Lenovo IdeaPad U300s Laptop Review
We have seen a lot of ultrabooks launched this year in the Indian market and few of them really have good capacity and looks. However, when it comes to price things get really dicey and so we are here to review for our readers about the all new Lenovo IdeaPad U300s laptop.
Lenovo IdeaPad U300s Design and Display :
The Lenovo IdeaPad U300s laptop has got amazing looks and feels due to the adornment of aluminum integration at its body. However, the question arises is how a powerful machine that boots in less than 20 seconds and comes for a starting price of $1,095, but fails to offer an SD card slot. There would be many missing which we can only find after exploring the complete device. Considerably, the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s sports good performance and has retained better sound ergonomics than many of its competitors, but lacks in several features that could let down many.
The device cannot be said as sexy, but its design is very decent and fabulous which we liked a lot. The device has also got sleek and ultra-thin look just like Mac-Book Air. Owners get two choices of design covers. The design has been engineered pretty well which can be held in one hand due to its 2.95 pound frame. The device is tasteful than the other ultrabooks in its class especially Asus. Just like Air, the IdeaPad U300s comes with an essence of single piece of aluminum, a smooth sheet that covers the lid. Aluminum finish can also be found at its bezels, bottom and interior. A small metal logo over the lid gives a distinct look to the device. The four tiny feet right on the bottom of the device is kept very simple without any doors or screws. Users get to access just the spun metal power button, IdeaPad logo, a long trackpad, and several perforated dots that are visible on the front edge that glows in white when the machine is turned on with the AC adapter plugs in.
Owners get some opportunity to add some tasteful elements in the U300s device such as Clementine Orange, but we still like the staid charcoal look which is officially called as Graphite Gray. The device even after having anodized and sandblasted feature, the aluminum shell is vulnerable to scratches. So, if you are planning to carry it wherever you want and want to slide inside a bag, then do not forget to buy a sleeve for it. The device gets all awe-inspiring look over its body with complete thin and light appearance.
However, the device fails to have a memory card slot, but comes with all other ports that you can expect on a power machine such as HDMI, USB 2.0 and 3.0, mic port and dual headphone. As far as the keyboard and trackpad is concerned, we liked their response with chiclet-styled boards that have been found in recent ultrabooks. Though the keys have flat caps and do not get molded to the fingertips. The keyboard is sturdy, all the keys are well-spaced and are soft enough to type anything without committing any error. Users can relax their hands and fingers just hit the right key no matter whether it is Tab, Shift, Caps Lock or Enter.
Just like the MacBook Air, the U300s justifies its expensive price by adding the dots that attract most of the attention. Still, the keyboard should have got backlit feature which is these days offered on mid to high range laptops. The best features that this device retains are its expansive glass trackpad (Synaptics-powered) that matches the Air’s trackpad in both smoothness and size. Whatever is the device look like, but its touchpad is really the best we have tested in any other Ultrabooks so far. The U300s boast a low-friction surface that that gives easy access to drag the cursor enjoys the multi-touch gestures. The company has also worked on several unique gestures rather than the simple pinch-to-zoom. So, this device gets a four-finger gesture support that opens a master control window displaying aero cards that highlight all the windows as well as documents that the users have kept open. With the help of two-finger gesture, users can swipe through the wallpapers left or right or can even scroll between the items by using four fingers at left or right direction.
Now paying attention to the display as well as sound quality of this device, it sports 13.3 inches of 1366 by 768 pixels which could disappoint many high-end users as Air delivers 1400 by 900 pixels and Zenbook UX312 has 1600 by 900 pixels of resolution. However, the display gives good resolution when we watch 720p videos on full screen. Still, this device is a little high in price if compared to the other high end laptops such as Aspire S3 and Toshiba Portege Z830 which cost around two hundred dollars less than this device. The display features 180 degree viewing angle.
One more new feature that worth its price is its ‘Intel Wireless Display’ that we have never found in any other ultrabooks until now. The device also enables the users to mirror its display on TV or other monitor. Streaming can be done at 1080p video. The IdeaPad U300s also gives you good access to your TV. So, if you want to keep your laptop close to TV all the time then we would tell you to buy a box that lets you interface between your TV and WiDi-enabled laptop. This box was sold by Best Buy for$100 or so.
The SRS speakers that this laptop has retained deliver acceptable sound with good genres like pop music, but if you put the music on rap songs then you might dislike the sound quality that much. The sound is also not that loud that it enters the next room of your home and make you feel dance.
Lenovo IdeaPad U300s Performance and Graphics :
The configuration model of $1,495 we have tested comes packed with 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7-2677M processor with 4GB RAM and 256 GB SSD. This laptop has a lot of worthy features such as PCMark Vantage and 3DMark. The manufacturer promises that its flagship model IdeaPad U300s can boot in around 20 seconds due to the integration of RapidDrive SSD technology and out test was very impressive with 18 seconds of booting capacity.
Heat is managed well by the U300s and gives good playback of 720p videos on full screen. This is only possible because of the breathable keyboard and the Intel’s Advanced Cooling Technology. Not even we can hear the noise of the fan of this laptop. So impressed we are.
Lenovo IdeaPad U300s Battery :
After exploring the entire laptop, owners check out the battery life of the device which is much more important especially for those who buy to carry it around with them. With 65 percent of fixed brightness, Wi-Fi and movie looping, we tested the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s laptop with all these features on and the result was straight five hours battery backup. So the battery is good, but not suitable for those who want to play games in it. It would be a huge disappointment as the laptop is not dedicated to gamers.
Lenovo IdeaPad U300s Software and Configuration Options :
The device runs Google Chrome and also a trial version of Microsoft Office 2010. Well, we are not pretty happy with the software Lenovo has provided. There is no security software. So, the moment after unboxing it, you might have to first start downloading security software to keep your laptop safe. Several characters of notes can be found assorted by colors in default setting like in Mac OS X. Lenovo OneKey Recovery is available that helps to back up the data of the device and restores the data if happened any terrible loss or any wrong with the device. Other good feature about this device is that it comes loaded with Computrace’s LoJack module, but it depends upon the users who want to activate this service to track the missing laptop and remove the contents from remote location.
The Lenovo IdeaPad U300s comes in two options – starting device comes for $1,095 with 1.6 GHz Core i-52457M processor, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD memory, and another $1,495 that comes with Intel graphics, 4 GB RAM, 1.8 GHz i7-2677M processor, and 256 GB solid-state storage.
Currently, this device is available in the market for $1,095 or up and comes for best value. In fact, the device is considered as one of the better Ultrabooks that we have ever found in the market with this price range. If we compare the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s device, there are not such powerful displays (high resolution) in competitors’ device though they are skinny like this. However, the lack of memory card insertion and backlit keyboard make this device stand back in the competition.
Just like Apple, Lenovo demands to pay more for the things it is providing in its polished and slim device. Considering that, the $1,095 is a good value for money if you get good battery life, Intel Wireless Display and the best keyboard with trackpad.