It’s been years since a major PC maker has released a Windows laptop with a screen smaller than 10 inches, leaving that space largely to smaller Chinese companies like GPD and One Netbook.

But now Lenovo is getting into the handheld computer game with the introduction of the LAVIE MINI.

It’s a convertible notebook with an 8 inch touchscreen display, an Intel Tiger Lake processor, and support for optional accessories including detachable game controllers and a desktop docking station.

The LAVIE MINI measures 7.87″ x 5.79″ x 0.67″ inches thick and weighs just 1.28 pounds and Lenovo describes it as a pocket-sized computer, which would put it in the same category as devices like One Netbook’s One Mix Yoga or GPD’s Win 3 or Pocket computers.

Lenovo’s version features:

  • 1920 x 1200 pixel touchscreen display (400 nits)
  • Up to an Intel Core i7-1180G7 Tiger Lake processor with Intel Xe graphics
  • Up to 16GB of LPDDR4x-4266 dual-channel memory (soldered)
  • Up to 256GB of solid state storage
  • Up to a 26 Wh battery
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports
  • WiFi 6 & Bluetooth 5.1
  • Backlit keyboard & optical touch sensor
  • IR camera with Windows Hello face recognition
  • Stereo 1.5W speakers

Optional accessories include a game controller that attaches to the side of the LAVIE MINI like Nintendo Switch Joy-cons (or the detachable controllers for the One Netbook OneGX1 series), and a gaming/charging dock with an HDMI port, two USB-C ports, and two USB-A ports, allowing you to use the mini laptop as if it were a desktop PC or a game console.

Lenovo notes that the optional game controllers have the same layout as an Xbox controller. But if you’d prefer to use third-party controllers, the LAVIE MINI is a full-fledged Windows computer so it should work with most game controllers or other PC peripherals.

Designed in partnership with Japanese electronics company NEC, the LAVIE MINI reminds me a bit of the Alienware UFO concept that Dell showcased during the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show. But Lenovo is describing its tiny computer as a real device and not just a concept.

That said, the company hasn’t announced a release date or price yet, so there’s still a chance this thing will never come to market. But NEC is showing off working prototypes in Japan, where the folks at Engadget Japanese got a chance to see what the little computer looks like from all angles:

You can find more pictures at Engadget Japanese. Or check out the official promo video and a few more renders below.

press release

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  1. More mainstream companies entering the gaming UMPC market is a good thing. Though, once again like the Alienware UFO, this seems to be another “concept” for CES and probably won’t even be sold.

    I was hoping to hear more about the UFO this CES; it’s frustrating, because of all the gaming UMPC’s, that was the most refined-looking.

  2. Even if Lenovo isn’t saying this will actually be released, it’s nice to see a large OEM is interested in UMPCs again. I hope more large companies will be interested and eventually release UMPCs.

    It’d be great when GPD and One Netbook aren’t the only options since I have a dead Win 2 and MicroPC right now due to QA and/or design issues.

  3. The fact that it’s from Lenovo instead of GPD or One Netbook is already a huge plus.

    Although, I feel Lenovo needs to iterate on this a bit more. The circular keys are weird, the battery seems small if you were to game on it, handheld gaming seems “hmmm” without seeing someone holding and using it (with those bezels, it seems pretty large for a handheld), a trackpoint would be much better especially from Lenovo and no Thunderbolt means you can’t have an eGPU when doing docked gaming.

    If this had LTE, I’d get it as UMPC/netbook though despite the weird keyboard and no physical trackpoint. I’d opt to not get the controllers and pretend this isn’t a gaming device.

    1. This seems to be more comparable to the Win Max and OneGX1 lines due to their size. The Win 2/3 form factor still seems to be a category by itself still.

      Of course, still no thunderbolt so I can’t say gamers would get the Lavie Mini over the Win Max/OneGX1.

    1. I’m not a gamer but if this has LTE and actually released, then I’d buy it over the OneGX1 Pro LTE I’m eyeing just because it’s from Lenovo instead.

  4. Nice that a large OEM like Lenovo is looking into UMPCs again (not interested in the gaming stuff). Surprised they didn’t go for a trackpoint instead of the inferior optical trackpad given they make the ThinkPad.

  5. This is almost the same form factor I was talking about during the introduction of GPD WIN 3, a 7-8″ convertible with a detachable gamepad. I would buy one in a heartbeat if I didn’t just the the GPD Win2 on Singles day.

  6. Pretty cool, though 256gb seems like a weird and restrictive upper limit on the available storage size.

    1. So I guess everywhere in the world, this device will be sold under lenovo brand. Except japan which under NEC am I right?

  7. I’m happy to see that Lenovo is getting into this form factor, but the design of the keyboard looks almost useless.

    Take into consideration that other 8 inch laptop keyboards tend to omit a very large number of keys (sometimes the entire far-left column of keys), and even still they are not 100% usable.

    This keyboard seems to be trying to retain the entire layout. I’ll bet this thing is terrible for typing.

    I’m also really disappointed that Lenovo didn’t add their signature Trackpoint mouse nub. I’m so confused by Lenovo these days. Just when it seemed they were embracing their Thinkpad legacy, they start making all sorts of goofy shit.

    1. Perhaps the idea was that on a keyboard that small tightly packed keys lead to frequent typos as you’ll be hitting the corners of neighboring keys constantly while circular keys have not corners to hit accidentally. It’s a UMPC, not a mechanical keyboard. You were never going to be able to type super duper fast on it.
      As for the pointing device….I dunno.

      1. I don’t think the problem with small keyboards is the shape of the key. I’ve built many custom DIY mechanical keyboards, many of them with very silly layouts, and many different shapes of keycaps (including one with round keycaps).

        I think the issue with small keyboards is that you can’t position your fingers in a “home row” pattern, and it ends up forcing your palms to move laterally more to line a finger up with a key. Fast typing requires being able to keep your palms as stationary as possible, and letting your fingers do the travelling. When you need to move your palms around, it makes it difficult to have an idea of where your finger will land.

        I don’t expect to be able to type fast on a netbook like this, but I think its obvious that with some creative keyboard layouts, you can get fairly close. I’ve only sampled the GPD Pocket 2, and the GPD P2 Max, and I found both of them to be reasonable for medium typing speeds.

        Obviously I havent tried this Lenovo/NEC device, but I’m not convinced the keyboard would be pleasant to type on. I find round keys difficult to type quickly on, and combined with the cramped layout, it doesn’t seem like it was thought out well for typing.

        Extra points to them for providing all of the keys that most netbooks omit. However it seems obvious it was done at the expense of typing speed.

  8. This is great news to hear! I’ve been waiting for a name-brand PC manufacturer to get back into the UPMC space, especially the niche handheld business/productivity segment left by Fujitsu. My last 2 laptop purchases have been Lenovo Thinkpads, which I’ve been very happy with in terms of materials and build-quality, so an NEC collab sounds very interesting.

  9. This looks fantastic! I have been addicted to tiny laptops for the past few decades, from Sony PictureBooks to the Fujitsu U-series to the IBM PC110. I was ready to give up after all of my GPDs’ batteries kept exploding and taking the devices with them, but this new offering from reputable companies gives me hope! This will be a day one purchase for me, with all shown accessories!!