It looks like we’re entering the age of the smartbook, a hybrid of a smartphone and a computer.
Lenovo is unveiling its entry into the smartbook market today with the Lenovo Skylight (pictured), an always-connected mobile device in a sleek package. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor based on the ARM architecture. In other words, there’s no Wintel inside.
The device, debuting with a bunch of other Lenovo laptops at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, has both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, a full size keyboard and touchpad, a 10.6 inch screen and a full web browser. It also runs for 10 hours on a battery charge, with active usage. It’s actually thinner than many smartphones and weighs less than two pounds. It’s the first of dozens that will hit the market this year.
The question is whether there are enough people who want one of these smartbooks, given that a lot of people already have netbooks, laptops and smartphones.
The distinctions between laptops, netbooks, and smartbooks is getting blurry, with everything getting smaller, lighter, cheaper and faster. The company decided to put a full-size keyboard into the Skylight because a lot of people have reacted negatively to smaller keyboards in netbooks. This device is meant to be charged overnight and then used without being tethered to a wall plug. It comes with 18 preloaded web gadgets such as Roxio Cinema Now for downloading movies. The device has 20 gigabytes of flash memory, two gigabytes of cloud storage, and a 1 gigahertz processor. It costs $499 at full price, but those who sign up for mobile phone service with AT&T can get it at a discount. It will be available in April.
Meanwhile, Lenovo is introducing a bunch of other products. The IdeaCentre A300 (pictured, $699) is billed as the industry’s thinnest all-in-one Windows 7 desktop computer, combining a monitor and computer in the same housing. It is just 18.5 millimeters thick and has a 21.5-inch high-definition flat-panel monitor. It comes with Intel Core 2 Duo processors and offers an entertainment-oriented experience. Other models include the C310 ($649), which has a 20-inch monitor and a multitouch screen, and K320, a gaming desktop for $599.
The company is also introducing a number of IdeaPad laptop computers: the Y460 ($849), Y560 ($749), G460 ($699), G560 ($699), V460 and V360. The laptops are distinguished by their faster performance and larger screens. The Y460 has a 14-inch screen, while the Y560 has a 15.6-inch screen. They both have Intel Core i7 processors. The G460 and G560 laptops are aimed at mainstream consumers, with 14-inch and 15.6-inch screens, respectively. They have a number of multimedia-oriented features. The V460 ($749) and V360 ($749) are aimed at small businesses. All are available at varying times between now and the spring.
And, if you’re not already confused with this kitchen-sink line-up, Lenovo is also introducing its own netbooks: the IdeaPad S10-3t and S10-3 (pictured). The S10-35 has a multitouch capacitive screen which responds to finger gestures. It has a 10.1-inch screen and an Intel Atom N470 microprocessor. It has a 320-gigabyte hard drive and runs on Windows 7. It has face recognition software for security. The S10-3 sells for $349.99, the S10-3t for $499.