Thin, semiprofessional: IdeaPad U350 reviewed

If you're searching for a great-looking thin-and-light at a good price, the Lenovo IdeaPad U350 bridges the gap between personal and professional--but its design is more successful than its horsepower.

Thin, light, nicely designed: the IdeaPad U350. Sarah Tew/CNET

While it's hard for us to put design over performance when looking at a laptop, products such as the Lenovo IdeaPad U350 make it a little easier. As another entry to the growing field of affordable CULV thin-and-lights, the compact and really great-looking U350 is Lenovo's MacBook in terms of design. Lighter than it is thin, the Pentium U2700 processor-packing machine is clad in minimal silver and black and aims to keep a stylish low profile. And while the U2700 processor is both low power and low performance by Core 2 Duo standards, this thin-and-light is perfectly capable of running Windows Vista and mainstream applications.

At a starting price of $629 ($749 for our configuration), the U350 is less affordable than a 12-inch Netbook like the Lenovo IdeaPad S12, while it is not as expensive as some professional-grade thin-and-lights such as the Lenovo ThinkPad T400s. And in that sense, it's a success.

While we'd like to see this same design with a more powerful processor and better battery, it's another valid alternative to the MSI X340 and Acer Timeline 3810T for those looking for a lightweight laptop but who don't require an optical drive or significant graphics.

Read our full review of the Lenovo IdeaPad U350.

About the author

Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired,, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.


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