Lenovo IdeaPad U300s
A powerful ultrabook at a high price
With the new IdeaPad U300s, Lenovo has finally entered the ultrabook competition. As it seems not only faster quad-core processors are in trend right now, but also slim and attractive designs. We are not very much attracted by these extra design features, for the only reason that we focus more in the computer’s performance than on its design. As you’ll see later on in our review, Lenovo tried to come up with a both attractive and efficient device, but we noticed some flaws that cannot pass unmentioned.
Made from aluminum
The design of the IdeaPad U300s is not similar to the other ultrabooks, but it is attractive. The MacBook Air, the Asus Zenbook UX31 and Acer Aspire S3 feature all similar design, in the extent that they have a certain thickness on the rear which tapers down to the front. Lenovo didn’t apply this on this model, which maintains the same 0.6 inches in thickness, throughout the device. As Lenovo puts it, the design is like that of a book, having a lip on top and bottom. It is all made of aluminum, weighs about 3 pounds and keeps a low profile. Besides the logo on the lid, there is nothing else to come into notice. The IdeaPad U300s is available in two colors, Graphite Gray and Clementine Orange, and both look nice. The inside maintains the same sturdy feeling, having a black keyboard and grey bezel, keyboard deck and touchpad.
Some keyboard problems
As for the keyboard, it’s quite a disappointment. We didn’t feel that nice touch when typing and some keys are undersized. The keys have a flat top and they are not even backlit as we’d expected. Lenovo has taken some space away from the keys, but has given enough to the trackpad. Being so big and smooth, it is very similar to that on the MacBook Air, and works pretty well too. It is a 4.1 x 2.8-inch glass Synaptics trackpad which responds well to complex gestures and features some extra as well. Lenovo introduces a four-finger swipe to the right which brings up a full-screen notepad and a four-finger swipe to the left that shows a image gallery, where you can change your wallpaper. There is another four-finger swipe up that lets you switch between applications.
Intel Core i7-2677M CPU
The Lenovo IdeaPad U300s is powered by a 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-2677M processor with 4GB of RAM and uses an SSD ADATA JM616 of 256GB. While the 256GB SSD is very powerful, during our tests it didn’t manage to outrun other ultrabooks like the UX31 and the MacBook Air.
The 54Whr battery is a four-cell one and is sealed within the system case, which in our opinion doesn’t seem like a good idea. Other things we didn’t really liked on this notebook and think you won’t either are the lack of a memory card reader and the poor resolution of the screen. But let’s go more into the features of our review model.
1366 x 768 pixel resolution
On the left side, the IdeaPad U300s has a USB 2.0 port and a button that will launch the system recovery function, in case the OS is in pain. On the right side are an HDMI port, a headphone/microphone jack and a USB 3.0 port. Unfortunately, there is no Ethernet port but only built in 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth.
There is a 1.3 megapixel webcam which works well for a webcam and is able to accommodate to different levels or brightness. Using the YouCam software from Lenovo, you can add some effects to your pictures, and there is also the possibility to set it as a security camera.
The 13.3 inch 1366 x 768 panel is not good enough for the U300s’s high price, but you won’t have problems watching full screen 720p videos.
Comparing the IdeaPad U300s with the other ultrabooks, the result won’t be very satisfying, but we think that the this model is still a good skinny laptop. It is fast, has a good, lasting battery life (over 5 hours in our tests) and the design is nice also.
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate|
|Processor type||Intel Core i7-2677M|
|Processor Frequency||1.8 GHz|
|Display Size||13.3 inches|
|Panel Size Type||Widescreen|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 3000|
|Native Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Storage space capacity||256 GB|
|RAM memory||4 GB|
|Wireless Display Capability (WiDi)||Yes|
|Total weight||2.9 lb|