Lenovo Skylight smartbook (preview)
At first glance, the Lenovo Skylight is exactly what the netbook should've been.
- Shows promise
- No word on Australian availability!
The challenge here lies in finding the right market for the device. Despite the smartbook title, the Lenovo Skylight isn't so much a new niche, as a re-imagined netbook. This one just happens to focus on the always-on, perpetual connectivity that the "net" prefix should have implied.
Instead of slapping a pared down OS on to low powered hardware, the Lenovo Skylight approaches the widget-centric internet we've grown accustomed to on our mobile phones, armed with a full-sized keyboard and clamshell design.
Technically, it's an oversized smartphone. Announced at CES last week, the Lenovo Skylight is powered by 1.8GHz Snapdragon processor, with built in Wi-Fi and 3G mobile broadband. Its 10.1in HD screen offers 1280 by 720 resolution. And despite being a featherweight at 885g, the machine felt sturdy, with a solid hinge and chassis.
The full-sized keyboard is typical Lenovo-fare: comfortable, roomy keys made our admittedly limited typing session a pleasant one. The track-pad wasn't as responsive as we would liked, but we were told that this iteration would change before the Lenovo Skylight unit starts to ship in April.
Tucked beneath the included USB storage stick are slots for a micro-SD card, and a SIM card. Insert a SIM card from any 3G-ready GSM provider, and you'll be up and running on their 3G network.
The Lenovo Skylight will ship with 18 web gadgets, encompassing much of what the internet has to offer. These run along a dock at the bottom of the screen, and include access to Amazon's MP3 store, GMail and Google Maps, Facebook, or Firefox. If 18 widgets aren't enough, we were told that Lenovo will be releasing the platform's SDK - expect enterprising developers to pad that list soon enough. The device also supports normal web browsing, so standard web apps will work just fine.
The Lenovo Skylight offers 20GB of flash storage, and an additional 2GB of free online storage. If you'd like a bit more room, you'll have to rely on USB keys (the included storage stick can be replaced with a typical USB key), though there is an SD card slot, and an additional USB port.
The Lenovo Skylight will gather media stored across formats and display it on the appropriate widget, re-populating the library as USB keys and the like are removed. If 10.1 inches isn't enough screen real-estate, a mini-HDMI output port is included, for piping your media out onto a larger screen.
The Lenovo Skylight will retail in the US for US$500. It will also be subsidized by phone carriers, but pricing wasn't available at the time of our demonstration. Sadly there's no word on it being launched in Australia at this stage.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
- Lenovo's Yoga A12 Android 2-in-1 has futuristic touch panel keyboard
- In PC comeback, ARM will battle Intel in Chromebooks and Windows 10
- Dell: Mainstream laptops with wireless charging are still years away
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- CCTest AnalystWA
- FTProject Manager (Software product development)VIC
- FTChange Manager - Large Transition ProjectNSW
- TPIT Project Manager - Office relocationVIC
- CCServiceNOW DeveloperNSW
- CCCrystal Reports DeveloperSA
- FTIt Security and process analystNSW
- CCData Engineer (SQL/Big Data/Scala)VIC
- TPiOS Developer (Mobile)NSW
- TPMicrosoft Dynamics DeveloperNSW
- TPDigital Process Business Analyst - Digital Transformation**NSW
- TPSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Project Manager - Permanent OpportunityNSW
- TPSenior Applications Support OfficerQLD
- TPOrganisational Change Manager | Enterprise Information SharingQLD
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- TPEnvironment Specialist(DevOps)QLD
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- FTTechnical Team Leader | ArchitectQLD
- TPe-Learning Developer (Captivate 8)VIC
- TPLinux Desktop Support SpecialistWA
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorACT