Despite what the technology hype machine claims, true innovation doesn’t come along very often. It takes careful planning and thoughtful design for a device to achieve such lofty status. Today may very well be one of those moments.
Lenovo has announced the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid ($999) a notebook that sports a revolutionary design that allows users to operate the PC as a normal laptop, or instantly remove the display to carry as as multi-touch slate. The two parts can come together to synchronize as one, and they have the ability to share battery power, 3G wireless mobile broadband, and data.
When the two devices are paired, the 3.7-pound U1 Hybrid operates as a 11.6-inch (1366 x 768), Windows 7 Home Premium system powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo SU processor (it’s rated to achieve up to 8 hours of battery life). When seperated, the slate runs on a Qualcomm ARM Snapdragon processor that powers Lenovo’s customized Skylight interface (a version of Linux), which can be used in both portrait and landscape modes. Lenovo estimates that customers will see 6 hours of endurance when the U1 Hybrid is used as a tablet. and 3G web-surfing is rated at 5 hours.
In terms of specs, the U1 Hybrid includes up to 4GB of RAM (512MB in slate mode), Intel GMA/ARM Snapdragon GPU, two USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, VGA, HDMI, 4-in-1 memory card reader, and a 1.3-Megapixel camera. The system can also be outfitted with up 128GB of solid-state storage (16GB for the slate alone).
If you’re jonesing for a taste of innovation, you’ll have to practice patience. the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid will be available for purchase on June 1.