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It’s my first week using a Lenovo IdeaPad K1 Tablet and so far I’m impressed. The K1 is nimble and responds quickly to touch. The screen is clear and although it is apparently a little heavier than other tablets I don’t actually hold it much and don’t find it overwhelming, usually it is on the desk, counter or lap.

Lenovo Ideapad K1 Tech Details

  • NVIDIA® Tegra™ T20 1.0GHz Processor
  • Android™ 3.1
  • 10.4” x 7.4” x .5” and less than 1.7 pounds
  • Up to 10 hours battery life
  • 1GB DDR2 memory, up to 64GB SSD storage
  • Integrated Bluetooth®
  • 802.11b/g/n WiFi
  • MicroSD card reader, mini HDMI connector and optional docking port
  • Integrated front (2M) and back (5M) webcam

This is not a hardware review of the Ideapad K1. There’s plenty of qualified sites that have already done this (eg: here, or here). Instead this is a focus on the functionality of the IdeaPad K1 and just what exactly you use this tablet for.

Productivity On A Tablet

This Lenovo tablet is meant to be a functional addition to a laptop and Samsung Galaxy Android phone and the focus is to use it productively for tech, personal, and web business. As much as one could duplicate all the apps installed on the phone that doesn’t seem to make sense. The phone only has a 4 inch screen whereas the K1 has 10 inches. The phone includes a data plan whereas the K1 is WIFI so it will only be used where there is WIFI capability.

Here’s how I currently percieve the segmentation of apps between devices:

Laptop Tablet Smartphone
Website Management
Remote Desktop
Business eMail
Internet Browsing
Work eMail
Gas Buddy

What To Use A Tablet For?

The Lenovo K1 has a 10 inch screen and WIFI only, so it’s unlikely to be carried around like a phone. You might use it in your favourite coffee shop, friends, family, school and other WIFI-enabled places. This means it’s not going to be your GPS map in the car – even though it is GPS enabled.

Email: Gmail displays very nicely on the tablet. If your eyes are beginning to fail like mine are then you will appreciate the larger real-estate. If you email account is IMAP then a tablet is another way to manage your email flow. However my other email account is POP and I chose not to add this to the K1 as this email would still be downloaded to my laptop – I’d see the same emails twice. Also, if I sent a reply from the K1 using POP I would not see that reply in my Outlook on the laptop. Since the POP is used for business I keep important incoming and sent emails for history.

Calendar: The Gmail calendar works very well on the 10 inch screen. Text is large enough to read and the day/week/month views all work well. Entering new appointments is easy and intuitive and because it is sync’d to Google it’s available on the Smartphone too, plus I have it syncing to Outlook on the laptop.

Games: The Ideapad K1 comes with a stable of games, including Angry Birds of course, and my wife is all over that. This version of Angry Birds is HD and is a super display. If you are into gaming Apps and they’re adapted for Ice Cream Sandwich then they will look and perform well on this tablet. Gaming is not my focus so I won’t be talking much about this area.

Books: The Ideapad K1 includes the Kindle reader and eReader. Both are great to look at indoors (I haven’t tried outdoors yet) and provide a page that is pretty close to a paperback size. Prior to getting this IdeaPad K1 I was reading books on a iPod Touch – so again, the extra real-estate is welcomed. Stay tuned for an article on how to get your books to the K1.

The Bad

As much as I like the 10 inch screen it does of course smear up from usage. However I know I am a clean freak and do find I wipe it often, once or twice a day.
A few days after I set up the K1 it automatically performed and update. I really think it would be nice to have some notification that it was to do this and the option to pick when you’d like it performed. This update just up and went off without warning. And, the aftermath is that Internet shortcuts that I saved on the desktop disappeared. Bad bad Android.
Now, since the update, I cannot access the Android Market to load any new Apps. The message is “Your client is out of date. It will be automatically updated shortly” – that’s been there for two days now and there doesn’t seem to be any way to force the update.
[Update: I used a browser on another computer to go to the Android Marketplace and downloaded the marketplace app to the kindle device that way. It took a few times but finally worked.]


So far the Lenovo IdeaPad K1 has lived up to expectations overall. The battery lasts two days, it responds quickly to the touch.

It’s only been a week and there’s some nitty gritty to dig into, which I’ll get to on subsequent articles, such as how to get your ePub’s to the K1, how to watch movies, how to work with documents.

Have you got an Lenovo IdeaPad K1? What are your experiences? How are YOU using it?