byNilay Patel||January 5th 2010 at 3:18pmJanuary 5th 2010 3:18 pm
We just got a chance to play with Lenovo's Skylight smartbook, which runs the company's new Skylight lightweight Linux OS on a 1Ghz Snapdragon. It's an impressively clean little package, with a 10.1-inch display, an integrated WWAN card, and a neat flip-out USB thumb drive for housing user data. Ports-wise you're not looking at much apart from mini-HDMI out, an SD card slot, and a second USB jack, although there is an internal microSD slot for more storage on top of the 8GB system drive. The idea is that all your personal info will live on the thumb drive, allowing users to just plug into any other Skylight and go -- and there were some hints that accessories like Skype handsets would eventually fit into that slot and connect over USB. As for the OS itself, the six-panel interface was certainly workable, although clearly not production-ready: it managed to load webpages and do some light Twittering, although there was some stuttering along the way. We're big fans of the chiclet keyboards Lenovo's got going here, but the mulitouch touchpad still needs some work. The biggest sell of this thing over a netbook seems to be its promised 12 hours of battery life and its trim body, but at $499 (when most netbooks are at least $100 cheaper) we aren't sure we get it. We can't get that thinness of it out of our head, but we'll be waiting on the AT&T subsided pricing on this one. Video walkthrough after the break.