Lenovo IdeaPad Lynx review
Although shipping in the US already, CES 2013 was our first chance to get a hands-on look at the laptop-tablet hybrid, the Lenovo IdeaPad Lynx.
In a similar vein to the Asus Transformer Prime, the Lenovo IdeaPad Lynx is a tablet that can connect to a keyboard dock to turn it into a more traditional laptop. Rather than Android, as used by the Asus Transformer products, Lenovo has used Windows 8.
The IdeaPad Lynx uses the full Windows 8, not the cut-down tablet Windows 8 RT as used on the Microsoft Surface RT tablet.
Without the keyboard dock the Lynx is a proper tablet
Essentially, the IdeaPad Lynx can be thought of as a convertible netbook, as it has a 1.8GHz Atom processor, rather than a full Intel Core CPU as used in the similar Lenovo ThinkPad Helix. That said, the tablet felt smooth enough in the short time we used it, although we'd like to give it a thorough work out with some proper desktop apps before we pass final judgement.
An Atom processor means the Lynx is more like a netbook than a laptop
The Lynx has up to 64GB of storage, 2GB of RAM and an 11.6in IPS touchscreen with a 1,366x768 resolution (just enough to use Windows 8's new modes, such as side-by-side apps).
We saw the tablet in a brightly lit convention centre room, but the screen was bright and viewing angles were excellent. We'll save full judgement on screen quality for when we get a full review sample.
In tablet mode, Windows 8 Start Screen apps are likely to be the most useful, as Desktop apps are going to be too fiddly to use. However, dock the tablet securely into the keyboard and you'll be able to use any application with ease. As you fold the screen out, the dock it connects to acts as a stand, propping the keyboard up at a slight angle, making it more comfortable to type on.
We only had a few minutes to test out the keyboard, but the keys were all a good size, with enough travel and feedback. However, we did notice that the keyboard tray flexed a lot, even under light pressure. In this regard, the keyboard doesn't appear to be as good as the one on the ThinkPad Helix.
Using the keyboard dock gives you two USB ports and a second battery, extending battery life up to a quoted 16 hours. That's plenty for a full day's work and evening use, too.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Lynx is due out in the UK soon, although no pricing has been announced. However, if Lenovo can get close to the US price (as listed on Amazon.com) of $600 (around £370), then it may win over people tempted by the Surface that want full Windows.