Laptop-maker Lenovo this week officially unveiled one of the industry’s first major ‘smartbooks,’ the mobile computers designed to compete with traditional Wintel-powered netbooks. Reuters reports that Lenovo’s new ‘Skylight’ smartbook runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip and features a Linux (rather than Microsoft Windows) operating system; it is based on the power-efficient ARM chip architecture, rather than Intel Corp’s x86 platform, which currently dominates the netbook market. Lenovo said that Skylight will sell for US$499 in the US from April, and will be available in Europe and China later this year. Skylight boasts more than 10 hours of active battery life and has built-in Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.
According to reports last year, US operator AT&T is expected to be the first to offer Skylight when it launches in April. Meanwhile, the product is set to be the first of several smartbooks to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip. Qualcomm is positioning its Snapdragon processor to counter competition from rivals (such as Intel) moving from the PC world to smartphones. Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs said last year that the chip vendor may also benefit from the traditional PC manufacturers looking for alternative suppliers for their products, adding that many of the players would likely want to lessen their dependence on Intel.