Lenovo IdeaPad U300s review
Understated elegance married with decent performance, but the dim display sends it dropping down the rankings
Unlike the rest of the Ultrabook crowd, there’s no way you could possibly accuse the IdeaPad U300s of being a MacBook Air clone.
From the first moments with Lenovo’s Ultrabook, we were seduced. The slight lip around the base and lid make it easy to peel the lid open, which itself is held shut by hidden magnets, and the combination of stark, sharp edges and gentle, curved accents make for a tremendously classy laptop.
The almost completely featureless exterior feels great in the hand, and at 1.32kg, it’s plenty light enough. It doesn’t feel quite as bombproof as either of Asus' Zenbooks, though, with the UX31 and UX21 both impressing.
It takes barely any pressure on the lid to cause show-through on the display, and there’s a little side-to-side give in the base. Look even closer, and there are also a few areas where the finish isn’t quite immaculate, such as the hole for the power socket that doesn’t match up with the indent beneath.
Nit-picking aside, though, there’s much to like. The keyboard is well up to Lenovo’s usual high standards. We’re not keen on the half-height Enter key, or the narrow right-hand Shift key, but the overall feel more than makes amends. There’s just the right amount of travel, each dab of a key giving a crisp dig of feedback followed by a soft bounce at the end of the stroke. It’s superb.
The touchpad is pretty good, too, although we were grateful for the ability to disable it: we often found our thumbs brushing past the pad while typing, sending the cursor zipping into another paragraph. That aside, it’s innocuous enough. The glass touchpad depresses with a firm, solid click, and the multitouch scrolling and zooming is prompt and intuitive.
|Price ex VAT||£666|
|Price inc VAT||£799|
|Features & Design||3|
|Value for Money||5|
|Warranty||1yr collect and return|
|Dimensions||324 x 216 x 18mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i5-2467M|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics 3000|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||no|
|Wireless key-combination switch||yes|
|USB ports (downstream)||2|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||no|
|Memory Stick reader||no|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||no|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Hardware volume control?||no|
|Camera megapixel rating||1.3mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||7hr 7min|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.56|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 7|