As I write this, I look down at my Lenovo T61 (work issued) and I think to myself, what a boring looking laptop. Sure it is made for more corporate shills like myself but it is very durable and has some nice power to it. But when I look at what they have in store for the future, it makes me very giddy! Lots of pictures and videos after the bump!
CES 2010 or the Consumer Electronics Show is going on right now in Vegas, and some of the new Lenovo toys are just fantastic! Now, keep in mind that these are still betas and prototypes, but if these devices were fully refined, they could change the future of portable computing and electronics.
First up is the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid first noted by Gizmodo (img source from Gizmodo) is not only a tablet, but a laptop as well. With the red clamshell casing, the screen can be docked to provide powerful computing:
When both halves of the U1 are together, it runs on Windows 7 on a Intel Core 2 Duo SU processor, but when you split them up, the tablet will use a custom version of Linux and a Qualcomm ARM Snapdragon processor. This means that you’d be getting the best combination of power and battery life for each scenario. Other than that neat setup, the U1 brings 4GB of RAM (512MB in slate/tablet mode), two USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, VGA, HDMI, 4-in-1 memory card reader, and a 1.3-Megapixel camera.
Pretty sweet for a “hybrid” and very powerful for such a small machine as well. All this for $999 come June but like Brian noted, there is no accelerometer or headphone jack for the tablet portion itself. Maybe Lenovo will add it before June (/crossingfingers). But what more can you ask for? I love the feel of typing on a keyboard since it is much faster and more accurate than typing on a touchscreen. And when you feel like watching a movie on the couch, you can just detach and take it with you… oh yea, no headphone jack!
Along the same lines as the U1 Hybrid comes Lenovo’s smartphone Lephone. Another Android based smartphone, this one is very different than it’s competitors.
At first glance, it looks like every other Android based phone: a nice glossy shiny phone with bright OLED touchscreen. But look closely to the picture… there is a keyboard in the background. Does it slide out from underneath? Guess again!
The keyboard is an accessory to the phone. Similar to the U1 Hybrid, the phone docks into a clamshell with the keyboard to provide longer battery life and faster typing. A great idea if you plan to be doing a lot of status updates on Facebook or Twitter at conferences… or you can do without and just use as a phone.
Devin from MoblieCrunch tried to get as much information but could only get the following specs:
In shape it’s quite pleasing, a little big, but with a good heft and solid feel. The screen is a gorgeous 3.7? 800×480 OLED one, although I couldn’t confirm whether it’s the same that’s in the Nexus One. It’s got volume buttons on the left side, there, and a reprogrammable button on the right. It’s got a Pre-like dark area at the bottom that’s also touch-sensitive, and works as either a home button or for simple swiping gestures. It’s got the usual fixins: GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and all that, and it’s running on a Snapdragon processor, though I couldn’t seem to suss out the RAM or internal storage.
It is a pretty beefy phone with a lot of features. Check out the following videos on the Lephone at the end of the page.
To summarize, a new tablet/laptop concept that features a small form factor laptop with power with a detachable screen that becomes a tablet lacking some key features such as a headphone jack and accelerometer but is a nice entry point at $999 sometime in June 2010. Lenovo also has a new smartphone with the same concepts: a touchscreen Android based phone with power with a separate keyboard accessory that can be paired for faster typing/texting.
I hope you found these 2 as fascinating and exciting as I did… I can’t wait to see what the new year bring with tech gadgets!