Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 (preview)

Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 preview: Lenovo's IdeaPad Tablet K1 is aimed directly at consumers, but on face value seems like just another Android tablet

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Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1

Pros

  • Android Honeycomb 3.1
  • HDMI-out
  • Preloaded with up to 40 apps

Cons

  • 13.3m thick
  • Nothing new or innovative

Bottom Line

Lenovo is late to the tablet party, but better late than never, right? Its IdeaPad Tablet K1 is aimed directly at consumers, but on face value it seems like yet another Android tablet that screams "me too".

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Lenovo has arrived late to the party, but the company better known for its business notebooks and PC's has finally released an Android tablet. The Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 will be available in Australia from September and is aimed squarely at consumer rather than business or corporate customers.

Read our guide to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 has a 10.1in capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1280x800, is powered by a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, and has a hefty 1GB of RAM, along with a microSD card slot for extra storage. It also has dual cameras: a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a front-facing 2-megapixel camera.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 has a mini HDMI-out port so it can be connected to a high definition TV, along with a proprietary dock connector that will enable it to be used with accessories like charging and keyboard docks. However, at 13.3mm thick, it's a much chunkier device than the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which will measure just 8.6mm. The IdeaPad also weighs 730g, making it identical in weight to the Motorola Xoom, but lighter than the hefty Toshiba Tablet (AT100).

At this point you are probably asking what's different about these specifications compared to the range of other Android 'Honeycomb' tablets already on the market. The answer is, very little. In an increasingly crowded market, most Android tablets have a "me too" feel about them, and the IdeaPad Tablet K1 is sadly no exception.

One plus is that Lenovo will ship the IdeaPad Tablet K1 out of the box with the latest version of Google's Android software, 'Honeycomb' 3.1. However, most of its competitors, including the Motorola Xoom, and the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, are in the process of updating current software to 3.1 right now, so this is hardly a feature worth crowing about. Then again, Google's update process for Android tablets and smartphones is hardly reliable, so the fact the IdeaPad will come with 3.1 out of the box is an ever so slight advantage.

Out of the box, the Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 will come preloaded with more than 40 apps including Need for Speed Shift, Angry Birds, Amazon Kindle and Documents to Go. The tablet also comes with Lenovo's SocialTouch UI overlay, which enables quick access to Facebook and Twitter services. The Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 also comes with 2GB of free cloud storage. The Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 will be available to order online in August, but will officially release in Australia in September. It comes in both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + 3G options in 16GB and 32GB sizes, starting at $569 for the entry level 16GB Wi-Fi only model. The IdeaPad Tablet K1 will cost $709 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model, $679 for the 32GB Wi-Fi only model and $809 for the top of the range 32GB Wi-Fi + 3G model.

Lenovo sells a 64GB model of the tablet in overseas markets, but will not offer this larger capacity model in Australia.

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