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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Hybrid preview: hands-on impressions, video, and pictures

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A look at Lenovo's new ThinkPad X1 Hybrid.

Gallery Photo: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Hybrid hands-on
Gallery Photo: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Hybrid hands-on

We told you we'd track down Lenovo's dual-OS, dual-processor ThinkPad X1 Hybrid when we got to Vegas, and that's exactly what we've done. Design-wise, the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid looks exactly like the original X1 — it's literally indescribable from the previous save for the X1 Hybrid logo on the screen bezel. However, the Lenovo Instant Media Mode widget on the Windows 7 desktop is where things start to look different. Select the Home in that widget and the dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage and the Android OS will be up and running.

So, how is the hand-off between the two operating systems? Extremely seamless. As you will see in the video, you don't have to wait more than two seconds to get into the Instant Media Mode. Similarly, when going back to Windows it takes less than two seconds. But the question remains: why would you want to do that? Lenovo has done little to nothing on top of Android 2.3. Sure, there is a large widget to Video, Email, Web and Music but those just launch stock Android applications, which didn't seem to work very well with touchpad navigation. I had problems even getting down the bottom of regular websites. Of course, you will get double the battery life in this mode, since Windows goes to sleep, but it almost seems like you'd be half as productive in the Android OS, so I'm not sure what you really gain.

I'll hold final judgement until I get a review unit in and get to test it out more thoroughly, but off the bat, I'm not really seeing the need to spend $300 more on the X1 Hybrid (it's $1,599 while the X1 is $1,300). The X1 is a great laptop as is, especially when you pair it with the slice battery, which conveniently costs just around $300.