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Lenovo IdeaPad K1 review

Can this Android tablet impress like some of Lenovo's laptop offerings?

Lenovo IdeaPad K1
The IdeaPad K1 is an Android let-down

Our Verdict

The Lenovo IdeaPad K1 has the potential to be a good tablet, but it can't get basics such as unlocking consistent, so we don't recommend it.


  • Good spec list
  • Nice range of apps
  • Android 3.1's features
  • Reasonable price (in theory)


  • Inconsistent performance
  • Freezes and lock outs
  • Big and heavy
  • Dim screen

Lenovo is going on an all-out assault on the world of tablets, creating a new division specifically for them and announcing a new range.

The Lenovo lineup includes the Windows 7-running IdeaPad Tablet P1 and two Android 3.1-powered tablets, including the business-focussed ThinkPad Tablet, and the consumer-focussed IdeaPad K1 which we have here.

As Android tablets go, it's fairly typical when it comes to specs. The screen is 10.1 inches, with a resolution of 1280 x 800, while the processing and graphics power is provided by a Nvidia Tegra 2 chip, running at the usual 1GHz. There's also a nice 1GB of RAM to provide plenty of memory for multitasking.

There's 32GB of built-in storage, with a microSD card reader for adding more, and a micro-HDMI port for playing video on your HDTV. There's also a five-megapixel rear camera, complete with LED flash, and a two-megapixel front camera.

Lenovo ideapad k1

As we mentioned, Android 3.1 is the OS of choice here, and Lenovo has jam-packed the IdeaPad K1 with additional software, which we'll cover on the next page.

Unusually for Android 3.0 tablets, there's actually a physical Home button, which even has gesture recognition in order to act as a Back button, too.

Lenovo ideapad k1

The front of the IdeaPad K1 is nothing special - shiny and black. There's a massively chunky bezel around the 10.1-inch, 16:10 touchscreen, which house the Home button and the front-facing camera. The camera is designed to be used in landscape orientation, while the Home button seems meant to be used in portrait.

Around the edge of the K1 is a silver rim, which is where you'll find the Lock/On/Off button, the volume control and an orientation lock.

Lenovo ideapad k1

On another side, you'll find the microSD card slot, the HDMI port, a headphone jack and a docking connector, which you also use for charging and connecting to a USB port.

Lenovo ideapad k1

The back of the IdeaPad K1 is mostly plastic, with a honeycomb effect that makes it nice and grippy. The plastic isn't very sturdy, flexing easily under even a light grip. It sounds hollow and loose when tapped, but we doubt it would actually be much of a liability in use – it just feels cheap.

There are stereo speakers on the back, too, and that rear-facing camera with flash. At 13.3mm thick and 750g, it certainly feels chunkier and heavier in the hand than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the iPad 2.

Lenovo ideapad k1

It's actually a good deal larger than the iPad 2 – it's slightly wider, and a few centimetres longer. This is pretty much totally attributable to the size of the bezel.

The IdeaPad K1 comes in black and silver, white and silver, or a funky red and silver. You can expect to pay £369 for it.