Lenovo IdeaPad U260 review

Barry de la Rosa
2 Jun 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A gorgeous design using luxurious materials and with Lenovo's customary great keyboard, but the screen and battery life are disappointing



12.5 in 1,366x768 display, 1.4kg, 1.33GHz Intel Core i3-380UM, 4.00GB RAM, 128GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Lenovo's designs have always been more practical and austere than their rivals', but the IdeaPad U260 takes a different approach. Technology takes a back seat to design, but that's not to say that the U260 lags far behind: its ultra-low voltage Intel Core i3-380UM may only run at 1.33GHz, but it's twice as fast as AMD Vision-equipped laptops and far more powerful than Intel's Atom processors found in netbooks.

Instead of curvy lines and glossy plastic, the U260 opts for a simple yet elegant design, using novel materials to create a luxury feel. It resembles a large, thin book, with the outer case finished in a rubberised matt brown, forming a uniform cover, with few of the grilles and panels you'd find on other laptops. While this looks elegant, it means you can't access the battery, hard disk or memory without removing the entire lower panel.

Lenovo IdeaPad U260 keyboard

Opening the screen reveals a leatherette keyboard panel and a glass touchpad. This has a matt finish and is smooth and responsive, and its two large buttons are placed conveniently on the edge of the case, where your thumb naturally rests, and have a light action. The keyboard panel is firm, and the keys have a comfortable shape, and a light, crisp action. Our only complaint is that the keys are a bit small, but we found it comfortable enough to type on.

The U260 has a unique 12.5in screen, but its 1,366x768 resolution is standard enough. It's an interesting size, and we appreciated the extra space compared to 11.6in screens. Its LED backlight is even, but a tight vertical viewing angle meant that our plain white test screen appeared banded. The anti-glare screen dulls colours slightly and adds a slight sheen, and there's a strong blue cast that makes flesh tones a little lifeless.