Lenovo shows off some new toys and a new Phone


CES 2010 ? We were able to catch up with Lenovo yesterday and were shown a few new toys from them. Of course it was not that easy to get in to see them. The first spot of trouble came when it was realized that Lenovo was not completely sure who was supposed to be there. This was a problem as it was invitation only. Eventually they did send someone around to check everyone in. However, as they did not give anything to the people they checked in they had to do it all over again when they opened the doors for the show. It was a very unorganized event, but has been in keeping with the rest of the show so far. This year the CES theme seems to be dis-organization; but as they say, that is for another story.

Getting back to Lenovo we hear from their CEO, Yang Yuanqing about emerging market and the importance of mobile computing. Yuanquing also spoke about Lenovo?s reorganization and a return to profitability. However, all of this seemed to be centered on China and their rapidly growing infrastructure. Before Yuabquing left the stage he introduced the Lephone. This is going to be Lenovo?s answer to the iPhone.

Next up on the podium in the crowed Aquanox restaurant was Lenovo?s President and COO. Here we received the hard sell on Lenovo?s products. This guy talked at us like a used car salesman working to make quota. Thankfully what he was selling was some fairly impressive stuff. Beginning with the world?s first Hybrid note book, called the U1 it features two functional computer systems. When combined they act like the traditional notebook; but you can actually detach the ?screen? and use it as a slate PC.

After that was the introduction of a Snapdragon powered netbook. This is an interesting choice as it puts the use of Windows [other than Windows CE] out of the question. The new netbook will be more of a cloud based system according to the Lenovo COO. So while we may have some decent power under the hood, the book will still have some acceptance problems as linux and other ?non-Windows? operating systems still have some problems in the market especially in the US.

Last up, as you probably excepted was the introduction and demo of the Lephone. This device is pretty much just another phone with a few nice additions. You have accessories that enhance the functionality like a keyboard dock with its own power supply. The UI is sleek and pretty cool with a ?contact? centric theme. This means that instead of having to hit up multiple applications to find out what you are doing and saying with each of your contacts you only have to hit the contact to find out.  If you are one that maintains multiple streams of conversation then this is certainly going to be nice for you. Lenovo also had a nice slap for Apple, they showed that you get a user replaceable battery with the Lephone.

Overall the event was crowded and poorly run, but did show us some interesting new toys from the gang at Lenovo. The problem for everyone right now is that all of them seemed aimed at China and emerging markets, this leaves the established ones out in the cold for now.