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back to article Lenovo U300s Ultrabook

A body made from a single piece of aluminium. Uh-huh. A case held shut with magnets. Righty. A multi-gesture trackpad with a glass surface. Ohhh-kayyy, I think I can see what's happening here. Lenovo U300s Ultrabook Lenovo IdeaPad U300s Ultrabook With the IdeaPad U300s, Lenovo wants to convince you it has created the most …

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Anonymous Coward

Looks very Macish

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Linux

For an Apple fan..... Black ink spots for fans would like like a Apple product.

Put the Cool-aid down and provide something of even minimal importance. So far....You haven't.

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Flame

Plagiarism!

I could swear most of the first page of this review is directly lifted from the macbook air review!

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Bronze badge

Re: Plagiarism!

I say! Provide evidence to back up your libellous slur!

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I've got a load of toner to deliver to Raleigh, NC?

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How much?

PC manufacturers are so out of touch. I've been looking at ultrabooks for months, and yesterday I concluded that they're just too expensive for me.

So I bought a Lenovo IdeaPad Z570 i7-2670QM 8GB 750GB GT540M 1GB BluRay 15.6 screen.

Yes, its bigger, fatter, heavier, slower disk, but I SAVED £450 quid! You can get an o.k. holiday for that, or nearly an Ipad.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How much?

"Yes, its bigger, fatter, heavier, slower disk, but I SAVED £450 quid! You can get an o.k. holiday for that, or nearly an iPad."

Good for you but when I go on holiday I would rather take my Macbook Air at about 1kg and very slim, good battery life and fast than my kitchen sink. If you want that spec you could have bought a desktop and saved more, bigger screen etc.

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Happy

Re: How much?

"Yes, its bigger, fatter, heavier, slower disk, but I SAVED £450 quid! You can get an o.k. holiday for that, or nearly an Ipad."

Or an SSD, and then that Laptop would fly.

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Stop

Review vs Score

Paraphasing the the three page review to essentially: 'a nice machine, but buy something else', but it still gets 70%?

I'd expect a 70% review to be closer to 'get what you pay for, meh' type of machine. ~£400 more than a machine with better benchmarks? should be 0%, do not buy.....

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Silver badge

Finally... the designers at Lenovo have put the Fn key in the correct place and not hijacked the Ctrl key the very rarely used Fn key. Might be able to type on a Lenovo and move to another laptop without having to glare at the keyboad layout from now on!

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QI

You can swap the Fn key...

on any lenovo laptop via bios. I agree it is not at the right place but it is not a deal breaker.

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MGJ

Screen

So, a high end laptop with a crappy screen; why not 1600 by 900? Its why I didnt wait for one and bought a Vaio S instead.

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Silver badge

Re: Screen

You said it.

Ditch the glossy screen finish too. Looks great in iShops, but in real life, when the sun comes out, you end up looking at a reflection of your shirt. St Jobs didn't wear that black turtle-neck by accident you know!

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Anonymous Coward

"IdeaPad"

Really - perhaps it should have been called:

"CopyPad"

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Anonymous Coward

More like 'GotNoIDEAsOfOurOwnPAD' ;-)

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But the screen

At that resolution: it's not enough. Come on and give me more pixels!

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Silver badge

Re: But the screen

More VERTICAL pixels!

Thanks

This message sponsored by the campaign for 4:3 laptops.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But the screen

I'd even settle for 16x10 (like macs have) rather than the 16x9 we're getting everywhere else.

If only Macbook Air's came with 8GB RAM and USB3 or eSATA...

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Re: But the screen

Quite- even if you are using 4:3 or 16:10 for watching for video, those extra pixels are idea for the controls. Video editing- even more so.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't think I will be buying any laptop at the moment until the new MacBooks are out (probably with even better screens). On a laptop - well for most people at least - if you are actually using it 'portable' you want good battery life, very portable, good screen, decent keyboard. That is why the Macbook Air does so well. Most normal Windows machines are basically luggables that probably end up stuck on your desk and lugged 'occasionally' - most probably end up mains powered.

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After looking at the orange special edition model, I have an inexplicable urge to eat Jaffa Cakes.

That is all.

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Anonymous Coward

I'd rather have the Macbook Air it was mostly copied from and run Windows or OSX on it. Basically looks like someone went to the Apple store - took it back to the factory and said 'copy this'.

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JDX
Gold badge

If you copy a Mac and make it more powerful but cheaper, then the copy sounds good to me if your argument is "I can run Windows on a Mac".

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Anonymous Coward

Does it have an Apple logo on the lid as well?

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Anonymous Coward

> Does it have an Apple logo on the lid as well?

They thought that would be too obvious. They were going to call it the Lenovo Koobcam Ria - but apparently someone though that might upset Elppa ;)

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Meh

Ultrabooks

All these ultrabooks suffer from the 2 same problems:

1) The integrated Intel graphics can't take advantage of the processing power, and they're pants at anything 3D

2) They all have the same 1366x768 "HD" res. This resolution is fine on a 12" screen, but it should really be at least 1440x900 on a 13.3"

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Re: Ultrabooks

Re 1) Ah yeah, but then you deplete your battery too quickly.

Anyway, I understand it, these newer Intel graphics are on a par with a Geforce 540m - i.e far better than than my laptop's 9600m that runs Batman Arkham Asylum perfectly smoothly, and certainly has enough poke for running CAD applications. Not everyone needs to run Crysis. There are plenty of tasks that can push the CPU besides gaming.

2) I agree completely.

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Don't they have any dignity?

Lenovo is huge, they also have a very good image, no financial problems too.

How hard is to hire a design company such as Porsche to come up with a unique design?

I really lost a lot of respect to companies in this "ultra book" fashion. Other is asus.

Ps: not buying Apple since Intel switch.

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Silver badge

Massive markup

The only reason to manufacturer a laptop in aluminium is so the price can be jacked up. Apple latched on the trick and so it's no surprise that other manufacturers are following suit.

Probably means they can slap £100-200 onto the price over a functionally identical machine that happened to be in a plastic case.

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Silver badge

Re: Massive markup

"The only reason to manufacturer a laptop in aluminium is so the price can be jacked up"

What, like a Coke can, or take-away container? Apple do choose a very time-consuming method of processing Aluminium (CNC machining) but there are other methods. Aluminium is fairly light, cheap, corrosion resistant, heat conducting, easily anodised in a spectrum of colours, fairly easy to work and also stiff in section (because, compared to steel, you would use a larger volume, at the same weight).

Magnesium alloys -or magnesium aluminium alloys - have been also been used, decades ago, for computer cases because it can be easily cast into shapes such as heat-sink fins. Frog Design (designed an early Mac) did this for IBM (IIRC, maybe just being black it just looked like an IBM - all other desktops were beige at the time).

I take it that your Dr is not in material science?

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Anonymous Coward

"1) The integrated Intel graphics can't take advantage of the processing power, and they're pants at anything 3D"

It's not what most people buy them for - i.e. web / email / office apps - they are great. You are looking for the holy grail of fantastic 3G graphics performance, great battery life, huge storage etc. Most top-end 3D graphics cards would probably need (themselves) far more than the 45w power supply by Macbook Air is even capable of delivering and I'm not sure a £300-400 graphic cards would make economic sense in this type of device.

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Anonymous Coward

You do know they make mobile GPUs right?

The graphics in an AMD E350 (competitor to Atom) are better than this thing, and there are a lot of vanilla programs - like web browsers - that can take advantage of a decent GPU and more modern levels of DX support.

That should change with Ivy Bridge (moving from subpar to adequate from what I've read), but in the meantime calling the Intel graphics great is overstating, and by quite a bit... especially for a machine at this price point.

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Basic rule

If something has Intel graphics in it, skip it. It will always be the right choice.

Intel graphics is the sole reason why net books crashed.

Btw, a gpu, goodly known one with good support and always updated drivers will be used regardless of the role of machine and the os used. Look up "direct compute" and "open cl", "hardware accelerated ui".

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What about developer experience

I really wonder if Sandy bridge will end up like stuff from s3/ via. You know, decent specs on paper but can't be used most of time because developers have no time for it.

I am not a PC gamer so it took a while to figure "integrated graphics are not supported" on the box really means "Intel junk claiming to be gpu without hardware t&l can't run this game" :)

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Anonymous Coward

"The only reason to manufacturer a laptop in aluminium is so the price can be jacked up."

... and of course there are designs to make it smaller / thinner you can make in aluminium that would not work in plastic and that aluminium can double as an effective heat sink for the components - so maybe not the only reason?

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Linux

Does it run Linux ?

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Meh

Re: Does It Run Linux

Snark aside, this is a question I wish the reviewers would answer more often, along with the related question "Does it run BSD?"

I realize it's not the easiest question, since I imagine you have to return the machine in more-or-less the same state that you got it, but it is a question you could start asking the manufacturers. Even a "don't know" response would be revealing.

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Anonymous Coward

Its x86 so yes it can run Linux. Any missing device drivers and you can write your own, the beauty of open source.

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Mushroom

"novel cooling method in which air is sucked in through the keyboard"

oh, crumbs

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Thumb Up

Re: "novel cooling method in which air is sucked in through the keyboard"

Indeed.

Also, given heat rises, I thought it would be more efficient to suck air in from the side, and blow it up out the keyboard, solving both heat and crumb issues?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "novel cooling method in which air is sucked in through the keyboard"

"solving both heat and crumb issues"

...but then giving rise to a wave of class action lawsuits for chronically toasty fingertips and tragic crumbs in eyes accidents.

: )

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Anonymous Coward

> Ps: not buying Apple since Intel switch.

Ps: NOW buying Apple since Intel switch.

At least I can run Windows if I wanted to.

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Good for you

All of my Apple hardware can run win via Microsoft virtual PC . Sure, it is slow but OK enough to cover couple of stupid "win only" stuff.

If you switched to Apple / Intel because it can run win, you didn't really switch or made a choice. Btw, don't forget to run driver updates if running boot camp, they always put out of date and slow drivers so you don't get a good win experience.

That is the new Apple I gave up.

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Anonymous Coward

1366x768 screen res on a bit of 'premium' kit costing over £1200? Yawn. Next.

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Surely there is a copyright issue!

And people wonder why Apple are always suing people - this is blatant copying

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Windows

" A simple notch line indicates optional left- and right-click areas,"

Didn't a recent ElReg review cast aspersions on this kind of thing and it's dumb-ass users?

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Anonymous Coward

I actually feel a bit sorry for Apple as it is blatant copying IMHO.

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Anonymous Coward

If it were made better (and in better taste - no ORANGE thank you) and had a lit Apple logo on the back - it could be a Macbook. Perhaps Lenovo want to bid against Foxconn for the Apple contract?

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Anonymous Coward

11 inch Macbook Air please for about £300 less.

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Anonymous Coward

""Yes, its bigger, fatter, heavier, slower disk, but I SAVED £450 quid! You can get an o.k. holiday for that, or nearly an iPad."

Go to an Apple store and they will happily sell you a 16Gb 'new' iPad for £399 for an iPad 2 for just £329 - so you have enough left over for a curry and some beers as well.

Or save the £450 towards half the cost of a Macbook Air when you get sick of lugging a brick around.

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