Although Lenovo’s IdeaPads have been competitive over the last few years, they’ve often felt just competitive. IdeaPads rarely felt fresh and unique, and the difference in build quality between IdeaPad laptops and Lenovo’s ThinkPad series was obvious.
Over the last year, however, Lenovo has been stepping up its game, and the U260 is just another example of the results. Luxurious and well built, the U260 offers many of the features that have long made ThinkPads appealing to consumers, such as a matte display, fingerprint resistant exterior and class-leading keyboard. But unlike ThinkPads, these advantages don’t seem to come at any great price. While $899 may seem high for a laptop with a Core i3-UM series processor, the quality and design of the U260 is on par with luxury laptops like the Sony Vaio Z and the MacBook Pro. The U260 isn’t priced to compete with budget ultraportables because it isn’t a budget ultraportable.
Given the attention to detail Lenovo lavished on this laptop, it’s unfortunate that the battery life results are so poor. This is the only flaw with the laptop, but it’s one that can’t be ignored given that it is an ultraportable. If not for this issue, the U260 would have easily qualified for an editor’s choice award.
This is a conclusion I also came to when reviewing the T410s, which suffered from the same drawbacks as the U260. If Lenovo can figure out how to squeeze larger batteries into these slim and light laptops, it will have some class-leading products on its hands. For now, however, the U260 is a bit of a fashion statement. It’s beautiful, exquisitely constructed, and great to use – but lacking the expected endurance.
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