Today Lenovo officially announced their new Skylight product, the world’s first smartbook powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
There isn’t much left to tell that wasn’t already leaked at some point, so let’s take a quick rundown of the full, official specs:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz ARM II CPU
- Lenovo customized Linux OS
- 10.1-inch 1280×720 LCD
- WiFi & 3G
- 512MB LP22r2-PAM (system memory)
- 20GB total local storage: 8GB miniSD, 8GB flash, 4GB USB stick
- 2GB cloud storage
- Mono speaker with stereo output, internal mic
- 2 USB 2.0 ports (one in flip-out jack), micro SDHC slot (pre-populated with 8GB card), SIM slot, card reader (SD, SDHC, MMC), mini HDMI output
- 1.3MP webcam
- <2 lbs
- 10 x 7.9 x 0.68 – 0.74 inches
- “Full size” keyboard
- Earth Red & Lotus Blue colors
- 10 hour battery life
- Starting at $499
- Click here to watch a video showcasing Skylight, including the integrated 4GB USB stick & Linux OS
Take THAT Atom
Reading the press release closely, I noticed this in the footnotes:
10+ hours of active battery life is a typical use mode of an equal mixture of web browsing, local video play, high definition video web streaming, standard video web streaming, and system idle (20% for each) with a battery at 100% capacity.
It was awful nice of Lenovo to actually tell us how they got 10 hours. From this equation, it sounds like you could definitely exceed 10 hours if you were solely browsing the web and skipped watching all of your porn videos. You could also still get respectable runtime with all wireless radios off and watching local videos (the airplane situation).
I’m sure Lenovo wouldn’t send this machine out in the wild without it being able to smoothly play HD Flash video, especially given the battery life description, but that remains my biggest concern about the Skylight. The price isn’t too hard to swallow and it sounds like you can drop in a SIM card from your 3G carrier of choice, despite the partnership with AT&T. (I wonder how Apple feels about this?)
8 + 8 + 4 = 20
The local storage is a bit confusing. In the highlights, Lenovo calls for 20GB local flash storage. This is clearly not a single 20GB flash module, but rather a conglomeration of local storage options.
As you’ll see in the Skylight intro video created by Lenovo, there is a nifty little 4GB USB stick that integrates right into the device. There is also an 8GB miniSD card installed, which is quite convenient for bulk file storage that is easy to cart between devices. The remaining 8GB flash is likely a mini PCI-E module that stores the Linux OS and maybe even some local files too. While on the topic of memory, Skylight has 512MB of system memory, which is the same amount you’ll find in the slate module of the IdeaPad U1.
Ports? We don’t need no stinking ports
Ethernet? Firewire? eSATA? Those are for you poor chaps tied to a device sitting on a desk. The Skylight is designed to go everywhere with only the occasional need to sip some power. Lenovo did see fit to give you a couple USB ports, in case you want a mouse or to fire up your USB-powered blender. From the description it does sound like one of the USB ports is occupied by the 4GB USB stick, when you have it installed.
The mini HDMI is a very nice touch and I must applaud Lenovo for that one. Not only does it let you connect to an HDTV, despite the question of why, but it opens up access to nearly all modern LCD monitors. Yes, it is a mini HDMI, but the adapters are available for around $5 from online retailers. With the included card reader, you could even use a cloud-based photo editor to go through pics you snapped out & about.
But are YOU getting your wallet out?
The concept of a smartbook, particularly one this well thought out, is very cool. Smartphone-like accessibility, real computing capabilities and no confusion over what it’s designed to do. *cough* netbooks *cough* But the real question is, would you buy it? Why would the Skylight work for you, or why wouldn’t it?
For the past couple years I’ve been hooked on the ThinkPad X Series. The portability and battery life are great, but lately I find myself missing the extra screen inches and pixels. Maybe this wouldn’t be the case with a WXGA+ X200s, but I generally either whip out the T400s or keep my X61 tethered to a 22-inch LCD. If I were to carry a 14-inch T400s or even a 15-inch T500/W500, the Skylight could be a nice companion. Heck, I might even be able to leave the “full notebook” at home when I travel.