Lenovo’s IdeaPad U1 Hybrid with LePad Slate was debuted for the second time at CES this week (first was last June). The 10.1 inch-tablet now features Windows 7 as well as Android this time around and is definitely an interesting addition to the lineup of touchscreen companions surfacing this year.
Like Dell’s Inspiron Duo, Lenovo’s LePad Slate has the nifty ability to transform from a standard Windows 7 Home Premium netbook to a tablet running Android (underneath Lenovo’s overlay) once un-docked from a keyboard UI. The addition of Android is great considering the popularity of the OS lately. This also makes the tablet lot easier to navigate considering Windows 7 really isn’t very finger friendly. Access to an integrated app store, media, and tabbed navigation turns this once Windows-stuck tablet into something any seven-year-old could handle, although from the video, it does appear to be less swipey with more content on each page.
The transfer from Windows netbook to Android tablet looks pretty slick too. With a simple click of a lock button, you can remove the tablet from the keyboard UI, instantly use it as an Android tablet, and you put it back in the dock for typing just as easily. This idea makes this product great for anyone who doesn’t want to trade off a keyboard for a tablet. The only concern we have is the glare. The bezel is definitely shiny under all those CES lights, so unless you need eyes in the back of your head for some shady reason, using the LePad could be a bit too mirror-like.
The LePad weighs less than two pounds (tablet only), features a 1.3 Ghz Snapdragon processor with Android 2.2 in the background when undocked, 32 GB of SD storage, and 8 hours of battery life. No price has been set, and unfortunately, it will only be available in China for the first quarter of 2011.