Weird Friday Afternoon News on Lenovo UI or LePad or What Have You

Fridays are always weird when it comes to news. Most companies don’t release anything new on Friday because, well, that’s usually a good way of getting a story buried as most folks in the media, and increasingly the blogosphere have packed up their keyboards and headed to the weekend.

But this little tidbit surfaced today on Engadget, and in some follow up blogging from Liliputing. I’m not really sure what the real story here is, or even if there is one. If you remember the Lenovo U1 Hybrid that everyone fell in love with back at CES2010, you’ll remember it was removable slate within a clamshell form factor. At the time the removable slate part was going to run Lenovo’s own OS, and the clamshell held the guts to run Windows. Thus you had essentially a Windows portable with a keyboard, or a slate that you could detach and use on the go. Well, those plans (like so many others) got shelved after the iPad was released and word was that Lenovo was going to continue with the hybrid form factor, but this time with some flavor of Android.

Suffice it to say, no one was surprised and only a small minority of geeks were keeping an eye out for any news of this.

Well, Engadget is reporting that the Chinese market will see the slate portion, or what looks to be the slate portion of the U1 later this year, and that the dock portion (still running Windows apparently) will follow in 2011. The slate portion is called the Lenovo LePad, which we’ve heard of before, so I’m still not entirely sure if these are two separate product lines or two parts of the same beast just being launched separately. In any case, we’re talking China releases here and not the US, at least for the moment.

Whatever the case, word popping out on a Friday just seems a bit odd.