Practical Technology

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The next generation of Linux notebooks arrives at CES

After Dell broke the ice for pre-installing Linux on desktops and netbooks in 2007, the other major OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) reluctantly tried it out, and, in some cases, like Lenovo, backed right back out of the Linux desktop market again. As 2010 dawns though, Lenovo and HP are both back in the pre-installed desktop Linux game.

Lenovo gets the ‘credit’ for the oddest laptop, with or without Linux, that I’ve ever seen. The IdeaPad U1 is two computers in one. Or, as my fellow technology writer Mitch Wagner describes it, “It’s the mullet of notebook computers: Business in the front, party in the back.”

What you’ll get, when the IdeaPad U1 ships in June 2010, is a notebook that runs Windows 7 on an Intel Core 2 Duo CULV processor with a 128GB solid-state drive on one side. So where’s the Linux? I’m getting to that.

You see you can pull off the 11.6-inch multi-touch-enabled screen, and, ta-da, you have a full-sized tablet computer, running Lenovo’s Skylight touch-enabled version of Linux on a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon ARM chipset and 16GBs of flash memory.

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