Lenovo IdeaPad U300s Ultrabook Review

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Performance Summary and Rating

Performance Summary: The Lenovo IdeaPad U300s scored fairly well in all of our standard benchmark suites, but did come up a little short in a couple of areas, due to its single channel DDR3 memory configuration.  Storage subsystem performance testing showed the machine to offer solid, although perhaps not best-of-class throughput, though definitely more than enough to satisfy most any user requirement.  In terms of battery life, the U300s is one of the better utlrabooks we've tested to date under light duty workloads, like web browsing, email and video playback.
There's a lot to like about the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s and after using the machine for a while we really wanted to absolutely love it.  Unfortunately, our tech geek lust started to wane a little after we got under the hood with this machine in our benchmarks.  Why Lenovo would configure the machine for single channel DDR memory is beyond us.  Granted, it didn't cause a huge deficit in our benchmark results, but we hardly think there is a significant cost or power consumption savings or any advantage for that matter, for setting the machine up this way.  Is it a deal breaker for us?  Absolutely not.  The IdeaPad U300s is still a very well-built, stylish machine that offers a robust and satisfying user experience in a super thin and light package.  Missed opportunity in memory bandwidth aside, this machine delivers on ultrabook expectations in virtually every significant area.

When it comes to fit and finish, design styling and build quality, the U300s is one of our favorite ultrabooks we've tested thus far.  And did we rave about its keyboard enough?  It really is that nice; it's easily our top choice in ultrabook keyboards so far.

At its $999 price point for the base configuration (with a 128GB SSD and Core i7-2457M), you really can't go wrong with this machine.  At our as-tested configuration and price of $1495 (256GB SSD and Core i7-2677M), there are other ultrabooks you might want to consider, depending on your own personal criteria in some of the key areas we noted here.  Regardless, the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s is an ultrabook we feel more than comfortable recommending to anyone looking to get in on "the new thin" in notebook PCs.


   
  • Sleek, thin, polished and understated looks
  • Fantastic keyboard and touchpad
  • Really nice display
  • Great battery life
  • Good software bundle, free of bloat
  • Nice and quiet
  • Single channel DDR3 memory configuration?!
  • No backlight in the keyboard

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