The Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx finds itself awkwardly in the middle. It's not exactly a budget tablet, but it doesn't really have the specs to compete against most mid-tier tablets either.
The Intel Atom-based tablet does offer full Windows 8 functionality, but with its limited processing capabilities it struggles to take full advantage of the OS. Still, despite its obvious limitations, the Lenovo IdeaPad offers more than a few redeeming qualities, including its sleek lightweight design and quality 11-inch display.
Is that enough to make the Lenovo IdeaPad Lynx stand out from the competition? Read this review to find out.
Build and Design:
Similar to other Intel Atom, Windows 8 tablets, the IdeaTab Lynx has a plastic frame. The dark black panel provides a strong contrast to the display, allowing the screen to jump out at users. Additionally, the textured gray back panel complements the aesthetic of the device, adding a textured feel making the device easier to grip and hold.
Measuring at 11.8 x 7.4 x 0.4 inches and weighing in at 1.41 lbs. the tablet is extremely portable. The slim, lightweight, and textured design of the device makes it perfect for reading, and the tablet can even be easily held with one hand while in its horizontal mode.
While the lightweight plastic design makes the tablet easy to transport, it severely lacks in durability. The Lynx gave easily, bending and flexing when moderate pressure was applied. The lack in durability is not a surprise given the given the plastic frame. The device should still hold up under normal travel conditions, just don't expect it to survive a fall or serious impact.
It should also be noted that the IdeaPad Lynx is a fingerprint magnet -- both the IPS display and plastic frame easily attract them. The once clean aesthetic of the tablet quickly loses its pristine allure due to this flaw. Additionally, the issue is augmented by the lack of alternative controls. The tablet lacks a stylus and the keyboard dock is optional.
The display is certainly a high point this computer. The 11.6-inch IPS touch-enabled display offers a standard 1366 x 768 resolution. While the resolution is nothing special, the display still manages to offers a vibrant image with strong color contrast. When the screen is devoid of fingerprint marks, it does manage provide crystal clear text and sharp visuals.
Adding to the tablet's viewing prowess is its generous viewing angels, thanks to its IPS display. The IdeaPad Lynx provides flexible viewing angles along both axes, with the device only showing noticeable image deterioration past 150 degrees. The wide viewing angles and sharp contrast allow users to view materials comfortably regardless of how they hold the device.
The display reads gestures fairly well also. Responsive and sensitive, it was able to read swipes and multi-finger gestures quickly with little to no lag. While selecting passages and clicking on links, the touchscreen also proved to be accurate, making browsing the Web a comfortable experience, thought the lack of a stylus is missed.
The only downside with the display is its sensitivity to light. Moderate lighting causes it to distort and often results in the display reflecting images in the background. The issue is more noticeable with a darker backdrop (such as a black screen during a scene change in a movie) as entire images can be easily seen on the display. Under normal lighting conditions the screen fares well enough, but in directly light or sunlight, users will notice the viewing quality diminish.
Similar to the touch controls, the on-screen keyboard is responsive. Each keystroke reads clearly with little to no lag. The keyboard also offers users the options between a standard keyboard layout, split layout, or stylus enabled layout; which is weird considering the lack of an actual stylus pen.
While the quality of the on-screen keyboard is solid, it still pales in comparison to the feel and feedback of a physical keyboard. Users who want to use a physical keyboard though, will have to opt for the optional keyboard dock.
Buttons and Ports
Given its sizeable 11-inch frame, the Lenovo IdeaPad could offer full-sized ports, but it doesn't. Instead the Lynx offers a variety of miniaturized ports situated along the four edges of the device. While this collection will meet the user's basic needs, they will require dongles for more advanced ones, which many users simply do not have.
On the bottom edge of the device there is the keyboard dock port and the power supply. Along the right side of the device there is a mini-HDMI port and audio jack. On the top edge of the device there is a mini-SD card reader and the power button. Finally, on the left side of the device there is a lock screen and volume controls.
It should be noted that the optional keyboard dock ($130 at time the review was written) offers two additional USB 2.0 ports and a charging micro-USB port. Unfortunately the keyboard dock was not sent with our unit, so we are unable to properly evaluate it.
You're not done quite yet. Page 2 describes the performance and benchmarks of this Windows 8 tablet.
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