Lenovo shows off Skylight

Lenovo's Skylight - take the first half of smartphone, the second half of netbook - what have you got?
Lenovo's Skylight - take the first half of smartphone, the second half of netbook - what have you got?

Lenovo has announced the Skylight sub-notebook which uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip, runs Linux rather than Windows and will sell for around $499 (£308) when it goes on sale in April.

Using the ARM chip architecture, Lenovo's Linux device represents a significant move away form the common Intel/Microsoft Windows model for computers.

Lenovo in the US is using the increasingly common term 'smartbook' to describe the device – which is smaller than a netbook but bigger than a smartphone – although in Europe there remains a copyright dispute over the use of that name.

Weighing in at around a kilogram, the Skylight will apparently boast 10 hours of battery life, has a 10 inch screen and has Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.


Most netbooks use Windows XP and feature Intel's Atom processors, with early attempts at pushing Linux to consumers – in the original Asus Eee for instance – not really getting any purchase.

However, Lenovo's consumer marketing director told Reuters that the operating system should not alienate mainstream consumers, with the Linux heavily customised.

"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."

Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor is becoming a key player in smartphones, with Google's Nexus One handset the latest to use it.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.