There’s nothing like a flagship model to get a new category of devices booming, and that’s exactly what the Lenovo Skylight could be for the Smartbook market in 2010. With its incredibly thin design, the Skylight is the first Smartbook released from a major player in the market, and it’s certainly lived up to expectations.
The Lenovo Skylight is available in red, blue and silver – it’s extremely thin at under 20mm and weighs less than 2 pounds. The keyboard and trackpad are extremely well designed and implemented considering the size of the device. The keyboard used in the Skylight is actually the same keyboard that Lenovo use for their ThinkPad Edge 13and X100e, so it’s very high quality, with space between each key to make typing easier.
The trackpad is a decent size for a Smartbook, with no physical button in sight – taking a leaf out of Apple’s book, the whole trackpad acts as a button. A lot of people don’t like this design, but as a Macbook user myself, I now prefer it to a discrete button on a notebook.
Taking a look at the hardware, you’ll be able to make use of a 1GHz Qualcomm processor when going about your daily activities, helped with 20GB of flash storage and built in Wi-Fi. The display on the device is 10.1” in size with a 720p resolution (1280 x 720). Connectivity certainly won’t be an issue, with a plethora of ports at your disposal in such a small chassis. You’re spoilt for choice with both a microSD and full SD card slot, audio output, a USB port on the side and mini HDMI for HD output, which is great if you’re wanting to watch a movie on a big screen, presuming the Skylight can handle HD video ok.
An interesting addition Lenovo has added is a second USB port which is located above the keyboard. The USB drive plugged into this port acts as a storage device for the Skylight. It’s important to note that this drive doesn’t contain the OS or included software – this is stored in the internal SSD – the flash drive storage is used to store all the data of the user, such as documents or photos. You may wonder why the device is set up like that, but it sports quite an interesting feature…
You could take the flash drive out of your Smartbook and put it into another Skylight to have exactly the same experience as you would on your machine. If you store the flash drive separately, this is great for security because if the Smartbook got stole or lost, all your data and preferences would remain intact. Whether you can be bothered to take the flash drive out after every session, however, is another matter!
Like other Smartbooks hitting the market, the Skylight doesn’t run Windows, but instead a modified version of Linux, which offers the user quick links to various places on the web and on their machine. You can access Facebook, YouTube and other services at the click of a button for easy access.
You’ll only find 18 applications on the device, but they cover your everyday requirements well, from web browsing to watching a movie. The interface also has an OS X like dock at the bottom of it, which offers quick access to all the features of your Smartbook. The bad news? The pricing… At $499, it isn’t exactly in the ‘impulse buy’ category, although phone providers may subsidise the price of the Lenovo Skylight at the cost of a monthly 3G contract.