Lenovo, the world’s second largest PC maker and producer of the ThinkPad line of notebook PCs and ThinkCentre line of desktops has now entered in the smart TV world. Recently Lenovo put their first step in the TV world with the SmartTV K91 with Android Ice Cream Sandwich. The Lenovo SmartTV K91 certainly isn’t the best TV at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this year, but it could ultimately prove to be one of the most important, simply because of what it represents.
The Lenovo Smart TV K91 is a 55” offering with Passive 3D TV tech built-in and while the TV itself is attractive enough by modern standards, it’s obvious that Lenovo hasn’t lost too much sleep worrying about creating an ergonomic miracle to rival the Samsung sets or indeed the super-thin LG 55” OLED 3D TV we also clapped eyes on. The device will arrive with two controllers, a game pad for playing games from the Lenovo Store and a touch, motion and voice enabled remote control similar to LG’s Magic Remote.
Before talking about its user interface let me highlight some of the important features it has. The Lenovo Smart TV K91 has a 1080p IPS, LED display with a refresh rate of 240Hz. This smart TV is configured with 1.5 GHz Qualcomm processor, which you would see on a tablet that powers the Android operating system. It also include 1 GB of RAM to ensure everything ticks along at a rapid pace along with a 5 Megapixel camera built-in at the base of the bezel, which integrates with the on-board facial recognition technology.
Now let’s talk about its user interface. The user interface offered for accessing all of its content was slicker and more imaginative than expected, and there’s a fairly intelligent search utility for helping you track down all your content both online and offline. It will be nice to see too that the remote control features a finger slider section at its centre to provide swipe interaction with the onscreen menus. Overall, we can say that SmartTV K91 offers a unique take on the Smart TV genre that’s decidedly different to Google TV.
Experiencing Lenovo SmartTV K91
Of course, the big news is having Android Ice Cream Sandwich built-in. Lenovo says it has taken the source code and completely rebuilt it in its own image. It has developed a Sandwich interface, which as well as standing for Android 4.0, also explains the three menu approach which allows users to swipe between screens using the touch-sensitive remote control. It works really well.
However, it appears that the television wasn’t quite optimized for visual performance, and may have been a prototype design, but you will still be able to experience some of the neat Passive 3D options on display. There is easy 2D to 3D conversion, which allows you to play the non-3D Asphalt 6 in three dimensions. There is also Left Eye and Right Eye settings and 3D to 2D.
Playing games was an enjoyable experience, thanks to the game pad which comes with the device and also through the Wiimote-esque motion sensing remote. Playing a tennis game was no different to playing Wii Sports.
Lenovo is planning to launch the product in China and has also decided deals with some of the country’s biggest content providers in order to bring 3D movies and videos.