Lenovo should’ve used ChromeOS instead of Windows with its latest hybrid device


Beyond the Alphabet

Android Central's LLoyd with a projection with a Google logo

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Beyond the Alphabet is a weekly column that focuses on the tech world both inside and out of the confines of Mountain View.

Every year, we’re immediately inundated (and overwhelmed) with a slew of announcements that come courtesy of CES. Of the hundreds of announcements and device showcases, only a small number of them ever make it to the market. Usually, I try not to get my hopes up about the different products that are shown off, as I don’t want to be let down when it’s later revealed to be just a prototype.

However, Lenovo has been bucking that trend in recent years, and while there are a few things I’m looking forward to, there is one device that sticks out from the crowd. Lenovo introduced the ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid, basically giving you a tablet with a detachable laptop keyboard. But, there’s more to the story, as not only is this device running Android, but it’s ALSO running Windows.

A close-up of the magnetic attachment tool on the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

I mean, talk about the ultimate 2-in-1, giving you flexibility that you truly won’t find anywhere else. This is achieved by integrating the Android hardware into the display, with all of the Windows hardware built into the keyboard deck. You can read more about it in our hands-on, but being able to switch between Android and Windows with the push of a button is just insane.

Of course, this got me thinking about how cool something like this would be to have for Android and ChromeOS. Yes, you can install Android apps on Chromebooks, but going the other way, many Android phones and tablets don’t have a desktop-like experience. The obvious exception to this is the various Samsung phones and tablets that let you switch over to DeX mode when connected to an external display. Google is working on a similar experience, and who knows when, or even if, it’ll ever actually show up. However, a feature like DeX makes an even more compelling argument for a device like this running Android.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra in DeX Mode on desk

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Using an Android tablet isn’t all that much of an issue if you have one with a smaller screen, similar to like what the Galaxy Tab A7 offers. But, it’s a completely different story once you start using a tablet with a larger display, such as the 14.6-inch Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. The Android interface just doesn’t adapt very well when it comes to larger devices, leaving a bunch of empty and unused space. 


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