tablets

Lenovo IdeaPad K1 Tablet Review

The IdeaPad K1 offers middle of the road performance at a price to match.

February 17, 2012
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Screen

Much like the other 10.1 inch screened tablets, the Lenovo IdeaPad K1 has a resolution of 1280 x 800, displayed on a screen that's 5.325 x 8.625 inches. The Lenovo IdeaPad K1 uses an LCD screen backlit by an LED array, with a dubiously effective anti-glare coating. You'll notice at first that the screen size is rather large, like many of the other high-profile tablets to hit the market. While your eyesight may dictate how you feel about the tablet itself, the size may work to its detriment for younger users.

Front Image

Indoor & Outdoor Use

Tablets are generally not that great to bring outside due to the very nature by which LCD screens work. In order to produce a picture, LCD screens rely on a backlight to emit enough light to be seen through the LCD matrix. If there is too much direct sunlight or an overall bright environment, this backlight is often drowned out, resulting in a picture that looks like it emits no light at all in comparison, causing consternation at the beach and other bright environments.

indoor-outdoor.jpg

NOTE: The images above are shot with a variety of lighting sources, which may cause some color shift.

The Lenovo IdeaPad is no different, as not only does it have the same display technology as discussed above, but it is also extremely reflective. This is not a good combination for outdoor use.

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Legibility

Because the Lenovo IdeaPad has an appropriate resolution for its screen size, it has no troubles with legibility. It displays a clear, crisp picture with minimal artifacting and “stair stepping” LCD screens are sometimes prone to.

legibility.jpg

Reflectance

While we’re used to LCD-screened tablets reflecting a ton of light, not many are as bad as the Lenovo IdeaPad. Reflecting 26% of all light shone on the screen, the Lenovo IdeaPad’s reflection pattern is bold and annoying. We’d advise against taking this outside.

Screen Size & DPI

As previously mentioned, the Lenovo IdeaPad has a resolution of 1280 × 800, displayed on a screen that’s 5.325 × 8.625 inches, giving it a DPI of 150. This is about par for the course for tablets of this size, and really, there isn’t a huge variance among the bigger contenders.

Blacks and Whites

While the Lenovo IdeaPad has a great black level for a tablet, giving a decent contrast ratio, its peak brightness leaves something to be desired, as it measures only just above 211 cd/m2. While this is perfectly fine for a TV, it’s fairly abysmal for a tablet, as tablets generally have to deal with a little more direct light than TVs do. The picture quality may be good, but if you can’t see it, what’s the point?

Blacks and Whites Chart

Color Gamut

Like most tablets, the Lenovo IdeaPad doesn’t fare so well when compared to the rec. 709 standard. By looking at the chart, you’ll notice that it undersaturates and shifts reds and greens a bit, while wildly shifting the blues closer to a cyan color, as well as the white point being a little messed up. Comparatively speaking, not horrible, but not that great, either.

Color Gamut Chart

Battery Life

While the Lenovo IdeaPad doesn’t have the world’s best battery installed, it does have a rather average battery life, clocking in at around 6 hours and 30 minutes both with reading eBooks and video. For each of these tests, we crank the backlight up to maximum and turn the wireless off, so your mileage may vary if you meddle with the settings. When listening to music only, it lasts over 24 hours, but that’s mainly due to the screen automatically turning off.

Normally you could extend your battery life by turning down the screen brightness, but much like one cannot pull themselves up by their bootstraps, neither can one make the most of their tablet in average lighting conditions and not have the backlight cranked because of the poor peak brightness. What you see here is close the performance ceiling of the Lenovo IdeaPad.

Battery Life Chart
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Movies & Video
  8. Email & Web Browsing
  9. Internet Apps
  10. Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet Comparison
  11. Apple iPad 2 Wi-fi & 3G / AT&T / 16 GB Comparison
  12. Motorola Xyboard Comparison
  13. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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