaped keys are comfortable but key travel is minimal and there's a little bit of keyboard deck flex. The dock has two USB 2.0 ports.
The tablet has an HDMI port, 3.5mm combo audio jack and a micro USB port that's used for charging (the Lynx uses the same 5v 2amp charger as the ThinkPad Tablet 2) and USB host. Lenovo includes a micro USB to USB female adapter in the box so you can use hard drives, keyboards, 3G/4G dongles and more. It provides enough power to run a portable 2.5" external hard drive, unlike the Tablet 2.
The IdeaTab Lynx runs Windows 8 32 bit with the usual Live Tile and standard desktop UIs. It's a full Windows PC and is compatible with Windows 7 programs. That means you can install MS Office, Photoshop, the Google Chrome web browser and more. Since it's an Atom machine with low end integrated graphics, it's not meant for Windows 7 games or video editing, but it handles Office and Photoshop fine. Windows 8 games from the Windows Store play fine. Like all Atom Windows 8 tablets, it has a fanless design and runs cool. Battery life is very good at 7.5 hours of actual use time.
The Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx is available now and sells for $549 to $599. The dock is sold separately at an average price of $149. The 11.6" display supports 5 points of multi-touch but it does not work with digital pens like the ThinkPad Tablet 2 or Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T. You can use a capacitive stylus, as you would with an iPad or Android tablet.