Three days left: Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx K3011 64GB tablet for only $299

Michael Santo's picture

While the world (or perhaps, at least part of it) awaits the Sept. 23 launch event for Microsoft's second generation of Windows RT and Windows 8 (full) tablets, there is a fire sale going on among Clover Trail tablets, and Lenovo is starting one of its own.

Using the coupon code "USPLY51912," customers can get the Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx K3011 11.6" 64GB Windows 8 (Full) Tablet for $299, including free shipping. The same device runs $379.99 at Amazon.com, and much higher, elsewhere. Lenovo's no-promotion price is $449.00.

To be clear, unlike Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet -- remember, this Lenovo device runs full desktop Windows, not the Metro-only and thus somewhat crippled Windows RT -- the CPU in this model is the Clover Trail technology Intel Atom Z2890 processor, running at 1.5GHz (1.8GHz Turbo Boost) with 2GB of RAM.

That CPU is used in a number of tablets; it's main strength is battery life when compared to the Intel Core processor used in the Surface Pro, but it is a 32-bit CPU, limiting its RAM to 2GB and meaning it uses 32-bit Windows 8.

Battery life is estimated at 8 hours for the device alone, but if you add the optional keyboard dock, it doubles to 16 hours as the dock has its own battery. The dock has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $199, but can be found for less.

The Atom is also not exactly speedy. However, it is useful enough for most tasks, although the limited memory can be an issue if you have a lot of apps open. Microsoft's tablet-centric Windows 8 desktop OS has been maligned because folks really want a separate mobile and desktop experience.

There are ways, third-party ways, to jump straight into the desktop version of Windows 8, and to bypass the Metro UI style (think Windows Phone) Start screen. These apps even add back the Start button and Start menu.

What can't be fixed in software, though, is the battery draining Core processors in the Surface Pro. This year Microsoft is expected to use Intel's latest Core technology, Haswell, which should add 50 percent to the battery life of the tablet. Since real-life is about 4 to 4 1/2 hours, though, that means the device will still be far short of a full day's work.

Microsoft might introduce a Power Cover option that includes a battery, as Lenovo does, but it still won't reach 16 hours of battery life.

Meanwhile, this year's Atom processor features Bay Trail technology. Not only will battery life be unaffected (Intel says), but the performance will up to the point that folks won't have Atom to kick around any longer.

This deal expires on Sept. 20.