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Lenovo LePad and U1 dock hands-on: Android Honeycomb tablet and PC shell

We go hands-on with the Lenovo LePad, a tablet that will be running Android 3.0 Honeycomb when it launches in the UK. Also meet the U1 dock, which turns the LePad into a proper Windows PC...

Luke Westaway
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
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Sacre Bleu! C'est le Lenovo LePad! Crave first clapped eyes on Lenovo's tablet back at CES 2010, when it was called the U1. That was a whole year ago, and after vanishing into the ether this tablet is back, and when it launches will be sporting Google's tablet operating system, Android 3.0 Honeycomb.

We've had a chance to mess about with the LePad and its curious U1 dock in the gambling-inducing Vegas lowlights, so click through the images above to see some photos of this beast in action.

The LePad offers a 10.1-inch capacitive display, with a maximum resolution of 1,280x800 pixels, which means it looks really rather sharp. It'll hopefully run really quickly too, thanks to a 1.3GHz Snapdragon processor buried in its innards.

Lenovo bods informed us that this tablet will be hitting the shelves in the western world as soon as they can smack Android 3.0 on it. Currently it offers a skinned version of Google's mobile OS, which Lenovo is calling LeOS. (Ha!)

All eyes on Google, then, in terms of an actual release date.

The LePad is smartly complemented by the U1 dock -- basically a laptop shell you can stick the LePad into. Once connected, the LePad becomes a screen for this little laptop, which should offer some proper computing grunt thanks to a Core i5 CPU.

A switch on top of the chassis lets you switch quickly twixt Windows and Android -- we found that switching to Android was almost instantaneous, and switching to Windows took a couple of seconds. The U1 dock also has HDMI and USB ports.

Pricewise, currently the whole shebang is looking to cost you around $1,300 (roughly £840), which is a lot. You might snag the LePad alone for around $500 (about £320).

What do you reckon?

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Running in Windows mode.
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The U1 is basically a laptop with no screen. Until you add the LePad that is...
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This switch will, er, switch you between Windows and Android modes.
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That's the Android OS.
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