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Lenovo IdeaPad U330 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

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Lenovo IdeaPad U330 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

Lenovo IdeaPad U330

©Lenovo

The Bottom Line

Mar 17 2009 - Lenovo's IdeaPad U330 will probably be most likely compared to the similarly priced Apple MacBook. While the MacBook is sturdier thanks to its aluminum case, the IdeaPad U330 is well built with similar performance and a solid keyboard similar to the ThinkPad series. Graphics are probably the standout feature thanks to the integrated or dedicated graphics thank can be switched without need of a reboot to adjust power consumption as needed.

Pros

  • Use of Dedicated or Integrated Graphics Without Rebooting
  • Good Performance for Price
  • Excellent Keyboard

Cons

  • Glossy LCD Panel Too Reflective
  • Below Average Battery Life
  • Only Two USB Ports

Description

  • Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 2GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
  • 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
  • 13.3" WXGA (1280x800) Wide LCD With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450 Graphics With 256MB Memory
  • Fast Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
  • Two USB 2.0, FireWire, HDMI, ExpressCard/34, 6-in-1 Card Reader
  • 12.5" x 9.4" x 1.1" @ 4.3 lbs.

Guide Review - Lenovo IdeaPad U330 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

Mar 17 2009 - Lenovo's IdeaPad U330 provides some solid performance for a 13.3-inch laptop computer. While it does use a slightly lower grade Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 processor, it manages to use the faster PC3-8500 DDR3 memory to give it a boost over laptops using the DDR2 memory standard. Most companies are offering more than 2GB of memory, but this amount will run Vista alright.

The big feature of the IdeaPad U330 is the graphics and display. The system contains both an Intel GMA X4500HD integrated graphics and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450 with 256MB memory. Depending upon how much 3D graphics performance or power usage your require, you can select one or the other. The best part is that switching between these does not require any reboots of the Windows OS. The Radeon graphics may not be a 3D powerhouse, but it is sufficient for casual PC gaming.

The frameless 13.3-inch LCD panel with LED backlighting provides some good color and very wide viewing angles. The problem is that the glossy coating of the display is very reflective. This can be distracting in certain lighting conditions or if you are trying to view at an angle with bright light sources.

One area that the IdeaPad U330 suffers is battery life. While running with the integrated graphics it can get about three and a half hours of usage which is decent but still below many 13.3-inch laptops. Using the 3D graphics significantly drops that running time below three hours making it better for most running on batteries to not use the graphics unless absolutely necessary.

Many will be happy at the keyboard that takes much of the same layout and design from the highly rated ThinkPad series of laptops. The system does use just two USB ports but it does offer FireWire and HDMI.

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