The laptop and tablet is changing drastically and devices like the Lenovo Lynx could very well be the future of computing. Lynx is an 11.6 inch “tablet” packing the power and capabilities of a laptop. It runs a full version of Windows 8 and will pretty much run any windows application. Now get this: the Lenovo Lynx has a larger display than the retina iPad, plus it’s lighter and less expensive!
It’s one thing to see the Lynx, it’s a whole different story when you feel it! It looks like an 11.6″ laptop screen and is only 9.45 mm (0.37″) thin. Weighing in just under a pound and a half, you’d never believe it’s running a full version of Windows. It’s plasticky, but it has a great feel to it. The back is grippy and reasonably durable. There’s only a few buttons: a Windows button on the face of the device, and on the sides there’s a volume rocker, rotation lock, and power button.
The 11.6″ HD IPS screen has a native resolution of 1366×768. It looks great; it’s bright (400nit) and vibrant. It’s definitely no retina screen in terms of pixel density and clarity, but it’s completely suitable. The screen supports 5-point multi-touch, which is optimized for Windows 8.
The Lynx is powered by a 1.8ghz dual-core Atom processor, and darn, when did the Atom get so powerful? While it’s not breaking any laptop speed records, it’s an extremely capable processor that can handle a lot more than you’d think. It’s coupled with 2GB of RAM memory and 64GB of solid state drive storage. It has Bluetooth, 802.11n WiFi, microphone, speakers, and a 2MP front-facing webcam. There’s no cellular option.
The beauty of a Windows tablet is it supports USB devices, like, almost all of them. While there’s no full size USB ports on the Lynx (booo), there is a standard micro USB 2.0 port and an included adapter that allows you to plug any regular USB device in. You can plug in your mouse, keyboard, printer, scanner, portable hard drive, iPhone, iPad, you name it! The only limitation might be Lynx’s power output. Interestingly, this micro-USB port is also the charging port (yay for universal chargers!). It’s awesome that you can find a micro USB charger just about anywhere. Running around the sides of the tablet is a mini-HDMI output and a micro-SD card slot.
Holy smokes, the battery! With little tablet use here and there, it seems to last forever…. at least a couple weeks on standby. The battery is rated to last 8 hours, which is definitely inline with our testing.
The Lynx is running a full version of Windows 8, not the watered down RT version. You can use the legacy Windows desktop with all of your favorite windows programs, and you can also take advantage of the formerly known as Metro interface with all of the touchscreen/tablet optimized apps and settings. In other words, you can use it like a laptop or use it like tablet. Luckily, there’s not much bloatware preloaded so you won’t have to spend much time uninstalling useless and battery hungry applications.
If you really want to turn the Lenovo Lynx into a full on laptop, you can. Lenovo sells a dock that does just that, the Lynx pops into this folding dock and adds a keyboard, trackpad, USB ports, and it doubles the battery life too.
For its weight, price, and long battery life, the Lynx is surprisingly capable. It will basically run any Windows app and it multitasks pretty well. The Office Suite runs without hesitation, and Office 2013 looks great on it (get it cheap with Office 365). The solid state hard drive plays a nice role in keeping everything running smoothly, as does the 2GB of RAM. The graphics are the weak link of Lynx, but not so noticeably. Visually everything looks great and there’s no stuttering in animations and transitions. HD video plays no problem and it supports all the video codecs. It was only really noticeable using the Fresh Paint app and having a small delay while drawing.
If you’re not familiar with Windows 8, there’s a learning curve, but luckily it was made for devices like Lynx. Using your fingers instead of a mouse is pretty natural and not too hard, even on the Windows desktop. The onscreen keyboard is a bit trickier. The keyboard takes up half the screen and is very spaced out. Theres alternate layouts which help, but if you don’t plan on using two hands, typing can be slow. This is when the dock, a USB keyboard, or a Bluetooth keyboard would really help out.
The Lenovo Lynx doesn’t just bridge the gap between laptop and tablet, it takes over the entire spectrum. If you’re not doing anything especially processor intensive, it can act as a completely functional laptop with USB and all. Since it’s running full Windows 8, it’s also optimized for touch and for use as a tablet. It’s really the best of both worlds. Our only recommendation is to invest in a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, or even the lapdock, if you plan on using it more like a laptop. At just $499.99, the Lenovo Lynx K3011 is a pretty incredible deal. It’s less expensive than an iPad, not to mention lighter and with a larger screen. If 64GB of storage isn’t enough for you, you can just invest in a high capacity micro SD card. The Lynx is currently available from Amazon.com. The optional dock is $145.72, but we can’t vouch for it.
The Good: Light, Reasonably powerful and very capable, Very affordable, Great battery, Micro USB charging and full size USB compatibility, MicroSD card slot, Multitouch, Durable, Sleek
The Bad: Only one USB port and it requires an adapter and doubles as the charging port, No cellular option, On screen keyboard needs improvement