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The first Ultrabooks have started to appear from top laptop makers, including Lenovo, Acer, ASUS, and HP.

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									                                                                                                                                                                                                                  24/11/2011 04:19

                                                                                                                  2012: Year of the Ultrabook , Lenovo’s first
                                                                                                                  Ultrabook IdeaPad U300s Review

                                                                                                                    2012: Year of the Ultrabook , Lenovo’s first              •	   uses a Core i5, i7 processor
                                                                                                                        Ultrabook IdeaPad U300s Review                        •	   weighs less than 1.4 kg (3.1 lbs.)
                                                                                                                                                                              •	   yields 5 – 8+ hours of battery life
                                                                                                                  CloudTag: Ultrabook , IdeaPad U300s , Lenovo lap-           •	   priced around $1,000
                                                                                                                  top , Lenovo batteries , Lenovo thinkpad t61 batteries
                                                                                                                  , inspiron 1525 batteries                                The	first	Ultrabooks	have	started	to	appear	from	
                                                                                                                                                                           top laptop makers, including Lenovo, Acer, ASUS,
                                                                                                                  The talk is usually all about tablets, but 2012 may      and HP. While these initial models have been able
                                                                                                                  be the year of the Ultrabook.                            to meet the hardware criteria laid out by Intel, the
                                                                                                                                                                           “around $1,000 has been a sticking point. To be fair,
                                                                                                                                                                           models	of	the	MacBook	Air	with	decent	configura-

                                                                                                                                                                           tions sell at prices higher than the $999 entry-level

                                                                                                                                                                           PC laptop makers realize they must do something to
                                                                                                                                                                           kickstart the Ultrabook category. It sounds like the
                                                                                                                                                                           Ultrabook will be the big thing at the CES in 2012,
                                                                                                                                                                           compared to netbooks and tablets in recent years.

                                                                                                                                                                           It is good that so many companies are looking to
                                                                                                                                                                           produce Ultrabooks, as that will drive prices down.
                                                                                                                                                                           While Ultrabook makers may have a hard time com-
                                                                                                                                                                           peting with Apple currently, if prices drop enough
                                                                                                                  Apple inadvertently touched off a new PC category        next year that will surely change. Intel is predicting
                                                                                                                  with its MacBook Air. While the MacBook Air was          40 percent of all laptops sold will be Ultrabooks by
                                                                                                                  priced too rich for many in its initial generation,      the end of 2012.
                                                                                                                  Apple was able to get the price down to a reaso-
                                                                                                                  nable level with the current model. Starting at $999,    While	netbooks	were	essentially	a	flash	in	the	pan,	
                                                                                                                  the MacBook Air forced Intel and Windows laptop          quickly getting big sales numbers and fading just as
                                                                                                                  makers to scramble to come up with an answer to          fast, Ultrabooks are here to stay. Netbooks went the
                                                                                                                  Apple. Thus the Ultrabook category was born.             underpowered route to acheive cost effectiveness,
                                                                                                                                                                           and many owners quickly tired of the corner-cut-
                                                                                                                  What is an Ultrabook? According to Intel, who tra-       ting. Ultrabooks are full laptops, with good perfor-
                                                                                                                  demarked the term, the Ultrabook is a laptop that:       mance packed in a highly portable form. In spite of
                                                                                                                                                                           the fancy new marketing term, they are the natural
                                                                                                                     •	 is less than 20mm (0.8 inches) thick               evolution of the bigger laptops, and they’ll be around
                                                                                                                     •	 has no optical drive                               for a good while, post-PC era or not.
                                                                                                                     •	 uses a solid-state drive (SSD) for all storage

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Page 1
                                                                                                                                                                                                               24/11/2011 04:19

                                                                                                                  2012: Year of the Ultrabook , Lenovo’s first Ultrabook IdeaPad U300s Review

                                                                                                                                                                           need the special Ultrabook marketing term, but the
                                                                                                                                                                           IdeaPad	U300s	fits	the	ultra	branding	in	every	way.	

                                                                                                                                                                                     Hardware specs as reviewed

                                                                                                                                                                              •	 CPU: Intel Core i7, 1.8 GHz
                                                                                                                                                                              •	 Memory: 4GB
                                                                                                                                                                              •	 Storage: 256GB SSD with RapidDrive techno-
                                                                                                                                                                                 logy	(verified	cold	boot	in	10	seconds)
                                                                                                                                                                              •	 Display: 13.3 inches; 1366 x 768;
                                                                                                                                                                              •	 Ports: 1-USB 2.0; 1-USB 3.0, audio, HDMI
                                                                                                                                                                              •	 Dimensions: 324 x 216 x 14.9 mm; 12.75 x
                                                                                                                                                                                 8.5 x 0.58 inches
                                                                                                                                                                              •	 Battery life: 8 hours real world; Rapid
                                                                                                                                                                                 charge to 50% in 30 minutes
                                                                                                                  If next year I can get an Ultrabook like the Lenovo         •	 Weight: 1.32 kg; 2.9 lbs.

                                                                                                                  U300s I recently reviewed for less than $1,000, I           •	 OS: Windows 7 Ultimate
                                                                                                                  can see myself buying one. I likely wouldn’t be the
                                                                                                                  only one, as many need a Windows laptop, or have
                                                                                                                  a bias against Apple. Next year may very well be
                                                                                                                  the year of the Ultrabook.

                                                                                                                          Lenovo IdeaPad U300s Review

                                                                                                                  Ultrabook is a product category invented by Intel
                                                                                                                  to cook up excitement for the laptop segment. It
                                                                                                                  is essentially a thin and light notebook computer
                                                                                                                  that	is	reasonably	priced.	The	first	Ultrabook	for	
                                                                                                                  ThinkPad maker Lenovo is the IdeaPad U300s, and it
                                                                                                                  validates the new product name as it is the thinnest
                                                                                                                  and lightest Windows laptop I have ever used. It is
                                                                                                                  also the best Windows notebook to cross my desk,
                                                                                                                  and that covers a lot of them.

                                                                                                                  The Ultrabook design gives the U300s its form, a light                  Using the Ultrabook
                                                                                                                  (<3 lbs.) aluminum case that is half an inch thick.
                                                                                                                  The unibody design is deceptively sturdy, and is easy    Carrying the U300s in one hand couldn’t be easier,
                                                                                                                  to carry and use. The 13-inch display is bright and      with	the	thin	laptop	fitting	comfortably	in	the	hand.	
                                                                                                                  vivid, and the chiclet keys a typist’s dream with one    The notebook feels like it could stand up to the daily
                                                                                                                  exception detailed below. Performance is top-notch       rigors of a road warrior, while remaining easy to
                                                                                                                  with	the	Intel	Core	i7	processor	as	configured,	and	     throw in the bag and go. The system is optimized to
                                                                                                                  battery life can last all day. I’m not convinced we      make the laptop quick to start, easy to put to sleep,
                                                                                                                                                                           and fast to charge when the battery level drops

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Page 2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        24/11/2011 04:19

                                                                                                                  2012: Year of the Ultrabook , Lenovo’s first Ultrabook IdeaPad U300s Review

                                                                                                                  down. Even the power brick is well designed, being                rified	the	10.5	second	cold	boot	time,	made	possible	
                                                                                                                  almost	as	thin	as	the	laptop	itself	and	easy	to	fit	in	           by Lenovo’s optimization with the RapidDrive SSD.
                                                                                                                  a small pocket of any gear bag.
                                                                                                                  Lenovo has designed the U300s with a solid bottom
                                                                                                                  cover to the notebook, with nary a vent. This keeps               Lenovo has produced an outstanding laptop for its
                                                                                                                  the laptop cool when using propped up on the lap,                 first	Ultrabook,	and	it	meets	the	ultra	definition	in	
                                                                                                                  due to air circulating through the keyboard and                   every way. There is even anti-theft protection on the
                                                                                                                  out the two side vents. The Ultrabook exhibits little             U300s to help locate a stolen laptop for hopefully
                                                                                                                  warming during use as found in many laptops. It is                recovering it intact should that tragedy strike.
                                                                                                                  well designed for long-term usage with good ther-
                                                                                                                  mal engineering.                                                                       See Also:


                                                                                                                  The Intel Core i7 processor (1.8 GHz) coupled with

                                                                                                                  the 256 GB solid-state disk (SSD) make this laptop
                                                                                                                  fly.	 It	 is	 the	 fastest	 thin	 laptop	 I	 have	 ever	 used,	
                                                                                                                  and has handled everything I throw at it with ease.
                                                                                                                  The Windows Experience Index (WEI) of 4.4 shows
                                                                                                                  how it stacks up, with the highest rating given to
                                                                                                                  the SSD of 7.1.

                                                                                                                  This performance would mean little if the battery
                                                                                                                  installed wasn’t able to keep it going for very long.
                                                                                                                  Lenovo	rates	the	fixed	battery	at	8	hours,	and	my	
                                                                                                                  real-world usage backs that up. I have routinely
                                                                                                                  gotten over seven hours with the Balanced power
                                                                                                                  setting, and could see getting even longer with ag-
                                                                                                                  gressive power management.

                                                                                                                  The rapid charging technology in the U300s adds
                                                                                                                  even more value to thelong battery life. Using the
                                                                                                                  tiny power brick, it is possible to make a 50 percent
                                                                                                                  charge to a dead battery in just 30 minutes. This is
                                                                                                                  a huge advantage for the frequent traveler, as just
                                                                                                                  a half hour access to a power outlet can get you an
                                                                                                                  extra 4+ hours of usage at the end of a long day.

                                                                                                                  Lenovo claims the battery has a 30-day standby time,
                                                                                                                  which	I	have	not	verified.	I	can’t	let	the	U300s	sit	idle	
                                                                                                                  for days as it calls me to use it frequently. I have ve-

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Page 3

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