There is one reason to choose the IdeaPad over the other Honeycomb tablets on the market, and that?s Netflix. There are cheaper Honeycomb tablets with similar specs (ASUS Eee Pad Transformer), Honeycomb tablets with better hardware (Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1), and Honeycomb tablets with more inputs (Toshiba Thrive), but none can stream Netflix as of August 2011.
The 32GB IdeaPad base model costs $499 at launch, which is the same as the 16GB iPad. The iPad has a better display and speakers, and it?s thinner than the IdeaPad; iOS also still retains a huge app advantage over Honeycomb. Ultimately, however, any choice between the iPad and IdeaPad boils down to user preference between iOS and Honeycomb. Lenovo?s Honeycomb tweaks improve the operating system slightly, but won?t change the minds of Apple diehards.
While I like the Lenovo IdeaPad K1 design and build quality, the missing USB input is a glaring oversight. I think some form of USB should be standard issue on all Honeycomb tablets considering the operating system?s USB hosting feature. And while it?s not that big a deal, the covered microSD slot is just an irksome design flaw. I shouldn?t need a thumbtack to access it.
Overall, the IdeaPad K1 is a good Honeycomb tablet in a crowded market. It offers more or less the same experience as the Xoom, Thrive, Iconia Tab, G-Slate, and a handful of others, but with the important addition of Netflix. Give it a look if you want an iPad alternative.