This week is the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and products started launching last week to get ahead of the rush. Both Lenovo and Dell are positioning some of the products at business buyers and they are attractive. This was also the coming-out party for Windows 8, which will showcase even more changes later in the year.
Let's take a little look at what is coming out of CES this week so far.
Lenovo X1 Hybrid
Lenovo actually launched two hybrids at the show and both are interesting. The ThinkPad X1 Hybrid (the notebook with two brains) is the more traditional product in terms of form factor, but it sports both an ARM and an Intel processor. The X1 laptop is the product I carried for much of last year and it was state of the art in terms of matching business features with one of the thinnest and lightest products in the market. Even so, it lacked battery life - coming in at 4 hours with a standard battery and 6 with the extended battery.
To extend the battery life for simple functions like browsing the Web and enjoying media, it updated the product with an ARM processor and loaded a custom version of Linux for ARM operation. The end result is a laptop that basically has an embedded tablet-like capability and while in tablet mode, it doubles the battery life to 8 to 12 hours. As you would expect in a ThinkPad, the product is fully business-compliant and runs Windows 7.
Currently, there are two kinds of hybrids in the market and it is kind of amazing that Lenovo announced both types. However, I'm expecting a convergence and that, eventually, one type with both concepts will emerge. Basically, I'm talking about a tablet/notebook with both ARM and x86 processors.