One of the best looking notebooks.
Lenovo has been focusing a lot on the design of their notebooks lately. The ThinkPad Edge 11 from last year is definitely one of my favorite ultra-portables while the upcoming X120 and E220 look pretty sweet as well. However, the IdeaPad U260 is in a class of its own as far as design is concerned. This 0.7” thin notebook with a magnesium-aluminum alloy shell is unlike anything I’ve seen. But does a good looking design translate into a good laptop? That’s what we’re here to find out.
The Lenovo IdeaPad U260 comes packaged in a slick black box that isn’t too far off from that fruit company that also sells computer. Inside the main box, you have a user manual and the laptop while separately, in another box, sits the charger. The minimalistic approach certainly works for me and gives the end-user a feeling that they have invested in something that it definitely out of the ordinary.
Looks-wise, as I mentioned earlier, the U260 is in a class of it’s own. When closed, you’d think that someone is carrying a leather bound notebook- y’know, the one that’s built with papers instead of keys. The smooth and soft magnesium-aluminum alloy finish definitely gives the U260 a premium look on the outside. Luckily, Lenovo doesn’t stop there. Even the inside of the IdeaPad U260 has a brilliant leather finish with the palm rest and the area around the keyboard providing a smooth and comfortable resting place.
Lenovo continues to use their chiclet style of keyboard with rounded keys. Though I do like the keys- they are easy to press and offer just the right amount of flex, I’m not a big fan of any keys placed beyond the return or backspace keys on the right which is what Lenovo sadly does on the IdeaPad U260. This resulted in me frequently tapping on the home or page-up buttons instead of backspace or return, completely throwing me off on the page. Again, this is a personal preference and it might not irritate you as much as me.
The glass touchpad on the other hand is really nice and smooth to operate and decent in size. If you have used a recent Apple notebook, you’ll know how it feels to glide your finger across the glass surfaced pad. The buttons are more on the squishy side than the clicky side which, again, comes to personal preference and I prefer the latter. Multi-touch is supported on the trackpad and two finger scrolling works.
Above the keyboard, you have a the power button as well as bunch of LEDs that light up for things like battery, drive activity etc. On the left side, Lenovo places a USB port, 3.5mm headset combo jack and the WiFi switch while the right has the power input, VGA and HDMI outputs, a Gigabit Ethernet jack and an additional USB port. Sadly, there is no SD card reader slot- the only thing I found missing from the IdeaPad U260.