Leak reveals Lenovo Android-Windows X1 Hybrid

Lenovo, gatekeeper of the ex-IBM ThinkPad brand, is planning an interesting new product: a dual-purpose Windows and Android laptop dubbed the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid.

Based on the company's existing ultra-slim ThinkPad X1 - which packs an Intel Core i7 processor and up to 8GB of RAM into a slim carbon-fibre design offering up to 10 hours of battery life when the bulky slab battery option is added - the Hybrid, as the name suggests, looks to combine the speed and efficiency of Google's Android platform with the flexibility and compatibility of Microsoft's Windows OS.

Details of the device are not yet available, but a promotional slide leaked from sources unknown claims that the device will provide instant-boot into Android as a way of increasing the battery life to 10 hours on the standard battery, which means a likely 20 hours with the slab battery option.

The use of a fast, efficient Linux-based OS as a secondary computing platform isn't new: Splashtop, one of the more famous of the options, has been a standard feature of devices from Asus for quite some time, but Lenovo's decision to use Android is interesting.

On the plus side, the use of Android means that Lenovo will be able to offer add-on software - either from Google's own Android Market or from a more restrictive source of its own - which extends the platform's capabilities beyond a quick-access media player and web browsing system.

On the negative side, Android is clearly designed for tablet and smartphone use. While it's perfectly possible to use it with a pointing device rather than a finger - as the success of the Asus Transformer, which includes a netbook-like keyboard and touchpad dock, proves - it's less than ideal compared to Splashtop and similar platforms.

The rumour also hints at Intel's growing success with its x86 port of Google's traditionally ARM-targeted Android - something that the company is relying on to stave off the risk from ARM-based netbooks and laptops while also helping to push its low-power Atom line into smartphones and tablets.

Lenovo has not yet returned a request for comment on the rumour.