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Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid: Part laptop, part tablet, all awesome

Lenovo's just blown our tiny little minds with an innovative concept that melds tablet PCs with the humble netbook. Behold, friends, the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid -- the craziest thing since unsliced bread

Rory Reid
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Lenovo's just blown our tiny little minds with an innovative concept that melds the tablet PC with the humble netbook. Behold, friends, the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid -- the craziest thing since unsliced bread.

Unlike the IdeaPad S10-3t, which has a twisting folding convertible tablet screen, the U1 Hybrid has a pop-out display, which can run independently to its laptop shell. The main body will house an Intel Core 2 Duo ULV CPU, a 128GB SSD hard drive, and Windows 7 Home Premium. The removable display, meanwhile, will use a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, its own battery, Lenovo's Skylight operating system and 16GB of flash memory.

It's an outlandish concept, but Lenovo's idea is that you'll be able to use the U1 Hybrid in laptop mode, or take the 11.6-inch screen away with you on trips where keyboard use isn't a major requirement. The screen itself will pack 802.11n Wi-Fi, an integrated 3G module, stereo speakers, and a webcam, so it's still very functional. It will weigh 725g, which is far less than the 1.6kg combined device.

As excited as we are about this, we do have our reservations. Switching modes (and therefore operating systems) will almost certainly lead to an inconsistent user experience, plus it'll cost more than its less complex rivals -- $999 (£625). Still, we're really hoping this'll be a success. Click the 'Continue' link below to see more pictures and watch the video below from CNET.com's Tom Merritt for hands-on impressions.

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The U1 appears to be fairly ordinary -- aside from the fact it looks unutterably gorgeous. And its screen pops out.
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We're guessing you'll be able to connect the shell to an external display when not using the detachable screen, but that feature hasn't been confirmd as yet.
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The U1 will use Lenovo's Skylight operating system, which has a finger-friendly graphical user interface bolted on.

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