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.


  • 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.

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