Lenovo IdeaPad U300s Review
- Attractive, unibody metal shell
- Very good performance
- Intel WiDi feature
- Excellent keyboard
- Useful proprietary software
- Trackpad isn't the best
- No SD Card slot
The Lenovo IdeaPad U300s bears all the hallmark of a Lenovo ultraportable, despite being an ultrabook with a unique design. It has a very good keyboard, traditional Lenovo software, and the potential to blend form and function as close to perfection as is possible.
Lenovo's first ultrabook to launch in India, the IdeaPad U300s, couldn't be more eye-catching.
Despite being a sleek and lightweight ultraportable laptop, like the HP Folio 13 (read our review) and Asus Zenbook UX31E, the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s successfully pulls off a unique shell design that easily distinguishes itself from the rest of the ultrabook pack. Let’s take a closer look...
Design & Build
Ultrabooks are thin and lightweight laptops, and that’s what the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s actually is. Lenovo has encased the IdeaPad U300s in a beautiful metal case which is just 0.59 inch thick. Unlike the HP Folio 13, the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s has polished metal encasing the screen lid and bottom panel of the ultrabook, which adds to the overall air of premiumness associated with the Lenovo ultrabook. Another design highlight of the IdeaPad U300s is that it doesn’t have a maximum or minimum thickness -- unlike the Asus Zenbook UX31E or Apple MacBook Air, which are thicker at the hinges and thinner at the front edge -- the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s maintains equal thickness across its length and breadth.
The ultrabook’s 13-inch form factor is thin and light and easy to hold, weighing just 1.33 kg -- same as most 10-inch netbooks. The Lenovo IdeaPad U300s has a polished metal exterior that’s durable and robust on touch, the ultrabook’s hinges fuse the keyboard deck with the screen efficiently. If anything, the IdeaPad U300s’ screen might be a tad too thin, as it wobbles whenever you try to adjust the screen angle before coming to a quick rest.
Screen, keyboard, touchpad
Like the HP Folio 13 and Acer Aspire S3, the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s has a 13.3-inch widescreen display with a 1366x768 pixel resolution -- lower than the Asus Zenbook UX31E’s 1600x900 pixel resolution. The display isn’t the brightest we’ve seen among ultrabooks but it works well indoors under controlled lighting, viewing angles are average like most other ultrabooks. The Lenovo IdeaPad U300s’ glossy screen makes for a great movie-watching experience, while the ultrabook’s display is good for reading text for extended hours as well.
The Lenovo IdeaPad U300 ultrabook’s keyboard has a distinctive Lenovo laptop’s trademark to it -- the key design, layout and spacing are reminiscent of Lenovo’s IdeaPad and ThinkPad laptops. The keyboard is excellent to type on, with the U300s ultrabook sporting scalloped chiclet-sized keys with just the right amount of haptic feedback. All the important alphanumeric keys are large enough to hit comfortably. Overall, the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s has the best keyboard on any of the ultrabooks we’ve tested so far.
The touchpad, however, is a work-in-progress -- just like on any other ultrabook launched in India. We aren’t big fans of the current touchpad design found on all ultrabooks, where the multi-touch pad and two mouse buttons are on a single, continuous surface. While the touchpad surface itself works flawlessly, while manipulating the mouse pointer on screen, and gestures like zoom and rotate were pulled off easily, the touchpad’s mouse button area requires a firm press to register every stroke. The pressure required to press the mouse buttons is greater than Lenovo IdeaPad laptops that sport separate, clickable mouse buttons. We hope Lenovo fixes this minor speed bump in the next iteration of ultrabooks soon.
Visit page 2, to read more about the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s, its specs, performance, and our verdict...
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