lenovo IdeaPad K1 review
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AP Price: N/A
By Nigel Chew
At A Glance
+ Reasonably priced
+ Unique design
- Relatively heavy
- Somewhat sluggish
24 February 2012 – By the time you read this, there will have been dozens of Honeycomb tablets filling up the stores right now. Lenovo took their time with theirs and now that it is available, how does it stack up against the other brands?
Exterior, Controls and Screen
In the tablet war, size matters a lot, and when compared to the other 10-inch offerings out there, the K1 is certainly the chunkiest of the lot – The Samsung Galaxy Tab is only 8.6mm thick while the K1 is 13.3mm. Then there is also its weight – 750 grams means that it is about 200 grams heavier than the nearest equivalent tablet.
Still, if this was a Miss Jumbo Tablet pageant, we would give the K1 a prize just for looking cute, with its somewhat charming red backpanel.
All the buttons are neatly placed where they ought to be, although it did rather surprise us as there was the odd inclusion of the home button, considering the fact that the Honeycomb already features a touch home screen. It does double duty as an optical trackpad, but we simply decided to overlook it as it did not work quite as well we would like.
Software, Application and Games
As you would expect, Lenovo tweaked the Honeycomb OS to their own preference, and thankfully, it is rather minimal if you are the type who enjoys customising the UI to suit their own taste.
With an nVidia Tegra 2 and 1GB of RAM under the hood, the K1 was able to handle most of the applications that we threw at it. Speaking of which, Lenovo was generous enough to preload the tablet with a rather extensive number of apps, or bloatware, depending on how you look at it.
While you can easily access the Android Market for more apps, Lenovo has also included their own App Store. While the K1 does allow you to install apps from… unknown sources, using the Lenovo App Store streamlines the experience, handpicking what they think are the better applications out there. This is great for people who are new to the Android ecosystem, not to mention it being safer as most potential malware would have been filtered out.
Camera, Video and Audio
As with all current tablets in the market right now, the K1’s rear 5-megapixel and front 2-megapixel camera were nothing to really write home about, other than it getting the job done.
Media playback on the K1 was a rather hit and miss affair – images and videos appeared sharp and pleasant on the K1’s screen. However, due to a pair of rather weak speakers, the experience was watered down, even when on full blast.
One major gripe we had was the lack of a microUSB port for file transfers, which meant that we had to turn to only the microSD. To add insult to injury, Lenovo made the microSD slot similar to the microSIM card slot as seen in the newer iPhones. What this means there is a need to open the cover using something like a paper clip.
In a world where sleek and slim gadgets are the order of the day, the Lenovo IdeaPad K1’s design will definitely work against it. However, if you are somewhat forgiving when it comes to aesthetics, the K1 is a reliable companion to have. And at RM 1,299, it’s hard to say no.