Lenovo IdeaPad U260: A Stylish Ultralight Notebook
Lenovo also advertises in its marketing materials that the U260 can also be had in a 1.48GHz Intel Core i7-680UM processor flavor, but no information about that option is available on the website currently, not even the price. A call to the online chat/help person told us only "We are working to get that model in stock." and "I don't know the price." We interpreted all this to mean that the 1.4GHz model exists only in the press materials at this time.
The U260 offers 320GB of hard drive storage. Lenovo marketing also notes that the device can also be configured with 128GB of SSD flash-based storage, though we didn't see that option available during the web ordering process, and our queries with the chat-based sales help told us that if it wasn't on the web, it wasn't available.
Like the other models, the U260 also includes 4GB of DDR3 memory and that helps it perform well, whether multitasking up a storm with many applications and web pages open, or for unwinding at night streaming your favorite movie or TV show. The backlit, anti-glare LCD screen was truly a joy to watch for hours on end.
On the other hand, when it comes to audio, the default audio settings were painfully tinny. We were able to improve the sound quality of the integrated speakers a lot by increasing the Levels setting (we liked it at 70) and manually enabling the "Audio enhancer" option for them available in the drivers. (Control Panel/Hardware and Sound/Manage Audio devices/Properties/Levels ... and /Properties/Dolby/Audio Enhancer.)
However, if you really want to enjoy music or movie sound on this machine without wearing your headphones, be prepared to invest in a good pair of speakers. Lenovo boasts that sound quality is one of the U260's strong points thanks to its included Dolby Advanced Audio. When listening to audio via our headphones, we were impressed. But we like to lie in bed at night to watch American Idol untethered by the headphones, so we were disappointed that the native sound quality wasn't up to the unit's claims. Again, speakers solve the problem beautifully but in this size of notebooks, you simply can't expect much from integrated speakers. Note that the unit also includes an HDMI port, so piping audio and video from the system to an HDMI-capable television is another attractive option for boosting audio and visual capability.