Two worlds collide
Having glimpsed what Lenovo is calling the "first hybrid notebook" yesterday, today we can bring you a few more details about the IdeaPad U1.
On one level it's a 11.6 inch mini notebook Lenovo's hasn't confirmed the processor, but its running Windows 7 and we're guessing its Intel's CULV platform. All that changes, however, when you remove the screen - not swivel or rotate, remove.
This is possible because the screen is in fact a self contained PC itself, running what Lenovo calls an ARM processor, but again we think it's fair to assume that to be Qualcomm's Snapdragon. As Microsoft has yet to make a version of Windows 7 that runs on ARM processors, it also automatically switches operating systems to one we expect to be very similar to that found in the Skylight smartbook.
So what we have is a ‘slate' tablet that uses a regular, screen-less thin and light notebook as a docking station. All very clever, but it's not immediately obvious why you would want to separate the screen, with all the compromises that entails.
"The IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook is a game-changing technology in the PC industry that lets user switch their PC experience within a single device to match their dynamic lifestyle," said Liu Jun, SVP, Idea product group at Lenovo. "By fusing the functionality of a notebook with the slate tablet's rich multitouch entertainment and mobile Internet experience, U1 provides consumers the freedom to choose the device they prefer for any activity."
The IdeaPad U1 will launch in the US in late Q2 at a price of around $1,000. All we could find out about the UK is that it will arrive sometime this year.