Lenovo shows off hybrid two-in-one laptop

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Lenovo shows off hybrid two-in-one laptop

Doubles as a multi-touch tablet.

Lenovo has used CES in Las Vegas to unveil an unusual hybrid laptop that lets the user detach the screen and use it as a separate tablet device running the firm's Skylight smartbook platform.

Following in the wake of numerous new models Lenovo has already announced this week, the IdeaPad U1 has a unique design engineered to provide consumers with two PCs in one device, according to the firm.

Each has its own processor and operating system that work together or independently as either a clamshell laptop or a multi-touch slate tablet.

With its two parts joined, the IdeaPad U1 functions as a conventional laptop with an 11.6in screen running Windows 7, but the screen can be used independently as a slate-mode tablet with its own ARM processor, running the Skylight platform from its new smartbook product of the same name.

"The IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook is a game-changing technology in the PC industry that lets users switch their PC experience within a single device to match their dynamic lifestyle," said Liu Jun, senior vice president of Lenovo's Idea product group.

The two components of the IdeaPad U1 share battery power, 3G wireless, data and documents, with the base laptop serving as a hub and docking station and the slate tablet as a mobile device, according to Lenovo.

They can also be used together through a Hybrid Switch technology that enables seamless toggling between the two processors.

The all-in weight of the system is about 1.7kg, with the Skylight tablet component accounting for about 700g on its own. Lenovo claimed that the laptop and tablet modes each support more than five hours of 3G web browsing and 60 hours on standby.

Buyers in the US can expect to get the IdeaPad U1 from late Q2 2010 at an estimated retail price of US$999 ($1084). Official dates and prices for availability in other countries have not been disclosed.

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