As a joint venture between Lenovo and NEC, it feels like LaVie often has a bit more freedom to have fun with their device designs, and so for CES 2021, LaVie has created a concept device that looks like to someone who took a Nintendo Switch, added some PC parts, and then gave it a steampunk-reminiscent finish.
Based around a 8-inch 1920 x 1200 screen, in normal use, the LaVie Mini concept looks a lot like the netbook of yesteryear. However, when you add its distinctive white and gold color scheme with its circular backlit keys, the LaVie Mini begins to look like something that could have been designed in the Bioshock universe.
While it’s only a concept at the moment, the LaVie Mini should also have some pretty decent components, including an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, Wi-Fi 6 and a 26 WHr battery. And even though the system is too small to feature a full-sized touchpad, there’s even a small button the size of a postage stamp and a few slim mouse buttons to help you navigate.
However, the real party trick of the LaVie Mini is its ability to fold up its keyboard and attach an optional game controller, turning the LaVie Mini into the PC equivalent of a Nintendo Switch. With its controller attached, you get the entire standard assortment of controller buttons, including a D-pad, two joysticks, and a assortment of face buttons and a few triggers on her shoulders. and just like Nintendo’s handheld console, the LaVie Mini also has its own docking station that you can use to charge the system or stream video to a nearby screen.
Following the massive success of Nintendo Switch, the LaVie Mini isn’t the first attempt we’ve seen by device makers to create a hybrid console on PC (see Dell’s Concept UFO at CES 2020), but since no PC manufacturer has yet managed to define the formula, the LaVie Mini concept remains a notice and tantalizing dream.
Sadly, LaVie comes from propose a design. NOText comes the hardest part: taking this concept and turning it into a real production device. Currently there is no timetabible for when the LaVie Mini goes on sale, and if that thing sounds like anything like Dell’s UFO concept, there’s a good chance it never will. And unfortunately it’s kind of downer for what could be a really interesting device.
And if you want to see more new gadgets and devices from CES 2021, click here to read our full coverage.