Lenovo today moved to bridge the worlds of Windows and Android computing with a mobile computing device that runs both environments.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Lenovo unveiled the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid with LePad, which consists of a two main components. The main system runs Windows 7 and comes complete with a keyboard. But the system also consists of a second LePad slate PC module that can be detached from the main system to run the Android operating system on a tablet PC.
According to Ninis Samuel, marketing director for Lenovo, the idea is that users will want to use the Android-based tablet system as they travel. But should they need to work on a Windows application or engage in some content creation activity that requires a keyboard, the LePad would then be slipped back into the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid to allow users to run Windows and have access to a keyboard.
The LePad is based on Qualcomm Snapdragon processors and weighs in at two pounds. Lenovo says the half-inch-thick LePad provides up to eight hours of battery life. The IdeaPad U1 base unit runs on an Intel CULV processor. A Hybrid Switch feature allows users to seamlessly change operating systems.
The IdeaPad U1 Hybrid with LePad initially is only available in China. But Samuel says a version for the U.S. market will be made available later this year.
What's interesting about this is that it shows we don't necessarily have to wait for Microsoft to get its tablet PC act together to still enjoy a tablet PC in the context of the overall Windows environment. And while it may be a cold day in the netherworld before we see an Apple iPad slipping into a Windows machine, the reality of the mobile computing world we live in is going to ultimately reward those that make things work together versus forcing people to choose.