Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The engineering wizards at Lenovo are quietly rolling out a that could add more flexibility to your home and mobile computing capabilities.

While it looks like a ping pong paddle, it’s anything but low tech.

Couch potatoes, rejoice. Mobile text-ers and office-on-the-go users, enjoy

Oh, by the way, Lenovo may also be entering the e-reader market. Move over, Kindle and competitors?.

First, the paddle controller.

Available now from its Web site, the world’s No. 4 PC maker is offering a mini wireless keyboard that is packed with a track ball, fits in your palm and can be used up to around 3 feet (10 meters) away from the device you want it to synch with.

It costs $59.99.

The keyboard also comes with a USB nano dongle which plugs into a USB port to link the devices.

Here’s how Lenovo describes the features of its new tech toy:

• 2.4G wireless keyboard and mouse(with track ball) combo
• Palm-sized dimensions
• As far as 10 meters control distance
• Windows multimedia control
• Compatible with Windows® 2000 Windows® XP & Windows Vista® & Windows® 7

News about the device was first reported at the Web site Engadget, which got a tip from a reader who spotted the control in Singapore.

Meanwhile, a Chinese tech Web site called Netease is reporting that Lenovo is testing internally an e-reader. These mobile devices for book reading and Internet surfing are becoming wildly popular with Amazon’s Kindle leading the way.

Xinhua News Agency in Beijing picked up on the Netease report and noted that Lenovo has not denied the existence of an e-reader project.

With its recent repurchase of its wireless device subsidiary in China, it appears 2010 will be quite an interesting year in the mobile space for Lenovo.

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