A stunning new netbook-slash-tablet from China's PC giant, Lenovo, called the Pocket Yoga, has been lighting up Twitter and the blogs this morning. Unfortunately, the so-called product is nothing more than a two-year-old concept device. Lenovo has no current plans to ever ship it.
Too bad. This netbook looks almost perfect. It's a clamshell, covered in leather, that has a very wide but very shallow keyboard, and wide-and-shallow screen to go with it.
Obviously, the netbook falls into the same general category as Sony's real, shipping netbook, the Sony Vaio P. But unlike the Vaio P, Lenovo's Pocket Yoga would have a pen-based tablet interface. The screen would flip all the way around to the back to enable this mode.
When the news hit that the product would be shipping soon, news that turned out to be false, the Twittophere and blogosphere were buzzing with excitement about the product.
Lenovo should take a clue from this and understand that if they could build it, do it right and make it reasonable affordable, they'd have a runaway hit on their hands.
However, here's what I'd change about it:
1. Get rid of the leather. The product as envisioned in the concept prototype was upholstered with rich leather to give the product a high-dollar, luxury item feel. No thanks! That's not right for a recession. It's not right for the netbook category. And it's not right for a product with a chief benefit of being pocketable. That leather just adds needless thickness.
2. Get rid of the goofy strap. The Pocket Yoga concept came with a removable, presumably magnetic "belt" to hold it closed. Once removed, it doubles as a mouse. This is just lame.
3. Make it touch, not pen. Pen-based systems suck, and they've failed in the market. This should be a touch device, like the iPhone.
If Lenovo were to make all these changes and ship this for less than $800, I think they'd have an extremely desirable netbook on their hands.
Will they do it? Should they? What do you think?