In pictures: Lenovo IdeaPad U1 hybrid laptop

Lenovo Ideapad U1 hybrid
Lenovo has found the missing link between laptop and tablet

CES 2010 hasn't even started yet and already Lenovo has unwrapped its latest computing concept at the pre-show warm-up CES Unveiled.

The computing company has shown off something called the Lenovo IdeaPad – a laptop which comes complete with a detachable tablet screen.

Lenovo ideapad u1 1

TechRadar was there for the unveiling and once we battled through the crowds of over-excited journos (this tablet cum laptop is proving to already be very popular) we managed to get a glimpse at what all the fuss is about.

The Lenovo IdeaPad U1 is certainly an intriguing concept. It calls itself a 'hybrid notebook' and is essentially two devices, with the tablet part of the IdeaPad working completely independently of the notebook cradle.

Lenovo ideapad u1 base

Screen-wise, it's 11.6 inches and LED backlit, and while Lenovo were tight-lipped over what other specs the IdeaPad U1 has, they did let us have a peak at an as-yet-not-finalised specification sheet which noted the tablet part of the machine used a Qualcomm Arm 1GHz Snapdragon processor, with the main notebook powered by a Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

In total the whole thing will weigh 1.61lbs, but if you fancy just carrying the tablet around then this will only weigh you down 0.7lbs.

Lenovo ideapad u1 laptop

Other specs we managed to glean from Lenova are that the IdeaPad will incorporate 4GB of DDR3 Ram, house 2x USB ports and an eSata port.

Interestingly, once the tablet is freed from the notebook body, you can hook the notebook up to an external monitor and it will work just fine.

When the tablet is removed, what you are left with is a see-through red Perspex screen.

Another cool feature is that the device will know to automatically change your web surfing from full web to mobile web when the tablet is set free. Although the Snapdragon processor is more than capable of supporting full web, it is a handy little feature to have.

Lenovo ideapad u1 tablet

Given the size of the device it's no wonder that it uses a resistive screen, but we tried it and there wasn't too much forced prodding to be done.

Lenova has certainly hit onto and intriguing concept with the IdeaPad U1. While it may not be the only tablet device the company releases at CES, it's a great compromise for those who want to try out a tablet but don't won't to rid themselves of the notebook completely.

Lenovo ideapad u1 2

Another compromise may be the price. Looking to be around the $999 mark when it is released in the US in the second half of the year, expect a UK release date of the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 later in 2010, with pounds matching dollars.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.