January 8, 2012

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Hybrid Preview

Joanna Stern documents a quick hands-on with the new Lenovo X1 Hybrid for The Verge. She's mildly perplexed by Lenovo's new Instant Media Mode:

“So, how is the hand-off between the two operating systems? Extremely seamless. As you will see in the video, you don’t have to wait more than two seconds to get into the Instant Media Mode. Similarly, when going back to Windows it takes less than two seconds. But the question remains: why would you want to do that? Lenovo has done little to nothing on top of Android 2.3. Sure, there is a large widget to Video, Email, Web and Music but those just launch stock Android applications, which didn’t seem to work very well with touchpad navigation. I had problems even getting down the bottom of regular websites. Of course, you will get double the battery life in this mode, since Windows goes to sleep, but it almost seems like you’d be half as productive in the Android OS, so I’m not sure what you really gain.”

Joanna's question echoes my own. What's the market for Instant Media Mode? This second operational mode hosts an Android OS, memory and access to networking. It's basically a lightweight tool for use when you don't need the full Windows experience.

The kicker is, though, that if you're switching to lightweight mode, you already have Windows up and running, with your browser and other software tools at the ready.