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ThinkPad X1 Hybrid packs both x86 and ARM processors

Jan 6, 2012 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Lenovo has announced a 13.3-inch notebook computer that has both Intel and ARM processors. The ThinkPad X1 Hybrid combines an Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon, allowing users to toggle between Windows 7 and a Linux-based “Instant Media Mode” operating system whenever they want.

Lenovo apparently wants to be the Toyota of the computing industry — that is, known for hybrid devices. In 2010, it announced the IdeaPad U1 (pictured), a 3.8-pound notebook that ran Windows 7 on a dual-core Pentium processor, and Linux on a detachable, ARM-based touchscreen component. The product resurfaced last year with the tablet half running Android and carrying LePad branding, but it's still not on sale, according to Lenovo's website.

Perhaps fearing the IdeaPad U1 concept was too radical, Lenovo has now announced a portable device that's styled much more conservatively, is sans touchscreen, but includes similar technological underpinnings. Namely, the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid includes both an Intel Core processor (i3, i5, or i7) along with an ARM-based Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU (reportedly the dual-core 1.2GHz APQ8060).


Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Hybrid
(Click to enlarge)

You wouldn't know it from the X1 Hybrid's button-down appearance (above), but the device not only runs Windows 7 on its Intel CPU, but can switch to a customized version of Linux dubbed Instant Media Mode (IMM). The latter lets users "watch videos, view photos, listen to music, and browse the web while preserving precious battery life" — up to ten hours' operation is promised.

Lenovo's announcement provided little additional detail on IMM, but it did imply that ThinkPad X1 Hybrid owners will not be able to boot the system into this environment directly. Rather, they can switch to IMM by clicking on an icon. At that point, Windows is suspended, and the Snapdragon — reportedly equipped with its own dedicated 1GB of RAM and 16GB of flash storage — takes over.


This promotional video provides a brief glimpse of the Linux-based Instant Media Mode
(click to play)

According to Lenovo, the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid will have a 13.3-inch screen with Corning Gorilla Glass and a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, a "high-definition" webcam, a fingerprint reader, and an encrypted hard disk drive. The device is also said to feature an HDMI port, USB ports, and Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi) technology.

Despite its multiple CPUs and extra memory, the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid will be just 0.6 inches thick and weigh less than four pounds, Lenovo promises. However, the company adds that pricing will start at just under $1,600, making this a costly way to run Windows on a Core i3 processor.

Other new ThinkPads

Lenovo touted a bevy of other new ThinkPads, including a 14-inch model in the "premium" ThinkPad Edge S series and 14- and 15-inch models in the "mainstream" ThinkPad Edge E series. Though these products are outside our coverage area, we note with interest that the company's promising availability by April, with a choice of either AMD Fusion processors or Intel's yet-to-be-announced "Ivy Bridge" Core CPUs.


Lenovo's ThinkPad T430U
(Click to enlarge)

Also announced, though, was the ThinkPad T430U, the company's first business-oriented Ultrabook. (Lenovo fielded the IdeaPad U300s, a consumer-oriented equivalent, last year.)

When it becomes available in the third quarter, the T430U will include Ivy Bridge Core processing, available Nvidia graphics, and up to six hours of battery life, according to Lenovo. Weight is less than four pounds, thickness less than 0.8 inches, and there will be either solid state disk (SSD) storage or a hard disk as large as 1TB, the company adds.

Availability

According to Lenovo, the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid will be available during the second quarter of 2012, for prices starting at $1,599. The ThinkPad T430u will be available in the third quarter for $849, the company adds.

Jonathan Angel can be reached at [email protected] and followed at www.twitter.com/gadgetsense.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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