That's a convertible tablet, by the way, meaning it's a regular Netbook by day and a slate by, well, whenever you turn the screen around and fold it down.
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Even with those added charges, you get out the door for less than $499--the price of Apple's entry-level iPad model. The IdeaPad may not be as thin or sexy, but it can do so much more.
See, it starts out like a traditional Netbook, one with Intel's Atom N450 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Windows 7 Starter.
Oh, and it has a 10.1-inch multitouch touch screen, meaning it can take full advantage of Windows 7's touchy-feely capabilities.
The screen can also pivot a full 180 degrees, then fold down on top of the keyboard to create a traditional tablet experience.
Like most PCs these days (but unlike the iPad), the IdeaPad comes with a Webcam, a media card reader, and USB ports--it runs Flash, too. This model also has an eight-cell battery, which is impressive given its compact size. The battery doesn't jut out from the rear like on some Netbooks.
Now, I haven't used the IdeaPad myself, nor have I experienced Windows 7 multitouch firsthand (pun!). In fact, I don't see much appeal in tablets at all, so I'm not the target audience for this or the iPad.
That said, it's hard to argue with the math. From a features and capabilities standpoint, the IdeaPad blows the iPad out of the water. Also, it costs less--a lot less if you compare it with the $699, 64GB model (which still has only 25 percent of the IdeaPad's storage capacity).
Do you agree? Disagree? You know the drill. I will say this: Given that tablet PCs traditionally cost about $1,000, it's nice to see one to sell for less than $500.