New ThinkPads include dual-CPU hybrid

— 11:18 AM on January 5, 2012

The Consumer Electronics Show doesn't begin until next week, but Lenovo has already announced a number of systems set to make their debut. There's a new ultrabook, of course, the ThinkPad T430u. This 14-incher is targeted at businesses despite the fact that it's available with optional Nvidia Optimus graphics. Users will also have their choice of a solid-state drive or up to 1TB of mechanical storage.

Unfortunately, Lenovo isn't more specific about the hardware squeezed into T430u's 0.8"-thick chassis. The whole thing is supposed to weigh less than four pounds and offer up to six hours of battery life, though. Expect the T430u's pricing to start at $849 when the notebook arrives in the third quarter of this year.

While the T430u isn't a radical departure, the ThinkPad Hybrid X1 is definitely something different. This 13.3" ultraportable is less than 0.6" thick, but it manages to squeeze two processors into its slender chassis. The first is your choice of Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs, while the second is a dual-core Qualcomm chip based on the ARM architecture. That Qualcomm chip gets 16GB of dedicated storage and a "custom Linux-based operating system" capable of handling media playback, picture browsing, and web surfing. Users are supposed to be able to switch between the Hybrid's processors with the touch of a button, and both run off the same battery. Incidentally, Lenovo claims that battery can be charged to 80% capacity in only 30 minutes.

The ThinkPad Hybrid is due to arrive in the second quarter, and it won't be cheap. Lenovo says prices will start at $1,599, which is enough to buy an ultrabook and an ARM-based tablet separately. Since there's no mention of a touchscreen, the X1 doesn't appear to have tablet aspirations; it's more of a notebook/smartbook hybrid, I suppose.

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