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Summary:

While just about all of the Lenovo news is already in the wild, it’s far more fun to get a private tour of the new and updated devices. This morning we had a chunk of Lenovo’s time so we pulled out the video camera to look […]

While just about all of the Lenovo news is already in the wild, it’s far more fun to get a private tour of the new and updated devices. This morning we had a chunk of Lenovo’s time so we pulled out the video camera to look at the latest and greatest mobile gear: the IdeaPad U1 and the SkyLight smartbook. Have a 17 minute look-see for the details and impressions.

First up is the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 hybrid. This unique device has a detachable screen with it’s own processor, providing a small notebook and a media / web tablet. A Snapdragon runs the display part while an Intel CULV powers the main machine and the two devices can “speak” to each other. Lenovo hopes to keep the U1 cost under $1,000 and I agree with them on that aspect. Although the U1 is really two devices, it becomes far more compelling at $800 or $900 instead over a grand. So far the U1 is the most innovative computing device I’ve yet seen at the CES.

The SkyLight smartbook was next and it’s a thin, light device with a very usable keyboard. Like the tablet portion of the U1, a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor powers the unit and it runs a custom version of Linux. Unlike the U1, the 10.1″ display isn’t a touchscreen. You’ll see that the environment has a widget look and feel and although it’s not a performance powerhouse, the device runs admirably on the guts of a high-end smartphone.

Although we didn’t capture it on video, we also played with the Lenovo S12-3 and S12-3T netbooks. The multi-touch capacitive display on the S12-3T was very nice to tap around on, but of course, capacitive means no inking without some special stylus solution.

 

Related GigaOM Pro Content: The State of the Smartbook

  1. woah that U1 looks really really cool. and the tablet part kinda looks like an oversized ipod touch, or am i imagining that part?
    The interface of the tablet looks a little laggy, hope hp is gonna optimize that…
    what resolution is it running at? 1366 x 768? And I dont like the glare screen, would love to use it outside in the park or whatever, but with a glare screen that might be tough…

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    1. it’s actually lenovo, not hp

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      1. oh yeah,you´re right of course, sorry…I think I´m too much of a hp fanboy…

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  2. James and Kevin great video of the U1 and Skylight. It almost makes us feel like we are there, checking out the devices. :) The U1 design is great for tablet. This would make it more like a notebook, but then you can just snap off the screen and you can be inking on the job. I like this design.

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  3. The unsubsidized price for Skylight is a bit too steep. There is no doubt that after first factory roll-out prices will start dropping. Personally i think that smartbooks like Skylight or that Marvell prototype should not go over max US$250.

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  4. The video appears to be SD only, did you upload the HD version Kevin? Nice gear BTW.

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  5. hey great video, can u use the base running win7 on an external display at the same time as using the top screen that would be running Linux?

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  6. The U1 doesn’t sound very unique. It sounds like they’re refining the Always Innovating Touchbook (which is also a “CPU is in the screen, with detachable keyboard” type netbook … and it’s been out, and available or sale, for months).

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  7. Sorry, but it looks TOO laggy to be any good. I’ll stick to my iphone until a tablet or “slate” comes out that matches the same usability.

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  8. Lenovo IdeaPad U1 hybrid = 500$ = World Domination if well marketed and a strong developers behind it coming up with apps

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  9. This is interesting, but I was expecting to hear far more about smartbooks at this year’s CES. A few weeks ago, all journalists seemed to be predicting an explosion of smartbooks. So far, there’s Lenovo and an nVidia tablet. Are there any others?

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  10. Not the device I am looking for. I heard mention of inking experience, but the proprietary OS of the slate doesn’t seem to have any inking features. Also, I don’t particularly want to switch between OSes when using a slate and notebook form factor. (In other words, if I am using illustrator, I may want to have a keyboard sometimes and drawing slate other times.) No stylus tells me that is not the intent of this device.

    I didn’t want to wait for the next generation of the Asus T series tablet netbook (and the cost was a bit high), so I am going old-school and picking up TC1100. There was an innovative design. The keyboard is the add-on, it can be used as a convertable tablet, or you can save the weight and take off the keyboard and use it as a slate. Checked the specs, and ArtRage will run on it.

    Guess what I am saying is if you are in the market for a cheap notebook and an iPad, this device is marketed to you… but if you are looking for a tablet computer, then this isn’t the right device.

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