Monday, August 3, 2009

The super thin, highly attractive, Lenovo u350

After using a 1.3Ghz Pentium Mobile on the ultra portable Lenovo u350 for about a week, I got mostly what I expected, but some surprises as well. Although the mobile Pentium will give you lots of battery life, and adequate processing power for most tasks -- if you're a techie, you'll undoubtedly run into some of it's limitations and get a little frustrated. Specifics? Try playing back HD video on your TV over HDMI: smooth 1080p playback is just not possible. I even tried the "fastest in the world" CoreAVC software codec, and the hardware accelerated Media Player 12 running on Windows 7. Try un-raring some large downloads, or even opening up large PDF's. Every now again, you'll get a little annoying pause. Price is awesome though - I got the super sexy u350 for $610 shipped to my door after the Lenovo employee discount (it pays to know people). Personally, I think 13.3" is the sweet spot for laptops. 14.1" is just a bit on clunky side, and 12" feels a little too cramped.

The build quality of the machine is above average. The light weight comes at the obvious cost of durability. You definitely notice the abundant use of lightweight materials (read plastics) on this machine. With normal use, I don't foresee any problems - but I doubt it would withstanding the daily stresses that road warriors would put it through for too long. It isn't quite the bullet-proof tank that the Thinkpad T series is legendary for, but then again, it doesn't come with the hefty price tag of the T series either.

Never thought the day of the sub $1000 ultra portable would come so soon! Gotta love economies of scale.

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