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Lenovo’s Newest Mobile Gear — Hands-On Video

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.

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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 (s qcom) 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

12 Responses to “Lenovo’s Newest Mobile Gear — Hands-On Video”

  1. MDillenbeck

    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.

  2. Allan Jones

    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?

  3. johnkzin

    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).

  4. Patrick

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. hendrik

    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…