Laptops

Lenovo IdeaPad K1 teardown: Easy to open, not so easy to service

The Lenovo IdeaPad K1 has a removable back cover and replaceable battery, but unfortunately it's more difficult to work on than it should be.

The Lenovo IdeaPad K1 is the company's consumer-focused tablet. It has a dual-core NVidia Tegra 2 1GHz processor, 1GB of DDR2 SDRAM, a 10.1-inch touchscreen display (1280x800), a 2 MP front camera, and a 5 MP rear camera. The K1 comes with Android 3.1 Honeycomb installed. It weighs 1.65 lbs. and measures 10.4" (W) x 7.4" (H) x 0.5" (D).

According to Lenovo documentation, the IdeaPad K1 is available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions. But as of this writing, only the 32GB model ($499.99) is available for purchase on Lenevo's site. The current versions only support Wi-Fi connectivity, but there's room in the case an on the motherboard for a 3G card.

I cracked open the K1 and found it easy to open, but not so easy to work on.

Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Lenovo IdeaPad K1

Cracking Open observations

  • Easy-to-open case: There are no external case screws on the K1, and the back cover is easy to remove. I quickly popped off the cover with a thin metal blade.
  • Standard screws: Inside the IdeaPad K1, Lenovo used standard Phillips screws to hold the internal hardware in place. I was able to remove all the internal screws using a Phillips #0 bit.
  • Battery could be easier to replace: The K1's 3,700 mAh Li-ion battery can be replaced, but one of the screws is located under a pair of ribbon cables and a piece of tape. With a little more planning, Lenovo could have made the battery easier to remove.
  • Outer metal rim should be removed for most repairs: Although you can remove the battery without detaching the K1's outer metal rim, that's about all you can do. You'll need to remove the rim before removing the motherboard and other internal hardware. Lenovo definitely went for form over function with this design element.
  • Lots of individual components: Most of the K1's internal components (card readers, ports/jacks, buttons, etc.) are mounted to separate circuit boards. This means you can replace most of the components individually, but it also means there are a lot of small pieces and screws inside the K1.
  • 3G-ready motherboard and case: Lenovo left open spots on the motherboard and inside the case for a separate 3G card and antenna. The internal mounting plate even has screw holes for the card.
  • Metal foil complicates parts removal: Several large pieces of thin metal foil are located inside the K1's case. The foil is stuck to the motherboard, LCD, front panel assembly, and other components. Although some pieces can be remove without damaging the foil or underlying components, this does not appear to be the case with the LCD and front panel.

Internal hardware

Our Lenovo IdeaPad K1 test unit had the following hardware components:

Update 12/19/2011: This post originally appeared in our TR Dojo blog.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

1 comments
princotw
princotw

Lenovo k1 has not power adapter for car ......Something new about it

Thanks

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