Lenovo Shows Off 2 New Touchscreen PCs

The Lenovo U1 Hybrid, in laptop mode

The Slate PC by Microsoft wasn’t the only touchscreen computer shown off at CES (not by a long shot), and while at CES, Lenovo announced two really cool touchscreen PC’s of their own– the S10-3t netbook, and the U1 which, is… well you’ll see–think of it as a regular laptop mixed with a tablet. Read on for all the info.

Lenovo S10-3t

Ok, so let’s start with the simpler touchscreen version of the S10 netbook series. This takes the traditional netbook design we’ve seen, and literally adds in a twist– as in the screen can be twisted around 180 degress to go into full multi-touch tablet mode. Kinda like the Asus Eee T91 and T101 we saw last year, though these look to actually hit the US market. Full specs:

  • New Intel Atom Processor— the 2010 updated “Pine Trail” version that offers a lot better battery life with slightly improved performance (this is pretty much on every new netbook). The standard model ships with a 1.66 GHZ Atom processor, but the $100 more “high-end” version bumps it  up to a more powerful 1.83 GHZ (new for the Atom line)
  • Windows 7– The standard model contains the cheaper Starter edition, while that premium version goes up to the multi-touch friendly Home Premium (this version also adds in an extra GB of RAM– bringing it to 2 GB as opposed to 1, and a 250 GB hard drive as opposed to the standard 160 GB).
  • Quickstart 2.0— This is Lenovo’s new “instant-on” startup which basically gets your computer on and you on the internet in seconds, by using a non-Windows, lighter OS. This is great if you want to quickly go online, fix a paper at the last minute, or listen to music/watch pix and videos without booting up Windows.

You also get all your other standard netbook specs here, like a webcam and WiFi wireless N (and on the higher end model, Bluetooth). We don’t yet know of a set launch date for this, but a price is said to be between $499-$549 for the standard model (Amazon says $499, with the bigger hard drive, while Lenovo’s site says $549), with $649 for the higher end, so these may still change as well before release. You can learn more from Lenovo’s site here.

Now let’s check out what looks to be one of the sickest laptop/tablets of the year (we don’t know which category to put it in):

IdeaPad U1 Hybrid

Ok, so this is just flat out really cool. At first look, you think its your average laptop– 11.6 inch screen, Windows 7, Intel Core 2 Duo processor….. just with a very thin design and a multi-touch screen. Now the very thin design and multi-touch screen are pretty cool in their own rights, what if we said the screen can be removed from the laptop and used as just a tablet? Yeah, that’s something we’ve never seen before and is pretty sick.

So let’s try to break this down.

When the screen is in and the laptop is in “normal” laptop mode, you’ve got an extremely light (3.8 pounds!) laptop with a full keyboard, Windows 7 and that Intel processor. Basically, when it looks like a laptop, it’s well, a laptop. Now what happens when you eject the screen from the rest of the computer? Now you’re running in tablet mode. Tablet mode is basically a whole second computer tucked in the screen alone– you’ve got a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (like in the Nexus One and Skylight smartbook), Lenovo’s new Skylight OS (as seen on the Skylight smartbook), and of course that what looks to be amazing 11.6 inch LED HD multi-touch screen. All in a thin design that weighs a tiny 1.6 pounds (perfect for carrying, well, anywhere).

Switching between the tablet and regular Windows laptop modes are also really simple, with something Lenovo calls Hybrid Switch– which means that let’s say your in Windows playing a game but want to go watch some TV but don’t want a laptop sitting on your lap. All you do is remove the screen, and your automatically switched to the tablet mode, so you can still browse the web, listen to music, read books (yes, this also can be used as an eReader) etc. in a faster, simpler more mobile way without Windows, and when you wanna go back to using it as a regular laptop, you just put the screen back in and your switched right back to where you were in Windows, with everything you did while in the tablet mode (like the sites you had open) switching over to the Windows side. Pretty simple, right?

The U1 also has built in 3G, WiFi, webcam, stereo speakers and an echo-canceling mic, also built into the screen/tablet part, that are usable whether your using this as a tablet or laptop.

Now all this awesomeness does look to come with a little bad (sad but unfortunately true), as we shouldn’t expect this till the summer time (June 1st possibly), and the price is gonna be on the high side– at around/under $1000. Regardless, those looking for a new laptop but also want that tablet-ness everyone’s into nowadays should keep an eye out for this. We know we will.

Posted on January 14, 2010, in CES and Macworld, Computers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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