Lenovo Slate merges laptop with internet tablet

Lenovo has announced a new computer concept at CES 2010 in Las Vegas that is both a laptop computer and internet tablet in one.

Expected to be available later in the year, the new device, informally called the Slate, but really going under the more serious Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid, plans to offer consumers the best of both worlds with consumers able to use Windows 7 when needing to do some work, and a custom build OS for browsing gadgets when not.

The tech specs, which are still being confirmed by the company, will be an intel Core 2 Duo chip for the main computer and Qualcomm's Snapdragon offering for the internet tablet element (slate) when it's separated.

The screen will be an 11.6-inch, 16:9 touchscreen offering supporting multi-touch and as the pictures show, it is incredibly thin.

But where the company is hoping to really appeal to business users is the long phone-like battery life. Lenovo is promising 10 hours from a single charge on a device that weighs just 1.7Kg with the Slate element that sits in a plastic shell weighing just 750grams.

Other specs include 4GB of RAM and a 16GB NAND Flash drive.

The news comes as the company also launched Skylight, a new "smartbook" powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon chip and running Lenovo's custom ME interface - incidentally a Lenovo spokesperson told Pocket-lint that the device could easily run Google's new Chrome OS. 

It is expected to cost $499 and be available in April.

We will keep you posted.