The IdeaPad U300s is Lenovo's first ultrabook. In fact it's one of the first ultrabooks on the market, period. We took a look at the Asus Zenbook UX31 ultrabook last week, and the Acer Aspire S3 rounds out the first runners. Intel came up with the ultrabook concept, and it's basically an initiative to bring MacBook Air-like laptops to the world of Windows manufacturers. These machines are fast, have Intel ULV Core i5 and i7 CPUs, SSD drives (OK, Acer cheated on that one), are less than 0.8" think and weigh around 3 pounds.
The Lenovo IdeaPad U300s clearly derives from the very attractive and unique looking IdeaPad U260 that launched early this year. The U300s is much slimmer, is lighter and has better battery life. The casing is aluminum and it's a very attractive machine in gray. Lenovo will also offer it in Clementine orange (just like the U260), for those who like a little flair. The U300s should be available in the coming weeks.
The U300s comes in two configurations: a $1,099 model with a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 and 128 gig SSD, and a $1,499 model that has a 1.8GHz Core i7 and a 256 gig SSD. Either way you'll get a 13.3" gloss LED backlit display running at 1366 x 768, 4 gigs of DDR3 RAM and Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics. The U300s has Intel Centrino Wireless-N 1030 WiFi and Bluetooth. The battery is sealed inside, and battery life has averaged 5.5 to 6 hours for us so far.
The pricing is similar to the Zenbook, but when comparing the base model U300s to the UX31, the Lenovo has a slightly slower CPU. They achieve parity on the high end models, though Lenovo went with 1366 x 768 resolution on both models, and that's put to shame by the Zenbook's 1600 x 900 display and the MacBook Air's 1440 x 900 display. But the IdeaPad is still a fast and elegant machine in wafer-thin metal jacket, and we can understand if you've got one on your wish list.
Here's our Lenovo IdeaPad U300s video review, with Zenbook comparison. Our full written review will follow in the coming days.