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IdeaPad U1, What We Wanted the iPad To Be 401

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'd-use-one-of-those dept.
Xanator writes "With the announcement of the iPad, the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid appears to have gone unnoticed, but maybe we ought to pay it more attention. It's a netbook with a removable screen that turns it into a tablet (switching OS from Windows 7 to a tablet OS within 3 seconds), and it appears to offer what many of us wanted from the iPad. Quoting Engadget: 'When docked, the U1 looks and feels like any other laptop, with an Intel CULV processor and a 128GB SSD running Windows 7 Home Premium. You actually wouldn't know there's a slate hiding in there — until you pull it out and watch it switch to Lenovo's Skylight UI, a process that was smooth and quick for us. Lenovo says the goal is for the full switch to occur in under 3 seconds.'"
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IdeaPad U1, What We Wanted the iPad To Be

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  • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:26PM (#31118032)

    What We Wanted the IPad To Be

    People keep talking as if Apple really missed the boat with iPad, but the truth is they only missed the boat for hard-core, tinker-happy nerds...and they've made a very specific point of missing that boat for at least the last decade. They're marketing to fanboys who want it to be trendy and 'just work', not to nerds.

    So it's nice that this might be what you hoped for from the iPad. But why did you hope iPad would be what you wanted in the first place?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lally Singh (3427)

      Mod Parent Up

      The point is that a good tablet with more functionality than the iPad requires a good amount of research into how to do tablet UIs. The WIMP system is pretty terrible for tablet computing. That's why the iPad's an overgrown ipod touch, to avoid having to either do the research or be sucky.

      Frankly, I'd love to see something designed for a stylus that also can take a few gestures usable for the hand holding that stylus.

      • Demand goes way beyond the UI. It's the content. Ecosystems that are convenient to use. Media re-use capabilities. Connectivity. Lack of captivity to a single vendor or communications supplier. It's the experience, not simply the physical device.

      • Frankly, I'd love to see something designed for a stylus that also can take a few gestures usable for the hand holding that stylus.

        Welcome to iPad.

        You can use a stylus with the iPhone today.

        And with touch point recognition you can also do gesture recognition in any app.

        It's just that you also have an option to only use you finger too... which is more direct, more natural, and you won't lose your finger (unless possibly you work in a meat processing plant. But then you have the key to a replacement [kottke.org] right t

        • The iPad can't recognize hand gestures without a camera.

          The iPhone at $99 has a camera. The iPad at $499 (and up!) does not. Penny cell phones are coming with cameras built in. Apple did certainly miss the boat there.

      • Windows 7 supposedly has support for multi-touch gestures. Part of the Aero Snap features were developed more with a touch interface in mind than a mouse.

        Watch how in Minority Report windows are tossed to the left and right with Tom Cruise's fingers.

        I have yet to use Windows 7 with a touch interface, but I suspect it may not be as horrible as you suggest.

    • Here's why. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      But why did you hope iPad would be what you wanted in the first place?

      Something more than a larger over priced iTouch?

      The Lenovo has a keyboard and the ports for connecting things like cameras.

      Apple lost a sale. I'm going to Lenovo - much more value too.

      • by Firehed (942385)

        FYI, the iPad supports a hardware keyboard and has an adapter for connecting cameras, etc. Not the same thing of course, but it does give the benefit of not requiring the space of a physical keyboard that you may only use 15% of the time.

        Apple has more or less created a new category with the iPad; most of the people that are complaining about it seem to really want laptops with touchscreens. Which is fine - get one. But don't waste time complaining to Apple that their device that's not intended to do what y

        • by Maniacal (12626)

          I don't want a laptop with a touchscreen. Well, maybe that would be cool. What I really want is a pad that is useful at work

          There was an article recently about how Apple doesn't care about marketing to businesses. Business use is more of a collateral win. I'm sure it'll do quite well because of the folks to buy anything apple and because it's a cool consumer device.

          The Leveno pad part of the U1 has some cool user stuff for media but I look at it as a great replacement for my laptop at work. I'm sick of

      • You want what's unlikely to succeed. Traditional desktop OSs don't work well on a decent sized touchscreen-only tablet. That is what most people want. Along with an OS that was specifically designed for the product. Anything that runs Windows 7 will either be a usability joke because of the hacked interface to fit a small screen and the lack of power to do basic things, or unpractical because it will be large enough to provide the full power of a laptop system including a large screen for a mediocre desktop

    • by VShael (62735) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:39PM (#31118384) Journal

      People keep talking as if Apple really missed the boat with iPad, but the truth is they only missed the boat for hard-core, tinker-happy nerds...

      I disagree. Most of my friends are not hard core tinker happy nerds. And they were all underwhelmed with the iPad. In fact, I don't know a single person who was actually impressed by it.

      Not one.

      • by coolgeek (140561) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:54PM (#31118756) Homepage

        Nobody was very impressed with the initial release of the iPod either. It was overpriced, bulky, and seriously, $400 for a music player? Like the iPod, the iPad will evolve.

        Apple has succeeded in getting McGraw Hill signed on. Once you can buy textbooks for half the price, which publishers will happily do to make sure they destroy the used book market, every college student will have one. The iPad platform will evolve significantly before they graduate. When those students are in decision making positions, they will find problems that will be solved by the iPad, and buy more.

        And that's just one of its growth paths.

        • by Firehed (942385)

          I'm rather intrigued by the price. Not that $500 is cheap (even if less than expected) nor would I end up with the $500 model should I get one, but because the 9.7" Kindle is $489. So for an extra $10, I get 4x the storage, a color screen, a fuller-featured OS, a plethora of applications, etc., etc., and it can still read ebooks quite capably. The eInk display on the Kindle is really a non-starter for me - I read text on a computer screen probably twelve hours a day, so it just doesn't bother me. Of cour

      • Apple is not getting off your damn lawn. Sorry.

      • by santiago (42242)

        You post on Slashdot and they're your friends. They may not be hardcore tinker-happy nerds compared to you, but they are compared to the other 99% of the population. Their response is not indicative of how well the iPad will sell.

    • They're marketing to fanboys who want it to be trendy and 'just work', not to nerds.

      This is an over-simplification. Many of us were first in line for the first iPods and the first iPhones. How many of us will buy the first iPad? Seriously? The NetPad is just a new area for Apple. They're almost there, but not quite yet.

    • by tgd (2822)

      I disagree. When my Mom asks me if I saw "that iPad thing" and the first thing she says is "it doesn't have a webcam!" then they've missed some boat, and its not a hard-core tinker-nerd boat.

      I think they missed the boat for the meat of the market they were aiming for, and the webcam is a big part of that. Lack of a USB port, even if its limited to use to get photos onto it from a digital camera, is another.

      • by friedmud (512466)

        You can connect a camera to the iPad using either USB or SDCARD. Look at the bottom of this page: http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/ [apple.com]

      • by Zorkon (121860)

        Tell me, when you and your mom video conference, do you often hold the camera in such a way so as to get a clear view of your nasal passages?

        Because that's what video conferencing on a tablet would be like. If it's on your lap, it's POINTING UP YOUR NOSE.

        But tell your mom not to worry - she will soon be able to enjoy nasal video conferencing, as a recent job post at Apple indicates that they're looking at an iPad w/a camera.

        http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/apple_job_posting_hints_at_a_camera_in_future

      • I personally agree with the webcam, but show me the Kindle and/or Nook webcams, that's right, there are none. Also, we have to keep in mind that this is first gen hardware. As for the USB port, open this and scroll to the bottom, connector kits are available:

        http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/ [apple.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jhol13 (1087781)

      I know some people will just "love" iPad ... but think, for a second, rationally.
      What the heck it is for? You cannot put even USB stick into it! You cannot run any "office" software, no IDE, not even Web with flash or even Java ... well you can read a pdf ... wow.

      There has to be a reason, for most people, to buy it, right? What it is? Price - no . Battery life - no. Connectivity - haha! Usablity - not even a test editor! Multitasking ... everyone remembers Microsoft idea of limiting this to three - can Appl

      • by friedmud (512466) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:57PM (#31118848)

        - Price - Yes! Compared to an E-Reader like a Kindle DX for the same price... I'll take a device that can do hundreds of things well over a device that can only do one.

        - Battery Life - Yes! It gets 10 hours of battery... what more could you want from a device that does so much?

        - Connectivity - Yes! Wifi and 3G (admittedly expensive). Also.. you can connect a camera to it using USB or SDCARD (bottom of this page: http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/ [apple.com] )

        - Usability - Definitely! Millions of people already intuitively know how to use one. Navigation is simple... interacting is simple. How would you make it more usable... and what the hell is a "test editor"?

        - Multitasking - No. I agree here... I hope it comes in OS 4.0... but it's not a show stopper for millions of people currently using iPhone OS devices....

        • by marsu_k (701360)
          Connectivity - yes, you can get USB or SD! (provided that you want to purchase and carry extra dongles), and let us not forget that it's the ultimate platform for portable video (provided that your movie collection is in 4:3 format... hell I wouldn't be surprised to see a whole new selection of previously widescreen titles in iTunes, "perfected" for the iPad)
      • You cannot run any "office" software

        Did you miss the part where they showed off iWork for the iPad? That's technically "office" software, regardless of how well it works...

        no IDE

        There's no user-accessible filesystem, no user-accessible command-line, no multitasking, and it's a 10" touchscreen. "No IDE" is last on the list of "reasons this is not a developer-oriented device".

        not even Web with flash or even Java

        The lack of Flash (and Silverlight, for Netflix) is my wife's biggest complaint about the iPad.

        Battery life - no.

        10 hours isn't good enough for you? For a device aimed at the market it's aimed

      • What the heck it is for? You cannot put even USB stick into it!

        But you can put an SD reader into it... perhaps you can write to it too (not sure on that point).

        You cannot run any "office" software,

        Pages/Numbers run on it... they read MS word/excel files.

        no IDE

        Now that's an interesting statement because it is wrong in two ways.

        One, you are stating "no IDE exists for the Ipad" - there is an IDE - just not one running on the device.
        Two, you are stating "You cannot run an IDE on the iPad". Why not? That is j

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        You just made his point very saliently. I know a lot of people who will buy one because it will do what they want.

        It ships with iWork already on the app store, so it has a test [sic] editor right there if you want it - you can save iWork files as plaintext if you like. There will also doubtless be a plaintext editor with syntax highlighting like SEE or somesuch released on the App store when it actually ships. This "office" software (that you apparently can't run, according to you) can work with Word and Ex

      • by Zorkon (121860)

        My mom doesn't use USB sticks (there's a bad joke in there somewhere). Neither does she write code in an IDE (seriously? You're concerned you can't build code on a tablet device). She doesn't care about Flash.

        She reads books. She watches videos. She sends and receives email. She looks at pictures of her grandkids. She plays the occasional game (like the kind you find in the app store).

        The iPad is a *perfect* device for this kind of person. Why would I buy it? Well when it's $10 more than a Kindle DX, why th

      • There has to be a reason, for most people, to buy it, right? What it is? Price - no . Battery life - no. Connectivity - haha! Usablity - not even a test editor! Multitasking ... everyone remembers Microsoft idea of limiting this to three - can Apple pull out with one? I don't think so.

        10 hours of battery life isn't enough?

        I bet Apple will get away with single tasking. We were told by techies that all-app multitasking was a must for smart phones too, but somehow, Apple managed to sell a good pile of them.

        But to the topic of the article, is this U1 really the answer? I thought the starting price was $1000. If Apple's price is too high for a tablet, then the U1 isn't it either.

      • Gartner's reported recently that 99.4% of all mobile applications sold in 2009 were for the iPhone. As we all know the iPad will run all of these. Now I know that a good number of the iPhone apps available today are a bit mediocre, but there are a lot that aren't. And the iPad Keynote already demonstrated how developers are taking these apps to the next level on the iPad by making good use of the extra cpu/gpu power, the larger viewable area and a larger touch interface for improved hands on manipulation

    • by rolfwind (528248) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:51PM (#31118652)

      Agreed 100%. I also was more dismissive when I first saw the iPad, to the point where I wondered why it didn't have an add-on keyboard like always innovating's netbook (which this IBM slate seems to have copied in a way), but now I went through Apple's presentation days ago - I have to say this product might have a chance.

      Yeah, you can do a "million more" things on a netbook/notebook/desktop - but why would Apple try to have a new product compete with their own line-up, let alone all that is already out there. Looking at the iPad, I would say it's not in competition with notebooks, not even small ones. It's in competition with the Amazon Kindle and other e-readers. I owned a Kindle for about 3 weeks -- while I appreciate the battery life e-ink gives, it was bad contrast, slow rendering, and gives a horrible web experience. And that is what the iPad is aiming at -- much like how the iPod came into a marketplace that already had years of mp3 players.

      Idk if it will be successful, but I think the geeks dismissing it for the wrong reasons - the limited view of their own demographic, wants and needs.

      While I won't get one for myself, I'm thinking of getting one for my father. He wants to email and surf basically - but he never extensively used a computer in his life beyond an ATM or digital watch - and he still stumbles with the most basic laptops. He's not a stupid man, but doesn't have the benefit of our generation. Even many people in their 30s and 40s are like that - I tried teaching my uncle to use a computer - he just got a laptop. But its frustrating for us both --- when you use computers all the time, you just don't consciously realize anymore how many quirks and rules you put up with to use the thing. He wants to email pictures he took with a digital camera - damn, teaching concept of file systems, file size, possible resizing, etcetera. Not an easy task for a newbie.

      I think that's what the iPad is aimed at - making the computing experience as appliance like as possible. Push a button, the thing turns on. I thought the lack of keyboard would hurt it - but guess what - traditional tablets have been tried and none were successful yet. The first and second IBM video is extremely counter to this - just way too many active gadgets on the screen at once and touching that circle thing and dragging it is way too cumbersome (windows-like paradigm) instead of clicking something once and it doing what you want. The screen also seems way too big as a tablet, although the way it pops out is extremely cool.

      If Apple succeeds here, it's because they're going into an untapped market - not because they're doing what everybody else is doing (hint: tablets have been long made -- nearly nobody wants). It could flop tremendously as well, but I think the halls of Slashdot, populated by people to whom computers are second nature, are the wrong opinions to go by.

      • by Kenja (541830)
        I want to like the ipad, but without enough storage to use as a media player, a crippled web browser, no hardware keyboard for office apps and such limited developer access I really cant think of a use for it.
      • Mod up. I agree - ipad is in a horserace with the ereaders. They have a shot at expanding this market into a e-magazine tool. I wouldn't count them out because it fails to meet the needs of netbook users.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Friday February 12, 2010 @05:21PM (#31119380)

      >They're marketing to fanboys who want it to be trendy and 'just work', not to nerds.

      Not having flash is the opposite of "just work."

    • People keep talking as if Apple really missed the boat with iPad, but the truth is they only missed the boat for hard-core, tinker-happy nerds...and they've made a very specific point of missing that boat for at least the last decade. They're marketing to fanboys who want it to be trendy and 'just work', not to nerds.

      Too true. Obligatory links:

      If wishes were iPhones [diveintomark.org]
      Tinkerer's Sunset [diveintomark.org]

      The above posts are from the same guy who wrote Thank you for giving me the opportunity to explain this to you [diveintomark.org], a brilliant li

    • by Petrushka (815171)

      the truth is they only missed the boat for hard-core, tinker-happy nerds...

      Running software of your own choosing is being a hard-core, tinker-happy nerd? By that standard I don't think I know anyone who isn't a hard-core tinker-happy nerd. My 80-year-old aunt is scared of number-pads and doesn't know what folders are for, but by your standards she's a hard-core tinker-happy nerd. I think your criteria need adjusting.

      • Speaking of that, has anyone actually confirmed that the iPad will need to be jail-broken to run apps that aren't from the app store? You know, the reason iPhones need to be jail broken is because they are tied to ATTs network and ATT doesn't want to be bogged down trying to support people who messed up their phones by installing bad software on them. Is there actually any good reason to believe this may be the case for iPad? Apple doesn't lock down their desktop computers.
    • If the primary purpose of the iPad is something to read eBooks on and casually surf the web, I assume most users will expect there to be Flash support. They may learn it is a niche device and get past the lack of Windows or Mac apps.

      When Apple launched the first generation iPhone, they were determined to hit a window and a price point. Doing so, they were missing several key features. By the time the 3G-S rolled around, I bought one without too many regrets. But in many ways, it is the phone that they shoul

  • by peter303 (12292) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:28PM (#31118098)
    Until they get their hands on Apple's first. Else its mainly dueling hypotheticals. Apple will setting a standard for better or worse for the others.
  • nice, but (Score:5, Insightful)

    by orient (535927) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:29PM (#31118122)
    Lenovo will, certainly, build a more affordable and compatible/open device than Apple. Their advantage will be the price, but Apple has the advantage of their OS and well known applications.
    • Re:nice, but (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ircmaxell (1117387) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:35PM (#31118260) Homepage
      I would have been MUCH happier if they put Android as the 2nd OS instead of their own proprietary system. That way, you could switch from a primary os (Win7, Linux, BSD, etc) to the secondary, and still have all the capabilities of the system. It looks quite interesting as is, and I'd say I'd have to see it in person before holding other judgments...
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by sidnelson13 (1309391)
        You want choice, you can always go for one of these [alwaysinnovating.com]. I find it weird that I don't see as much coverage for this nice little product from a small company as I see for speculative, unfinished and proprietary products like this.
        • That looks like a nice device at about the right price point.
        • Eih, a resistive touch screen... Swap it for a capacitive one (I don't care about multi-touch as much as responsiveness) and I'm sold...

          Still, for $400 with keyboard ($300 without keyboard), it looks quite nice!
      • It's still running Linux as the secondary OS, which means that people will modify it to fix any shortcomings it may have.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sootman (158191)

      > Lenovo will, certainly, build a more affordable and compatible/open device than Apple.

      "Certainly"? Really? You're positive that this device, which is basically two whole computers, one of which is also a giant touchscreen, will come in under $499?

      • more affordable?! from Lenovo?! you're are kidding, right? HP has been making Tablets for years and, unlike Lenovo's, they have been truly affordable. compare the tablets below. both are current and have similar specs.

        - Lenovo Thinkpad X200 Tablet ($1,500).
        - HP tm2t ($950).

        and HP is cooking up another Tablet to be released this summer. this new one will be a slate (ie, no physical keyboard). it was briefly showed by Ballmer during the last CES. no doubt the iPad will sell like hotcakes. Apple's hyp
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bearhouse (1034238)

      but Apple has the advantage of their OS and well known applications.

      Eh? The Lenovo runs Windows 7 and their Skylight UI is based on Linux.
      So urm, right, definite advantage for Apple on choice of apps, then...

      • by Trepidity (597)

        For apps to work well in the Skylight UI I'd expect they'd have to be customized for it, wouldn't they? I can't imagine it'd be that enjoyable to run a normal GNOME or KDE app with a bunch of menus and checkboxes and whatnot on a tablet.

    • Their advantage will be the price, but Apple has the advantage of their OS and well known applications.

      The problem that the U1 has is that it's either just a Windows notebook, or a Touch Device that is currently even more closed down than the iPad (where's the Skylight OS API?), and even when they do open that up (or if you can develop for it already in a way I missed) you have only a handful of applications that are built to work specifically around touch input.

      Meanwhile, the iPad has almost 150k applicat

  • I didn't. The iPad is pretty much what I wanted, only it runs a closed source OS and has a closed ecosystem, and no SD card slot.
    • by Draek (916851)

      We wanted an affordable tablet PC with the ability to install your own OS on it (and from there an open ecosystem logically follows) plus some way to attach a decent keyboard when needed. Lenovo gave us the former and, while making an hybrid is a strange way of giving us the latter, it'll do nicely for me.

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        Tablet PCs like that already existed long before the iPad. Why didn't you buy one of those?

        The iPad also has a decent keyboard accessory - it's essentially an identical version to the bluetooth Apple keyboard I'm using right now, but with a dock built in to mate with the iPad. If you hate the MacBook Pro keyboard then you won't consider it "decent" but it is full size - just lacks a numberpad (like the one I'm using right now).

        • by Draek (916851)

          Because existing Tablet PCs are anything but "affordable". And I'm glad the iPad does have a decent keyboard, though my comment was rather aimed at explaining why didn't I just buy a PDA or similar device, for screens bigger is better of course, but small ain't so bad. Small keyboards, however, are just as hellish as the input mode they're trying to replace and so they don't satisfy my needs either.

    • by friedmud (512466)

      If you're looking to connect a camera with that SDCARD slot... that is possible... see the bottom of this page: http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/ [apple.com]

      But if you were looking to expand the storage space of the device itself... sadly that's not possible... although certain applications may be able to use the SDCARD slot to store things.... don't know.

  • by enryonaku (1441337) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:30PM (#31118142)

    to demonstrate how the UI is laggy and the touch unresponsive?

  • Nice headline (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sootman (158191) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:33PM (#31118216) Homepage Journal

    Who is "we"? I'm pretty happy with what the iPad is. Also, I'm happy to pay half the cost of an IdeaPad, and get it 8 months sooner.

  • by richdun (672214) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:33PM (#31118220)
    catch run-on sentences in article summaries? Or perhaps stories that are over a month old?
  • Hardware only? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Spazed (1013981)
    Yes, it has some stats that are much higher than the iPads, but it is aimed at solving completely different users.

    Look at the six panel layout of the homescreen, why waste the screen with six tiny apps when you can do so much more full screen? Why focus on a Dashboard knock off that you can carry around when people have shown that isn't what they really want in a mobile computing device. Look at what apps get used on smartphones the most often, it isn't the little one off stocks/weather/recording feature
  • by hilldog (656513) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:36PM (#31118298)
    How are people going to use this anyway? As a big e-reader? game pad? movie player? Right now it all looks cool and shiny but who is going to spend a thousand dollars - or $999 as the article reads - for this? I love cool and shiny but I don't see adding this to my life unless I had a pressing reason to do so and touch screen isn't the reason.
    • by icydog (923695)
      Well, it is a laptop too. If you were in the market for a $1000 laptop, and assuming this machine has similar specs to what a similarly-priced laptop could do (seems like it does), why wouldn't you buy one of these?
      • Or if you were in the market for a $300-$400 netbook and wanted an iPad (base price $500), this fills both roles nicely. I'm personally waiting for HP's new tablet (sorry, "slate"), but if that is too expensive or fails to impress, I'd definitely give this a look.
  • by bwalling (195998) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:36PM (#31118302) Homepage
    I don't want all the bother of a computer. I already have that. For a tablet/slate, I just want to run a few apps/games and get online. I want it to be easy. I don't really want to mess with the file system. I don't want a browser that's vulnerable to malware. I don't want to have to mess with drivers. I don't want to have to manually drag and drop or copy my music or pictures from my computer to my tablet (or worse, dick around with file sharing over a network). I just want the damn thing to do apps, games and Internet without any fuss. I bet the iPad will do that and do it well. I just wish some of the competitors actually understood that concept.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Draek (916851)

      For a tablet/slate, I just want to run a few apps/games and get online. I want it to be easy. I don't really want to mess with the file system. I don't want a browser that's vulnerable to malware. I don't want to have to mess with drivers. I don't want to have to manually drag and drop or copy my music or pictures from my computer to my tablet (or worse, dick around with file sharing over a network). I just want the damn thing to do apps, games and Internet without any fuss.

      Good for you. I don't.

      I just wish some of the Apple fans on this website understood that concept.

      • Good for you. I don't.

        I just wish some of the Apple fans on this website understood that concept.

        What would we fight about then?

  • by gig (78408) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:39PM (#31118382)

    Lenovo was talking $1999 for this, and there is no availability date.

    For the same price you can get an iPad, a MacBook Pro, an iPod touch, and an iPod shuffle. Then you have a desktop OS, a tablet OS, a pocket tablet OS, and a microscopic music player. You have 3 screens. All 4 items work simultaneously. The Mac is carved out of a block of aluminum and feels like it. All you bookmarks and contacts and music and photos sync between all of the devices automatically. The 3 devices with browsers all run HTML5 apps, and the Mac also runs BSD, Java, Python, Perl, PHP, Ruby, as well as Mac apps. A single iPhone app purchase puts the app on both tablets. A $50 Mac app runs other Intel operating systems in a window at full speed and with 3D graphics.

    Just because you are a nerd that doesn't mean you don't have actual work to do. The action is in the software, not some convertible geegaws.

  • by kmahan (80459) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:41PM (#31118432)

    What I want to know is "how good is the pdf viewer"?

    I'm interested in a pad that can rapidly display technical PDFs that are 1000+ pages long full of tables and drawings. i.e., hardware datasheets and schematics.

    It needs to have decent searching and a fast page-to-page display capability.

    Any idea if the IdeaPad or the iPad has demonstrated this ability?

    • by greensoap (566467)
      Yes! I also want a stylus, shocking I know, so that I can hand-write annotations/comments in a PDF. Also, I want to be able to quickly bookmark a PDF while reading it. Why you ask? Because I am tired of printing out 30pg. pdfs just to mark them up with comments and stick tabs. I know I can do it on a screen with mouse and keyboard, but it is way faster with old fashion pen and post-its.

      On a related question, does anyone have any experience using a wacom tablet display for this kind of purpose? I know
    • by jo_ham (604554)

      The Preview app in OS X itself is pretty speedy with PDFs - much better and faster that the official Adobe PDF reader for Mac. Preview is the best and fastest PDF viewer I have used in fact, but it is not perfect, especially with complex PDFs that have embedded things in like data entry fields and so on. It also sometimes has graphical glitches - but I have only ever seen this with PDFs created by InDesign CS, so it may be unique to the output from that particular app.

      It uses Quartz in OS X for doing this,

  • Not even close. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SirWinston (54399) on Friday February 12, 2010 @04:53PM (#31118708)

    Dockable keyboard to switch from slate to laptop has been done long before, cf. the venerable Compaq TC1100, so that clearly isn't a killer feature (although I, and most long-term tablet enthusiasts, loved it and missed it when it was dropped from newer-gen Tablet PCs). Very nice, but no iPad killer, especially at the higher price.

    The two OSes thing I also don't see as a killer feature. I realize the idea was probably, "Hey, an ARM CPU is needed to extend the battery life in slate mode, but anyone using a full-size laptop wants a full-size Windows 7--let's combine 'em for the best of both worlds!" Sorry Hannah fucking Montana, but you can't have the best of both worlds without getting the worst of both worlds, too, plus an even higher cost to include all that extra hardware. If I wanted a Win 7 machine, I'd want it to run the same Win 7 apps in slate mode too. If I wanted an ARM slate, I'd have made the decision to be satisfied with available apps and wouldn't want the OS changing every time I docked the keyboard. And if I really wanted the features of both, for the price (another article states "Lenovo said they're hoping to get the IdeaPad U1's price under $1000 for a May or June release") I could buy both an iPad and a full laptop, and have two fully functional devices each better suited to its purpose than one hybrid.

    Sorry, there's still no mythical iPad killer. If this chimera were priced within $100 of the iPad it might be a contender, but not a sure thing. At somewhere just south of $1000 it's not even an also-ran compared with the iPad, it's a never-ran.

    • Sorry, there's still no mythical iPad killer.

      True, but that's not a failure on the part of other devices. It's a failure on Apple's part to make the iPad something everyone WANTS to buy. This is the first fumble I've seen out of Apple in a long time - hopefully they'll fix it in a year when the iPad 2.0 goes on sale.

  • So apparently even though IBM couldn't keep up development on an operating system, Lenovo decided to give it a go anyways. It will be interesting to see how this pans out for the company that bought IBM's personal computer division...
    • IBM owns and develops several operating systems (i, AIX, z/OS, z/VM, z/TPF). I'm not really sure what you're referring to.
      • by Reason58 (775044)

        IBM owns and develops several operating systems (i, AIX, z/OS, z/VM, z/TPF). I'm not really sure what you're referring to.

        OS/2

  • The U1 seems like a cool idea. But two operating systems to maintain, with all of the loss of application fidelity that entails?

    Count me out. And what is really the difference when I can just also carry a bluetooth keyboard with an iPad. What if someone makes an iPad case with bluetooth keyboard built in? Then how is the U1 really superior?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Reason58 (775044)

      The U1 seems like a cool idea. But two operating systems to maintain, with all of the loss of application fidelity that entails?

      Count me out. And what is really the difference when I can just also carry a bluetooth keyboard with an iPad. What if someone makes an iPad case with bluetooth keyboard built in? Then how is the U1 really superior?

      Even better, someone should attach the keyboard directly to the iPad. You could also have it fold up to protect the screen when it is not in use. And if you have a keyboard on it then it wouldn't be much more space to add some kind of mouse capability. Maybe like a touch pad of some sort. I think we may be on to something huge. Game changer.

  • by kuzb (724081) on Friday February 12, 2010 @05:06PM (#31119034)
    Watch the videos where he's trying to do navigation. It seems like this is exactly what Apple doesn't want - lag and unreposonsiveness.
  • Cute; but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday February 12, 2010 @05:07PM (#31119064) Journal
    It is always nice to see one of the PC OEMs take a break from shoving intel reference designs into ugly boxes at lowest possible cost(don't get me wrong, this is their highest virtue, is what has made computers accessible to so much of the world, and is certainly what I prefer to buy; but it really isn't very interesting to watch) and go out on a limb a bit.

    That said, the concept doesn't really "click" with me. First, there is just the fact that complexity without very good reason is the enemy. If you hold price constant, increased complexity will tank your quality. If you hold quality constant, increased complexity will spike your price. The U1, compared to an ordinary netbook, has the disadvantage of two batteries(one primary, one embedded in the screen/tablet thing), two system boards(ditto, though the tablet one should be a lot smaller), and a potentially unreliable combination mechanical/electrical connector right at the hinge(when docked, the tablet unit will need to receive power, video, and data from the primary unit). This connector/hinge will have to survive numerous matings and unmatings and openings and closings without getting flaky or frustrating. If it rattles, or has to be docked two or three times to get it to go back into notebook mode, or has to be docked just right or whatever, that will be hugely annoying. I'm not saying that this will be impossible to get right, just that it will either drive up cost substantially, or not be done in a way that will still be endurable six months after purchase.

    Second, and ultimately much trickier, is the question of the relationship between the main unit and the tablet unit. TFA, and other articles, suggest that Lenovo has made an attempt to have some useful interaction between the two. If you are browsing a webpage on the main when you tear the tablet off, the page will be loaded in the tablet's browser, that sort of thing. I'd assume the same would go for a few common document types. That worries me. It is exactly the sort of thing that would work perfectly in sci-fi world, where people are constantly passing wireless screens from person to person, and human computers can interact with alien spaceships, and whatnot. Real world, though, it is going to get ugly. The main unit is running Windows 7. The tablet is running on an ARM core, so it is almost certainly running CE or Linux. This means that, for a subset of all common tasks, tearing off the tablet will provide almost seamless continuity, with the right wedge of helper software and a bit of luck. Open a PDF, peel off the tablet, read happily, hurray! However, the set of document types and system activities that are equally supported between full windows and linux or WinCE is far smaller than the total set of document types and system activities. Worse, the set has ragged edges.

    Consider, you open a PDF, tear off the tablet, read happily. It all works perfectly. Then, one day, it fails with some cryptic error. Whoops. That PDF had one of the newer PDF DRM schemes, and Adobe supports Reader on Windows more aggressively than whatever Lenovo has baked into the tablet. There goes your happy workflow. And, unless you are at least a little techy, and paying attention, you won't even understand why one thing worked and another didn't. Similar things can be imagined with regard to web pages, or word documents. Simply opening whatever URL was open in the foreground session of IE in the browser of the tablet should be trivial enough. Keeping cookies in sync might even be doable. However, there is surely a subset of sites that will absolutely freak out and refuse to provide anything resembling a continuous session when a user suddenly disappears from IE8 on Win7 and reappears on a completely different browser(and quite possibly IP, unless some funky network stack trickery is going on). Most likely, you'll just be kicked back to the login screen, and have to log in again using the tablet touch-keyboard, which will really break your flow. I'm sure some sites will work just fine, a
  • Fujitsu's Stylistic series has been around forever and is/does what the iPad is/does plus a plethora more.

    Nothing novel or revolutionary has happened here, move along...
  • Not saying this is good or bad, unlike the iPad, It looks like two separate computers. The touch screen looks like the weakest part of the implementation, but I like this idea for a smart tablet dock. Your dock has the facility to backup your tablet's data; that seems much simpler than syncing through iTunes.

    But in the video the netbook / keyboard base still maintains power when the screen is undocked; I'd think it'd quickly go to sleep instead.

    How the base will react if someone else docks their tablet into

  • I know it isn't a huge market, but the iPad is huge news in the home automation touchscreen market. Official solutions sell for over $1k, and you'd be hard pressed to make your own (ebay'd touchscreen, plus a fanless computer mounted in the wall) for less than the cheapest iPad.

    Make a wall cradle for it with speakers, and you have control, audio, pictures (for when not in use), not to mention if you can make it show you a weather report in the morning or something.

    Indigo Touch is impressive enough that I ha

  • I have seen a few Android based tablets on the web the MSI tablet [engadget.com] being one of the better ones. The first thing you notice is they generally all have a webcam and USB and SD card slots both missing on the iPAD (cough iTunes lockin anyone). The reason I think Android is the real competitor in the tablet market is the OS was designed as a touch screen OS and has an app-store presence without the intentional lockin. Also the price mentioned for Android tablets are lower (same cpu/hardware basically as the iPA
  • wanted? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jDeepbeep (913892) on Friday February 12, 2010 @05:53PM (#31120072)

    it offers what many of us wanted from the iPad
    --snip--
    running Windows 7 Home Premium.

    I couldn't make it further than this.

  • by Kalewa (561267) on Friday February 12, 2010 @06:08PM (#31120360)
    The reason I'm not paying any attention to the U1 is because apparently Lenovo doesn't want me to. Around CES there was a bunch of buzz about it, but then Lenovo completely let it drop off the radar. No pricing, no release data, no live demo units at CES. It's like they were trying to kill it. Bummer too, because it's not a bad concept. I can only assume they had some kind of massive hardware or software problems, and decided to keep it under wraps a little while longer.

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