With its magnesium alloy chassis and orange (or brown) lid and bottom, the Lenovo IdeaPad U260 is a head-turner. It is the world’s first 12.5-inch ultraportable notebook and has got a low voltage Intel Core i5 processor under its hood. So how does the machine fare in real-world usage?
Long story short, the IdeaPad U260 is well worth its $899 price tag, but it fails to get a respectable battery life.
Design and build quality
The U260 measures just 0.7 inches in thickness and weighs 3 pounds. It is easy to carry around and has an extremely attractive design which is guaranteed to make heads turn. Build quality is good.
Heat levels are normal. Lenovo’s Breathable keyboard design and Intel’s Advanced Cooling techniques help in keeping the laptop reasonably cool during operation. The areas near the back vents beneath the display
hinges, however, get uncomfortably hot. Not every lap friendly, we think.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Lenovo notebooks have always been famous for their great keyboards. The IdeaPad U260 is no different. It has a chiclet-style keyboard which is quite comfortable to type on. The keyboard is also water-resistant. The glass touchpad has two discrete chrome mouse buttons which are quite responsive. The touchpad supports multitouch, but Laptop says that some gestures, like pinch-to-zoom, feel somewhat sluggish.
Ports and Webcam
Port selection is satisfactory. The notebook has a mini PCIe slot, 2 USB ports, VGA, Ethernet, HDMI, WiFi on/off switch, dual headphone-and-microphone jack and a spare slot for a card reader. It also has a 0.3-megapixel webcam.
Display and Audio
The IdeaPad U260 has a 12.5-inch display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. There is also an ambient light sensor for automatically adjusting the screen brightness. The single watt stereo speakers are backed by the Dolby Advanced Audio digital sound-processing technology. Audio quality is fairly impressive. But if you tend to listen to a lot of music on your laptop you will need to invest in a pair of headphones.
The IdeaPad U260 has a low voltage Core i5 470UM processor, integrated graphics, 4GB of RAM and a 320GB, 5400 rpm hard drive. In the PC Mark Vantage test, it scored way above the AMD-powered HP Pavilion dm1z. However, Aspire TimelineX 1830t, which has the same $899 price tag, but a Core i7 processor scored almost 1000 points higher.
In terms of real-world use, the U260 is an able performer. It can handle almost everything you throw at it. Boot times are also fast. Because the U260 doesn’t have a discrete graphics card it doesn’t deliver impressive graphics performance.
The IdeaPad U260 gets around 4 hours of battery life. That isn’t all that bad, but the Aspire TimelineX 1830t lasts over 6 hours.