Hardware

Review: Lenovo IdeaPad U260

The Lenovo IdeaPad U260 is a lightweight, durable, and attractive laptop and is excellent for business professionals who don't wish to lug around a heavy laptop, yet still desire solid performance.

This attractive, lightweight, and sturdy little computer, while designed for fun, is a great tool for anyone who can't be bound to a desk but still needs to get work done. In a market that's cluttered with chatter about tablets and apps, this very nice notebook stands out and deserves recognition.

Specifications

  • Company: Lenovo
  • Product: Lenovo IdeaPad U260
  • CPU: Up to Intel Core i7-680UM processor with Intel
    • Review Model: Intel Core i3-380UM processor (1.33GHz, 3MB Cache)
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Chipset: Mobile Intel QS57 Express
  • Main Memory: 4GB DDR3 1066MH
  • Display: 12.5" HD screen (1366x768), 16:9 widescreen
  • Video Graphics and Memory: Intel HD Graphics with dynamic frequency
  • Hard Drive: Up to 320GB. Review Model 250GB.
  • Card Reader: None.
  • Video Camera: Integrated .3 Mega Pixel Web Camera
  • Integrated Communications: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 10/100/1000M LAN, Bluetooth
  • Interface: 2 USB2.0, headphones, microphone, VGA, HDMI, Mini PCI
  • Audio: Dolby Advanced Audio
  • Battery: 4 Cell Lithium-Ion
  • Dimensions: 318x18x204.5 (mm) (WxHxD)
  • Weight: 3.04 lbs.
  • Retail price: Base model $899
  • Additional software: MS Office Starter 2010 preloaded. Full version can be unlocked with online purchase.

Who is it for?

The Lenovo IdeaPad U260 is for anyone wishing to be productive on the run. This lightweight, durable, and attractive laptop is excellent for students, or business professionals who don't wish to lug around a large, heavy laptop, yet still desire solid performance.

What problem does it solve?

Many lightweight netbooks and notebooks feel cheap and flimsy, or provide cramped keyboards that are uncomfortable to use for any length of time. The U260 is solid, attractive, and comfortable to use, and offers good performance for the average business professional or home consumer.

Standout features

  • Go Anywhere Design: This notebook is lightweight but, as is typical of Lenovo products, extremely sturdy. It employs an active protection system that's designed to protect the hard drive against accidental drops, and the keyboard is spill resistant.
  • Keyboard and TouchPad: When you're using the U260, it doesn't feel like you're typing on a small computer. Keys are raised and very well-spaced. The touchpad is very responsive. Separate right and left buttons work well as opposed to having just one button, and the scroll bar is a nice addition.
  • Aesthetics: This notebook looks and feels very nice making it really stand out from most other models in this class. Palm rests and outer shell are very smudge resistant, if not actually smudge-proof.

What's Wrong

  • No Angry Birds: In the current electronic device market, laptops are in direct competition with tablets in addition to other laptops. For the user who's more interested in touch screen games than productivity, this isn't the right device.
  • No backlit keyboard: For a device which obviously is designed to be carried around and used in all sorts of settings, a backlit keyboard would be extremely helpful. Individuals wishing to work at night or in poorly lit conditions may find the light provided by the screen to be inadequate.
  • Battery life: For some, a battery life of about four hours might be an issue. Of course, barring a power outage, it is possible to plug in and recharge from time to time virtually anywhere.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

This laptop should appeal to anyone who travels frequently and doesn't want to lug around a heavier laptop. Also, professionals wishing to visit clients with a computer in hand might appreciate its stylish appearance. They should however be prepared for family members to want to borrow it when it's not in use.

IT departments are likely to feel comfortable offering this notebook as an alternative to the MacBook Air since it runs on the latest version of Windows and doesn't raise compatibility and product support issues.

User rating

Have you encountered or used the Lenovo IdeaPad U260? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

Read our field-tested reviews of hardware and software in TechRepublic's Product Spotlight newsletter, delivered each Thursday. We explain who would use the product and describe what problem the product is designed to solve.

10 comments
lovenet
lovenet

I write in French:

Prolonger votre vie de la batterie d'ordinateur portable :

1. Retirez la batterie Lenovo IdeaPad U260 de l'ordinateur et déconnectez le câble d'alimentation si vous ne prévoyez pas d'utiliser votre ordinateur portable pendant plus de deux semaines. Vu que la batterie se déchargera pendant son stockage hors de l'ordinateur, elle devra être rechargée tous les trois mois pour étendre sa capacité de cycle et pour éviter les problèmes de charge ou d'autonomie dans le futur.

2. La batterie IdeaPad U260 doit être stockée dans un endroit où la température est comprise entre 10°C et 30°C. N'oubliez pas que la température interne d'un ordinateur portable est supérieure à la température externe. Toute température inférieure à 10°C pourrait diminuer les performances de la batterie. L'utilisation de la batterie à une température supérieure à 30°C augmente les risques d'explosion de la batterie.

3. La durée de vie courante d'une batterie est de 300 à 500 cycles, pour une utilisation et des conditions d'exploitation normales. L'utilisation d'un ordinateur portable à des températures trop basses ou trop élevées affecte le nombre total de cycles de charge dont sera capable la batterie.

jason.adamski
jason.adamski

Last year I purchased 2 brand new Lenovo Ideapad 550YP (I think that is the model) and have had serious issues with both computers being junk. I spent good money and receive garbage for hardware. The first laptop had to be sent in with the first few months because the keyboard and touchpad were defective. Here's where it get's worse. The second one (2 days before the 1 year warranty thank God) started freezing up and prior to that the display started going black on boot yet lights were still on. I believe there to be a bad hard drive and an LCD inverter which I told the tech on the phone. Well they fixed the hard drive and then the day after I received it the screen stayed black. Sent it in again and said "Look at the LCD Inverter please" and they replaced the motherboard. Got it back and 2 days later the screen is going black again. So for the 3rd time in one month I have to send it in AGAIN! Honestly, DO NOT BUY LENOVO. Their products are nothing but garbage. I will gladly go back to HP after I sell these lemons. Shame on you Lenovo for charging me $800 for your made in whatever country crap.

Tim Heard
Tim Heard

Of the numerous people who might need a laptop like this, very few would have a need to connect to an Active Directory domain - or one that's policy managed. I think the initial statement I made still stands. "This attractive, lightweight, and sturdy little computer, while designed for fun, is a great tool for anyone who can't be bound to a desk but still needs to get work done." ... OK. Not *anyone* but lots of people. :-) Also, we review computers or other devices as they come out on the market. TechRepublic specifically is looking for how any device might apply in a business situation, so that's what is addressed here. I obviously wasn't trying to imply that this was one of their business line models. I still say it's a great laptop. Definitely would be glad to have one to use on the road or when out of the office. ... And for my purposes, it would be a work computer. Thanks for your input though. You brought up a good/valid point.

Edigio
Edigio

2 type of Lenovo's laptop : Thinkpad => Business & Professionnal / IdeaPad => Consumers... Same for desktop : ThinkCentre/ThinkStation => Business & Professionnal /IdeaPad => Consumers... So Ideapad laptop are not business machine. End

fergusfog
fergusfog

What? Aren't you reviewing a business notebook? What a silly glib comment. I suppose it doesn't give you a massage afterwards either. Thanks.

in_a_fog
in_a_fog

Any way to block the web page, www b2bjordans com postings from user 'kolhnj? I enjoy reading the comments on TechRepublic without the advertisments.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What are the specs of your ideal "road warrior" notebook computer?

the_Border_Fox
the_Border_Fox

look around where you work. listen to what others are saying. people spend more time talking about angry birds and apps for their phone than screen resolution and cpu power of laptops. he was only making a joke - something missing from most dull reviews.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

We are working on it. The spammers are very clever and giving all of the CBS Interactive Websites problems recently.

concernedITpro
concernedITpro

Not sure I would call this a business laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium. Without Win7 Pro as a minimum, it's not even viable as a business machine.

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