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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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks very Macish

    1. GotThumbs
      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.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Plagiarism!

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

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Plagiarism!

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

  3. Will 20

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

  4. toffer99

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Durdy
        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.

  5. Andrew Waite
    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.....

  6. Nick Ryan 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!

    1. 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.

  7. 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.

    1. Steve Evans

      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!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "IdeaPad"

    Really - perhaps it should have been called:

    "CopyPad"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More like 'GotNoIDEAsOfOurOwnPAD' ;-)

  10. whitespacephil

    But the screen

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

    1. Steve Evans

      Re: But the screen

      More VERTICAL pixels!

      Thanks

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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...

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        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.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  12. Cazzo Enorme

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

    That is all.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    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'.

    1. 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".

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

  15. Anonymous Coward
    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 ;)

  16. Durdy
    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"

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      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.

  17. Ilgaz

    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.

  18. DrXym 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.

    1. Dave 126 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?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Ilgaz

        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" :)

    2. Ilgaz

      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".

  20. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  21. Tom Chiverton 1
    Linux

    Does it run Linux ?

    1. John Gamble
      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  22. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Mushroom

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

    oh, crumbs

    1. Silverburn
      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        : )

  23. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Ilgaz

      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.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

  25. teapot9999

    Surely there is a copyright issue!

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

  26. TheProf
    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?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

  28. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    11 inch Macbook Air please for about £300 less.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  31. GotThumbs
    Holmes

    Enough !!! Apple Fanatics...need not respond....we know the answer already.

    For all YOU Apple fans. Fine. Buy a MacBook. The review is NOT on an apple product and so far...many of you have not even bothered to commented on the Lenovo.

    I couldn't care less......if all your going to say is. ....I'd buy something else. Your statement is insignificant in my mind as you fail to provide any level of reasoning. I have NO doubt all Apple fans would opt for a macbook over anything else.....with out being able to justify it. Cult followers have zero logic...because they are followers and do as told.

    At least Try and put some brain power into the why. Why would you this or why would you that.. Show me you have an actual reason why. "Because" is NOT a valid reason. At least for a free-thinker.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Enough !!!

      1. 16:10 screen

      2. Menus in MS office.

      3. A nice power-adaptor connector

      4. A charging system that won't destroy the battery if the machine is left plugged in for days on end.

      5. A choice to run any of the OSs that are best supported by software developers.

      6 A Caps-lock indicator light (seriously, Samsung are neglecting them)

      7 That big touch pad is apparently alright once you get the hang of it

      Are some good reasons to buy a Mac. Personally, I use a PC. I think you'll find that most free-thinking Reg readers are capable of weighing the pros and cons, and so choose the best horse for their course. Except you, it seems.

    2. Ilgaz

      Not fan of Apple

      In most of the countries, it is also a crime not reporting a crime you have witnessed.

      Lenovo, asus and especially Samsung have started to act like 3d photocopying machines, stealing designs.

      They all have enough money to design unique stuff.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Not fan of Apple

        "They all have enough money to design unique stuff."

        There is only so much you can do to a laptop if you want it to be as thin as possible, yet still have the screen and keyboard in their correct places! Adding, say, fins like a 1950s Cadillac is not 'design', it is decoration. For the same reasons, most modern small cars look much the same.

        Lenevo have made efforts here- the front and sides are recessed with respect to the lid and base: it does look a little like a book.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mr. Angry: "I couldn't care less......if all your going to say is. ....I'd buy something else. Your statement is insignificant in my mind as you fail to provide any level of reasoning."

    How about:

    1. it's looks like a rip off of a Mac.

    2. the Macbook Air RRP is £899 and upwards - so this copy is not necessarily any cheaper.

    ... it's not about loving Apple or whatever but reading the reviews I would buy an 11 inch Macbook Air for about £200 less - even if I then chose to run Windows on it (as many people do).

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To compare to an 11 inch Macbook Air - they have the same resolution, same memory, the Lenovo has a bit quicker CPU and a 256Gb SSD - the Macbook has 128Gb, same graphics card, the Lenovo is bigger and about 25% heavier. Similar ports / connectivity - the Macbook has Thunderbolt - the Lenovo has USB 3.

    The 11" Macbook Air is £999 retail (and cheaper if you buy it from somewhere like Amazon) - so about £250+ cheaper than this Lenovo - for that screen res I would rather have a smaller / lighter machine but if you were to compare the 13" Macbook Air at least you get a higher res screen as well.

    So those are the main reasons I would pick a 11" MBA over the Lenovo and save a few hundred quid as well. In actual fact I would buy neither - Apple will probably release new models within the next few months and expect even better spec / screen res.

    1. GotThumbs
      Thumb Up

      Well put and very helpful. Thank You for your productive/informative input.

      Based on your points, I would agree. The Lenovo appears overpriced when compared to current market options.

      I would be interested in knowing how easy it would be for a consumer to upgrade the ram/SSD in this. Are the SSD/Memory proprietary as in the MB Air? I've found it less expensive overall, to upgrade system memory after the purchase.

      Thanks again.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I would be interested in knowing how easy it would be for a consumer to upgrade the ram/SSD in this. Are the SSD/Memory proprietary as in the MB Air?"

    It may be cheaper the upgrade it later but also invalidates the warranty etc.

    I'd go for something like 4Gb RAM and 128/256Gb SSD on a Macbook Air - i.e. try and get it right first time. If you need more - it's probably a lot more and better served by a separate (external) 1Tb 2.5" drive.

    Basically it's £849 for a Macbook Air with 2Gb RAM and 64Gb SSD or £999 for 4Gb RAM and 128Gb SSD - £150 extra does not seem that unreasonable when SSD prices are around £1 per Gb.

    1. JaimieV

      Upgrading doesn't invalidate the warranty (on Lenovo or Apple). Breaking something while you're in there does, mind.

  35. Sloppy Crapmonster

    I guess it doesn't matter I missed out on the Ultrabooks

    I was really holding out for a Samsung Series 9 but that wasn't all the computer I needed anyway.

    I (my employer, anyway) ended up buying an Asus N53SV last November. quad-core i7 2630QM@2GHz, 16GB RAM, 1920x1080 15.6" display. I frequently have six or seven VMs running under VirtualBox and everything runs fine.

    Sure, it's almost 10lbs, and the optimus graphics aren't accelerated under Linux, but it's the right machine for me. If I want to game, well, that's what the Windows partition is for :)

  36. Arctic fox
    Holmes

    ".........below £1,200 before it could be forcefully competitive................"

    See icon.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I guess it doesn't matter I missed out on the Ultrabooks"

    Depends what you do - I travel a lot and the Macbook Air is my desktop machine at work (docked to a larger monitor / external keyboard / mouse) - so for me the weight / size saving and 'convenience' is a massive plus.

    I don't need / want to play the latest 3D accelerated games on it (although you can certainly play some) - but I want a fast, light, small machine - for that it's near perfect and far better than any of the (many) other laptops / luggables I have owned. I use to run Windows 7 - now I run OS X with Windows 7 VM under Parallels (all very easy to setup) and it's quick.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ".........below £1,200 before it could be forcefully competitive................"

    May i direct you to the Apple Store sir where you will find the Macbook Air for £849-£999 (or buy it from Amazon for about 7-10% less at the moment).

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obvious Astroturfers are obvious

    Seriously, what the f*ck is the story with all these AC Macbook Air sales drones in this thread?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obvious Astroturfers are obvious

      Did you not see the irony when you yourself clicked to be anonymous?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Obvious Astroturfers are obvious

        Did you not think about looking up the definition of 'irony' before replying?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is it with retard fanbois?

    Every single review of any laptop they're there, spouting the same shit.

    "It's a copy of the Macbook"

    Guess what? All laptops look the same you fuckwits.

    Oh sorry, I forgot, Apple invented everything and everyone else must be copying them.

  41. Patrick R
    Paris Hilton

    Acer...

    "Good alternative" for Lenovo. What's your job again ? Oh you mean on cosmetic level ?

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