Lenovo IdeaPad U300s Ultrabook Review
In fact, with Dell's XPS 13 and the Asus UX21 that we tested recently, we felt you definitely get what you pay for, but we all know the up-sell to an ultrabook, versus a standard 13 or 12-inch notebook, would be a lot easier if we could dance closer to that $800 mark. Unfortunately the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s that we'll be looking at today doesn't get us any closer to clearing that magic $799 psychological MSRP hurdle, but like its brethren that we've put through their paces thus far, this ultrabook is a premium product through and through.
|Processor Options||Intel® Core i5 2677M (1.80GHz w/ Turbo Boost to 2.90GHz, 4MB L3 cache)
Intel® Core i7 2457M Dual Core (1.60GHz w/ Turbo Boost to 2.1GHz, 3MB L3 cache)
|Dimensions||Height: 0.58" / Width: 12.75" / Depth 8.5"|
|Starting at Weight||Starting at 2.9lbs (with 4 cell battery)|
|Display||13.3" HD WLED (1366x768)
|Construction||Machined aluminum shell, cool-touch palm rest, breathable keyboard, integrated touchpad
|System Memory||4GB dual channel DDR3* 1333MHz; on board|
|Graphics||Intel® HD 3000 graphics|
|Battery||54WHr battery; 4-Cell Li-Polymer (built-in) Up to 8 hours battery life claimed
|AC Adapter||45W AC adaptor|
|Hard Drive Options||128GB or 256GB SSD drive option|
|Wireless Connectivity||Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6230 802.11 a/g/n with Intel® Smart Connect Technology + Bluetooth 3.0, Intel® Wireless Display ready*|
|Sound||High Definition Audio + Waves MaxxAudio® 4 1.5W x2 = 3W total|
|Ports and Connectors||USB 3.0 (1)+ USB 2.0 with PowerShare (1); HDMI (1); mic; Headset Jack (1)|
|Productivity & Entertainment Software||Microsoft Security Essentials2.0, CyberLink YouCam3.0, Ifliter (only for JP, backup to C:\ only), IdeaLife with LeSIE 2.4 (only for PRC-SC), Adobe Reader(Only Backup to D:), Google Chrome and iGoogle for Notebook (Except for PRC), Lenovo EE Boot Optimizer Rapid Driver(for SSD+HDD sku , ww ship), Device Active for FastBoot, Intel Rapid Start Technology (For SSD only sku), IE9.0 (by Critical update), Microsoft Office 2010, Windows Live Essentials 2011
*Software may vary by region.
|Operating System Options||Windows® 7 Home Premium|
||$1495 as tested - Core i7-2677M, 4GB DDR3, 256GB SSD
$999 - 128GB SSD, Core i5-2457M
In fact, it's surprising more premium notebooks don't have options for SSD configurations. No other component upgrade currently will offer a better, more noticeable performance and responsiveness increases than an SSD.
In addition to that SSD, Lenovo's IdeaPad U300s is similarly configured versus the other ultrabooks we've looked at thus far, with a pair of USB ports (one of which is USB 3.0 capable) a headphone jack and Lenovo's OneKey Rescue System button. The OneKey Software and button combination feature is a nice touch for quick recovery from non-operational Windows crashes etc. More on this later. For now, let's get a better look at the U300s from a hardware design point of view.