CES 2011: Lenovo Shows Its First tablet, the LePad, with Android OS

Lenovo IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook’s unique design is engineered to provide consumers with two PCs in one device that work together and independently as either a clamshell laptop or a multitouch slate tablet.

Lenovo IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook's unique design is engineered to provide consumers with two PCs in one device that work together and independently as either a clamshell laptop or a multitouch slate tablet.Photo: Lenovo

Last year, at the Consumer Electronics Show, Lenovo won accolades for its IdeaPad U1 Hybrid tablet laptop. And this year at 2011 CES, Lenovo has taken the same thing ahead and announced the IdeaPad U1 hybrid that adds the LePad Slate tablet to form a complete laptop.

So, now there are two products; LePad that will cost $520 and IdeaPad U1 hybrid laptop that costs $999, but is available only in China at the moment. Lenovo hasn’t announced the pricing and availability for other regions, reported Computerworld.

LePad Slate tablet comes with a 10.1-inch touchscreen and sports a 1.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. On this Slate tablet, Lenovo has put a custom Google Android 2.2 OS dubbed as LeOS.

This interface LePad promises eight hours of battery life and is available in four different stylish colors- White, Brown, Scarlet and Black.

Lenovo plans to add Flash Player 10.1 support in the LePad, which means there’s no default Flash support. LePad will come with several pre-loaded applications and will also connect to the Android Market. Lenovo has also offered a Keyboard Dock bundle with the LePad Slate just like Apple offers with the iPad.

Lenovo IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook, a groundbreaking concept and new genre in PC form factors. The IdeaPad U1’s unique design is engineered to provide consumers with two PCs in one device – each with its own processor and operating system – that work together and independently as either a clamshell laptop or a multitouch slate tablet.

“The IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook is a game-changing technology in the PC industry that lets the user switch at will their PC experience to match their dynamic lifestyle,” said Liu Jun, senior vice president, Idea Product Group, 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’s fashionable scarlet red exterior has a footprint just smaller than a piece of paper and is paired with an equally impressive 3.8 pound thin and light design.

With its unique detach-and-converge form factor, users can easily remove the screen to instantly switch from clamshell mode into a multitouch slate tablet. When the IdeaPad U1 is in its traditional clamshell form, the system boasts an 11.6 inch HD LED screen and runs Windows 7.

When the 1.6 pound, multitouch screen is removed, it becomes an independent slate tablet with a powerful ARM processor, running Lenovo’s customized Skylight operating system. The U1 notebook supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 320GB SATA hard drive.

Leveraging the benefits of both CPU, the two devices can synchronize to work as one with the ability to share battery power, 3G wireless, data and documents. In this way, the base laptop system can serve as a hub and docking station and the slate tablet as a mobile device.

The two PCs have been engineered to work together and independently through Lenovo’s Hybrid Switch technology that enables seamless toggling between the two processors.

For instance, users can surf the Web in laptop mode and then continue from the same point without interruption if they detach to tablet mode.

Lenovo’s hybrid notebook also features a customized “Me” centric tablet interface for comfortable landscape and portrait viewing. Users can switch between a six-section display and a four section display.

U1’s six-section screen display is designed to enhance the mobile internet experience by letting users easily multitouch access multiple Web-based applications at once such as email, calendars, RSS readers and social networking Web sites.

The four-section screen display option is perfect as a media center on the PC such as photos, music, videos and to view/edit documents.

The IdeaPad U1’s laptop and tablet modes each support more than five hours of 3G Web browsing and 60 hours of 3G standby.

In addition, the U1 comes with integrated video camera and two stereo speakers with integrated microphone with echo cancellation make this the ideal PC for users who need flexibility but do not want to compromise features or functionality.

The Lenovo IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook will be available June 1, 2010 with an estimated retail price of $999.1. But we believe this LePad and IdeaPad U1 Hybrid Laptop will be shown at the CES 2011 starting January 6. [via The Telegraph (UK), Engadget and Computer World]

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