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Lenovo IdeaPad U260 - Easy to Carry, Easy on the Wallet
The demand for portable laptops seems to be on the rise. Almost every manufacturer is out in the market with a lightweight and slim laptop hoping to impress customers with his designs.
IdeaPad U260 - a compact, affordable notebook
Lenovo plans to do the same with their IdeaPad U260 notebook that is designed to be a stylish portable companion.
The IdeaPad U260 is a slim, but not necessarily sleek notebook. There are no fancy curves and glossy panels covering the external surfaces of this notebook. In fact, the matte finish has a somewhat softer feel to it, like synthetic leather.
Open up the lid and you find a 12.5-inch LED backlit display that supports a resolution of 1366 x768 inside. The bezel surrounding the display could have been thinner. In terms of specifications, it’s not very impressive. There’s only an Intel Core i3 U380 1.33 GHz powering it with 4 GB of memory. The processor supports hyperthreading on its two cores. Lenovo ships this model with a 64-bit version of the Windows 7 Home Premium operating system. In terms of storage space, you get a 320 GB Hitachi Travelstar hard drive running at 5400rpm. It’s not the ultimate in performance, but space of just 320 GB is a little low by current standards.
Scaled down trackpad
The smaller form factor means limited connectivity options, as well. For example, there are only two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, D-Sub and an Ethernet port on the notebook. There’s also a WiFi toggle switch on the left side of the notebook.
Build quality and Design
The treatment to the external surfaces is pretty and feels good to the touch as compared to a hard glossy finished surface. It comes in a mocha brown and the sides and the insides of the notebook are black. The upper panel holding the screen is thin but, solidly built. The screen wobbles a bit but nothing that will annoy you while you’re using it at work or home on a desk.
The keyboard feels a little smaller than other notebooks primarily because of its smaller size. The touchpad too has been scaled down to a smaller size. The touchpad though is decent and the mouse clicks are really soft. They seem sturdy and at the same time they’re fun to use.
Not the curviest of notebooks
The surface surrounding the keyboard too, has a matte finish and has a texture similar to the top surface of the notebook. The screen does lean back quite a bit, which is a good thing.
The battery charger Lenovo supplies with the IdeaPad U260 is compact and we noticed that it gets pretty heated up after charging the notebook for more than an hour or so.
The core performance of the U260 isn’t very good due to the somewhat slower Core i3 processor used in the notebook. The lack of a dedicated graphics solution also doesn’t help in the graphics benchmarks. For example, the OpenGL graphics performance test within Cinebench only managed 0.73 fps. Notebooks with a discreet graphics solution can easily manage 20 fps in comparison.
The areas where the Lenovo U260 performs is in the hard drive test. A 2 GB file transfers to the drive at an impressive 56.88 MB/s. Another area where the U260 shines is in its battery life test. The advantages of having a more power-efficient processor are obvious here. The laptop ran our rather intensive battery test for 1 hour 43 minutes, which is slightly better than average. Most portable laptops like the ones we’ve been seeing struggle to cross an hour and most mainstream notebooks last a little less than an hour and a half.
A couple of colour options to choose from
The screen quality is average. It displays colours pretty accurately but viewing angles aren’t as impressive. Looking at the screen from below means you see close to nothing. Sideways and top viewing angles are considerably better. When viewed from the sides, the display does go a little dark and from the top, colours get washed out. The speakers on the notebook are loud and sufficient to enjoy the occasional movie. The higher end of the frequency range is handled well but sounds a little weak in the mid and lower end of the spectrum.
There is heating underneath towards the back of the laptop which might bother you if you use your notebook on your lap for hours on end.
There is no denying the fact that the Lenovo IdeaPad U260 isn’t really a performer. A price tag of Rs. 44,990 means that you are either going to get respectable performance or a very compact notebook. In this case, the Lenovo IdeaPad U260 offers a compact size and a stylish design for an affordable price.
Lacks an optical drive
If you’re looking for a notebook that is a desktop replacement, we wouldn’t recommend the U260. The lack of an optical drive and more processing power is something you’ll sorely miss after a while. If travelling is something you do often and are on a limited budget, you might find the the U260 to be a good proposition.