The Bottom Line
- Compact Design
- Good Performance
- Excellent Webcam
- More Expensive Than Some Other CULV 11-inch Laptops
- Battery Life Still Falls Short Of Several Other CULV Laptops
- Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 Ultra-Low Voltage Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 11.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, eSATA, VGA, HDMI, 4-in-1 Card Reader
- 11.4" x 7.5" x 1.4" @ 3.3 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, McAfee Security Center
Guide Review - Lenovo IdeaPad U150 11.6-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC
Feb 6 2010 - Lenovo's IdeaPad U150 combines the form factor of an 11-inch netbook laptop frame with the Intel Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage platform to provide a very capable laptop system that is extremely portable. Performance is still quite good as Lenovo decided to use the Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 rather than the single core model. This allows the system to multitask very well when combined with the 4GB of DDR3 memory.
As with most 11-inch laptop designs, the IdeaPad U150 forgoes the use of an DVD drive to save on space. This isn't as much of an issue for people these days thanks to streaming media and digital downloads. While the system doesn't have a DVD, it does come with a very sizable 320GB hard drive that provides plenty of space for such a compact machine. If you need additional external storage, the system does come with an eSATA connector for use with high speed external storage on a desktop or USB 2.0 for when on the go.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the small netbooks was their lack of handling HD video streams. The IdeaPad U150 with the CULV platform uses the more robust Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics. While this still is not capable of handling 3D gaming, it is able to handle 720p video streams without issue. Some video streams at 1080p may still encounter some frame drops. The 11.6-inch display of the IdeaPad U150 also provides a better overall experience with wider viewing angles than a netbook.
Battery life is a critical feature of the CULV platform. In my streaming video battery test, the IdeaPad U150 was able to achieve roughly three hours and forty-five minutes of running time before moving to sleep mode. This is certainly strong for an ultraportable laptop but falls short of what can be achieved by netbooks or some other CULV laptops. Expect more typical usage to net usage to achieve around six hours of running time.
Those wanting to use an ultraportable for remote video conferencing will be surprised by the excellent camera. It functions well in low light conditions and provides a very detailed image. The added face recognition software can also be used as a login and security feature.
Overall, the IdeaPad U150 provides a very compelling ultraportable for those wanting a very small system. The $750 price is much higher than a netbook but it provides a much more robust experience. This price tag still is higher than some other offerings that provide similarly experiences but with longer battery life. Lenovo makes up for this somewhat by its build quality that surpasses netbooks and less expensive ultraportables.