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.