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.
Our Lenovo IdeaPad K1 test unit had the following hardware components:
- 3,700 mAh, 27Wh Li-Polymer battery (L10M2I21)
- microSD card reader
- Left and right speakers
- 2MP front-facing camera
- AU Optronics B101EW05 LCD (1280 x 800)
- Atmel mXT1386 touchscreen controller
- Atmel mXT154 touch controllers x3
- Mini HDMI port and 3.5mm audio jack
- 5MP rear-facing camera
- 1.0 GHz dual-core NVidia Tegra 2 application processor (12B2B375 1109A4)
- 1GB Eplida B8132B2PB-6D-F LPDDR2 DRAM
- Pericom Pi3LVD400 3.3V, 4-Differential Channel High-speed 1:2 Switch with Integrated DDC Switch/Level-shifter
- Texas Instruments LVDS83B power controller
- 32GB Toshiba THGBM2G8D8FBA1B NAND Flash
- Texas Instruments TPS65862 power-management IC
- AzureWave AW-NH611 802.11 b/g/n WLAN, Bluetooth, FM Combo Module IC
- Broadcom BCM4751 Integrated Monolithic GPS Receiver
- SMSC USB3315 Hi-Speed USB Transceiver
- National Semiconductor LM393 Lower Power Low Offset Voltage Dual Comparator
- Invensense MPU-3050 Triple Axis Gyroscope with Embedded Digital Motion Processor
- Winbond W25X20BVN1G 2Mbit Serial Flash Memory
- ENE Technology KB930BF A1 (clock generator?)
- Intersil ISL6251 Low Cost Multi-Chemistry Battery Charger Controller
- NXP 74HC253D Dual 4-Input Multiplexer
Update 12/19/2011: This post originally appeared in our TR Dojo blog.