Lenovo’s IdeaPad U1 PC-Tablet Hybrid: It Lives

By  |  Monday, July 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm

The Lenovo IdeaPad U1, which combines a Windows laptop and an Android tablet into one device, was one of the most intriguing products I saw at CES 2010. It was also one of the most intriguing products I saw a year later at CES 2011.

Indeed, the U1’s path to a U.S. launch has been long and slightly vaporous, but now, it’s nearly here. According to Engadget, the U1 has arrived at the FCC for approval — a decent indication that it might graduate from trade shows to retail shelves.

Unlike dual-booting Android-Windows hybrids, such as ViewSonic’s ViewPad 10, the Lenovo U1 has separate processors for its tablet and PC sides. Pull the screen away from the laptop body, and an ARM-based processor fires up Android. Put it back, and an Intel x86 processor runs Windows. In demonstrations, the transition only took a couple seconds. You can even detach the tablet, connect an external monitor to the laptop body and run both halves of the machine at once.

After 18 months in limbo — during which Lenovo switched from its own tablet OS to a modified version of Android — the U1 still seems like a good idea. Although I’m a fan of tablets, when it comes to work they’re still no match for a keyboard, pointing device, desktop software and the familiarities of a PC, such as keyboard shortcuts and a file browser. Inevitably, I travel with both a laptop and a tablet, but consolidation is appealing.

That doesn’t guarantee that the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 will be a great product. It could be outrageously priced. It could have performance issues. But after all this time, it’d be a shame if the U1 never saw daylight.


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Arnum Says:

    It will be interesting to see how this thing fares. It is an interesting concept, and one that might work for me when I am on the road. Yes the price will be vital.

  2. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    I have the Apple version of this product, which Apple calls "MacBook Air and iPad." It's better in every conceivable way, as well as cheaper, and you can use them simultaneously or separately.

  3. notadolt Says:

    You can't even possibly know that dolt. Specs and price haven't been determined yet. Plus either solution has pros and cons between what software you want and can use… Only children think in black and white.

  4. dellie Says:

    I agree tablets cannot compete with laptops. They serve completely different market. They are portable and you can keep in touch where ever you are. Thousands of apps available to keep you entertaibed