Skylight: Interesting Lenovo Smartbook + Custom Linux = Instant Niche Product

lenovo_skylight.png
Image courtesy of Lenovo

Lenovo announced two interesting new mobile products this week. But, it is kind of odd what they left out of the announcements. Let’s start with the…

Lenovo Skylight Smartbook

…which will be available in April for $499. It will also be available at a lower subsidized price if you purchase it with a 2-year AT&T wireless data plan. Here’s what Lenovo says about the device in their promotional video (Quicktime download not available for embedding).

– Under 2 lbs.
– Thin as a smartphone
– Integrated 3G and WiFi
– 10-inch HD screen
– 14GB flash storage (web page says 20GB)
– Integrated USB storage stick
– 10 hours battery
– Live web gadgets graphical interface

The Skylight’s product page says it has an ARM processor and 20GB of flash storage (vs. the 14GB mentioned in the video). What Lenovo doesn’t tell us is what operating system is being used. My first guess was Android. But, a quick web search indicates that Lenovo chose to use a customized version of Linux. This platform choice almost certainly dooms this product (at worst) or relegates it as a niche featurephone-like product. Too bad, it “could-a been a contender.”