Two In One: Lenovo’s U1 Hybrid is Part Laptop, Part Tablet


In a show already overflowing with tablet madness, Lenovo’s U1 Hybrid managed to stand apart more than any other. Why? It’s not really a tablet.

lenovo-u1-3As the name would suggest, the U1 Hybrid is half notebook, half tablet. But unlike the other devices that pull the same dance, this one doesn’t just use a monitor that spins around and folds flat, it actually detaches. When you’re sick of carrying a full laptop, just go Incredible Hulk on the U1 and rip off the screen to get a standalone tablet.

OK, not rip, per se, but slide carefully. (And if you’re Lenovo’s presenter, do it with white gloves.)

A separate set of smartphone-based guts hidden around the screen take over, turning the screen into an 11.6-inch touchscreen tablet. Like the Skylight, it runs a custom Linux operating system that takes advantage of the touch screen. In our demo, we saw four panes that came together at a cross: image, music, video and document. Put your finger in the middle, drag, and you can resize all four of them simultaneously. Clever in concept, but in execution it seemed quite laggy, pushing the Qualcomm Snapdragon a little further than it seemed to want to go. Hopefully it will get some more streamlining before production. Besides working as a simple media player, it should also run the same 18 apps found on the Skylight.

lenovo-u1-2In laptop mode, an Intel Core 2 Duo in the base of the U1 takes over, along with a 16GB SSD and Windows 7 Home Premium. A regular laptop, you have. It weighs 3.8 pounds in this mode, up from 1.6 for the tablet alone, giving a clear incentive to snap away the screen when you need to lighten your load. The three-cell battery in the tablet should give it four hours of life on its own, or eight when plugged into an additional six-cell battery in the base.

Lenovo says the U1 Hybrid will sell for $999 when it debuts on June 1, making it significantly more expensive than netbooks and even the company’s own competing Skylight. But then again, it’s hard to put a price on people’s face when you take the screen off your laptop.

Check out our Hands-On Video with the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid.


It took Dell years to fix 1 problem on its best laptop. Here’s how it did it

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.

Royal fans bid big money as Prince Philip ‘car crash parts’ hit eBay

A couple of days after a car crash that involved the 97-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, debris apparently from the scene of the accident showed up on eBay. And people wanted to buy it.
Product Review

Controversy has dogged the MacBook Pro lately. Is it still a good purchase?

The MacBook Pro is a controversial laptop these days -- and that's unfortunate. Due to some divisive changes Apple made to the functionality of the MacBook Pro, fans are more split. Does the 8th-gen refresh change that?
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.

‘Flexgate’ is the latest controversy plaguing some MacBook Pro owners

iFixit recently uncovered a new "Flexgate" issue with MacBook Pros after some consumers reported a "stage light" effect, where the backlighting on the device would fail and cause the bottom of the display to become slightly distorted.

Ditch the backdrop from your photos with these handy tools

Need to know how to remove the background from an image? Here's how, whether you prefer to use a premium program like Photoshop or one of the many web-based alternatives currently in existence.

Think someone's leeching off your Wi-Fi connection? Here's how to find out

It's important to find out immediately if anyone is stealing your bandwidth. Here's how to tell if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi using a few simple tools, along with some suggestions on improving security.

Open RAR files with the greatest of ease using these awesome applications

Few things are more bothersome than not being able to open a file when you need it most. Check out our quick guide about how to open RAR files in Windows and MacOS. We will walk you through the process, step by step.

Google Chrome’s latest decision could prevent most ad-blockers from functioning

Google Chrome's newest change is cited as a step forward for speed and security, but could profoundly alter how the majority of ad-blocking extensions operate. The move potentially gives Google more control over which ads can be blocked.

Samsung permits peek at an eye-popping, 15-inch 4K OLED laptop display

Samsung is now preparing for the new OLED laptop trend and is providing a look at an eye-popping 15.6-inch 4K OLED panel that is expected to power larger premium laptops in the new year.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Latest ransomware targets gamers with a malicious sophistication

The latest piece of ransomware, Anatova, has been discovered by the security team at McAfee. Employing a smart tactic to confuse users and able to clean its tracks as it evolves, this is one tough piece of ransomware.