Lenovo LePad Slate and IdeaPad U1

Lenovo LePad Slate
Lenovo adds a new twist to the netbook/tablet dynamic

When it comes to the saturated netbook market, manufacturers are always looking to differentiate their products. For netbooks, that's often a tough task given that there's not much you can do differently with a 10.1" screen, near full-size keyboard, and an Intel Atom processor.

Dell tried going a different route with its Inspiron Duo convertible netbook, but reviews for the device have been mixed. Lenovo is going a completely different route with its IdeaPad U1 Hybrid and LePad Slate. 

First off is the LePad Slate. It is a 10.1" (1280x800) tablet device that runs the Android 2.2 operating system. The LePad Slate features a 1.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of flash memory for storage, and has a battery life of up to 10 hours. When it comes to functionality and apps, the LePad Slate will be similar to other Android-based devices on the market like the Samsung Galaxy Tab

Where things start to get interesting, however, is with the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid attachment. When a LePad Slate is docked with the IdeaPad U1 base, the pair becomes a fully functioning Windows 7 Home Premium system complete with keyboard. Users can also use the "Hybrid Switch" to seamlessly switch between the two operating systems. 

The IdeaPad U1 base features a 1.2GHz Intel CULV Core i5-540M processor, 2GB of DDR3 memory, and a 320GB HDD. External ports are limited to just an HDMI connection and a single USB port. Wireless radios, however, are plentiful with Bluetooth, 802.11n, and 3G wireless support. 

The Lenovo LePad and IdeaPad U1 will be available in China during the first quarter of 2011. The LePad itself will cost roughly $520 USD while the combo will set you back $1,300 USD. 

There is no word on an official U.S. launch for the pair.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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