Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lenovo's Windows Slate Tablet is U.S Bound, Hands On

Lenovo launches its first Slate Tablet for U.S customers, and we got a thorough hands-on.

Las Vegas—Those who were disappointed about the Lenovo U1 Hybrid and LePad tablet being only available in Asia shouldn't pout—Lenovo is prepping a slate for U.S customers and showed it off at CES 2011. Rather than wait for Google's Android Honeycomb OS, which it'll have at some point, the Ideapad Windows Slate will run on Windows 7 and an Intel Atom processor. Surprisingly, it worked quite well for an unfinished product.

Lenovo doesn't have an official name for the slate yet, so we'll just refer to it as the Ideapad Slate for now. It's about as heavy as the LePad, both of which have 10-inch screens and resting either one on my forearm wasn't too burdensome (Lenovo had the LePad on display as well). It's slightly thicker than my second gen Apple iPhone 3G and is well made despite its plastic construction. The back of the slate can be customized with different colors; the ones that were on display were orange and white.

Boot up times were impressive, at least more so than your typical Windows PC. Lenovo touts that proprietary software, combined with the 32GB local SSD, enabled quicker boot up times. Lenovo realized that the Windows user interface alone wasn't going to be enough: A more touch-friendly one was in order, so it borrowed the multi-viewing pane concept from the LePad. In this case, big, touch-friendly icons are divided into two viewing panes: One for "Work", the other for "Play". 

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