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Laptops Reviews
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Lenovo IdeaPad U300s review

£1299 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Lenovo

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Lenovo IdeaPad U300s is one of the new breed of thin-and-light Intel Ultrabook laptops – REVISED 2 MARCH 2012

The IdeaPad U300s from Lenovo is a solidly-built ultrabook, that internally at least stays quite true to the Apple/Intel template.

It doesn't compete with the Apple MacBook Air or Asus Zenbook UX31E in terms of looks, although neither is it as unprepossesing as the Toshiba Z830.  

It is also slightly unusual (in ultrabook terms at least) by maintaining the same thickness from front edge to hinge. Most modern ultraportable notebooks are thicker at the hinge and come to a point at the front.

The Lenovo IdeaPad U300s is one of the better performers from recently released ultraportables, achieving a WorldBench 6 score of 122. This is still some way short of the 13in MacBook Air, which sports exactly the same processor as the U300s. 

There's 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, which puts it on a par or above most of its opponents, and the battery life of 399 minutes - more than six-and-a-half hours - is particularly impressive.

But we found the Lenovo to suffer one particularly galling problem – the keyboard is blighted with small right Shift, Return and Backspace buttons.

Even worse, the key to the right of the right Shift key is the Up arrow, which we frequently hit by accident. So when hoping to put a letter in uppercase, we moved the cursor up a row instead. This took some getting used to - in fact, we couldn’t, so we typed up this review of the Lenovo on a different laptop; normally we compile a review on the laptop under test.

We found other detractions too. There's no SD card reader and compared to some others – the Toshiba Z830 in particular – connectivity options are limited, although there is a full-sized HDMI port. 

The screen has a glossy finish and though the colours are rich and deep, definition seemed a little fuzzy and the viewing angles are even less impressive than other ultrabooks.

When you press the power button on the Lenovo IdeadPad U300s the only indicator that you've actually started the booting process is a small, faint light on the front edge that's easy to miss. As the screen stays blank for a few seconds you may be unsure that you've pressed the button hard enough and press it again, which is a nuisance.

NEXT PAGE: Original PCWorld review >>

Lenovo IdeaPad U300s Expert Verdict »

Lenovo Ideapad U300s M6845UK Ultrabook reviews verified by Reevoo

Lenovo Ideapad U300s M6845UK UltrabookScores 8.3 out of 10 based on 4 reviews
1.8GHz Intel Core i7-2677M
13.3in glossy LED-backlit
1366 x 768
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
4GB DDR3-1333MHz 256GB SSD
Integrated Intel HD 3000
stereo speakers, headphone jack, mic
1 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0
Bluetooth 3.0
50Wh lithium polymer non-removable
324 x 214 x 15.5mm
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Performance and specification are decent, but the author found the keyboard too awkward for comfortable use. There are a few too many problems with the Lenovo Idea Pad U300s for us to recommend it, not least of which is the high price tag.

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