CES 2010: Lenovo debuts 10.1" Skylight smartbook: ARM, Wi-Fi, 3G, $499

CES 2010: Lenovo on Tuesday introduced what it says is the first ARM-based, Qualcomm "smartbook," the Skylight.

Leading up to this week's CES 2010, Lenovo on Tuesday introduced what it says is the first ARM-based, Qualcomm "smartbook," the Skylight.

Playing the ground between a netbook and a smartphone (hence "smartbook"), the Skylight sports a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip; slim, rounded clamshell profile; "all day" battery life and wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi, and 3G through AT&T).

The Skylight runs on a custom, Linux-based interface with 18 preloaded live web gadgets (Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, Amazon MP3, etc.) and seems to address the hole that slate-style tablet PCs and netbooks haven't quite been able to fill yet: lightweight, Internet-ready couch/purse/airplane/backseat surfing.

The company says it's trying to offer consumers "choices," but I'm still hard pressed to find a consumer who would purchase this device over a similarly-priced (but heftier and larger overall) ULV laptop.

I had a chance to play around with the Skylight a bit, and I can attest that it's a very lightweight computing device that's pleasing to hold and pack in a bag. But will it have a chance to gain traction before smartphones and tablet PCs gain favor?

Skylight comes in two glossy colors, lotus blue and earth red. Its clamshell design sports a full-size keyboard and a high-definition (1280x720) 10.1-inch screen for video or photo viewing, and the entire system weighs less than 2 lbs. (Sony P-Series, anyone?).

Lenovo claims Skylight has over 10 hours of battery life, and the system itself sports 20GB of flash memory as well as 2GB of cloud storage, the company says.

More specs:

  • 2 USB (1 in flip jack)
  • microSD
  • SIM slot
  • mini HDMI jack
  • headphone jack
  • 1.3 megapixel camera

The Lenovo Skylight smartbook will be available starting in April in the U.S. through Lenovo and AT&T (It will be available in China and in Europe later this year). Full retail price will be $499.

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