Lenovo’s IdeaTab Lynx falls into roughly the same category as the Acer Iconia W700 and the HP Envy x2: an Atom-powered Windows 8 tablet with a keyboard dock that sports a second battery, creating an ultraportable laptop. Costing £599 inc VAT (£499 ex VAT) with the keyboard dock, the IdeaTab is good for basic use, but its middling construction is worrisome.
At first glance the Lynx seems decent enough. It has a large display (11.6 inches, 1,366 by 768), it’s lightweight (640g without the dock), and it gets good battery life (7 hours, 20 minutes with the dock in my Netflix rundown test). Look closer, though, and you can see some cut corners.
The body and back are plastic rather than, say, magnesium cladding, which gives the unit a cheaper, flimsier feel compared to the Envy. The MicroSD card slot at the top is protected by a pop-port cover — just like you see on smartphones — that is flimsy enough that I worry I’ll tear it completely loose if I pull too hard.
Since the only major external connectors on the unit itself are the MicroHDMI and audio jacks, you’ll have to either dock the unit with its keyboard to plug in full-sized USB devices or use the included MicroUSB-to-USB dongle. Both the dock and the tablet support charging through a MicroUSB connector cable, which docks with a wall wart. The cable provided for charging is disappointingly short, so you can’t stray too far from an outlet when charging.