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Lenovo IdeaPad K1

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating star
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Manufacturer: Lenovo
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What's hot: Netflix support! Good quality build, nice looks.

What's not: Software bundle is excessive and feels more like bloat.


Reviewed August 1, 2011 by Lisa Gade, Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

Remember a few years ago when we went from one Android smartphone to a wide selection in a matter of months? Now it's Android Honeycomb tablets' turn to boom. We've reviewed quite a few (in fact all) Honeycomb tablets that have hit the market, starting with Motorola's Xoom. Now Lenovo is here with their IdeaPad K1 and ThinkPad Android tablets. The IdeaPad K1 sells for $499 with 32 gigs of storage, and that's the one we're looking at today. It's available in black, red and silver, and we should see other storage capacities available after launch.

Lenovo IdeaPad K1

Like all Honeycomb tablets, the Lenovo IdeaPad K1 has a 10.1", 1280 x 800 capacitive display with 10 points of multi-touch, a 1Ghz dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU, 1 gig of RAM, dual cameras, WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth and a GPS. It has a microSD card slot, a micro HDMI port and runs Android 3.1 out of the box. When specs are all the same on the first crop of Honeycomb tablets, how do you differentiate? Lenovo thinks software is the way, so they've loaded over 30 apps on this tablet.

Lenovo IdeaPad K1

The best of these apps is Netflix, and this is the first Honeycomb tablet to offer Netflix and the accompanying DRM support for that content. There's also mSpot for movie and TV show rentals, and it's certainly great to have "big screen" entertainment options out of the box. The rest of the software? Well, we could live without it, and the good news is you can uninstall any of the pre-loaded software you don't want. Our least favorite is the redundant and UI-challenged Arcsoft suite of photo, video and music apps. The K1 has been more crash-prone than our other Honeycomb tablets, and we think all the added software, some of which run services in the background are to blame.

Lenovo IdeaPad K1

Lenovo IdeaPad K1

Lenovo IdeaPad K1


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Lenovo IdeaPad K1 Video Review


In terms of performance,the IdeaPad K1 handles video playback well, can stream full Adobe Flash content and keeps up with the competition. It scores 1695 in the Quadrant benchmark, which is middle of the pack among Honeycomb tablets and it feels reasonably snappy once you remove some of the bloatware (particularly the Arcsoft media server). Netflix streaming quality is very good (watch our video review to see it in action).

The tabet has good WiFi range, and the GPS was quick to get a fix in our tests. The tablet ships with the usual Google Maps and Navigation, but you'll need a mobile hotspot to download map data while driving. The standard Google apps are on board including the Android Market, Gmail, email, the Webkit web browser and YouTube Player. Lenovo has their own app store too, which one might consider fragmenting or confusing, but in Lenovo's case it's a cary over from their PC business where security and end-user care are a focus. Google's Android Market is currently not well vetted for safety and a few malware-ladden apps have made their way to the Market. Lenovo vets the apps first to make sure they're kosher.


We love the features, build quality and look of the IdeaPad K1. Netflix, still a rarity on Android tablets, is a big plus, but the excessive software bundle, particularly the Arcsoft apps, slow this tablet down and reduce stability. Happily, you can remove them, but novices likely won't know what to remove in order to improve this otherwise solid tablet's performance. With problematic apps uninstalled, the K1 really perks up and competes well with other Honeycomb tablets on the market. The display quality is good but not stunning like the IPS display on our top pick Asus Eee Pad Transformer or the super-colorful and bright Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet will have an IPS display for slightly more money.

Price $499 for the 32 gig model



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Display: 10.1" capacitive multi-touch color LCD with 10 points of touch. Resolution: 1280 x 800, supports both portrait and landscape modes via accelerometer, has ambient light sensor.

Battery: 2 cell Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is not user replaceable. Claimed runtime: up to 10 hours.

Performance: NVIDIA Tegra 2 1GHz CPU with 1 gig RAM and 32 gigs internal flash storage.

Size: 10.4 x 7.4 x 0.52 inches. Weight: 1.65 pounds.

3G/4G: None. Lenovo says they'll offer 3G models in the future.

Camera: 5 megapixel autofocus rear camera and 2 megapixel front video chat camera (works with Google Talk).

Audio: Built in stereo speakers, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1.

Software: Android OS 3.1 Honeycomb. Standard Google apps including Android Market, Flash 10.2, Lenovo Social Touch, Lenovo Media Gallery, Lenovo Video Player, Lenovo Music Player, Lenovo eBook Reader, Cloud, mSpot Music, Complete HD codecs formats (except for MKV&MPEG-2 & RMVB), PlayReady DRM, Lenovo App Shop, Oovoo, Poketalk, eBuddy, Connectify, Facebook, Twitter, Norton Mobile Security, AccuWeather, Dataviz: Documents to Go, Printershare, Zinio E-Mag, Amazon Kindle E-Book reader, Luck Launcher Games: Galaxy on Fire2, Need for Speed: Shift, Angry Birds, Vendetta Online, Murtha Drawing Pad, Talking Tom, Silver Creek: Solitaire, Silver Creek: Hearts, Silver Creek: Spades, Silver Creek: Euchre, Silver Creek: Backgammon, Warships, Treasure Arm and Flash Game Arcade.

Expansion: 1 SDHC microSD card slot.


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