Lenovo has entered the Android tablet market with a bang. Three very different tablets have been created for consumers, starting with the IdeaPad K1. The IdeaPad is Lenovo’s answer to home consumers, while its counterparts (IdeaPad P1 and ThinkPad) are designed for business and professional users.
So, how does the Lenovo IdeaPad K1 add up? What kind of features set it apart from countless other tablets already on the market?
- NVIDIA Tegra 2.0 T20 1.0 GHz processor
- Google Android 3.1 operating system
- 10.1” HD (1280×800) display
- Up to 1 GB DDR2 memory, up to 64 GB SSD storage (16/32/64)
- Integrated Bluetooth, 3G1, and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity
- Micro SD card reader, mini HDMI connector, and docking port 2
- Integrated front (2M) and back (5M) mounted webcam
- Up to 10 hours with two cell battery
- 264mm x 13.3mm x 189mm (WxHxD)
- Approximately 1.65 lb. (0.75 kg ) with two cell battery
With a 1.0 GHz dual-core processor, the IdeaPad K1 has all the processing power required to perform basic functions on the Android platform. It may not be the fastest or most powerful tablet computer on the market, but it wouldn’t be considered underpowered, by any means.
A 10.1″ HD display allows for playback of HD video without any downscaling required. The screen itself features 10-point multitouch capability, allowing for more flexibility on apps designed for multitouch functionality. Stereo audio is also possible thanks to a matched pair of 0.5w speakers. Available storage and memory are nothing spectacular, and fall on par with what’s presently being offered on the iPad.
The included Mini HDMI connector allows the IdeaPad K1 to play back 1080p video to a capable screen. DRM capability also allows it to interface and playback content from protected sources such as Netflix, making it a somewhat capable media center device when not used on the go. If you’re staying in a hotel with an HDMI-capable television, this could provide a great source of entertainment during your stay, without forcing you to stay glued to a 10.1″ screen.
The IdeaPad K1 is built around the premise of color. Breaking free from traditional black and silver tablet computer options, the IdeaPad K1 has an aluminum rear casing that comes in one of four colors (red, brown, black, and white).
At 1.65 pounds and nearly a half-inch thick, it’s easier to compare the IdeaPad to the original iPad than the current model. This isn’t the best option for long-term readers or anyone who needs to carry it in their hands for extended periods of time. Still, it’s much lighter than most laptops, which is one of the big appeals to the tablet form factor.
The IdeaPad K1 comes with over 30 programs preinstalled, including SocialTouch, a one-stop shop for checking your social and email activity without having to access apps for each individual program. It also features cloud storage capability built in that allows you to easily transfer and store files in the cloud, keeping them safe should anything happen to your tablet.
Lenovo boasts a customized Android 3.1 experience, and while the interface itself appears to be a great option for first-time Android users, it is still possible to arrange widgets and your overall experience as you would on any other Android 3.1 device. Android itself is finally starting to come into its own and proving to be a capable operating system for providing both functionality and ease of use. In short, Android is about choice.
The pricing model for the IdeaPad K1 is almost directly on-par with the iPad from Apple. $499 will get you 16 GB of storage and a Wi-Fi connection with increased storage and connection capability as the price point increases.
Does the IdeaPad K1 have what it takes to be a serious competitor in the already-fierce world of tablet computers? Who knows? It’s becoming clear that major computer manufacturers are beginning to understand that the tablet form factor isn’t going anywhere — at least not this year. If they want to stay competitive and keep their hardware relevant, offering a capable tablet seems to just make sense.
For more professional users, a more capable ThinkPad is on its way along with a Windows-powered IdeaPad P1.