So here's a novel idea: when a device reaches its end of life, manufacturers should provide users with a way to keep the flame burning. In a nutshell, that's what Lenovo has done with the Ideapad K1.

Here's the gist: the company is finished with this device. They no longer sell it, and it's clear that, past the most recent update (Android 3.2), they no longer plan to support it. So, they made a smart move: they built stock, unmodified Ice Cream Sandwich for the the K1, and released it to the public.


The once proud Lenovo Ideapad K1 tablet poses in its natural habitat.

Ideapad K1 owners are essentially taking the device's life into their own hands by flashing this, however, as there are no official support channels offering assistance past Android 3.2. That's not the only caveat, either: the Play Store isn't included with this build. While those both seems like pretty major downfalls (especially the latter), the gesture is still a noble one.

Basically, this enables power users to take their device back. It allows developers to have a fully working ICS base in which to start building upon. Thus, it can't be that difficult to add support for Google Apps (including the Play Store) to the device.

Best of all, Lenovo provided full instructions on how to flash this build from start to finish. Granted it will completely wipe the device, the jump from Honeycomb to Ice Cream Sandwich is still definitely one worth making.

For more information, download, and installation instructions, go here.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Dan

    Wish all OEM's did this....

  • http://about.me/patrick.connelly Patrick Connelly

    Glad someone finally gets it!

  • nhizzat

    I hope HTC is listening. Stock ICS on their phones released just last year would be great, and would greatly boost the resale value of the 2 Thunderbolts collecting dust in my desk drawer.

    • Isidhu

      I am sure Verizon will support this idea ;)

  • Souvik Kar

    Best news I heard today..

  • wolfkabal

    This should be the precedence for all devices that have support dropped on them. Release an unaltered version of the latest OS at the time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1065971454 Andrew Hime

      You're not getting Jelly Bean...

  • http://www.facebook.com/YAYSAVERGN Eric James Salcido

    This needs to be a trend. Right. Now.

  • Tony Allen

    Which hopefully means.. JB for this thing before too long.

  • TynanDeRosa

    Will this also be true for Lenovo's S2012 series? Seriously a stock ICS experience on a Snapdragon S4 is very much desired.

  • Jammer

    I hope they do this for the A1

  • DFresh

    Are you listening, Samsung? I'm still waiting for my Froyo update you bunch of hacks.

    • aiden9

      Froyo update? What device are you using that is still on eclair?(out of curiosity)

    • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

      ...you should probably buy a new phone. I hear the Galaxy Nexus is $350, direct from Google.

      • Anton Gl

        Direct from Google not ships to US outside.

        • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

          We don't know if this guy is in the US or not.

    • Ron Amadeo
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tiffany-Sears/826921257 Tiffany Sears

    I love my Lenovo Thinkpad laptop and I love them for doing this. That's such a great corporate move :)

  • Cuvis

    Lenovo are good people. Always have been. Glad to see them come through for their customers, even on a discontinued product.

    • shonangreg

      Try looking at the debacle that is the ThinkPad Tablet (TPT) and say that. Broken GPS, fragile power button, volume rocker, and micro-USB part, and a camera that doesn't focus. Lenovo will admit to none of it.

      I would be weary of anything coming from Lenovo. Their response to the well-documented shortcomings of the TPT show them to not stand behind thier products, this in stark contrast to ASUS and their Transformer with its GPS problems . . .

      I do applaud Lenovo for opening up the IdeaPad K1, though. The directors in the IdeaPad division are doing something right. Upper management in Lenovo, though, has let the ThinkPad brand inflict near-fatal wounds on itself in the android world with sub-par manufacturing and a horrible crisis response.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1065971454 Andrew Hime

    HTF in 2012 on Android does flashing a device wipe your data? webOS separated the partitions out like 2 or more years ago. Doctor the OS, and your media files are still there!

  • UniBroW

    This is all good and all but this sounds like it's missing Google apps, which is fine I suppose because I'm sure the devs and the Android community will have that all worked out.

    ".. or an App store.."

    • moelsen8

      easy enough to get them back on to the device though. that's a minor annoyance, really.

  • Rudy Belova

    Very nice. This after the CEO gave 3 Million of his bonus split to his employees i am very glad i bought a lenovo laptop.

  • MicroNix


  • Jeff B

    I wish Lenovo would do the same with the thinkpad tablet.

  • jexux

    Folks, Lenovo doesn't deserve any props for FINALLY releasing ICS after all the delays and excuses they gave their patient customers. The final push to release it took 4 weeks after they admitted it was ready then realized they "forgot" to include the play store. Nearly four weeks later (the whole project almost 4 months behind release) they admit defeat and release it no more improved then it was before they discovered google play was missing. Then, after it was released they again forgot to mention that the google framework was not included and left it up to the customers to fix.

    It is disgraceful how they have treated their customers with this ICS release and don't even get me started about the USB host cable for the K1.

  • elias

    Great initiative. OEMs should all do this, from the start of a product's life, so people could choose between stock android or crappy modifications with bloatware.

  • Joey

    Lenovo is IBM. I always trusted their products and staff all over. Keep up the honest work. Thanks.