Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Hybrid first hands-on!

The Lenovo X1 Hybrid isn't your typical laptop refresh. Though it looks like the X1 we reviewed last spring, it represents a stark about-face in the company's approach to battery life: the Hybrid edition ($1,599 and up) packs a second, low-power processor made by Qualcomm, along with a custom, lightweight OS based on Android. Said differently, the laptop falls back on smartphone internals when longevity life is paramount.

This operating system, dubbed Instant Media Mode (IMM), functions like any other instant-on environment: it boots in about two seconds, and once you're there you can do basic things like check email, surf the web, listen to music, watch movies and browse photos. In the case of the X1 Hybrid, though, that instant-on OS also promises to double the X1's (disappointing) battery life, bringing the runtime to a max of 10 hours.

As it happens, yours truly got to see an early version of the X1 Hybrid behind closed doors two months back. But you know what they say: pics or it didn't happen! So here we are, giving your our first sanctioned look. If you've ever used one of Lenovo's Android-based tablets, those customizations should look familiar: that launcher you see up there is the same one we played with on the IdeaPad K1 and ThinkPad Tablet. So, the browser, etc. shouldn't be much of a surprise to those of you who have been following along. As you can see in the video past the break, loading the OS, moving into Windows 7 and launching apps within this Android-like environment is all fairly brisk, though not without a few pauses. What else can we say? It's Android! (Sort of!) Running on a ThinkPad! But don't take our word for it: meet us past the break for the full demo.