Lenovo’s IdeaPad U1 Hybrid incorporating the horribly titled LePad Slate was initially announced at last year’s CES. Hours before the official opening of CES, we have been given details of the unique laptop/slate combo.
As you can see from the pictures below, this is Lenovo’s attempt at solving the problem of wanting the portability of a tablet with the functionality of a laptop. In 2010 we have seen the Dell Inspiron Duo attempt to solve this problem and 2011 will no doubt bring us more solutions. What makes the LePad Slate different from the Duo, is that it can be detached from the IdeaPad completely and used as a separate device.
If we look at the LePad tablet first, is has an impressive sounding capacitive multitouch 10.1in display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 (compared to 1,366 x 768 pixels for the Duo). The tablet has a Qualcomm SnapDragon 1.3 GHz processor inside, powering the Android 2.2-based LeOS. Graphics on the LePad are dealt with by way of an ARM Snapdragon GPU and it boasts 1GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of Flash storage. It has Bluetooth, WiFi and 3G and has an integrated 2MP camera on the front. Connectivity seems to be a bit of a let down with only a headphone jack and a SIM slot on the tablet. The slate weighs in at 760g (the iPad weighs 730g) and measures 263 x 188 x 12.9mm.
When the Slate is docked with the IdeaPad U1 Hydrid, we get a notebook running a Intel CULV I5-540UM 1.2 GHz processor which also handles the graphics. The notebook runs Windows 7 and the touchscreen interface seems pretty slick as well. It has 2GB of DDR3 memory, boasts 320GB 5400rpm 7mm SATA storage, Bluetooth and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. Again ports are almost completely absent with only one USB and one HDMI port available. The notebook weighs in at 1.8kg and measures 270 x 210 x 33.2mm.
The Lenovo IdeaPad U1 with LePad will be available beginning in China in the first quarter of 2011. The LePad slate can be purchased separately from the U1 base and starts at approximately $520). The U1 hybrid laptop with LePad slate starts at approximately $1,300, which is quite a bit higher than the Duo.