Lenovo re-invents the netbook, as the ‘Smartbook’

Not quite a smartphone, not completely a netbook; Lenovo Skylight

Lenovo has announced the release of it’s new ‘Smartbook’ called Skylight, billed as a combination of a smart phone and a netbook is due to launch here in Europe later this year.

“Skylight combines the long battery life and connectivity of a smart phone with the full web browsing and multimedia experience of a netbook to create one of the first devices in this developing smartbook category. Consumers want choices.”

Said Peter Gaucher, the executive director for mobile internet product management at Lenovo.

The ten inch HD screen allows full screen viewing of webpages much like all netbooks, but unlike other netbooks it also comes with in-built 3G and Wi-Fi and along with the thickness of your average smartphone and coming in at a weight of only 2lbs makes the Skylight just as portable as your phone but you can pack a lot more into your bag.

The big difference between this netbook and any others on the market is that it runs Lenovo’s own operating system based on a widget interface, instead of the usual Linux or Windows.

The Skylight comes preloaded with 18 widgets such as Facebook and Twitter, along with widgets for downloading videos and music.

The amount you can download is fairly limited, with the device only giving you a 20GB storage capacity. Although this isn’t enough for having many media files stored on your machine, it’s more than enough for day to day use as a smartbook/netbook hybrid and is a comparable storage capacity to smartphones such as the iPhone.

Although the storage isn’t much, it’s not really an issue – the slim and sleek design is so appealing and portable, the battery life would be on par with the average smartphone, with an always on battery designed to charge at night and last you the day, it also takes away from the need to carry mobile broadband sticks in your pocket or remember to take them with you.

It will be interesting to see how the Skylight does in the coming year with Apple dropping hints about its upcoming iSlate, which is rumoured to start the tablet PC revolution and essentially kill off the netbook, Microsoft also launched several tablets from the likes of Archos and HP at the CES today which may begin to take big chips out of the netbook market.

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