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.

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6 replies on “Lenovo Skylight delay could be due to the iPad”

  1. Each instance of a manufacturer trying to do their "own" a wound that seems to be UNIX. I do not know if you realize, but we the people UNIX, we had our AppStore for a very long body – are called deposits answer.

  2. Is this a custom Lenovo UNIX or some “standard” Linux? Every instance a manufacturer tries to make their “own” UNIX it turns out to be a sore. I do not know if you realize it, but we, the UNIX people, we had our appstores for a very long instance – they are meet called repositories. If this this thing will not come with one, then I don’t see some chance for success for it.

    1. It’s probably unfair to simply call Skylight a custom Linux OS. It’s really a custom user interface designed by Lenovo that’s based on a Linux kernel. The UI is based on a series of home screen widgets that give you updates from email, RSS, social networks, etc, while allowing you to launch a web browser, media player, etc.

      Like Google Android, the idea is that most users will never know it’s based on Linux.

      Unlike Android, there aren’t currently a ton of third party apps available.

      At least, that’s what the Skylight operating system looked like when Lenovo started showing it off in January. It sounds like the company is still tweaking things.

  3. Besides price, a key question will be Lenovo’s commitment to the special Linux version this device will run. How frequent will we see updates and how quick the fixes? Developer support? Will it last, or will Lenovo cave when Redmond tells ’em to let that raga drop?

  4. Lenovo better price this product as a competitive price, otherwise, it is doomed for failure.

    Don’t forget, now there is an influx of ipad alternatives like the Archos.

    I think 399.99 is the ideal price really.

    1. I agree, they probably cowered at the sight of all the iPad’s apps. I believe the skylight comes with what…18 installed and no sign of an app store.

      The iWork suite alone should of made them rethink how their smartbook with a keyboard had no office suite but the iPad does.

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