Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lenovo IdeaPad K1 Tablet Review

First Timer: with the ThinkPad X series and Tablet, Lenovo IdeaPad K1 is the first major salvo in the company's tablet market. With a competitive price and strengths, the K1 is aimed directly at casual users.

Apple iPad to be taught the facts about the number of tablets for companies, but more important than them? It 'really, really hard to enter the market. Examples, look no further than its competitors, who tried to enter the tablet market - When changing over seven weeks and sold by leading companies at fire sale prices tablet is considered a success, it is understandable if the majority of companies may be cautious in trying to eat the iPad market.

If nothing else, give honor Lenovo IdeaPad K1 tablet chutzpah - tablet touts the price and technical information aimed at undercutting the iPad when it comes to cost and processing power. Can succeed where competitors have failed? Read on to find out.

Specifications Lenovo IdeaPad K1 :
  • Processor : NVIDIA Tegra 250 1 GHz
  • Memory : 1024 MB
  • Graphics adapter : unknown
  • Display : 10.1 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, glossy: yes
  • Harddisk : 32 GB SSD, 32GB
  • Connections : 1 HDMI, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: 1 Headphone, Card Reader: microSD
  • Networking : 2.1 Bluetooth
  • Optical drive : no
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 13.3 x 264 x 189
  • Weight : 0.75 kg
  • Battery : Lithium-Polymer, 2-Cell
  • Price : $429 USD Euro
  • Operating System : Android 3.1
  • Additional features : USB cable, AC Adapter, 12 Months Warranty, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, 5 megapixel rear camera
Unlike many of its competitors in the budget-oriented, sports K1 compresses more and more on its plastic frame. Our review unit made aluminum siding and a plastic white, but other configurations include different colors and materials - to 519 USD, for example, exchanges of K1 in the plastic lining of black leather. A 13.3 mm thick, is also within a hair of an iPad from 13 mm thick.

Thank you to the thin, slightly curved siding and plastic holder, the tablet is also very easy to hold. In addition to the keys Android 3.1 's integrated K1 also has a physical "home" button that doubles as a "Back" and "Menu" function of both the orientation of the tablet and the direction of travel . We had some problems getting the button to correctly identify our readers, but over time it became easier to use.

The construction quality K1 leave some room for improvement. In several places on the screen before the screen had a small amount of flex. Beyond the plastic support and the ability of the screen to take fingerprints easily, we also saw some of the mismatches in the aluminum frame K1 - close to the screen, the differences between the chassis side and the other was large enough to take a nail.

In addition, we are not supporters of the decision to ensure the microSD card slot with a tablet device side bug. Pressing the PIN provided in the hole next to microSD slot, popping to the outside guard and lets you install a new card.

The small slot also makes it difficult to recover the microSD card, once installed - we had to use your fingers to catch the card several times, even after the lock has been disabled. Of course, these are all minor problems, but in a market full of competitors, small problems tend to stick out prominently.

As with most Android-based tablets. K1 has no shortage of available ports

With a micro-HDMI port, pull the bottom of the shelf of a headphone jack and a proprietary connector for charging and data transfer. We would have preferred the headphone jack moved to another side of the tablet.

Many of these applications, we used lacked support for screen rotation, so in most situations, the headphone jack is pointed directly to the user - if the tablet is held in your lap, for example, Jack and Cable the helmet is likely to be a nuisance.

On the device, however, the ports are well distributed - not enough space between each port to avoid clutter and maintain all restricted to the lower sides of K1 results in streamlined aesthetics firmly.

Choosing to go to the gate is not charging the tablet of the best decisions, but not the end of the cable lock is a nice addition. Do you agree probably depends on the desire to add another cable, but - like Apple's MagSafe connectors - disconnect the cable, for example, if you stumble, but not carrying the tablet.

When it comes to transferring data to and from K1, but our experience test was not without problems. Our main work computer is an Apple MacBook Pro, but when we first tried to connect to K1 with the included USB cable, nothing happened.

As it turns out devices running Android 3.0 or later requires a separate application if you want to transfer files on Mac OS X based computers. Since Windows PCs do not require additional software to K1 for the same functionality, it seems like an unnecessary hassle.

K1 touts the standard spectrum of networking standards, including Bluetooth 2.1 and support for 802.11 b / g / n Wi-Fi. In addition, Lenovo said that the tablets are manufactured from August will have support for 3G connectivity. Standard GPS support is also included, as well as Google Maps for turn-by-turn navigation. In addition, we had no unexpected problem performance Wi-Fi dropouts or the number of questions.

On the package, Lenovo offers the basics of K1, including a USB cord and documentation in the box of tablets. With its packaging numbered and elegant presentation - the tablet is the first thing you see when you open the box - Lenovo certainly gives a little visual pizazz added to new owners. In addition, available Screen Protectors and a bridge keyboard, which is free if your K1 purchased on the website of Lenovo.

Lenovo offers a one-year basic warranty, which includes access to phone support and full coverage on issues of compensation to match. For $ 79.99, users can also add a second year of coverage.

Input Devices
In addition to a standard keyboard Android, Lenovo took a second on-screen keyboard that both the changes and moves around several different keys. For most, however, the keyboard works well, regardless of your preferred settings.

Of course, in most real screen space makes the job easier, and type. With the extra space, it is much harder to accidentally hit the play button when the goal is to press the other. And as always, the talk of Android is one of the best platforms for mobile computing - translation errors were almost nonexistent when we said a series of sentences of varying lengths on the tablet. This was the same, regardless of the amount of noise in the environment, or the speed we were talking about.

Q1 movement performance and ambient light sensors are not as impressive, though. When we changed the orientation of the tablet, it took almost two seconds to identify the circuit K1. For comparison, the Apple iPad, an ever lasting less than a second to detect changes in orientation. Similarly, K1 light sensor immediately jumps from one glory to another when the auto-brightness is turned on.

Compared to the brightness settings in most new laptops - with brightness levels are gradually mixed together - the effect is particularly striking K1. When playing games on K1, we were out of the light sensor and continually move the backlight level, in order to avoid distracted by a sudden change in screen brightness.

K1 is equipped with cameras provided front and rear with resolutions of 2 megapixels and 5 megapixels, respectively. The first is located in the same situation, where you will find a webcam on a laptop, which is suitable for videoconferencing applications. With mid-range performance in relation to each device, but it will probably be used in non-intensive applications. As the photos below show the color and brightness levels average at best.

Thank you a 10.1 inch screen K1 IPS and 1280 x 800 pixel resolution screen offers solid performance in most situations on the inside. The glossy screen also adds some nice visual acuity in K1, although it also attracts many fingerprints. Compared, we found no major problems with the screen - the high-resolution display features strong visual performance and brightness levels that are almost identical with our Apple iPad.

K1 outdoor performance was not as reliable, though. Due to the glossy surface of the screen, it strongly reflected our immediate environment. We eked better performance of the tablet, when we were near the shade, but it is clear that K1 is not the best, close to the direct sunlight.

We had fewer problems when tested viewing angles of the tablet. Although the standard viewing positions not cause much visual degradation, other angles show low levels of distortion. However, the high resolution of K1 results screen, sharp accurate color reproduction.

Like most high-end Android tablets, the stunning sports K1 internal specifications, including 1 GB DDR2 600 MHz and 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra processor 2. In practice, the tablet provides the results of performance tests relatively constant. MFLOPS Linpack score of 62,124 K1 was the highest of the Android-based tablet, beating the same integrated Galaxy tab 10.1.

Mark fell in the Navigator K1 score of 89 873 tablets little behind as Xoom Motorola V900 and LG Optimus - both tablets score was more than 90,000. Google V8, Quadrant, Smartbench and our other benchmark tests, scoring almost K1 fell in line with other Tegra 2 based tablets. Apart from the issues we have mentioned above with K1 sensors were the pill generally results fast.

K1 is dependent on Android 3.1, but Lenovo has included additional changes that significantly improve the user experience.

The main element, the key "levels" on the built-in features for the killing, eliminating the need to use a portion of third parties. In addition, "Rotate App" and "Lenovo launcher" apps is easier access to integrated email, reading, and multimedia applications.

On the other hand, however, are generally not fans of proprietary application vendors, and unfortunately, K1 with a shovel. For example, the social application includes tactile information from your calendar, inbox and social networks like Facebook and Twitter in a stream - we have not found much use for social tact, but it depends on your habits of media consumption social communication.

We also found a lot of digging on the App by Lenovo. As similar to the App stores, on Amazon and Toshiba, the App Store is an independent curator for the Android market applications. The application also includes AppVerse - part of the social media app - which means you can get tips from other app users.

Given the poor results of the Android Market with honeycomb support, there is certainly room for better healing application on Android. And unlike shops party applications, Lenovo includes important applications such as Angry Birds, with applications from sites like Twitter and Facebook.

At the same time, the App Store in the limited selection problems - games section of the App Store has only 32 different applications, for example.

We are fans of Lenovo's decision pre-installation of a set of popular applications, however. These applications include Zinio, eBuddy and Amazon Kindle. There is a good mix of not much bloatware for use in general applications, and is incredibly easy to uninstall do not want.

And, of course, Android 3.1 is not without its growing pains general. Throughout our time to test the K1, applications occasionally crashed at random intervals and require a reboot to work properly. Sometimes, application performance also tend to be incompatible. In one case, try to open a PDF file of 305 pages of PDF To Go and Adobe Reader - after several minutes, the PDF still had a lot of visual artifacts in PDF To Go, while nothing could be seen in Adobe Reader.

Verdict of the game
Divided among the games that have built the Android tablet and the games they had to be able to scale to work with Android tablets, Gaming K1 usually a mixed bag. Some of the non-HD apps - like Angry Birds Seasons - scales surprisingly well on the K1, but slight artifacts are evident.

However, games such as Backbreaker will not load properly at all. Of course, the games built in compressed resolutions much better price. Titles such as Need For Speed ​​HD and Dungeon Defenders HD shows and play without problems K1.

Similarly, it was not easy to find friendly games to test pads with the K1. In fact, we managed to find the Dungeon HD defenders through the application of NVIDIA Tegra Zone. To be fair, the growing pains tablets Android market have little to do with the K1, but as with any relatively new platform, the version of some basic usability problems can be expected.

Noise emission
Since K1 has no moving parts, we had no problems with the tablet system noise.

Despite K1 is largely plastic exterior, it was still an incredibly efficient heat conductor. As with our test laptop, we first took the temperature of the front of the shelf and back.

After running the tablet under load for an hour - in this case, we drove StabilityTest simultaneous CPU and GPU stress test details below - we took the temperature of K1 for the second time. As shown in the figure, most of the heat gains concentrated near the bottom of the tablet. K1 was never too hot, but it would probably be uncomfortable if kept under load for a longer period.

The back of the K1 touts two speaker ports, but none are worthy of attention that most users. Whether it's dance music like LCD Soundsystem "Jump Into The Fire" or rock songs like Tune-Yards "Gangsta" through the speakers, were highlights too prominent in the mix, while the bass was almost non-existent. The speakers have enough volume to serve as speakers casual listening, but the audio files in general want to stick to headphones for most listening situations.

Battery Life
K1 is the battery of two cells promotes a potential lifespan of up to 10 hours, but during our testing, we managed to get varying amounts of the results of the tablet.

We first tested the maximum capacity of K1 inactive tablet, adjustment of brightness to minimum setting and turn off all wireless modules. In this test, the battery lasts 12 hours and 11 minutes.

Then loop video stored locally on the maximum brightness setting K1 and wireless off. During this test, the tablet's battery died after 6 hours and 40 minutes.

In addition, we tested the battery via a standard use and web browsing while under load. In the standard Web browsing scenario, we sailed on the web pages with video and text elements - the battery lasted 5 hours and 50 minutes. In load testing, we ran Android app "StabilityTest" and completed his contemporaries and CPU rendering test ant low CPU details. Here, the battery is drained much faster, lasting only 5 hours and 31 minutes.

At the end IdeaPad K1 gives a strong future for tablet owners. K1 a tag price of solid technical and economical to put a higher security level of the current Android tablets. Thanks for the Gingerbread growing pains, the K1 is a long distance before taking the tablets, like the iPad, but be careful consumers eager to plunge into tablet computing to find a much more direct than the IdeaPad.

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