Lenovo IdeaPad U260


We're just several days into the new year, and this early on, we're seeing an influx of flashy new toys to drool over, save up for, and eventually push to the side when the next “it” thing comes to market. But the Lenovo IdeaPad U260 intends to stay much longer than its counterparts, banking on both a premium exterior and a good spec list to attain recall in consumers' minds. We were more than happy to see if this 12.5-inch portable workhorse fares well in tests and daily use.

No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. Lenovo straddles the netbook and notebook camps with the U260's size, but its aesthetics certainly make it clear that the laptop is going for the luxe consumer set. The test unit that landed in our lab (which bears a magnesium-aluminum alloy, mocha-brown exterior; textured palm rest; glass touchpad; and chiclet keyboard with “squircle” keys) reminded us of 2 things. First is the neverending race among laptop manufacturers to slim their products down to frighteningly anorexic levels, and – as bibliophiles and diarists will note – old leather-bound journals, a look Lenovo was clearly going for.

While the U260 aims to be the bombshell of the laptop world, some omissions had to be made to ensure that it doesn't tip the scales. The DVD drive has gone MIA (but can be addressed by taking the external route), and there are only 2 USB 2.0 ports available, one on each side. There's also the standard LAN and VGA ports, along with a headphone jack, an HDMI port, and a Wi-Fi switch.

Additionally, the keyboard is a bit cramped, but the added spacing between keys is much appreciated. The tiny but loud Dolby speakers are placed at the top with the Power button and notification lights, while the palm rest and touchpad at the bottom portion round everything up quite nicely.

So this lappie may be thinner and smaller than its competitors, but does it deliver on its promises? The answer's both yes and no. In terms of looks, it gets the thumbs-up vote without question. The magnesium-aluminum cover made us extra careful than we were with other laptops as it can easily attract scratches, and the limited number of USB ports doesn't quite cut it. But when it came to performance, we had several qualms.

The first niggle that came up was battery life. At exactly 2 hours and 59 minutes, it doesn't meet Lenovo's projected 4-hour battery life for this particular model. The next downside is this: We know this laptop's hot, but we didn't expect it to get equally hot under the collar, specifically on the right side of the unit. The U260's Windows Experience Index score of 3.3 was a disappointment, with the results dragged downward by graphics.

On the upside, this compact computer got a Novabench score of 388, good enough when compared to systems with a similar spec list. Our media were rendered nicely, thanks to the U260's Dolby sound system (which called for a little tinkering to get the quality we wanted it to have) and clear anti-glare widescreen display, which gave us great eye candy even under direct sunlight. Putting this laptop through its paces didn't make us feel as if we were handling a 12.5-incher, except for the keyboard, which required minimal adjustments, particularly with the Shift, Caps Lock, Page Up/Down, and Home/End keys.

At the time of writing, the U260 is priced at P44,900. That price makes the U260 slightly more affordable compared to rivals like Apple's Macbook Air, which has an online base price of close to P51,900. Considering the U260 is made to attract consumers who want killer looks and satisfactory specs at a reasonable price, we'd say that getting a sip of this mocha-brown machine is a good way to start your year. Just don't forget to let it cool off. 

See also

Tech Specs:

 

Performance
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Value
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Overall
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+
  • Compact size and light weight
  • Great aesthetics
  • Good audiovisuals
-
  • Poor battery life
  • Easily heats up, especially on the unit's right side
  • Few USB ports; no DVD drive
  • Low graphics scores
Bottom Line
  • Cool lappie, but it easily tires out and gets hot after a short while
Editor's Pick No
Price P44,900
Tech Specs
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 U470 @ 1.33GHz
  • Display: 12.5” HD Anti-Glare Widescreen
  • Hard disk: 320GB SATA II @ 5400rpm
  • Memory: 4GB DDR3 @ 1066MHz
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics with Dynamic Frequency
  • Sound: Dolby Advanced Audio Surround Sound system
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 10/100/1000M LAN, Bluetooth 2.0
  • Webcam: Integrated 0.3-megapixel camera
  • Ports/Switches:
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x headphone
    • 1 x HDMI
    • 1 x LAN
    • 1 x VGA
    • 1 x Mini PCIe
    • Wi-Fi switch
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Additional Software:
    • Lenovo DirectShare
    • Lenovo VeriFace 3.6
    • Lenovo Security Suite
    • Energy Management
    • One Key Recovery
    • McAfee AntiVirus Plus
  • Dimensions: 318 x 204.5 x 18mm
  • Weight: 1.38kg

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Lenovo IdeaPad U260 01

Lenovo IdeaPad U260
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