Lenovo has launched its Skylight smartbook which uses Linux as the default OS. The laptop like mobile device has a 10″ screen and in-built features like 3G, 20 GB of flash storage and 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. Skylight uses a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The UI is gadget based and looks smooth and user friendly.
The Skylight also sports a properly spaced keyboard unlike netbooks and has a sleek and marvelous design. It sports an “always on” feature which does away with the need to boot it to a start or shutdown, almost like plug and play.
Skylight is the first ARM based Qualcomm Snapdragon smartbook and is priced at around $499. It has a 1.3 MP Webcam, twin USB ports and WiFi coupled with great looks. Apart from all this, you also get 2 GB of free cloud storage.
The OS is a customized version of Linux made by Lenovo but it leaves me wondering why they did not use already popular ARM builds of many Linux distributions. Also, the EEPC is a close competitor to the Skylight and has a lower price, around $100 less. In such a case, the smartbook better be good because it is already overpriced for an ARM based smartbook.
Though, I came across an interesting comment from Ninis Samuel, consumer marketing director at Lenovo who says,
There is no exposure of Linux to the customers. What we wanted to make is an interface that’s completely custom and easy to use.
So it is a part of their strategy not to let users know they are using Linux.
Lenovo has big hopes and a new product line to showcase this CES at Las Vegas. If this product sells, we will also have the problem of limited apps as the Linux distro used by the smartbook is a custom one developed by Lenovo. There will be a need for third party apps for the smartbook alongside the ones provided by Lenovo. But, we will see how Lenovo addresses this problem, given that the device sure looks like one every geek would like to own.