Lenovo Ideapad U1 first impressions
The Lenovo Ideapad U1 is the best thing I’ve seen at CES so far. It’s a ‘hybrid PC’ with two processors. In its traditional laptop guise – with a fetching red shell – it uses an Intel Core 2 Duo to run full Windows 7 Home Premium
But when you remove the detachable screen it quickly switches to the ARM Snapdragon and Lenovo’s home-made version of Linux called ‘Skylight’ so you can use it as a multitouch tablet (or ‘slate’).
The OS focuses on providing touchscreen access to media (photos, video, music) and social networking. It’s split into six sections (including email, RSS, Twitter), though you reduce it to four to concentrate on media playback.
It all looks very pretty, and the display has accelerometers that flip it into portrait mode like a giant smartphone. But the 11.6in touchscreen is resistive so it’s not super-responsive (at least at the moment – the models we saw are pre-production and it’s not due to ship for six months).
The problem of the U1 being a hybrid is that it can’t fully take advantage of the long battery life that Snapdragon provides – Lenovo claims it’ll last five hours of 3G web browsing (compared to 10 hours on the Snapdragon-only Skylight smartbook). It comes with a 128GB solid-state drive. Expected to ship on June 1st 2010 for $999 – no UK release or pricing info yet.