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CES 2010: Lenovo Unveils Hybrid Laptop Tablet

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While it is hard to take the main focus away from the Skylight smartbook, Lenovo has also used CES to announce a rather intriguing hybrid.

The 'IdeaPad U1' cashes in on two current fads mixing an 11.6in multi-touch tablet with a thin and light laptop. It does this by essentially making the display of the U1 detachable, or providing the tablet with a laptop shaped keyboard dock - depending on your perspective.

The U1 means business on the performance side too. In tablet form, the U1 runs a custom version of Linux and is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm ARM Snapdragon chipset and 512MB RAM, ie: lightweight OS and long battery life (up to eight hours). Strap it into its keyboard shell however and you'll suddenly get the benefit of an Intel Core 2 Duo SU processor with up to 4GB RAM and the option of Windows 7 which lasts up to six hours - clever stuff.

On the connectivity side there is integrated 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and HDMI, while you'll also find a 1.3MP webcam, card reader, eSATA, VGA and a pair of USB ports. The problem however could be the cost, with the IdeaPad U1 starting from $1,000 (£623) and it won't arrive until June. This isn't bad, but it is substantially more than circa 1Kg CULV based machines that offer similarly long battery life. That said, this intriguing device is more likely aimed at the niche market and if you are smitten by its particular charms then there's little likely to compare...

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