Lenovo IdeaPad U350 review

With its IdeaPad, Lenovo wants to give you more than a netbook could but in a stylish and highly portable package. Has it succeeded? We examine the U350.

There is also a Wi-Fi on/off switch alongside the ports on the left next to a subtle and quiet fan which successfully prevents the bottom of the machine from over heating.

So that's the externals, but how about the inside of the machine?

It comes with Vista installed which we found a tad disappointing but it is pretty standard these days. There is no office suite included but a free chance to try it, in case you didn't know what Word was like. However, there is a 90 day Norton security trial included.

The U350 is powered by a single core 1.4GHz processor and when pushed we found that this made the U350 listless, despite the 4GB of RAM.

Admittedly, the battery life made up for this somewhat, which in our benchmarks showed the four-cell battery lasting almost two-and-a-half hours with heavy use and four-and -a-half hours with light use. However, the integrated graphics chipset, Intel's GMA 4500M, continued the feeling of pushing a rock up a hill at times rather than a leisurely stroll in the park.

All in all it's a machine that promises more than it can give. Aesthetically it is pleasing with an eye-catching design while the light weight is appealing too. Yet the slightly lacklustre processor and the demands of Vista mean that even a casual user might find cause for dissatisfaction, let alone someone relying on the machine for business.

Therefore, even at 471, we think your money could be better spent, leaving the U350 as a disappointment from an otherwise standard setting manufacturer.

Verdict

Definitely directed towards the consumer route, the U350 has an individual style and ultra portability but its performance just would not cut the mustard for a business user.

Our advice? Don’t be put off Lenovo, but don’t put up with this model.

Processor: Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500

Memory: 4GB DDR3

Storage: 320GB hard disk

Graphics: Intel GMA 4500M

Display: 13.3in 1366 x 768

Ports: 3 x USB, standard VGA, HDMI, memory card, ethernet

Connectivity: 802.11bg + draft-n WLAN, Bluetooth

OS: Windows Vista

Warranty: 1yr return to base

Dimensions: 329 x 229 x 29mm (WDH)

Weight: 1.64kg

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