Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx K3011 Review

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The Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx K3011 slate tablet won’t replace your laptop as your main Windows machine, but it’s not a bad choice for a second or third device.

(3.5 out of 5)

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Energy-efficient Intel Atom processor
  • Decent performance

Cons

  • Relatively short battery life
  • Full functionality requires accessory keyboard (sold separately)

Lenovo has another entry into the Windows 8 pantheon of touch-enabled Windows devices, with the Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx K3011. An Atom-powered Windows tablet of the same ilk as the HP Envy X2 (11-g012nr) or the Asus VivoTab Smart ME400C, the IdeaTab Lynx is designed for the touch-curious at a price that won’t break the bank. It’s not enough on its own to be your only Windows machine, but as a second or third device, it’s not too shabby.

Design
Like the Asus VivTab Smart, the IdeaPad Lynx is sold as a tablet alone. You’ll need to purchase the docking keyboard separately ($149.99 list) if you’re after a laptop-like portable experience, like the one on the HP Envy X2. The IdeaTab Lynx is lightweight and portable, weighing only 1.4 pounds, but it’s still surprisingly sturdy, thanks to a magnesium alloy internal frame inside the chassis, which acts like a roll cage to protect the components within. The polycarbonate chassis is nowhere near as luxurious or sturdy as the all-metal HP Envy X2, but it at least feels sturdy, unlike the Asus VivoTab Smart, which felt lightweight and cheaply made.

The 11.6-inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) display looks good even when cradled close in a lap or the crook of an arm, with 1366-by-768 resolution. With five-point capacitive touch, you’ll be able to use the tablet with multiple fingers using one or two hands, and the IPS display offers wide viewing angles, so there’s no worry about having to hold the tablet at a specific angle.

Like most of the tablets we’ve seen, the sound on the IdeaTab Lynx is wimpy at best—it’s really more of a headphone-friendly device anyway. The sound is quite weak, even at high volume, and when we tested the speakers with The Knife’s bass-heavy Silent Shout, it sounded like an entirely different song because there was almost no bass at all. When using earbuds or a headset, however, the sound was just fine.

Features
On the edges of the tablet you’ll find two ports to speak of, a micro HDMI port on the side, and a micro USB 2.0 port on the bottom. The micro USB port looks a little different, as it doubles as a docking port for the accessory keyboard, but it will still work with any micro USB cable. For those instances when you need to connect a USB drive using a full-size port, there is a micro-to-full size USB adapter included with the tablet. There’s no micro HDI adapter, so you’ll need to acquire one yourself before you can hook it up to your HDTV—it’s irksome, but we have yet to see a manufacturer bundle in a micro HDMI adapter. Additionally, there is a microSD card slot, but it’s recessed and set behind a port cover, putting it out of convenient reach and making it difficult to remove the memory card once it’s in the slot.

The IdeaTab Lynx is also equipped with a front-facing 2-megapixel webcam and two digital microphones for use with Skype and the like, but despite the tablet design, there is no rear-facing camera, so you won’t be using the Lynx to shoot snapshots at tourist attractions. Despite this, there are several sensors more common to smartphones and Android tablets that Windows machines, like an accelerometer, ambient light sensing to adjust screen brightness automatically and proximity sensing, and an e-compass. The more familiar 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 provide the wireless connectivity you’ll need to get online and pair wireless mice and keyboards without the need for a USB adapter.

The tablet is equipped with a 64GB solid-state drive (SSD), though some of that is occupied by the operating system and included software. In addition to Windows 8 (32-bit), the IdeaTab Lynx comes with an array of apps and programs already installed. Lenovo makes sure to include genuinely useful services and apps, like Lenovo Cloud by SugarSync, which makes it easier to automatically share files between the Lynx and your laptop or desktop. Microsoft Office Starter gives you limited Word and PowerPoint, with the option to upgrade, and a 30-day trial of Norton Internet Security and Norton Studio. On the Start Screen you’ll find several apps, including Skype, Evernote, Amazon’s Kindle Reader, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Merriam Webster Dictionary. Finally, Lenovo covers the IdeaTab Lynx with a one-year warranty, though you can purchase extended protection that stretches it to two or three.

Performance
Like most 10- and 11-inch Windows tablets on the market today, the IdeaTab Lynx is equipped with a dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760 processor, with 2GB of RAM. The use of an Atom processor means you’ll be running Windows in 32-bit mode instead of the 64-bit found in standard laptops and desktops, but you’ll still be able to run most programs, albeit with slower performance than you may be used to.

In PCMark 7 the Lynx produced a category leading score of 1,438 points, tied with the Asus VivoTab Smart, and beating other top-rated competitors, like the Dell Latitude 10 (1,291 points) and the HP Envy X2 (1,429 points). The Lynx’s Cinebench scores are actually the best of the category (0.56) despite the fact that the same processor is found in competitors, like the Dell XPS 13 (0.46) and the Acer Iconia Tab W510-1422 (0.30). It also performed well in Handbrake, finishing in 6 minutes 26 seconds, and coming within one second of the category-leading HP Envy X2 (6:25).

The energy-efficient Atom processor does lend itself well to tablets, which require greater freedom from power cords. In our battery rundown test, the Lynx lasted 7 hours 33 minutes. While it’s enough to take you through the day, it actually trails behind other tablets, like the Acer Iconia Tab W510-1422 (8:59), the Dell Latitude 10 (9:20) and even Lenovo’s own ThinkPad Tablet 2 (10:11).

While the battery life is a bit short, it’s still long-lasting, and the strong overall performance makes it a solid contender among Atom-powered Windows tablets. As Windows machines go, it’s far from full-featured, but if you want something for content consumption and casual Windows computing, The Lenovo IdeaPad Lynx K3011 isn’t a bad choice.

By Brian Westover, PCMag

Specifications

  • Type: Tablet
  • Processor Name: Intel Atom Z2760
  • Processor Speed: 1.8 GHz
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Weight: 1.47 lb
  • Screen Size: 11.6 inches
  • Screen Type: Widescreen
  • Touchscreen: Yes
  • Graphics Card: IMG PowerVR SGX545
  • Storage Capacity (as Tested): 64 GB
  • Networking Options: 802.11n
  • Primary Optical Drive: External

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