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Lenovo Admits AMD, Fields Smartbook

Its two-pound entry is called Skylight, a little 1GHz Qualcomm ARM-based Snapdragon widget

Lenovo, which has been feeling kinda lonesome sales-wise - well, the Chinese company sells mostly to business in the West, and business hasn't been buying lately - has not only allowed AMD chips into the vaunted ThinkPad line it inherited from IBM for the first time this week, it's also chasing this newfangled, consumer-courting, netbook-alternative - the so-called smartbook, a potential marketing mirage.

Its two-pound entry is called Skylight, a little 1GHz Qualcomm ARM-based Snapdragon widget said to have a movie-watching 10 hours of battery life, Wi-Fi connectivity and integrated 3G mobile broadband for constant Internet access.

It sports a bigger-than-most 10.1-inch touch screen.

ARM doesn't support Windows so we're talking a reportedly customized Linux here, one with a UI called Live Web Gadgets.

Lenovo, which also just refreshed its line of Atom-based netbooks, means to sell the thing for $499 starting in April and through AT&T at a subsidized price with a two-year 3G DataConnect plan.

European and China availability will follow.

It imagines it being used to check Gmail, update one's Facebook status, download music and movies, view YouTube or simply browse the Internet.

It's got 20GB of flash and comes with 2GB of cloud storage.

Meanwhile, Lenovo has added a $450-550 AMD single- or dual-core Athlon or dual-core Turion-based X100e ultra-portable laptop to its ThinkPad business line. They're available now.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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