Lenovo’s K2 tablet: a first look

Intel showed off a pre-production version of Lenovo‘s K2 tablet at the Mobile World Congress and offered some hands-on time with the device, which had a Medfield processor inside.

The K2 will ship with Intel’s Medfield Atom processor, which is intended for both phones and tablets. Lenovo’s specs call for the K2 to ship (in China first) with an Atom Z2460. Medfield, along with Clover Trail, will be Intel’s answer to ARM-based processors on tablets. The demo of Android 4.0 on the Lenovo appears to set the stage for what’s looks to be an interesting competition among chipmakers for a niche in the increasingly competitive tablet space.

Related story: Lenovo gives partners some credit: 60 days worth

The tablet’s specs include a 1280-by-800 resolution display, 1GB of memory and 16GB of storage. Around the edges are a micro-USB port, micro-HDMI, SD Card slot, and SIM card lot. The tablet features an 8-megapixel camera on the back. Plus, it will support Intel’s Wireless Display technology, for less-hassle when connecting to a WiDi-capable display.

In-hand, the unit felt lightweight and well-balanced for a 10.1-inch model. It’s expected to weigh about 680 grams. The display looked good for its resolution, with a noticeably minimal air-gap. I also noticed that Android was responsive as I flicked among screens, played high-def video — long the bane of Atom’s existence — and played a game (though, the Angry Birds flying through the air seemed a tad slower than I’ve come to expect from other tablets). A section of the back felt a bit warm, but many tablets I’ve used are guilty of this, and it could be because the tablet has been left plugged in all the time, and not because of the heat being generated by the processor.

Although the Lenovo tablet was the one showed here, Intel also has plans to jump into tablets with its Clover Trail processors in the second half of the year, when it launches Windows 8-based tablets.

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