It’s not often that we see laptops with refreshing designs. Typically, manufacturers only change colors, add textures and try to make thing slimmer. That’s not the case with the Lenovo IdeaPad U260 which has a unique look that would surely garner attention every time you use it in public. With its interesting portable design, the IdeaPad U260 also packs a low-voltage Core i5 processor that targets the stylish mobile workers out there.
Let’s find out if the IdeaPad U260 will hit its mark as a laptop of choice for those who’s always on the go.
The Lenovo IdeaPad U260 has a wide, single piece of magnesium alloy chassis (ours is mocha brown) to house its world’s-first 12.5-inch screen. The only curves you will see here are from the slight rounded edges on what is basically a boxy-looking, slim netbook. The boxy look is something we don’t often see anymore (aside from business laptops) but it’s a nice, refreshing look that sets it apart from your typical notebook.
The lid has a non-slip sort of rubberized texture that won’t attract fingerprints at all. The same material is found on the underside where the fancy-looking air vents for the quiet fan are located. There’s no battery latch so you need to unscrew the base panel if you wish to replace your batteries.
On the left side you would see the mini-PCIe port, a USB 2.0 port and the earphone jack along with the switch to toggle WiFi and Bluetooth on or off. On the right side is the power jack, VGA port, LAN port, HDMI out port and another USB 2.0 port. What’s missing the the typical 3rd USB port and a card reader.
Opening the lid you will be greeted with the bright, crisp 12.5-inch LED backlit screen. But what you will notice more is the faux leather palm rest which feels good to rest your hands on.
The keyboard is very comfortable to type with and has dedicated Home, End, Pg Up and Pg Dn buttons at the expense of the smallish size of the Backspace which I find hard to get used to. Other than that, the keys are well-spaced and has very good tactile feedback. You will also be happy to know that the keyboard is spill-resistant although I didn’t bother testing it. Hehe.
Above the keyboard are various LED indicators designed with fancy illuminated dots and on each of its two sides are speaker grills. It’s surprising that they didn’t include backlight on the keyboard here so better get some light on whenever you’re typing here.
Below it is its adequately-sized glass touchpad which provided me a smooth and accurate mouse navigation. The chrome left and right buttons were quite responsive as well and don’t require much of an effort to use.
This IdeaPad U260 runs on a low-voltage 1st Generation Intel Core i5-470UM processor although the integrated graphics lacks power for 3D rendering so no go on games with high settings. It also comes with 320GB HDD which is a bit on the low end considering most notebooks of this caliber have 500GB at least.
Here’s the Windows Experience Index of the Lenovo IdeaPad U260:
I did a simple conversion test so test its processing power. I converted a 126MB 1080p HD movie trailer (2:33 mins) into iPhone format (37.8MB) and the IdeaPad U260 was able to finish processing it in just 2:02 minutes. Pretty good actually.
Playback of full HD 1080p videos here is actually smooth and the dual front speakers above the keyboard gives an adequate audio volume for indoor use with ambient noise.
The 0.3megapixel webcam is very ordinary. Usually, I expect better quality webcams on premium notebooks but Lenovo decided to skimp on this area by slapping a netbook-quality webcam.
For something portable and made for traveling, the U260 has a less stellar battery life. Normal usage with WiFi On, 30% brightness (50% is already too bright), typical browsing, watching video clips and a few FB games would only net me about 3 hours.
Here’s what BatteryBar has to say about its battery.
What I noticed here is that the underside of the IdeaPad U260 gets uncomfortably hot even for just a short duration like 30 minutes or so. Granted that it’s not elevated and the table is blocking the exhaust vents but I haven’t experienced it in other laptops including other Lenovos.
To get more out of your battery, Lenovo included an Energy Management app that allows you to set your laptop’s performance from 5 different settings. The lowest setting will even limit the maximum color display of your screen.
With a price tag of Php51,990 for this Core i5 version, what you’re really paying for is the elegant design, unique display size, and the fine craftsmanship of this laptop. It’s a pretty capable laptop slightly marred with the short battery life and the lack of a built-in card reader which is important especially for travel photographers. If you’re going to be using it a lot for travels, the size and weight is just right though.
|Lenovo IdeaPad U260 Specs:|
|12.5″³ display at 16:9 ratio and 1366Ã—768 pixel resolution|
|Intel Core i5-470 UM @ 1.33 GHz (2 Cores, 4 Threads, Turbo Boost 1.86GHz)|
|Intel HD Graphics|
|4GB DDR3 RAM|
|320GB SATA HDD|
|WiFi 802.11 b/g/n|
|2 x USB 2.0 port|
|Windows 7 Home Premium|
|4-cell Li-Po battery|
|Colors: mocha brown, clemetine orange|
|SRP: Php51,990, Php44,990 (Core i3 version)|