Lenovo makes a wide range of tablets running both Windows 8 and Windows RT, as well as some cheaper Android tablets too. However, the new Lynx is a top-of-the-range Windows 8 model that focuses on stylish design and entertainment features.
Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx review: screen
The Lynx certainly makes a good first impression, with the 11.6-inch tablet measuring just 9.5mm thick and weighing 640g – about 20g lighter than the latest 9.7-inch iPad.
It doesn’t have the ultra-high definition display of the Retina iPad, but the IPS panel provides a very bright and colourful image with its native 1366x768 resolution – so bright, in fact, that we were able to turn the brightness down to about 40 percent and still get a good, clear image while watching streaming video during our battery tests.
Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx review: build quality
However, closer inspection does reveal a few small weaknesses. The back panel appears to be made from quite lightweight plastic, and the buttons and port covers arranged around the edge of the device feel a bit flimsy, so the Lynx could isn't what we'd call sturdy. The speakers also sound rather thin and tinny, although there are both headphone and micro-HDMI connectors available if you want to hook it up to speakers or a larger screen.
Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx review: performance
The Lynx is powered by a dual-core Intel Atom processor running at 1.8GHz. That’s a netbook-class processor, so the fact that it scored only 1415 when running the PCMark 7 benchmark is hardly surprising.
However, that’s in line with similar Atom-based devices such as HP’s Envy X2 tablet, and it’s perfectly adequate for basic tasks such as web browsing and a spot of work in Word or Excel.
The Lynx also feels smooth and responsive when using its touch screen controls, but the main disadvantage of the Atom processor is that it supports a maximum of 2GB of memory.
The Lynx might struggle with more demanding tasks, due to the processor and RAM, so it isn’t quite a replacement for a conventional laptop for serious work. Don’t expect to edit and render HD video in record time, for example.
It’s a little light on storage too – almost 27GB of the 64GB solid-state storage is taken up by Windows itself, which only leaves you about 37GB for your own files. Fortunately, there’s a micro-SD slot that will allow you to add another 32GB storage if you need to.
The Atom processor also relies on the old Intel GMA integrated graphics, which means that your gaming activity will probably be restricted to casual games such as Angry Birds.
However, the modest processor does mean that battery life is very good – we got a full eight hours of streaming video out of the Lynx, so it should certainly see you through a long train or plane journey.
Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx review: keyboard dock
Like the HP Envy X2, the Lynx can also be used with a keyboard dock that includes a pair of USB 2.0 ports as well as a second battery that will double the eight-hour battery life. The keyboard is fairly sturdy and comfortable to use, with a full-size set of keys that have a decent amount of travel. However, the trackpad is very small – just 75x40mm – and the hinge mechanism that allows you to attach the Lynx to the keyboard is surprisingly stiff and inelegant.
Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx review: value
We were disappointed to see that Lenovo’s website lists the Lynx tablet on its own for a hefty £800, and we confirmed with Lenovo that the optional keyboard dock will set you back a further £120.
We’ve seen the Lynx for sale online with the keyboard bundled in for around £600, though, so it’s worth shopping around to make sure you get the tablet and dock together.
HP's Envy X2 has a very similar design and specification, but is better built. It has just dropped in price to £699 including the keyboard dock, but if your budget won't stretch that far, the Lynx - with its keyboard bundled - for £600 is a good deal.