Sony is very proud of its Vaio P mini computer, teasing its release often, and refusing to classify it as a netbook, notebook or even UMPC–it’s a “lifestyle” PC. But the supposed pocket-friendliness of the “P” looks like it could be completely out-classed by an upcoming Lenovo product. Because this machine really does look like it will fit in a pocket.
Lenovo’s taken a leaf from Sony’s book (and Dell’s too, if you think about the Adamo ultra-thin notebook), by teasing the pocket netbook by releasing mere photos or renderings on its Flickr feed, along with a concept sketch.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t gleam a few facts about the device from the imagery. The machine looks to be something like 7-8 inches long, around 3 inches across and a half-inch deep when closed, making it a narrow, tall clamshell PC. At that size it’s definitely pocket-friendly, though it’s hard to say what percentage of standard size that mini keyboard is. One end houses two USB sockets and what looks like a power port, the other end has audio leads and what may be a video port. There’s also a megapixel-class camera, and a green control joystick embedded in the top-right of the keypad, which is a great a position for using the machine as a palm-top (although left-hander unfriendly).
The display’s proportion’s aren’t shown in the imagery, but it doesn’t look like it fills that whole screen area due to the presence of some buttons and moldings at one end. The screen half of the case is a mirror-shape to the main body, and appears to hinge right over in one mode, turning the device into a very slender tablet PC–so we know it’s a touchscreen device. That unfolding fits with the name Lenovo’s apparently chosen: Pocket Yoga.
There’s a Windows key, or so it seems, on the keyboard…so we know it’ll run one version of Microsoft’s OS, though the choice of which one will depend on the power of the processor inside. The machine looks chunky enough to fit an Atom CPU, and has enough space for a decent battery.
But is the Yoga real or just a concept? The images are inconclusive–though there’s a little leather trimming on the machine, which Lenovo has done before for a ThinkPad anniversary machine. But the idea that the “belt” clasp for the device loops over to form a mouse tends to support the “just a well-rendered concept” argument. It’s impossible to say, until Lenovo stumps up with some more detailed information. But the Yoga does at least look like a rather neat device–if tending towards the expensive. Would you pay a premium for a netbook PC you really could slip into your pocket? Or did you give that up with the Apple Newton?
Update: I was right to be dubious–the Yoga is an old Lenovo internal concept that leaked out uncontrolled, which is why it felt a little like a product tease. Fascinatingly, it was pulled together way before the netbook revolution, meaning it pre-dates the fairly-similar Vaio P by at least two years. Lenovo’s design labs clearly are ahead of the game. Now we wonder if all the hype stirred by this will get something like the Yoga in production anyway. [via I4U]