Review: Lenovo U300S
Two weeks ago Lenovo sent me their U300s Ideapad to get a firsthand look at their new ultrabook. I have been using it diligently ever since to get a true idea of how it will hold up for busy bloggers and heavy travelers.
If you haven’t heard about ultrabooks, they are PC makers’ weapon against Apple’s MacBook Air. Light and fast PC makers are counting on consumers to invest in their technology especially those who are loyal to PC laptops or who believe the MacBook Air is too expensive for their bank accounts.
Lenovo’s U300S compares favorably to my huge workhorse, the Dell XPS17. I rely on my Dell laptop whenever I need to really get down to work and use a lot of software at once, but the truth is the Ideapad is just as powerful, even though it is much smaller and considerably thinner. In fact, I have not had to alter my work style while using Lenovo’s U300S. I love that I can carry around a much smaller, thinner laptop and still proceed with work as usual.
There are three things that stood out in my mind immediately as I really started to use the U300S. First, there are one touch buttons to increase and decrease the volume and the screen brightness. As these are two customizations I change several times as I use my laptop I appreciate that I don’t have to use the function key to alter sound and brightness. I have also noticed that even with extended use the Ideapad does not get hot. That is not the case with both of my other laptops. They run hot after using them for extended use. This is possible because of the Intel Advanced Cooling Technology. And finally, the resume time is amazing on the U300S. It is far below 10 seconds.
The keyboard is extremely comfortable to use and the glass trackpad is very responsive. There is nothing more bothersome than a trackpad that is overly responsive and at any little touch it triggers a command you don’t want. I like a precise trackpad.
The battery life isn’t anything to write home about. It seems rather average in my estimation. It doesn’t stand out in my mind as having any quicker charge time or longer battery life.
Aesthetically, the Lenovo U300S is head and shoulders above the rest. The color (clementine orange) is a great selling point. And the Lenovo U300S is shaped more like a notebook which gives it that thin, stylish look.
If you travel quite a bit like I do, the Lenovo U300S is incredibly light. I can tell a huge difference from my other laptops when I pack it into my laptop bag. And it is a great laptop to travel with internationally because it has a two-prong power cord instead of three-prong power cord. As I have traveled to Europe and Africa this year I have found it is far easier to find two-prong travel adapters when I leave mine at home. This laptop will save you a headache travel wise and is still powerful enough to work on.
The Lenovo U300S starts at $1499. You can purchase it with up to 2nd generation Intel Core i7 ULV processor and up to Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium.
Check out my unboxing video.
Photos: Jennifer James