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IdeaPad U1, What We Wanted the iPad To Be

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the i'd-use-one-of-those dept.

Handhelds 401

Xanator writes "With the announcement of the iPad, the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid appears to have gone unnoticed, but maybe we ought to pay it more attention. It's a netbook with a removable screen that turns it into a tablet (switching OS from Windows 7 to a tablet OS within 3 seconds), and it appears to offer what many of us wanted from the iPad. Quoting Engadget: 'When docked, the U1 looks and feels like any other laptop, with an Intel CULV processor and a 128GB SSD running Windows 7 Home Premium. You actually wouldn't know there's a slate hiding in there — until you pull it out and watch it switch to Lenovo's Skylight UI, a process that was smooth and quick for us. Lenovo says the goal is for the full switch to occur in under 3 seconds.'"

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The I-pad (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31117984)

who really gives a shit?

Re:The I-pad (-1, Offtopic)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118076)

The better question is how much did mr. taco make?

But what did Apple want? (5, Insightful)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118032)

What We Wanted the IPad To Be

People keep talking as if Apple really missed the boat with iPad, but the truth is they only missed the boat for hard-core, tinker-happy nerds...and they've made a very specific point of missing that boat for at least the last decade. They're marketing to fanboys who want it to be trendy and 'just work', not to nerds.

So it's nice that this might be what you hoped for from the iPad. But why did you hope iPad would be what you wanted in the first place?

Re:But what did Apple want? (2, Insightful)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118130)

Mod Parent Up

The point is that a good tablet with more functionality than the iPad requires a good amount of research into how to do tablet UIs. The WIMP system is pretty terrible for tablet computing. That's why the iPad's an overgrown ipod touch, to avoid having to either do the research or be sucky.

Frankly, I'd love to see something designed for a stylus that also can take a few gestures usable for the hand holding that stylus.

Re:But what did Apple want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118530)

I have no idea why this was marked as troll because it's fucking spot on.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119286)

Demand goes way beyond the UI. It's the content. Ecosystems that are convenient to use. Media re-use capabilities. Connectivity. Lack of captivity to a single vendor or communications supplier. It's the experience, not simply the physical device.

Here's why. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118370)

But why did you hope iPad would be what you wanted in the first place?

Something more than a larger over priced iTouch?

The Lenovo has a keyboard and the ports for connecting things like cameras.

Apple lost a sale. I'm going to Lenovo - much more value too.

Re:Here's why. (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119166)

FYI, the iPad supports a hardware keyboard and has an adapter for connecting cameras, etc. Not the same thing of course, but it does give the benefit of not requiring the space of a physical keyboard that you may only use 15% of the time.

Apple has more or less created a new category with the iPad; most of the people that are complaining about it seem to really want laptops with touchscreens. Which is fine - get one. But don't waste time complaining to Apple that their device that's not intended to do what you want doesn't do what you want. They won't listen.

Re:But what did Apple want? (4, Interesting)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118384)

People keep talking as if Apple really missed the boat with iPad, but the truth is they only missed the boat for hard-core, tinker-happy nerds...

I disagree. Most of my friends are not hard core tinker happy nerds. And they were all underwhelmed with the iPad. In fact, I don't know a single person who was actually impressed by it.

Not one.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118508)

Not being into this sort of thing, they probably didn't have an opinion one way or the other, and either didn't want to get into an argument with you, or were looking for cues from someone knowledgeable whom they knew, in order to decide what their opinion should be.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118702)

Yeah, I over-emphasized a bit with the phrase "hard-core, tinker-happy nerds" but I still think the underlying point stands. You and your friends are probably underwhelmed because iPad isn't such a great product, but my point is that the IdeaPad is way beyond what anyone should have hoped for from Apple.

Re:But what did Apple want? (3, Insightful)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118756)

Nobody was very impressed with the initial release of the iPod either. It was overpriced, bulky, and seriously, $400 for a music player? Like the iPod, the iPad will evolve.

Apple has succeeded in getting McGraw Hill signed on. Once you can buy textbooks for half the price, which publishers will happily do to make sure they destroy the used book market, every college student will have one. The iPad platform will evolve significantly before they graduate. When those students are in decision making positions, they will find problems that will be solved by the iPad, and buy more.

And that's just one of its growth paths.

Re:But what did Apple want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118986)

Hi! Nice to meet you. My name is Mike. I'm a software developer who lives in Canada. I like hiking, camping, and kayaking.

I was impressed with the iPad. Furthermore, my parents actually called *me* up and asked when they could get one. That floored me, because they're both in their 70s and have shown no interest in computers until now.

So there. Now you know 3 people who were impressed by the iPad.

You should really get out more.

Re:But what did Apple want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31119080)

Yeah, totally. I mean, it's got no wireless? And less space than a Nomad? Lame.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118440)

They're marketing to fanboys who want it to be trendy and 'just work', not to nerds.

This is an over-simplification. Many of us were first in line for the first iPods and the first iPhones. How many of us will buy the first iPad? Seriously? The NetPad is just a new area for Apple. They're almost there, but not quite yet.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118474)

Actually Apple does cater to the hard-code tinker-happy nerds in one case: OS X. An easy-to-use but technically advanced UI built on top of cutting-edge APIs and a certified Unix core? OS X is a nerd dream come true. It's hard to reconcile the Jobs that created NeXT, ported it to Macs, and kept building more goodies on top with the hacker-hostile control freak Jobs that released the iPhone.

Of course by now we should have learned that Apple's not going to extend this hacker friendliness beyond OS X. But we can dream.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118532)

I disagree. When my Mom asks me if I saw "that iPad thing" and the first thing she says is "it doesn't have a webcam!" then they've missed some boat, and its not a hard-core tinker-nerd boat.

I think they missed the boat for the meat of the market they were aiming for, and the webcam is a big part of that. Lack of a USB port, even if its limited to use to get photos onto it from a digital camera, is another.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

friedmud (512466) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118684)

You can connect a camera to the iPad using either USB or SDCARD. Look at the bottom of this page: http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/ [apple.com]

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

electrostatic (1185487) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118956)

No built-in USB port! Plus no SD card reader. In addition to the no built-in camera and no flv support.

Re:But what did Apple want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31119156)

Where's my -1 Utterly Untrue mod?

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

Zorkon (121860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119046)

Tell me, when you and your mom video conference, do you often hold the camera in such a way so as to get a clear view of your nasal passages?

Because that's what video conferencing on a tablet would be like. If it's on your lap, it's POINTING UP YOUR NOSE.

But tell your mom not to worry - she will soon be able to enjoy nasal video conferencing, as a recent job post at Apple indicates that they're looking at an iPad w/a camera.

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/apple_job_posting_hints_at_a_camera_in_future_ipads/

Mmmmm. Nostrils.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119242)

I personally agree with the webcam, but show me the Kindle and/or Nook webcams, that's right, there are none. Also, we have to keep in mind that this is first gen hardware. As for the USB port, open this and scroll to the bottom, connector kits are available:

http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/ [apple.com]

Re:But what did Apple want? (3, Insightful)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118570)

I know some people will just "love" iPad ... but think, for a second, rationally.
What the heck it is for? You cannot put even USB stick into it! You cannot run any "office" software, no IDE, not even Web with flash or even Java ... well you can read a pdf ... wow.

There has to be a reason, for most people, to buy it, right? What it is? Price - no . Battery life - no. Connectivity - haha! Usablity - not even a test editor! Multitasking ... everyone remembers Microsoft idea of limiting this to three - can Apple pull out with one? I don't think so.

I admit, I'm nerd the worst kind, but ... your question: I won't buy it if it does not do a single thing I want. And nobody I know neither, nerd or not.

Re:But what did Apple want? (5, Insightful)

friedmud (512466) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118848)

- Price - Yes! Compared to an E-Reader like a Kindle DX for the same price... I'll take a device that can do hundreds of things well over a device that can only do one.

- Battery Life - Yes! It gets 10 hours of battery... what more could you want from a device that does so much?

- Connectivity - Yes! Wifi and 3G (admittedly expensive). Also.. you can connect a camera to it using USB or SDCARD (bottom of this page: http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/ [apple.com] )

- Usability - Definitely! Millions of people already intuitively know how to use one. Navigation is simple... interacting is simple. How would you make it more usable... and what the hell is a "test editor"?

- Multitasking - No. I agree here... I hope it comes in OS 4.0... but it's not a show stopper for millions of people currently using iPhone OS devices....

Re:But what did Apple want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31119040)

Least you didn't drink ALL of Steve's Kool-Aid.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

marsu_k (701360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119192)

Connectivity - yes, you can get USB or SD! (provided that you want to purchase and carry extra dongles), and let us not forget that it's the ultimate platform for portable video (provided that your movie collection is in 4:3 format... hell I wouldn't be surprised to see a whole new selection of previously widescreen titles in iTunes, "perfected" for the iPad)

Re:But what did Apple want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31119016)

What the heck it is for? You cannot put even USB stick into it! You cannot run any "office" software, no IDE, not even Web with flash or even Java ... well you can read a pdf ... wow.

Some of us read a _lot_ of PDFs and are sick of printing them out. The Kindle DX's PDF support was rudimentary.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119024)

iWorks will be available on day 1. The omni group is porting/rewriting all their business apps for the iPad. Even Microsoft is considering putting office on it. There are a lot of potential business uses for it and the software will either lead the way or follow the money.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

choas (102419) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119076)

My mom will be able to 'go onto the internet' through this.

She is not stupid, she doesn't like to 'start something up before using it'. You turn something on, it works.

This is meant for people who don't know or care what USB is.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119146)

You cannot run any "office" software

Did you miss the part where they showed off iWork for the iPad? That's technically "office" software, regardless of how well it works...

no IDE

There's no user-accessible filesystem, no user-accessible command-line, no multitasking, and it's a 10" touchscreen. "No IDE" is last on the list of "reasons this is not a developer-oriented device".

not even Web with flash or even Java

The lack of Flash (and Silverlight, for Netflix) is my wife's biggest complaint about the iPad.

Battery life - no.

10 hours isn't good enough for you? For a device aimed at the market it's aimed at, 10 hours is pretty good.

Connectivity - haha!

That would depend on what you mean by "connectivity". Internet connectivity? Sure - the 3G models will get you online just about everywhere. Device connectivity? That's a whole other ball game - but even so, there are already some devices you can hook it to, and if serial devices [engadget.com] are possible, then anything is possible. Technically.

Usablity - not even a test editor!

Apple's touch interfaces are quite usable. I'm not sure what you mean by "test editor". Remember: not aimed at developers.

can Apple pull out with one? I don't think so.

Sure - as long as you remember that this isn't aimed at developers. I load a page in Safari, switch to the home screen, and open Pages to start a document. To the end-user, it's as if Safari is still running - after all, when they switch back to Safari, the same page is open, scrolled to the same place.

Sure, things like messenger and Skype won't be able to run in the background without jailbreaking, but then again, the device isn't really suited for that sort of thing.

You're right in that it doesn't do what you want, but to say it doesn't do what anybody wants is silly. So, to answer your first question:

What the heck it is for?

It's for the sorts of things you'd like to be able to do on the iPod Touch or iPhone if only it had a larger screen.

It's for reading ebooks on a device better than competing ebook readers.

It's for inventing new ways to interact with existing software. (And I don't mean it's for Apple to do that inventing.)

I'm not an Apple fanboy - I actually dislike them fairly strongly - and I'm a developer. But that doesn't mean I see the iPad as useless, it just means I realize that the iPad isn't for developing.

The only reason I'll be buying one is so that i can toy with new ways to use a 10" interactive display.

Re:But what did Apple want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31119158)

I admit, I'm nerd the worst kind, but ... your question: I won't buy it if it does not do a single thing I want. And nobody I know neither, nerd or not.

My prediction is that we are going to find out, once again, that nerds don't actually know a lot of people.

You can do most of that... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119214)

What the heck it is for? You cannot put even USB stick into it!

But you can put an SD reader into it... perhaps you can write to it too (not sure on that point).

You cannot run any "office" software,

Pages/Numbers run on it... they read MS word/excel files.

no IDE

Now that's an interesting statement because it is wrong in two ways.

One, you are stating "no IDE exists for the Ipad" - there is an IDE - just not one running on the device.
Two, you are stating "You cannot run an IDE on the iPad". Why not? That is just software. Furthermore, you forget it's an inherently networked device that can if it wishes send files off to be compiled (if you cannot compile them on the device). Or you can even VNC back to your home system, or a combination of the two things.

not even Web with flash

You mean "Web with flashblock included". Yes thanks!
Did you need flash for video? Most sites with flash players just feed the iPhone/iPad h.264 video directly. And of course you were not being so silly as to claim you needed flash games instead of native ones.

well you can read a pdf

Don't knock it until you try it...

There has to be a reason, for most people, to buy it, right? What it is? Price - no

Whats amusing to me is that just before launch most people were predicting a 1k launch and were only going to buy it if it cost "half as much".

So, price - Yes.

Battery life - no

Holy Mackerel! It lasts 10 hours playing h.264 video! Do you also claim other netbooks are lame because they sport far more woeful battery figures?

Connectivity - haha

I can only assume you laugh with delight at the prospect of FINALLY being able to pay a reasonable price for a data plan with no commitment?

Usablity - not even a test editor!

DOES NOT COMPUTE

Multitasking ... everyone remembers Microsoft idea of limiting this to three - can Apple pull out with one?

What you, and the rest of the people who can't get past this point forget is that to the user changes of applications without changing application state are equivalent to unlimited multitasking.

When an application starts up in under a second exactly where a user last left it, that application is multitasking as far as the user is concerned. Background processing? You see, we have these things called "servers" these days...

I admit, I'm nerd the worst kind

A true nerd would not be so woefully ignorant or unimaginative.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119232)

You just made his point very saliently. I know a lot of people who will buy one because it will do what they want.

It ships with iWork already on the app store, so it has a test [sic] editor right there if you want it - you can save iWork files as plaintext if you like. There will also doubtless be a plaintext editor with syntax highlighting like SEE or somesuch released on the App store when it actually ships. This "office" software (that you apparently can't run, according to you) can work with Word and Excel files, although ymmv depending on the features of the documents. iWork itself is not an MS Office killer, but it can work with Office formats, so you could compose something and save it in .doc format for later editing on your main machine with Office. I doubt we'll actually see a version of Office itself on there but you never know.

Mobile Safari, the browser used on the iPhone *does* support Javascript on the web - I assume that is what you meant, since you said "not even Web with flash or even Java", so I assume you are talking about javascript. It works on the iPhone OS, which the iPad runs so I see no reason that it would be disabled in the iPad version of Safari. Mouseover events are not supported, but then, there is no mouse on the iPad. Of course, there is no Flash, as is often discussed.

"Rationally" the iPad is clearly not for you, but you can't simply dismiss it as useless because it doesn't do the things you personally want and you can't think of any potential use for it.

It is very deliberately *not* a tablet PC - those exist already, and aren't really all that popular outside of niche applications.

I have no idea if it will take off, but it's not at all useless

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

Zorkon (121860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119250)

My mom doesn't use USB sticks (there's a bad joke in there somewhere). Neither does she write code in an IDE (seriously? You're concerned you can't build code on a tablet device). She doesn't care about Flash.

She reads books. She watches videos. She sends and receives email. She looks at pictures of her grandkids. She plays the occasional game (like the kind you find in the app store).

The iPad is a *perfect* device for this kind of person. Why would I buy it? Well when it's $10 more than a Kindle DX, why the hell wouldn't I buy it?

As for "office" apps, did you miss the bit in the Keynote about Apple releasing the iWork suite for it? If that's not good enough, then how about this: both *Microsoft* and *IBM* have been making noises about developing for the iPad (sources: http://www.t3.com/news/microsoft-hints-at-office-for-ipad?=43603 and http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/ibm_plans_to_design_apps_aimed_at_ipad/

You obviously don't get it. You want a full-featured computer. One that you can play WoW on, write some Java in Netbeans or Eclipse, maybe download a few torrents and re-encode them from DIVX to some other format.

You don't want an iPad. An iPad is a general purpose computing device meant for the 95% of the population that *doesn't* do all of that. Yes, they're out there and there are a *lot* of them. Way more than there are of us. And they'll want iPads, for the exact same reason that they're all buying iPhones over other manufacturer's phones.

My mom and sisters never complain that the iPhone doesn't multitask. They don't care that the iPhone isn't an open platform, or that you have to go through the Apple store to develop these things.

As the *only* techie in a decidedly non-techie family, I can tell you that the average person just doesn't give a crap about the stuff we geeks love.

You watch - the iPad is going to do *very* well, much to our combined consternation.

LOL! The Standard iPad Damage Control Meme (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118582)

The iPad is the laughing stock of the computer world.

It has become the poster child for joke overhyped products.

Most of the Apple Hipster Douchebag Starbucks iPhone crowd are distancing themselves from the stench of the epic iPad fail.

Apple is in full scale panic mode over Jobs "most important thing he's ever done" unveiling fiasco. Leaking various hints of hardware changes, getting the hardcore Apple friendly blogsphere to try to salvage the device, rumors of pre-launch price drops.

Yeah, keep parroting that silly meme that it is somehow a tiny group of "hard-core, tinker-happy nerds" who aren't going to buy a piece of shit product like the iPad.

Re:LOL! The Standard iPad Damage Control Meme (1)

N!NJA (1437175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118838)

The iPad is the laughing stock of the computer world.
It has become the poster child for joke overhyped products.
Most of the Apple Hipster Douchebag Starbucks iPhone crowd are distancing themselves from the stench of the epic iPad fail.

agreed. the only tablet worth my money is the HP tm2t! that's a real computer, not an overpriced toy.

Re:But what did Apple want? (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118652)

Agreed 100%. I also was more dismissive when I first saw the iPad, to the point where I wondered why it didn't have an add-on keyboard like always innovating's netbook (which this IBM slate seems to have copied in a way), but now I went through Apple's presentation days ago - I have to say this product might have a chance.

Yeah, you can do a "million more" things on a netbook/notebook/desktop - but why would Apple try to have a new product compete with their own line-up, let alone all that is already out there. Looking at the iPad, I would say it's not in competition with notebooks, not even small ones. It's in competition with the Amazon Kindle and other e-readers. I owned a Kindle for about 3 weeks -- while I appreciate the battery life e-ink gives, it was bad contrast, slow rendering, and gives a horrible web experience. And that is what the iPad is aiming at -- much like how the iPod came into a marketplace that already had years of mp3 players.

Idk if it will be successful, but I think the geeks dismissing it for the wrong reasons - the limited view of their own demographic, wants and needs.

While I won't get one for myself, I'm thinking of getting one for my father. He wants to email and surf basically - but he never extensively used a computer in his life beyond an ATM or digital watch - and he still stumbles with the most basic laptops. He's not a stupid man, but doesn't have the benefit of our generation. Even many people in their 30s and 40s are like that - I tried teaching my uncle to use a computer - he just got a laptop. But its frustrating for us both --- when you use computers all the time, you just don't consciously realize anymore how many quirks and rules you put up with to use the thing. He wants to email pictures he took with a digital camera - damn, teaching concept of file systems, file size, possible resizing, etcetera. Not an easy task for a newbie.

I think that's what the iPad is aimed at - making the computing experience as appliance like as possible. Push a button, the thing turns on. I thought the lack of keyboard would hurt it - but guess what - traditional tablets have been tried and none were successful yet. The first and second IBM video is extremely counter to this - just way too many active gadgets on the screen at once and touching that circle thing and dragging it is way too cumbersome (windows-like paradigm) instead of clicking something once and it doing what you want. The screen also seems way too big as a tablet, although the way it pops out is extremely cool.

If Apple succeeds here, it's because they're going into an untapped market - not because they're doing what everybody else is doing (hint: tablets have been long made -- nearly nobody wants). It could flop tremendously as well, but I think the halls of Slashdot, populated by people to whom computers are second nature, are the wrong opinions to go by.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119006)

I want to like the ipad, but without enough storage to use as a media player, a crippled web browser, no hardware keyboard for office apps and such limited developer access I really cant think of a use for it.

Re:But what did Apple want? (1)

Unequivocal (155957) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119300)

Mod up. I agree - ipad is in a horserace with the ereaders. They have a shot at expanding this market into a e-magazine tool. I wouldn't count them out because it fails to meet the needs of netbook users.

Unoticed?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118036)

Fark a few WEEKS ago had a link and they called it the "iPad killer" that came out a year before the iPad.

I thought all of you guys saw that?

I dont think any really cares about other tablets (2, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118098)

Until they get their hands on Apple's first. Else its mainly dueling hypotheticals. Apple will setting a standard for better or worse for the others.

nice, but (5, Insightful)

orient (535927) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118122)

Lenovo will, certainly, build a more affordable and compatible/open device than Apple. Their advantage will be the price, but Apple has the advantage of their OS and well known applications.

Re:nice, but (0, Flamebait)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118200)

But Apple has the advantage of their dumbed down and artificially limited OS and well known censured third partyapplications.

There, fixed that for ya.

Re:nice, but (0, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118472)

But...but...the iPad is four times [imageshack.us] as powerful as the iPhone!

Re:nice, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118840)

Flamebait? Flamebait?!

Fuck you, you turtleneck-wearing hipster. Im'a slap the clove right outta your mouth, motherfucker.

Re:nice, but (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118486)

But Apple has the advantage of their dumbed down and artificially limited OS and well known censured third partyapplications that has been far more succesful in ways that less limited and more open OS's (like Android) hopes to one day be..

There, fixed that for ya.

Re:nice, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31119206)

Wake me when Apple or Google outpace Nokia and or Motorola.

Until then, they're an insanely tiny market.

Re:nice, but (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119272)

Steve Ballmer called. He wants to know if you want cash or cheque? He says he'll throw in a free chair if you want. Literally.

Re:nice, but (4, Interesting)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118260)

I would have been MUCH happier if they put Android as the 2nd OS instead of their own proprietary system. That way, you could switch from a primary os (Win7, Linux, BSD, etc) to the secondary, and still have all the capabilities of the system. It looks quite interesting as is, and I'd say I'd have to see it in person before holding other judgments...

Re:nice, but (2, Insightful)

sidnelson13 (1309391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118648)

You want choice, you can always go for one of these [alwaysinnovating.com] . I find it weird that I don't see as much coverage for this nice little product from a small company as I see for speculative, unfinished and proprietary products like this.

Re:nice, but (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118800)

That looks like a nice device at about the right price point.

Re:nice, but (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118990)

Eih, a resistive touch screen... Swap it for a capacitive one (I don't care about multi-touch as much as responsiveness) and I'm sold...

Still, for $400 with keyboard ($300 without keyboard), it looks quite nice!

Re:nice, but (1)

hatten (1640681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118888)

I wonder if it's gonna be possible to put linux/linux on it. Or I mean, I wonder how long time it will take before somebody releases a howto.

Re:nice, but (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118924)

It's still running Linux as the secondary OS, which means that people will modify it to fix any shortcomings it may have.

Re:nice, but (2, Interesting)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118296)

> Lenovo will, certainly, build a more affordable and compatible/open device than Apple.

"Certainly"? Really? You're positive that this device, which is basically two whole computers, one of which is also a giant touchscreen, will come in under $499?

Re:nice, but (1)

orient (535927) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118388)

Comparing features (avalable software) side by side, Lenovo's device will have a better features/price ratio.

Re:nice, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118516)

That's an interesting definition of 'affordable'. The usual one just refers to bottom line price.

Re:nice, but (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118846)

Comparing features side-by-side, a swiss army knife has a better feature/price ratio over a K-BAR, but I know which one I'd rather have in a barfight ;)

Re:nice, but (2, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118336)

but Apple has the advantage of their OS and well known applications.

Eh? The Lenovo runs Windows 7 and their Skylight UI is based on Linux.
So urm, right, definite advantage for Apple on choice of apps, then...

Re:nice, but (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118462)

For apps to work well in the Skylight UI I'd expect they'd have to be customized for it, wouldn't they? I can't imagine it'd be that enjoyable to run a normal GNOME or KDE app with a bunch of menus and checkboxes and whatnot on a tablet.

Re:nice, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118536)

It's pretty bad when a Chinese company is producing products and platforms that are more open than what an American competitor is putting out.

Re:nice, but (1)

choas (102419) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119108)

I have one acronym for you: UI

We wanted a hybrid? really? (3, Interesting)

spikeb (966663) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118136)

I didn't. The iPad is pretty much what I wanted, only it runs a closed source OS and has a closed ecosystem, and no SD card slot.

Re:We wanted a hybrid? really? (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118710)

We wanted an affordable tablet PC with the ability to install your own OS on it (and from there an open ecosystem logically follows) plus some way to attach a decent keyboard when needed. Lenovo gave us the former and, while making an hybrid is a strange way of giving us the latter, it'll do nicely for me.

Re:We wanted a hybrid? really? (1)

friedmud (512466) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119124)

If you're looking to connect a camera with that SDCARD slot... that is possible... see the bottom of this page: http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/ [apple.com]

But if you were looking to expand the storage space of the device itself... sadly that's not possible... although certain applications may be able to use the SDCARD slot to store things.... don't know.

Is the prupose of the video (4, Insightful)

enryonaku (1441337) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118142)

to demonstrate how the UI is laggy and the touch unresponsive?

Looks like one of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118148)

http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/03/02/touch-book-tablet-netbook-with-arm-cpu-10-hour-battery-detachable-screen/

I definitely have some interest in an arm netbook, but the weight of having 2 batteries kind of kills it for me

Nice headline (5, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118216)

Who is "we"? I'm pretty happy with what the iPad is. Also, I'm happy to pay half the cost of an IdeaPad, and get it 8 months sooner.

Re:Nice headline (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118534)

Wow, you're the first person I've heard that's said anything more than "meh" about the ipad.

Re:Nice headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118548)

Who is "we"? I'm pretty happy with what the iPad is. Also, I'm happy to pay half the cost of an IdeaPad, and get it 8 months sooner.

Well then I'm sure you're thrilled to get a tablet with multitouch, a full hardware keyboard, and a full operating system, [bestbuy.com]

Oh, I'm sorry, you only care if it has an Apple logo slapped on it? I'm sorry...

Re:Nice headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31119254)

You think a full operating system is a plus? I think you're missing half the point of the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

People want media devices that don't require software installations, start menus, and right-click-everything for basic movie, photo, music, and web-browsing functionality. Ya know, 90%+ of what people *actually* do with computers.

Yes, but does it... (3, Funny)

richdun (672214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118220)

catch run-on sentences in article summaries? Or perhaps stories that are over a month old?

The iPad will be successful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118238)

For no other reason than because it is from Apple. Apple could slap their logo onto a plate of old cheese and the media would fall all over itself calling it a revolution in computing.

Argh! (1, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118272)

Slashdot, goddamnit, you should be required to put the following text on articles like this --

WARNING: This story reads like an advertisement.

Because it is. If you were being fair and unbiased, you'd post links to all the other vendors' offerings and comparing them to the iTampon, so we could have a discussion about the state of the art, rather than one vendor's offerings. Boo. Hiss. Shaaaaaame. :\

Hardware only? (2, Interesting)

Spazed (1013981) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118282)

Yes, it has some stats that are much higher than the iPads, but it is aimed at solving completely different users.

Look at the six panel layout of the homescreen, why waste the screen with six tiny apps when you can do so much more full screen? Why focus on a Dashboard knock off that you can carry around when people have shown that isn't what they really want in a mobile computing device. Look at what apps get used on smartphones the most often, it isn't the little one off stocks/weather/recording features, they are games and content viewing apps.

TL:DR; It isn't the size of the boat, it's how you sail the ocean.

Really what is the point? (3, Insightful)

hilldog (656513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118298)

How are people going to use this anyway? As a big e-reader? game pad? movie player? Right now it all looks cool and shiny but who is going to spend a thousand dollars - or $999 as the article reads - for this? I love cool and shiny but I don't see adding this to my life unless I had a pressing reason to do so and touch screen isn't the reason.

Re:Really what is the point? (1)

icydog (923695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118782)

Well, it is a laptop too. If you were in the market for a $1000 laptop, and assuming this machine has similar specs to what a similarly-priced laptop could do (seems like it does), why wouldn't you buy one of these?

Re:Really what is the point? (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119014)

Or if you were in the market for a $300-$400 netbook and wanted an iPad (base price $500), this fills both roles nicely. I'm personally waiting for HP's new tablet (sorry, "slate"), but if that is too expensive or fails to impress, I'd definitely give this a look.

I don't want a tablet that's a computer (5, Interesting)

bwalling (195998) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118302)

I don't want all the bother of a computer. I already have that. For a tablet/slate, I just want to run a few apps/games and get online. I want it to be easy. I don't really want to mess with the file system. I don't want a browser that's vulnerable to malware. I don't want to have to mess with drivers. I don't want to have to manually drag and drop or copy my music or pictures from my computer to my tablet (or worse, dick around with file sharing over a network). I just want the damn thing to do apps, games and Internet without any fuss. I bet the iPad will do that and do it well. I just wish some of the competitors actually understood that concept.

Re:I don't want a tablet that's a computer (2, Insightful)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119224)

For a tablet/slate, I just want to run a few apps/games and get online. I want it to be easy. I don't really want to mess with the file system. I don't want a browser that's vulnerable to malware. I don't want to have to mess with drivers. I don't want to have to manually drag and drop or copy my music or pictures from my computer to my tablet (or worse, dick around with file sharing over a network). I just want the damn thing to do apps, games and Internet without any fuss.

Good for you. I don't.

I just wish some of the Apple fans on this website understood that concept.

Re:I don't want a tablet that's a computer (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119304)

Good for you. I don't.

I just wish some of the Apple fans on this website understood that concept.

What would we fight about then?

For the same price: iPad + MacBook Pro + 2 iPods (5, Interesting)

gig (78408) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118382)

Lenovo was talking $1999 for this, and there is no availability date.

For the same price you can get an iPad, a MacBook Pro, an iPod touch, and an iPod shuffle. Then you have a desktop OS, a tablet OS, a pocket tablet OS, and a microscopic music player. You have 3 screens. All 4 items work simultaneously. The Mac is carved out of a block of aluminum and feels like it. All you bookmarks and contacts and music and photos sync between all of the devices automatically. The 3 devices with browsers all run HTML5 apps, and the Mac also runs BSD, Java, Python, Perl, PHP, Ruby, as well as Mac apps. A single iPhone app purchase puts the app on both tablets. A $50 Mac app runs other Intel operating systems in a window at full speed and with 3D graphics.

Just because you are a nerd that doesn't mean you don't have actual work to do. The action is in the software, not some convertible geegaws.

PDF Viewer performance (2, Interesting)

kmahan (80459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118432)

What I want to know is "how good is the pdf viewer"?

I'm interested in a pad that can rapidly display technical PDFs that are 1000+ pages long full of tables and drawings. i.e., hardware datasheets and schematics.

It needs to have decent searching and a fast page-to-page display capability.

Any idea if the IdeaPad or the iPad has demonstrated this ability?

Re:PDF Viewer performance (1)

greensoap (566467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118758)

Yes! I also want a stylus, shocking I know, so that I can hand-write annotations/comments in a PDF. Also, I want to be able to quickly bookmark a PDF while reading it. Why you ask? Because I am tired of printing out 30pg. pdfs just to mark them up with comments and stick tabs. I know I can do it on a screen with mouse and keyboard, but it is way faster with old fashion pen and post-its.

On a related question, does anyone have any experience using a wacom tablet display for this kind of purpose? I know that $1800 seems like overkill and a waste of an computer artist's dream device, but I am pretty sure that it might pay for itself with print costs and efficiency over the life of the device. If the iPad could do this, I think it would be a hit in the business world, though I did read an article claiming Apple doesn't about the business market so I have that going against my dream device...

Re:PDF Viewer performance (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119170)

I want a reflective screen option (eink-pixel qi) as I have to concentrate very hard when reading technical pdfs, and my eyes start to go buggy after 15min of LCD viewing.

Irrelevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118480)

Availability of the U1 is unknown, so comparisons to the iPad aren't particularly fair or relevant. It seems quite likely Apple is taking a similar avenue for product development, too, while doing a better job of it--such as using capacitive touch, LED backlighting, a better battery, a proven touch UI, zillions of apps, and very possibly Mac OS X-based. I'm far less concerned about malware hidden in an Apple product, too, compared to a Lenovo product.

What *some* people wanted the iPad to be... (1)

kayak334 (798077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118614)

I don't know about you, but a netbook that turns into a tablet is about the last thing I wanted the iPad to be. Do i want a more clumsy way of doing things I already (don't) do on a netbook? Not really. I want a paradigm shift in the way we use computers. The Lenovo device to me, looks like more of the same, with a worse way of doing it. The iPad looks like something we haven't really thought of on this scale. So, in conclusion, the iPad is what I wanted the iPad to be.

Re:What *some* people wanted the iPad to be... (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119122)

You wanted an blown up iPod Touch? I sure didn't - I wanted a computer (as did every other person, nerd and non-nerd alike, that I know of who's heard of the iPad). You love the iPad, I'm assuming that you'll get the dock for it? Well that's how you can look at this - the U1 tablet and then the netbook part of it is a dock that also gives you a full OS as well. I'd prefer a straight tablet, but this seems to be the best of both worlds (iPad and a real computer) with the added bonus of not having to deal with Apple's artificial limitations on what you can do with it / what you can run on it.

Still not what I wanted (1)

TwiztidK (1723954) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118636)

This is still not what I wanted the iPad to be. I wanted a slate form-factor, laptop comparable specs, non-proprietary ports (USB), a stylus interface, and a slick, new OS. I got a big iPod Touch and a laptop that turns into a big iPod Touch; I don't think I'll buy either.

Watch the sleekness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118654)

"I'm going to show you how nice this is, just watch how seamlessly it flips on its... ...Well, just a second... ... Ok hang on... let me flip it manually... ...Oh wait, its not an iPad... ...Oh well, it looks nice sideways, doesn't it?... Check out my iPad killer!!!!!!"

Hate to nit-pick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31118674)

a netbook with a removable screen that turns it into a tablet

Technically, this should be a netbook with a removable keyboard. All of the guts are behind the screen if they keyboard detaches. If you take a standard netbook and remove the screen, you have either a useless lcd or a headless computer.

Not even close. (4, Interesting)

SirWinston (54399) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118708)

Dockable keyboard to switch from slate to laptop has been done long before, cf. the venerable Compaq TC1100, so that clearly isn't a killer feature (although I, and most long-term tablet enthusiasts, loved it and missed it when it was dropped from newer-gen Tablet PCs). Very nice, but no iPad killer, especially at the higher price.

The two OSes thing I also don't see as a killer feature. I realize the idea was probably, "Hey, an ARM CPU is needed to extend the battery life in slate mode, but anyone using a full-size laptop wants a full-size Windows 7--let's combine 'em for the best of both worlds!" Sorry Hannah fucking Montana, but you can't have the best of both worlds without getting the worst of both worlds, too, plus an even higher cost to include all that extra hardware. If I wanted a Win 7 machine, I'd want it to run the same Win 7 apps in slate mode too. If I wanted an ARM slate, I'd have made the decision to be satisfied with available apps and wouldn't want the OS changing every time I docked the keyboard. And if I really wanted the features of both, for the price (another article states "Lenovo said they're hoping to get the IdeaPad U1's price under $1000 for a May or June release") I could buy both an iPad and a full laptop, and have two fully functional devices each better suited to its purpose than one hybrid.

Sorry, there's still no mythical iPad killer. If this chimera were priced within $100 of the iPad it might be a contender, but not a sure thing. At somewhere just south of $1000 it's not even an also-ran compared with the iPad, it's a never-ran.

Re:Not even close. (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119174)

Sorry, there's still no mythical iPad killer.

True, but that's not a failure on the part of other devices. It's a failure on Apple's part to make the iPad something everyone WANTS to buy. This is the first fumble I've seen out of Apple in a long time - hopefully they'll fix it in a year when the iPad 2.0 goes on sale.

Lenovo's Skylight UI (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118832)

So apparently even though IBM couldn't keep up development on an operating system, Lenovo decided to give it a go anyways. It will be interesting to see how this pans out for the company that bought IBM's personal computer division...

Re:Lenovo's Skylight UI (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119200)

IBM owns and develops several operating systems (i, AIX, z/OS, z/VM, z/TPF). I'm not really sure what you're referring to.

Wow! Two Operating Systems to Maintain! (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118902)

The U1 seems like a cool idea. But two operating systems to maintain, with all of the loss of application fidelity that entails?

Count me out. And what is really the difference when I can just also carry a bluetooth keyboard with an iPad. What if someone makes an iPad case with bluetooth keyboard built in? Then how is the U1 really superior?

Screen is a rather crucial part (1)

Pretbek (600867) | more than 4 years ago | (#31118960)

FTFA:
"Unfortunately, the screen itself was pretty abysmal".

I dunno, but that would ruin the entire device for me, no matter what clever functionality or packaging it harbors. The screen is such an important part, because it is in your face all the time.

Touchscreen looks bad/choppy (4, Informative)

kuzb (724081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119034)

Watch the videos where he's trying to do navigation. It seems like this is exactly what Apple doesn't want - lag and unreposonsiveness.

Cute; but... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31119064)

It is always nice to see one of the PC OEMs take a break from shoving intel reference designs into ugly boxes at lowest possible cost(don't get me wrong, this is their highest virtue, is what has made computers accessible to so much of the world, and is certainly what I prefer to buy; but it really isn't very interesting to watch) and go out on a limb a bit.

That said, the concept doesn't really "click" with me. First, there is just the fact that complexity without very good reason is the enemy. If you hold price constant, increased complexity will tank your quality. If you hold quality constant, increased complexity will spike your price. The U1, compared to an ordinary netbook, has the disadvantage of two batteries(one primary, one embedded in the screen/tablet thing), two system boards(ditto, though the tablet one should be a lot smaller), and a potentially unreliable combination mechanical/electrical connector right at the hinge(when docked, the tablet unit will need to receive power, video, and data from the primary unit). This connector/hinge will have to survive numerous matings and unmatings and openings and closings without getting flaky or frustrating. If it rattles, or has to be docked two or three times to get it to go back into notebook mode, or has to be docked just right or whatever, that will be hugely annoying. I'm not saying that this will be impossible to get right, just that it will either drive up cost substantially, or not be done in a way that will still be endurable six months after purchase.

Second, and ultimately much trickier, is the question of the relationship between the main unit and the tablet unit. TFA, and other articles, suggest that Lenovo has made an attempt to have some useful interaction between the two. If you are browsing a webpage on the main when you tear the tablet off, the page will be loaded in the tablet's browser, that sort of thing. I'd assume the same would go for a few common document types. That worries me. It is exactly the sort of thing that would work perfectly in sci-fi world, where people are constantly passing wireless screens from person to person, and human computers can interact with alien spaceships, and whatnot. Real world, though, it is going to get ugly. The main unit is running Windows 7. The tablet is running on an ARM core, so it is almost certainly running CE or Linux. This means that, for a subset of all common tasks, tearing off the tablet will provide almost seamless continuity, with the right wedge of helper software and a bit of luck. Open a PDF, peel off the tablet, read happily, hurray! However, the set of document types and system activities that are equally supported between full windows and linux or WinCE is far smaller than the total set of document types and system activities. Worse, the set has ragged edges.

Consider, you open a PDF, tear off the tablet, read happily. It all works perfectly. Then, one day, it fails with some cryptic error. Whoops. That PDF had one of the newer PDF DRM schemes, and Adobe supports Reader on Windows more aggressively than whatever Lenovo has baked into the tablet. There goes your happy workflow. And, unless you are at least a little techy, and paying attention, you won't even understand why one thing worked and another didn't. Similar things can be imagined with regard to web pages, or word documents. Simply opening whatever URL was open in the foreground session of IE in the browser of the tablet should be trivial enough. Keeping cookies in sync might even be doable. However, there is surely a subset of sites that will absolutely freak out and refuse to provide anything resembling a continuous session when a user suddenly disappears from IE8 on Win7 and reappears on a completely different browser(and quite possibly IP, unless some funky network stack trickery is going on). Most likely, you'll just be kicked back to the login screen, and have to log in again using the tablet touch-keyboard, which will really break your flow. I'm sure some sites will work just fine, and Lenovo's helper background software might be able to hack around some and get them working; but it will be a constant battle. Same thing with Office documents. Basic ones will probably be a near-continuous experience. More complex ones, ones with linked objects residing on the laptop hard drive, ones being pulled from a network share accessible to the laptop but not the tablet, etc, etc. will all fail in various unintuitive and unexpected ways.

Unless you confine yourself to a limited number of explicitly supported conduits(like the old school Palm sync did), which is limiting and requires developer(1st or 3rd party) support to enable each conduit; or use server-to-multiple-client web derived techniques(IMAP, RSS, CalDAV, etc.) which make linking the hardware of the two internet-connected devices rather pointless, the task of meaningfully grabbing the state of a running Windows system and transferring it to a device with a different set of interfaces, running a different OS, is Really Hard. It will inevitably consist of a mixture of having to make elegant user experience choices and having to do lots, and lots, and lots of ugly grunt work and shimming. That is the worst of both worlds. Even better, you'll probably need to update frequently, both the compatibility helper running on the laptop, and the embedded OS on the tablet, as new versions of common desktop programs come out. Do you want to trust your OEM to do that for you, given the usual quality of OEM bundleware?

It strikes me that the design would have been better served by either of two more powerful but less ambitious approaches: The first is something like Dell's "ON Card [dell.com] ". This is a little embedded board, running some sort of Linux on ARM, that allows you to access email and Citrix applications using your Laptop's keyboard and screen and network device; but without the power consumption or complexity of the primary processor and mass storage and OS. This sacrifices the tablet aspect; but cuts the problematic mechanical complexity to basically zero, and preserves the low-power instant-on stuff. The second would be to use one of the wireless display and wireless USB technologies already available, but embed them into the removable screen. So, when in laptop mode, the screen is receiving power from the base unit, and receiving video over a wireless link to the base unit. Pull the screen off, and it runs off an embedded battery, with the touchscreen acting as a wireless USB device still connected to the main unit. This approach is more mechanically complex, and forces you to have a battery in the tablet unit, and would limit your roaming range; but completely sidesteps all the software complexity and issues. Just grab your screen, and the system doesn't even notice that anything has changed. Zero delay, all programs stay open and work exactly the same(even 3D stuff, unlike RDP or similar). Completely seamless; but still allows you to wander the room doing your tablet thing.

Obligitory Plug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31119148)

http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/home/index.htm [alwaysinnovating.com] detachable touchscreen, 10 hr battery life, extensible as all hell, and all for $400...
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