Today marks the introduction of the Lenovo Skylight, the first ARM-based “smartbook” based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset platform. Skylight essentially attempts to combine the best features of smartphones and netbooks to create a new mobile consumer device. A “smartbook” is larger and more versatile than a smartphone but isn’t as large as a netbook and doesn’t run traditional Windows operating systems. The extremely sleek and slim design, “all day battery life,” range of wireless connectivity options and custom Linux interface with live web gadgets all mean that Skylight offers a unique mobile Internet experience. The Skylight smartbook connects with AT&T 3G mobile broadband service in the U.S.
Are consumers ready to drop their netbooks or ultraportable notebooks for this? Lenovo and AT&T certainly think so.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz ARM II CPU
- Operating System: Linux (Lenovo Custom Base)
- Display/Resolution: 10.1” Hi-Res Display; 1280 x 720 resolution
- Storage: 8GB mini SD card/8GB flash/512MB LP22r2-PAM/4GB USB Stick/2GB Online Storage
- Audio: Mono (stereo out), internal mic
- Integrated Comms: 3G Quadband WCDMA
- Ports & Slots: 2 USB (1 in flip jack), Micro SDHC (with card installed), SIM slot, card slot (SD, SDHC, MMC), mini HDMI connector, headset jack
- Camera: 1.3 megapixel camera
- Weight: Less than 2 pounds
- Dimensions: 253mm x 201.1mm x 17.2-18.9mm
- Keyboard: Full size
- Colors Options: Earth Red and Lotus Blue
- Battery Life: 10 hours
- Pricing: Starts at $499 US
Light of Bulk, Not On Brains
The Skylight is thinner than many of the newest smartphones and is being introduced in two new colors, glossy lotus blue and earth red models. Skylight’s clamshell design opens to reveal a high definition 10.1 inch screen designed for watching high definition videos or viewing photos. Skylight easily fits in a purse, backpack or bag. Weighing less than two pounds. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform offers a powerful combination of mobile processing performance, optimized power consumption, ubiquitous connectivity and powerful multimedia in a single chip. The ARM II processor allows you to watch the latest HD flash videos online without video stutter or audio sync issues. In other words, Skylight promises to offer netbook convenience without netbook limitations.
Leave the Power Cord at Home
Skylight has over 10 hours of active battery life based on typical usage and idle times … enough to allow the user to watch two movies or more back to back on a business flight or road trip. Simply plug it in at night to charge like a mobile phone. On the next flight, enjoy watching two movies or more back to back all over again.
Wireless Options Galore
Skylight has built-in Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity to give users a web connection nearly everywhere they go. In addition, Lenovo and AT&T promise that Skylight will seamlessly handoff between the Wi-Fi connection and 3G without disrupting your web experience. With the purchase of an AT&T DataConnect plan, users get 3G data but also access to AT&T’s nationwide Wi-Fi network, including more than 20,000 Hot Spots in the U.S. for fast and easy web access on the go.
Web Optimized Interface (Linux Anyone?)
Skylight’s custom Linux interface provides a full web experience with live web gadgets. Users can check Google Gmail, update their Facebook status, see what’s new on YouTube or just browse the Internet simultaneously without having to continually refresh or log in. There are more than 18 preloaded web gadgets including Amazon MP3 to download digital music favorites and Roxio CinemaNow to buy and download digital movies. Powered by the Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon chipset platform and featuring 20GB of standard flash and 2GB of cloud storage, Skylight delivers the performance needed for mobile entertainment and the flexibility to store data wherever you like – in the cloud or on the device.
Pricing and Availability
The Lenovo Skylight smartbook will be available starting in April in the U.S. It will be available in China and in Europe later this year. In the U.S., it will be sold through www.lenovo.com, www.att.com and AT&T retail stores. Pricing will start at $499 at full retail price. AT&T offers two-year AT&T DataConnect service plans, as well as Data Connect Pass – a pay-as-you-need it data service available by the day, by the week or by the month.