The prospects of Lenovo Skylight, the industry’s first smartbook, are getting much dimmer as Lenovo Group announces delays of its shipments by over three months in the U.S. As a consequence, when the device finally hits the market, it will not only have to compete against netbooks, but also against tablet personal computers due to be launched.
“With any new product that we introduce, we owe it to our customers to get it right and we would rather take the little extra time that sometimes takes to finalize a product,” a statement by Lenovo published by Laptop web-site reads..
Originally Lenovo promised to release its Skylight sometime in April, however, after the company reconsidered its plans, the smartbook is only projected to be commercially launched in July in the U.S. Still, the product is also expected to hit China in May and show up on some other markets in June.
Lenovo Skylight smartbook is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon platform with 1GHz ARM processor and is equipped with 10” screen (1024x600 resolution), 20GB flash storage, Wi-Fi, 3GB, typical keyboard and so on. Lenovo plans to unveil exact specifications of the device when it starts to sell it later in the year. The system is based on special version of Linux, hence, it does not support a lot of additional software by itself, which is logical considering ARM processor inside. There are more than 18 preloaded web gadgets on Skylight, not a lot to say at least.
Considering that the smartbook is not compatible with Windows operating system or other popular software, its $499 price tag seemed to be excessive from the very start, even keeping in mind promised 10 hours of battery life. Now that there is $499 non-3G Apple iPad 16GB, which boasts similar battery life, comes with better screen, better graphics capabilities, better software support, does not need to be online all the time, but features no keyboard, Skylight’s chances for success in July do not seem to be high. To make the matters even worse for this Lenovo product, there are other slate-type PCs incoming and those devices are projected to be more affordable than Skylight or iPad. Perhaps, Lenovo decided to postpone the product so that to make it more affordable and/or better performing?