10.1 in 1,024×576 display, 1.1kg, 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, 1.00GB RAM, 84GB disk, Windows XP Home Edition
Like Lenovo’s long-established line of ThinkPad laptops, the IdeaPad has a plain but sturdy case, although the lid flexed more than we’d like.
Windows XP Home Edition is pre-installed on the 80GB hard disk. This is enough space for storing office files and the occasional photo, but you’ll need more storage if you want to carry a large video or music library with you. Unusually, there’s also a 4GB SSD built in with a simplified version of Linux pre-installed. It boots almost instantly, so you can use it for getting online quickly or other simple jobs without waiting for Windows to start up.
There are only two USB ports, compared to the three found on most of the other laptops here, but the IdeaPad is one of only three netbooks here to have an ExpressCard/34 slot. This can be used to add more USB ports or for other peripherals such as a 3G modem.
ThinkPad laptops tend to have large, comfortable keyboards, so we were disappointed by the IdeaPad’s small, cramped layout. The miniscule touchpad and its buttons are also uncomfortable to use; we’re surprised that Lenovo didn’t fit a touchstick instead. We were also disappointed by the IdeaPad’s dim display. Although it’s not so dark as to be unusable, it’s noticeably darker than the brighter displays found on Acer’s Aspire One and Asus’s Eee PC 1000HE.
One area in which the IdeaPad excelled is battery life. It lasted for nearly five hours in our light-usage test. Although some netbooks here lasted even longer, this is still one of the best results in this round-up and is almost long enough to last a transatlantic flight. This lengthy life is due to the six-cell battery. Some variants available from third-party resellers come with a three-cell battery, giving shorter battery life, so check before buying.
The IdeaPad’s small keyboard is ill-suited for typing long documents, but its long battery life is undeniably appealing for internet browsing on the go. MSI’s Wind U100 has a better keyboard and screen for only a few pounds more, though.
|Intel Atom N270
|Processor clock speed
|Memory slots free
|Realtek High Definition Audio
|Power consumption standby
|Power consumption idle
|Power consumption active
|Intel GMA 950
|Total storage capacity
|Optical drive model
|Optical drive type
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports
|Wireless networking support
|PC Card slots
|Supported memory cards
|SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
|Windows XP Home Edition
|Operating system restore option
|PC Doctor 5
|two year warranty £32, three year warranty £75
|one year RTB