Lenovo Skylight Hands On: The Frisbee Smartbook

Lenovo Skylight Hands On: The Frisbee Smartbook

The Skylight is part netbook, part smartphone, and I’m pretty sure I could throw it 50 metres. The real question is if that makes it a game changer or a novelty act.

The look and feel are certainly novel, if not novelty. The Skylight has an ultra thin clamshell design and weighs less than 1kg – it feels like a frisbee in your hand. It’s a sturdy build, though, and seems like it could handle being jostled around in your bag.

Once you select the app you want to work in, it maximises to two-thirds of the screen, keeping two other gadgets open to its right. The 10.1-inch hi-def display is more crisp and clear than most netbooks, and 720p video looks great. Unfortunately, the model we saw was running off of 3G, which made the playback hiccupy and the file slow to load.

So what’s the hitch? Well, at the moment there are only a limited number of Skylight apps available to you, and most of those don’t gain anything by being on your smartbook instead of a smartphone or netbook. Lenovo’s going to open up the SDK soon, but until developers get a crack at maximising the Skylight’s functionality, it won’t have much. It’ll have built-in Wi-Fi, but it also will rely on AT&T’s 3G network, which even in our demonstration wasn’t up to the challenge of streaming the type of hi-def video you’re going to want to.

There’s potential here, but it might be some time before the Skylight is ready to shine.