A quick glance at Lenovo’s Skylight smartbook is enough to tell you that it’s basically a notebook — but that it’s also a bit different from any notebook you’ve ever seen. While the Skylight has the same 10 inch display as most netbooks on the market, it’s super-slim, has an unusual curved shape, and a few distinct features including an enormous touchpad and an integrated USB flash drive that pops up and away from the keyboard.
Lenovo’s Design Matters blog has a detailed account of just how the Skylight got its unique shape. Basically, the company tapped Richard Sapper for the project. He’s the same guy that designed the original ThinkPad. They didn’t give him much time at all — just over a month to come up with a design. Turns out that as far as Lenovo’s concerned, he nailed it, because the finished product looks an awful lot like the prototype.
I learned a few interesting things from the article. First, Lenovo was working on the Skylight as early as 2008. Sapper was brought on board in November of that year, and clearly he couldn’t have been the first person to join the project. Second, that flip-up USB stick could have been something else entirely. Sapper also suggested that Lenovo could place a telephone handset in that space, which would allow the smartbook to double as a phone, which would certainly make the idea of paying $40 to $60 per month for a 3G plan a lot more bearable.
What do you think? Setting aside the question of whether you plan to buy an ARM-based smartbook with a custom Linux operating system and a 3G service plan, do you like the design of the Skylight?
I’ve posted a few pictures of the finished product after the break.