Lenovo IdeaPad U300s review: Lenovo IdeaPad U300s

Annual power consumption cost

Battery life is a key feature for a thin, light laptop. The U300s did better than another recent Ultrabook, the Acer Aspire S3, but still came nowhere near the MacBook Air. In our video playback battery drain test, the IdeaPad U300s ran for 5 hours and 14 minutes, nearly an hour longer than the Acer, but that's still about 1.5 hours less than the 13-inch MacBook Air. For general Web surfing and productivity, you'll probably get an additional hour or so, though remember to close the lid while not using the system. Like other Ultrabooks, the U300s claims to hold a charge for up to 30 days of standby time, much like a MacBook, but we haven't had our review unit long enough to confirm this.

Lenovo includes a standard one-year parts and labor mail-in warranty, with several add-on options for mail-in or in-home service, at prices that change with frequent discounts, but are usually around $150 for a three-year extension with in-home service. Lenovo's support online resources are typically well-organized and easy to navigate, and the company's support phone lines are open 24-7.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

Lenovo IdeaPad U300s
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-2677M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Shared) Intel HD 3000; 256GB JMicron 616 SSD

Acer Aspire S3-951-6646
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 128MB (Shared) Intel HD 3000; 320GB Hitachi 5,400rpm + 20GB SSD

Apple MacBook Air (13.3-inch, Summer 2011)
OS X 10.7 Lion; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-2557M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 384MB (Shared) Intel HD 3000; 128GB Apple SSD

Samsung 9 Series NP900X3A
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.4GHz Intel Core i5-2537M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 128GB Samsung SSD

Asus U31SD-A1
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-2310M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce 520M / 64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 640GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Toshiba Portege R835-P56X
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated)/1,696MB (Total) Intel GMA HD; 640GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

MSRP: $1,195.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Installed Size 4 GB
  • Color graphite gray
  • Weight 2.9 lbs
  • Hard Drive 128 GB SSD
  • Graphics Processor Intel GMA 3000
    Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • CPU Intel Core i5 (2nd Gen) 2467M / 1.6 GHz
About The Author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.