updated 12:00 am EST, Thu January 5, 2012
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Hybrid and T430u precede CES
Lenovo trotted out the first wave of its CES introductions Wednesday with a renewed push on the ultrabook space currently defined by Apple. The ThinkPad X1 Hybrid has dual-booting into an instant-on mode like some notebooks but adds a full-fledged, dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chip to power its Instant Media Mode. The combination of the ARM chip and the lightweight Linux-based OS lets users not only double battery life to 10 hours for basic use but switch to the OS post-boot and lets users keep the Snapdragon side always on, like a smartphone.
The regular Windows side of the notebook also uses upcoming Ivy Bridge-era Core i3, i5, and i7 chips, which should theoretically double the raw processor performance over earlier 13-inch Lenovo systems and give them four times the integrated graphics performance. Although pitched as a pro system, its double-duty as a home PC is evident with HDMI video out and WiDi streaming to a supporting TV or adapter.
The X1 Hybrid's design still revolves around a very thin 0.6-inch body with a solid-state drive at its heart, although at 3.7 pounds it breaks Intel's rules for ultrabook weight. Rapid Charge gets it up to 80 percent of a full charge in 30 minutes.
Lenovo has one conventional ultrabook, the ThinkPad T430u, that it says is its first skewed towards workers. It's slightly thicker at 0.78 inches while weighing the same, but it has the option of dedicated, live-switchable NVIDIA video as well as up to a 1TB conventional hard drive and an extra hour of battery life in Windows at six hours. The 14-inch system promises "instant" wake and has a partly aluminum shell.
Because of Ivy Bridge timing, neither system will be available until mid-year. The X1 Hybrid ships in the spring with a base $1,599 price. ThinkPad T430u buyers will have to wait until the summer to pay at least $849.