Lenovo had planned to launch its first smartbook in April. The company showed off the 10 inch Lenovo Skylight at CES in January, and has been tweaking the thin and light machine with a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, 3G mobile broadband, and a custom Linux user interface preparing for launch. But a few days ago we learned that the Skylight won’t actually hit the streets until July.
The folks at Digitimes say that’s because Lenovo wanted to work on the device a bit more to make it more competitive with Apple’s recently launched iPad.
While both devices are designed as mobile gadgets that let you surf the web on a 10 inch screen over WiFi or 3G connections, the iPad can run thousands of third party apps, features a touchscreen, and a rather polished user interface that has effectively been field-tested by millions of iPhone and iPod touch users over the last few years. DigiTimes suggests Lenovo wants to make sure it gets things right before pushing out the Skylight, which makes sense when you consider that Lenovo had initially suggested that an unsubsidized Skylight smartbook would run $499 — the same price as an unsubsidized iPad.
The difference is that I suspect the Skylight will actually be available at a cheaper up front cost when you purchase the smartbook along with a mobile broadband service contract from AT&T or other partners. The iPad actually costs about $100 more if you tack on a 3G modem.