Lenovo Resurrects Tablet Hybrid at CES: LePad and IdeaPad U1 Hybrid
At last year's Consumer Electronics Show, Lenovo announced a hybrid tablet netbook, but eventually killed the project. Now, at CES 2011, Lenovo has announced that the tablet hybrid has returned for another try.
Lenovo has confirmed that IdeaPad U1 Hybrid will indeed be coming to market in a few months. The LePad part looks like a simple Android tablet , which runs a 1.3GHz Snapdragon processor. But when it is connected to the keyboard dock, it becomes the display for a much more powerful Windows 7 notebook that runs on a 1.2GHz Intel Core i5 processor (built into the base).
"Our IdeaPad U1 and LePad truly fits the mobile lifestyle," said Liu Jun, senior vice president at Lenovo, in a company statement. "Use the light-weight slate when you're mobile, and then simply slide it into the U1 base when you need to do content creation. Consumers shouldn't have to adapt their lifestyle to technology, and this product definitely gives them the best of both worlds."
The whole thing has undergone extensive redesign, even though the basic concept and layout are identical to the prototype Lenovo unveiled last year. The company says that the LePad will launch separately for around $500, while the entire U1 hybrid device will run $1300.
So far, the U1 is planned for release in China in the next few months, but there is no word on a U.S. release date. Lenovo says it won't be ready until the LePad portion can run Android 3.0 , which hasn't been released yet and has processor requirements that might require some hardware updates.