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Lenovo launches the first smartbook

by Scott Bicheno on 5 January 2010, 17:50

Tags: Lenovo, ARM, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM)

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New paradigm time

Qualcomm and ARM have been bigging-up the ‘smartbook' concept for almost a year now, but it's only at CES 2010 that we finally get to see if its all it's cracked up to be.

Today, Chinese giant OEM officially launched the Skylight - the first product to be formally marketed as a smartbook, as defined by running on an ARM-based processor rather than an Intel-based one.

The Lenovo Skylight is a 10.6 inch mini notebook that uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor which, while it uses the ARM instruction set, is pretty much all Qualcomm's own design. Of course it comes with integrated 3G connectivity.

The point of a smartbook is supposed to be that it gives you smartphone functionality in the notebook form factor. What does this mean? 3G connectivity, of course, but the other crucial feature is battery life.

Just as with phones, you shouldn't have to worry about turning the Skylight off and thus not have to wait for it to boot-up again. This means you can dip into you email and the internet whenever you want, handy for people who are into social networking and that sort of thing.

Lenovo is claiming 10+ hours of active battery life for the Skyline based on "an equal mixture of web browsing, local video play, high definition video web streaming, standard video web streaming, and system idle."

We'll be bringing you a lot more on this launch and any other smartbook developments as CES commences.



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HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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Someone please tell me what the point of this is? Isnt this basically what netbooks were/are about? except of course different hardware are used in both, but functionalty and purpose are not exactly different.
I'm afraid i'm with looney on this one.. what's the point it's basically just a netbook?
By using smartphone-type chipsets smartbooks can be “always on”, and *should* get better battery life from slimmer, lighter designs - judging by the picture this is a lot slimmer than a standard atom netbook.

As to the point: to take market share off Atom and make Lenovo / Qualcom lots of money, of course! I think the target market is slightly different - this is more likely to appeal to business users and techs (it's more like an upgraded PDA than a shrunk-down laptop), whereas familiar Atom / Windows netbooks will appeal more to home users.

Just thought I should say, however, that I'm not overly enamoured of the design. That big round front / top just looks odd. I'd rather have seen the chassis stay tight to the screen / keyboard and had “mouse” input handled by a touchscreen rather than a touchpad.
Someone please tell me what the point of this is?

Personally, I like competition ;)

Seriously though, I think Intel have been quite strict as far as Atom is concerned. Not sure whether this still applies, but iirc there were restrictions on how much memory atom systems could have. Intel should always have real competition in each cpu market segment, & then they won't be able to get away with artificial marketing driven limits like that.

the biggest problem for Arm based machines is of course the non-windows platform and the hurdle that causes for mass market adoption. still, the Google phone may start to change that…
Problem with atom netbooks is intel. More competition is always better.

Intel forces manufacturers to use an intel chipset (its cheaper to buy atom+chipset than an atom on it own in quantity…) amongst other things.

I just hope they get flash running well on these new machines, without decent online video (flash) performance, they're a none starter.