Lenovo IdeaPad K1 Gaming Performance Review

Posted by B. Johnson
August 7, 2014 | 0 comments
Lenovo IdeaPad K1 Gaming Performance ReviewHi guys, welcome back!

Just a while ago, i’ve already showed you one tablet from Lenovo, which i thought could be a good gaming tablet, if not great (let alone the best).

That tablet was Lenovo ThinkPad tablet, a 10.1-inch tablet running Android that is powered by a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, which was the main reason why i was interested to review this tablet in the first place.

This Lenovo’s tablet actually kind of reminds me with Acer tablet – Acer Iconia Tab 500 -, which i’ve already showed you here on this website a couple of months ago.

Similar just like Lenovo ThinkPad – actually, similar 'exactly' like the Lenovo ThinkPad -, this Acer Iconia Tab 500 interestingly comes with the similar type of spec sheet.

Lenovo IdeaPad K1 benchmarks and gaming performance

From the same dual-core Tegra 2 processor, the same 10.1-inch display with the same 720p resolution, the same 5MP + 2MP cameras on the back and front respectively, the similar Android software build along with its future upgradeable version and the same 1GB of RAM.

In fact, they both even have the same – or almost similar, if you would – 3260mAh battery capacity on Acer tablet, while 3250mAh battery is inside the Lenovo ThinkPad.

Not to mention, according to some reviews, Acer Iconia Tab 500 proved it has great battery life - which can be expected the same thing on Lenovo ThinkPad and definitely on the Lenovo IdeaPad K1 given their exactly the same spec sheet.

Anyway, in the past few days, i’ve been showing you guys some of Tegra tablets from various different manufacturers – from Samsung, LG, Motorola, Xiaomi and of course Lenovo.

Today i have another Lenovo tablet that is also powered by the same Tegra 2 dual-core processor.

This one is called Lenovo IdeaPad K1, a 10.1-inch Android tablet with similar spec sheet as Motorola’s homemade tablet – Motorola Xoom, which i’ve already showed you a couple of days ago.

Well, what do you think? Are you interested to get to know more about this Lenovo tablet, especially its gaming performance and which games that will run great on this tablet?

If so, then here you go, check out my personal impression of Lenovo IdeaPad K1 in this review.

Introduction

It’s too bad that NVIDIA doesn’t have such a massive success with its latest Tegra 4 processor.

And this contradicts with its previous-gen Tegra processors that can be seen on almost all Android tablets on the market – from Motorola Xoom, Acer Iconia Tab series, Google Nexus 7, Samsung, LG, Microsoft Surface RT and of course Lenovo tablet series.

The most possible reason why many tablet manufacturers didn’t want to see this Tegra 4 inside their tablets is because this processor is plagued by the overheating issue, especially when used on tablets with highest-resolution display (1080p or 2.5K display) or when used to do some heavy intensive tasks like playing games.

The other reason why many tablet manufacturers tried to avoid this Tegra 4 is its lack of 4G LTE cellular connectivity (although NVIDIA can add a separate LTE chip to support this Tegra 4).

Lenovo IdeaPad K1 Gaming Performance Review
Lenovo IdeaPad K1

So that’s why many of these tablet makers preferred to use Qualcomm’s chipsets instead of NVIDIA’s Tegra 4, despite being a 'beast' processor.

The good news is, Tegra 2 dual-core processor – which used to be the world’s first dual-core processor around the tablet/smartphone market – doesn’t have any overheating issue just like Tegra 4.

And this generation of Tegra series also has great graphical performance (but not as great as Tegra 3 or Tegra 4 of course) and the most importantly, it’s not that power hungry - compared to Tegra 3 or Tegra 4.

So as a result, any tablet that is powered by Tegra 2 dual-core processor is not only great in performance and graphical sector, but it’ll also be great in battery life.

Speaking of Tegra 2 tablet, Lenovo IdeaPad K1 is one of many tablets that is powered by a Tegra 2 processor.

Lenovo IdeaPad K1 actually kind of reminds me with Motorola Xoom tablet – which i just showed you a couple of days ago -, in terms of specs especially.

They have:
  • the same 10.1-inch display with the same 1280x800 pixel resolution (plus the same -149ppi),
  • the same 1GB of RAM,
  • the same 5MP + 2MP cameras on the back and front (even the same LED flash and autofocus supports),
  • the similar Android software build
  • and the same microSD card storage for up to 32GB.
However, there is one thing that makes this Lenovo tablet more superior compared to Motorola Xoom.

And that is its battery capacity, which is a staggering 7400mAh power battery, as opposed to the 25Wh (3260mAh) battery inside the Motorola Xoom.

By looking at the entire spec sheet of this Lenovo IdeaPad K1, i personally think that this tablet is slightly better than any other Tegra 2 tablets that i’ve already reviewed on this website.

It has much larger battery capacity – resulting in long lasting battery life -, plus it has complete package of cameras along with the LED flash and autofocus supports.

But the questions are, with all of these goodies and not to mention its superiority in battery and camera departments, does Lenovo IdeaPad K1 have what it takes to be an iPad killer (or iPad 2 given their same release year)?

Is this tablet still relevant to be positioned alongside other rivals in today’s tablet market (like iPad Air, Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro/Tab S, Sony Xperia Z/Z2, Google Nexus 10 or Asus Transformer Pad TF701)?

Does this tablet have what it takes to be a good gaming tablet?

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  • No SIM
  • Released July 2011
  • Weight 750 g (1.65 lb)
  • 10.1 inch (TFT capacitive touchscreen, 800 x 1280 pixels, ~149 ppi pixel density), 16M colors
  • 1 GB RAM (DDR2 600MHz)
  • Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9 Nvidia Tegra 2 T20 Chipset
  • ULP GeForce GPU
  • Android OS 3.1 Honeycomb
  • microSD Memory Card slot for up to 32 GB
  • 16/32 GB Internal storage
  • 5 MP rear-facing camera autofocus, LED flash
  • 2 MP front-facing camera
  • No GPRS
  • No EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • USB
  • Bluetooth
  • Java MIDP emulator
  • HTML, Adobe Flash Browser
  • GPS
  • No Radio
  • HDMI port
  • Accelerometer, compass Sensors
  • Colors White, Black, Red, Brown
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 7400 mAh battery
  • Up to 10 hours Talk time (multimedia)
From all the Tegra 2 tablets i’ve already reviewed on this website, i think Lenovo IdeaPad K1 is by far the best Tegra 2 tablet until now.

Even though almost the entire spec sheet of this tablet is similar with other Tegra 2 counterparts, there are still some sectors that should be appreciated on this tablet – like its complete set of cameras (5MP on the rear and 2MP on the front with LED flash and autofocus supports) and a huge 7400mAH power battery.

Lenovo IdeaPad K1 features a 10.1-inch display sporting the 720p or 1280x800 pixel resolution, a dual-core Tegra 2 processor with the clock speed of 1GHz per core, GeForce ULP GPU, 1GB of RAM, 16GB/32GB of internal storage, microSD card slot for up to 32GB, Java, Bluetooth, USB, WiFi, a huge 7400mAh power battery and some other standard basic features.

Not to mention, there is also Android 3.1 HoneyComb that comes out of the box on this tablet.

Screen

There’s not much difference on the display of this tablet compared to other Tegra 2 tablets i’ve already reviewed on this website.

Lenovo IdeaPad K1 features the same 10.1-inch display sporting the resolution of 1280x800 pixels or known today as 720p resolution, not to mention with the pixel density of -149 ppi – which is similar with the display of almost all 10.1-inch tablets.

In real world quality, 720p resolution still looks pretty sharp on a 10.1-inch display, but not as sharper as tablets with 1080p or 2.5K display of course.

So any media-consumption tasks that you throw on this tablet - like watching HD movies, browsing the web, reading contents like books or magazines or even playing games -, will still look good and pretty sharp on this display.

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When it comes to overall performance, there’s no single doubt that Lenovo IdeaPad K1 will be good in this sector.

Thanks to the dual-core Tegra 2 processor, accompanied with GeForce ULP GPU and 1GB of RAM, any tasks that you throw on this tablet – like watching movies, browsing the web, editing documents, checking out photos or even playing games -, all can be executed perfectly in smooth performance.

However, given that Tegra 2 dual-core processor is not as great and powerful as Tegra 3 or Tegra 4, let alone Tegra K1 – not to mention, it’s already considered as outdated for today’s standards -, then there will still be some noticeable lags and stutters seen on this tablet – especially when opening many apps at once, using live wallpaper or browsing some heavy web pages.

Meanwhile, as for playing games, Lenovo IdeaPad K1 can still be good for that matter.

With Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM and GeForce ULP GPU, plus its medium-resolution 720p – there are many older games released in early 2012 or around that year, which can be played in smooth performance and the most importantly in full high graphics.

Some of them are PES 2012, Modern Combat 1 and 2, N.O.V.A 1 and 2, Need for Speed Undercover and SHIFT, Asphalt 5 and 6, GTA III, ShadowGun, Dead Trigger or ShadowGun.

However, for the latest and graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas, N.O.V.A 3 or Modern Combat 4, i have doubts that these games can be played smoothly in full graphics on this tablet.

But even so, despite not being able to play those latest heavy games, i still think that Lenovo IdeaPad K1 is a good gaming tablet – but not that great (let alone the best).

It has fast and smooth gaming performance (when playing older games), it has huge but ideal 10-inch display and the most importantly is, Lenovo IdeaPad K1 has great long lasting battery life, thanks to its huge 7400mAh power battery inside.

And all of these are the important elements of a good gaming tablet.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Lenovo IdeaPad K1, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Battery Life

As i mentioned above, Lenovo IdeaPad K1 is powered by 7400mAh battery under the hood, which is really huge for a 10.1-inch tablet - but not that huge compared to other 10-inch rivals like Google Nexus 10, Lenovo Yoga 10 Tablet or iPad Air.

So as a result, this tablet is more than capable to deliver an all-day-long battery life to the users.

For your information, from all the Tegra 2 tablets that i’ve reviewed on this website, i believe this Lenovo IdeaPad K1 is the one that has the biggest battery capacity compared to other tablets.

This is great – no single doubt about that.

But i think having this huge battery capacity is not that necessary given that Tegra 2 dual-core processor is not that power hungry and this tablet also only uses 720p resolution on its 10.1-inch display.

As i mentioned over and over again in my previous review, there is one Acer tablet with the same Tegra 2 processor, which has great and long lasting battery life.

That tablet is Acer Iconia Tab 500, which according to some reviews, could even last in 2 days in heavy usage – despite using a smaller 3260mAh power battery compared to the 7400mAh battery on Lenovo IdeaPad K1.

But impressively, even with that small battery and heavy software/features/UI/visual presentations, this Acer tablet could survive in 2 days in the row in heavy usage, which is really amazing for a 10-inch tablet.

So if that Acer Iconia Tab 500 - with just a small battery – could last in 2 days in the row, then you can definitely expect the same thing on this Lenovo IdeaPad K1.

As a matter of fact, given its bigger 7400mAh power battery, i believe this tablet could even last in 2 days or probably more than 2 days in the row.

Besides, - just like Acer Iconia Tab 500 -, this Lenovo IdeaPad K1 also comes with the same 10-inch 720p display plus similar software build (with almost stock Android UI).

So these things could really help a lot in making this tablet long lasting in battery life.

My Personal Opinions

So in conclusion, i think it’s really easy to recommend this tablet to you – especially if you’re just looking for a media-consumption tablet with fast and smooth performance but ‘okay’ gaming performance (or in other words, you’re not a heavy gamer).
  • It has a great and pretty sharp 720p resolution on its 10.1-inch display (which is ideal for gaming, browsing the web or watching movies),
  • it has powerful processor and graphics chipset,
  • it has complete set of cameras (5MP rear and 2MP front cameras with LED flash and autofocus supports),
  • it has great features and pre-loaded apps
  • and the most importantly, a huge 7400mAh power battery, resulting in long lasting battery life, even in heavy usage without resting the screen at all.
However, there are some downsides that you need to ‘own’ if you decide to get Lenovo IdeaPad K1. The first one - which is weirdly – is its Tegra 2 dual-core processor.

Even though this processor used to be the world’s first dual-core processor around the tablet/smartphone market, Tegra 2 is now already considered as ‘outdated’ and of course not on par anymore with today’s mobile chipsets – like Snapdragon 600/800, Apple A7 chipset or even its own siblings, Tegra 3/Tegra 4, let alone the latest and greatest Tegra K1 -.

And this will be crucial especially in its gaming performance.

So for playing latest graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas, Dead Trigger 2, Modern Combat 4 or N.O.V.A 3, i don’t think this tablet is capable to deliver its best even in medium graphics setting, let alone in full high graphics.

But even so, for older games released in 2012 or around that year – like PES 2012, Modern Combat 1 and 2, Asphalt 5 and 6, GTA III, Dead Trigger I, ShadowGun, Samurai Showdown, etc -, this tablet is still more than capable to perform greatly and smoothly even in full graphics.

Anyway, to end this review, i’ll try to answer some of the questions i asked earlier in ‘introduction’ section above:
  1. Yes – if the iPad i’m referring is the iPad 2, then yes, Lenovo IdeaPad K1 has what it takes to be an iPad killer. But if the iPad i’m referring is iPad Air, then No – definitely not. This latest-gen iPad will crush this Lenovo IdeaPad K1 in many sectors.
  2. No – given that the Tegra 2 processor inside this tablet is already considered as ‘outdated’, plus the entire spec sheet of this tablet is just not on par with other today’s rivals, then No - Lenovo IdeaPad K1 is not relevant anymore to be positioned in today’s tablet market.
  3. Yes – despite using some outdated Tegra 2 processor, i still think that Lenovo IdeaPad K1 can be a good gaming tablet, if not the best. It runs great and smoothly when playing older games in 2012, plus it has strong battery life that probably could even last in 2 days in the row, which is the most important element of a gaming tablet.
So there you go, my personal review of Lenovo IdeaPad K1.

What do you think?

Does my review make you want to own this tablet in the near future?

Or otherwise, makes you want to switch to other tablet instead?

Well, it's your choice, it's your decision. Pick whatever you want that suits you perfectly.

Anyway, if you enjoy reading this review and want to contribute to this site, feel free to share this to your friends and family with your social media accounts.

Your contribution here would be highly appreciated. Thanks!:)

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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