Home / Computing / Laptop / Lenovo IdeaPad U260

Lenovo IdeaPad U260 review

Ardjuna Seghers



1 of 15

Lenovo IdeaPad U260 9
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260 9
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260 7
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260 8
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260 6
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260 5
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260 1
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260 2
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260 3
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260 4
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260 Battery Results
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260 Gaming Results
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260 Full PCMark Vantage Results
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U260 PCMark Vantage Results
  • IdeaPad U260 08763BU 12.5" Brown Notebook (1.33 GHz Intel Core i5-470UM, 4 GB DDR3,  320 GB HDD, Intel GMA HD 3000, Windows 7 Home Premium, LED Backlight)


Our Score:



  • Very slim and light
  • Lovely soft-touch finish
  • Attractive design
  • Excellent usability
  • 128GB SSD


  • Previous-gen CPU
  • Dated, weak graphics
  • Limited connectivity
  • No backlight for keyboard

Key Features

  • Slim (less than 1in thick) and light (1.36kg)
  • 12.5in 1366 x 768 screen
  • Core i3-380UM, 4GB RAM
  • 128GB SSD, USB 2.0
  • Soft-touch outer finish and palm-rests
  • Manufacturer: Lenovo
  • Review Price: £788.97

One thing there's certainly no shortage of these days is thin and light laptops. From the Sony VAIO Z and Samsung Series 9 to the 13in version of the Apple MacBook Air, there are plenty of dreamy ultraportables – if you have the money and are willing to go for 13 inches. So far, the Sony VAIO S is one of the only premium candidates we've seen to come in below that magical £700 barrier, and the 11in Air is one of the few choices if you want smaller.

Lenovo IdeaPad U260 7

Well, for a bit more cash than the Sony S, Lenovo has a great option for those looking for something that's both small and affordable. Its IdeaPad U260 is a super-stylish, 12.5in ultraportable that's under an inch thick (2.5cm) and weighs a mere 1.36kg yet comes in at a very reasonable looking £780-ish. With it packing an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD (solid state drive) under the hood (compared to the 2GB and 64GB SSD of the £850 MacBook Air 11in), this seems like it should be set to take the ultraportable market by storm.

So what's the catch? Well, that Intel CPU is actually one of the older generation models, rather than the newer Sandy Bridge type; connectivity is limited to USB2 rather than 3.0; and fancy extras like a backlit keyboard are absent. However, there's still plenty of potential and things to like, starting off with its frankly stunning design.

Sporting a unique mocha-coloured soft-touch outer shell (it's also available in orange) and leatherette black wrist-rests, the U260 is designed to look like a folio case and succeeds admirably. When closed, its flat top and bottom, which just overhang the edges of the body of the machine, and curved 'spine' excellently mimic the cover of a hardback book or folio. The result is a machine that, while not the absolute thinnest, looks particularly classy. Visually, it's especially arresting when closed but also looks the part when opened thanks to its minimalist interior. But the soft-touch outside doesn't just look great, it feels wonderful too. We know we're gushing here, but this kind of finish is reasonably durable, doesn't suffer from fingerprints, and makes holding and carrying the U260 a real pleasure. It's so much more comfortable than glossy plastic or metal rivals.

Lenovo IdeaPad U260 6

And the good news continues when you open this ultraportable up. Inside there's a faux-leather finish on the palm-rests and around the keyboard. Again, it's durable and feels good, helping to make typing a pleasant experience.

Build quality, meanwhile, almost lives up to the legendary ThinkPads, such as the X220 Tablet. Plastics are incredibly solid, even on the wafer-thin lid. Only a little flex in the keyboard betrays that this is a consumer laptop that's not held up to the same rugged standards.


August 16, 2011, 1:00 pm

Lenovo have a great thing going with their concept of the ultra-portable laptop using a 12.5" screen, but they need to provide an option that actually has some muscle to justify the term laptop by making it capable of productivity computing.

Please Lenovo, be a dear, and stick a 35W AMD A-series Fusion APU in one of these 12.5" portables, and show people what difference 400 DX11 shaders can make!


August 20, 2011, 4:47 am

I wouldn't worry about no memory card reader, I use CF cards and haven't found a portable that supports these. What have laptop manufacturers got against CF?


September 12, 2011, 4:10 pm

While CF used to be the professional choice, these days it's probably fair to say that the vast majority of consumers use SD (as do nearly all devices, high end cameras included). I think the main problem with CF in regard to laptops was simply one of size, combined with its more limited market.

Yep, we're defo loving the 12.5in form factor. Hopefully there'll be a U260 refresh with a little more connectivity and muscle under the hood.

comments powered by Disqus