If you haven’t already, take a look at the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid. It looks like a regular notebook on the surface but with the added bonus of being able to detach the monitor to become a slate tablet (a la iPad). I think this is a great idea and here’s why: it solves both the problems with laptops and slates.
On the laptop side, my biggest problem is the weight. Even lightest Netbooks are around 3 lbs, which is far too heavy for me. Now some probably think this is a bit silly but I don’t. There’s no reason for me to carry around a device when probably the only thing I’m going to use it for is to quickly use the internet. It’s overkill.
On the tablet side, my biggest problem is the lack of functionality. How am I expected to do any real work without a keyboard (don’t get me started on touch screen keyboards)? I would only use it for light tasks (quick internet browsing, light email or light reading). And while it would be nice to have, it’s definitely not justified by the price (at least for me).
The U1 Hybrid gets rid of both my gripes with mobile devices. It’s slate table is light weight, good for small tasks. And the notebook part has a full keyboard that you can do actual work on.
I’m excited. It feels like companies are finally paying attention to usability now (like Apple has for a while now) and not getting stuck in the same old boring mold. Computers are great but I’ve been stuck with the same old functional devices for long enough. Bring on the usability.