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Lenovo kicks off smartbook category with Skylight

updated 07:10 am EST, Tue January 5, 2010

Lenovo Skylight uses Snapdragon, 3G

Lenovo this morning became the first company to release a computer in the newly coined smartbook category. The Skylight has the 10-inch screen of a netbook but uses a 1GHz Snapdragonprocessor that lets it defy a number of expectations compared to an Atom-based system. It not only gets about 10 hours of real-world use but is thinner than some smartphones, weighs less than 2 pounds and can play HD video, even when in a web browser.

Internet access is the central focus of the system, and so it only carries 20GB of built-in storage. In return, it has a heavily optimized Linux-based interface with "web gadgets" that jump directly to services like Amazon MP3, Facebook and YouTube. Skylight can use either AT&T-supplied 3G or Wi-Fi to get online and has 2GB of Internet storage.

Lenovo plans to ship its smartbook to the US in April. Its full, unsubsidized price will be $499, but it's hinted that AT&T may subsidize the price in exchange for signing a data plan contract.

Qualcomm is considered the creator of the smartbook category and has hoped to challenge both Intel as well as traditional smartphone vendors; it's also expected to directly challenge slate devices like the rumored Apple tablet. The platform typically relies on an ARM processor as well as Android or another Linux-related OS to run and ideally provides better performance and dimensions than a netbook without the accompanying bulk.

By Electronista Staff


  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Something like this is starting to make sense

    I could actually see myself using one of these. As long as they get away from those nasty Atom-powered crapbooks, I'll be happy. Since this smartbook can play 1080 HD that is very good. The price seems to be at a point where people will buy it and the company will also be able to make some money. I would likely buy an Apple tablet before this because of the content that I'm certain Apple would offer, but if content wasn't involved I could go either way. This HP has some nice hardware and if it runs Android I could live with that. As long as they're not trying to stick some bloated Windows 7 on it, then it should be good. Ten hours battery use would be perfect as long as it can get 6-8 hours of video watching. I hope HP is successful with this product.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    Come on man, don't you know you're on macnn. There's no room here for serious objective discussion.

    You're supposed to just say the product is fugly, is too slow, too cheap, and glad apple has stayed out of the market.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    It's a Lenovo, not HP.

    And while with the mythical Apple tablet (seriously, it is getting to the point that if it doesn't cure cancer while you're watching videos, it will be considered a failure!) you may know what content Apple will let you play, systems like this have more of chance to access a lot of content you can't with your iPod/iPhone/iTablet, due to their requirements for plug-ins or other things.

  1. martinX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2008


    How many expectations?

    The device " uses a 1GHz Snapdragonprocessor that lets it defy a number of expectations " Doesn't that just sound like garbled, mistranlated PR-speak :-) . How many expectations does it defy?

    And hey it has "web gadgets"! Hang on, aren't they just icons that link to a web page? Good to see Linux has caught up to 1996.

  1. chucker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2007


    managing expectations

    The device " uses a 1GHz Snapdragonprocessor that lets it defy a number of expectations "

    They are basically saying that just like all other netbooks, you will be sadly disappointed at how rubbish it is at doing anything even remotely challenging, but now that you know how rubbish it will be, you won't be so disappointed at how rubbish it will be - see, clear now?

    (sure it'll play HD, just as long as you don't expect to look at the detail - but then with a 10" screen you would have to defy expectation to be able to see any)

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