Lenovo debuts Nintendo Switch-style laptop – the LaVie Mini

The Nintendo Switch’s popularity has resulted in the now-iconic device showing up in a lot of pop culture references. But, even beyond that, its legacy has also been blending into other pieces of the tech world. Many companies have been inspired by Nintendo’s hybrid design, and yet another Switch-that’s-not-actually-a-Switch has arrived on the scene by Lenovo: the LaVie Mini.

Shown off ahead of CES 2021, the LaVie Mini boasts an 8-inch 1080p touchscreen and a tablet-like body that, similar to that of the Switch, allows it to be used in a variety of ways. It can be attatched and detached from different accessories like a keyboard, a dock-like station that allows it to connect to a TV/monitor, and of course, a controller shell with split units that heavily resemble that of the Joy-Con.

Clearly, it’s very easy to see where all the “inspiration” was derived from.

The best form of flattery?

The new LaVie Mini laptop is powered by an 11th gen Intel Processor with XE graphics, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage via an SSD. On paper, these tech specs do seem to put it in a league above that of the Nintendo Switch. However, raw numbers do not paint the whole picture.

For one, this is supposed to be a laptop, supposedly running Windows. That means right off the bat that it’s not a precisely-tuned machine like the way the Switch is. That is to say that developers cannot optimize for the LaVie the way they can optimize for the Switch. The LaVie’s components may be able to handle some titles, but so far we don’t have any live demos or benchmarks to show how well it can actually game.

Of course, battery life is also a concern; there’s no data for that either. If anything, it may very well be a great game-streaming device for services like Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Steam Link more so than a dedicated mini gaming PC.

Lenovo has yet to reveal any price or release date for the LaVie laptop. There isn’t even any photos or footage of it in real life; so if anything, this appears to be more of a concept at this point in time. If and when it comes to market, don’t expect it to cost $300 like the Switch, however. Add about three zeros to that number and start thinking in those terms.