Say bonjour — or ni hao — to the LePad, a Windows-Android hybrid tablet launched today by the giant Chinese PC company Lenovo.
The hybrid, first unveiled at last year’s CES but which didn’t go on sale, is basically a laptop with a detachable display that functions as a standalone “slate” running Google’s Android operating system.
When the display is docked with the rest of the laptop, it runs Windows 7 on an Intel processor.
Lenovo said it will begin selling the system in China in the first quarter for about $1,300. The tablet is also going to be sold by itself for around $520.
The detachable tablet reminds me of the one on the $350 HP printer I reviewed last month, but the LePad display is bigger and more powerful. It’s a 10.1-inch diagonal screen with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor inside. It weighs under 2 pounds, is a half-inch thick and runs eight hours on a battery charge.
“Our IdeaPad U1 and LePad truly fit today’s mobile lifestyle,” Liu Jun, senior vice president of Lenovo’s Idea Product Group, said in a release. “Use the lightweight slate when you’re mobile, and then simply slide it into the U1 base when you need to create and edit content. Consumers shouldn’t have to adapt their lifestyle to technology, and this product definitely delivers twice the functionality and fun in one device.”
A spokeswoman said the design was fine-tuned over the last year and Lenovo developed an Android application store for the Chinese market with apps customized for the LePad. Similar slate products and the U1 will come to the U.S. “sometime later this year.”