Lenovo Skylight design process arguably more interesting than smartbook itself

With the onslaught of gadgets, concept designs and prototypes at CES 2010, it's easy to forget that behind each is a design team slaving away to get things ready in time for the show.  Over at Lenovo's Design Matters blog they're unsurprisingly pretty keen on the Lenovo Skylight; however even if you're not a fan of the smartbook itself you'll probably be interested by the tale of how Richard Sapper – designer of the original ThinkPad – came up with the prototype (including a beautiful olive wood mockup) in just a few weeks time.

In fact the schedule was so tight, Sapper decided to start work on the design before Lenovo had officially commissioned him.  He then made things harder for himself by working from hotels and friends' houses as he travelled, with the mockup an impromptu creation after he met a violin maker at a cocktail party.

For us geeks, there's also a tidbit about potential future functionality should Lenovo decide to further follow Sapper's design inspiration.  The fold-out USB port – sandwiched in-between the keyboard and the bottom of the screen – currently holds a memory stick with extra storage space; however Sapper originally planned that it could hold a "telephone handset", presumably for VoIP calls using the Skylight's integrated 3.5G connectivity.