It is nigh ironic how ultrabooks inspired somewhat in their form and lightness from Apple's MacBook Air, are looking forth to be potential MacBook Air killers (of course, commercially!). A few days ago we brought to you an Acer Aspire S3 review, but now it is time for some palaver on Lenovo's IdeaPad U300. Ever since Intel opened up the proverbial 'Pandora's Box' of super-sleek laptops, the biggest assets of such Ultrabooks have been their slimness and lightness. Taking cue from this, the IdeaPad U300 has rather notched it up a level by actually being even 2mm thinner than MacBook Air (at 14.9mm). But beyond that ethereal scope, does Lenovo's machine have what it takes to be a winner? Read on to find out.
Pricing and availabilityThe minimum pricing for the U300 Ultrabook category is set around $1,195 (with the non-Ultrabook versions of the IdeaPad being available at lower prices). As for availability, the machines have already made their commercial debut in October.
Now pricing may not be its strong point, but this fine looking laptop from Lenovo certainly has other convenient features to make up for it. Beneath the sober, subtly rounded visual elements (ranging from muted gray to clementine orange), the IdeaPad U300 is powered by low-voltage Intel Core i5-2467M along with 4GB of DDR3 memory and a 128GB SSD. This special type of processor induces a sort of thermal envelope for countering overheating as well as lengthening battery life.
And since we are talking about overheating, the incorporated chiclet-style keyboard has a system of fans situated beneath it, to drawn in the outside air for cooling (inside) effect. On the other hand the vents for hot air are conveniently placed on the left side and back hinge area for optimized heat mitigation.
Finally, the SSD comes into the picture with its related instant boot features along with lag free resuming. Infused with Intel's latest Rapid Start technology, the contraptions are touted to wake from sleep mode and cold boot in 15 seconds to 20 seconds.
What's not so great?
Given its ultra-sleek demeanor, the IdeaPad U300 design does sacrifice a tad bit on functionality. The machine only offers a single USB 2.0 and 3.0 port, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an HDMI port.
Since the form of the laptop epitomizes sober solidity, many of us users could have hoped for a more aesthetically fulfilling back lit panel. But unfortunately, it is not so.
While the Aspire S3 has the advantage of a low price (of $899), the IdeaPad U300 certainly doesn't. With its minimum pricing of around $1,195, the below-$1000 dream scheme of Intel ultimately does get shattered.
Things to watch out for
Quite possibly the best looking laptop from Lenovo, the airy 2.9 pound IdeaPad U300 Ultrabook has it all - a larger 13.3-inch, 1366 x768-resolution screen, a sleek bearing with 0.59 inches thickness (14.9mm), a restrained yet classy aluminium cover with subtly chamfered edges and yes, an ethereal glass touch pad to top it off.
And moving beyond the scope of even Ultrabooks, Lenovo has decided to incorporate the 54WH Lithium Polymer (rather than Lithium Ion) battery. This will supposedly improve upon its predecessor U260's battery life by having at least 8 hours of charge period. Finally, Lenovo has also re-designed the heat vents by applying them on the back hinge area, rather than the base part.
If you are enticed by an elegant looking laptop that scores high on its intrinsic swankiness as well as usability, the Lenovo IdeaPad U300 Ultrabook is certainly for you. Now, if we look from the perspective of the machine being a direct competitor to MacBook Air, we could have hoped for a more feasible pricing. But after saying that, we should conclude that the IdeaPad U300 is a winner in its own right.
One of the thinnest contraptions in the market, the latest of these Apple laptops are powered by Intel Core i5 with 3 MB shared L3 cache, 4 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM with up to 250 GB of secondary storage.
Another super thin device that is infused with an ultra low voltage (ULV) Intel Core i5 CPU processor , 4GB RAM along with 20GB SSD, the Acer Aspire S3 enters into the commercial fray with its relatively low cost.
Toshiba Portege Z830
Considered to be one of the main direct competitors to IdeaPad U300, the Toshiba Portege Z830 can support up to quad-core processors with 128GB of SSD internal memory and 6GB of DDR3 RAM.
Further readings or Word around the web
...this is a sharp-looking system, with a bit more of a buttoned-down look in muted gray than some of the more colorful plastic IdeaPad laptops we've seen.PCMag says,
The IdeaPad U300s is the thinnest, best looking laptop I've seen so far from Lenovo's consumer line.