"I recently purchased an IdeaPad U300s at Fry's Electronics to replace an unreliable HP Pavilion dv7. I got the one with an Intel Core i7-2677M processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD.
The good thing about the U300s is that if you are willing to put up with the sacrifices that are typical of all ultraportables (namely, small screens, limited ports, and not being able to carry all your files on your system with you), the U300s is a terrific choice.
Although not quite as jaw-droppingly beautiful as the MacBook Air, the IdeaPad U300s's design is lightweight, elegant, sleek, and perfect for business professionals who need to look more serious than flaky Asus or Apple users. To borrow a term from the car world, the IdeaPad's fit and finish is excellent. Like most Lenovos, the keyboard is well-made and makes typing very comfortable.
As numerous reviewers have noted, the IdeaPad U300s always runs quiet and cool, even under extremely heavy processing loads. It has an unusual cooling system design that sucks in air through the keyboard and sends it out the sides rather than the bottom, so one can use the IdeaPad while sitting in bed without having to worry quite as much about blocking cooling vents.
The 256GB SSD drive is spacious enough for almost all my data except my library of digital photos, so I carry only my two most recent years of photos on-board and keep the rest on a 500 GB Seagate GoDesk USB 3.0 portable hard drive which I also use as a backup drive.
After using it for a month, there are only a few major annoyances about the IdeaPad U300s, which is why I'm giving it four rather than five stars.
First, the screen could be better. The trend nowadays is towards glossy screens with high resolution, even on ultraportables, but the IdeaPad has a matte screen with a relatively low resolution of only 1366x768. As many reviewers have noted, if you are nearsighted (like me), you may notice minor "grid" artifacts on the screen which are a common problem among Lenovo screens. You will get used to it, but it does take some getting used to. However, I knew when I bought the IdeaPad that I was going to be using it plugged in at home most of the time into an external monitor (I eventually bought a 25" HP 2511x), and that the onboard screen was only for work away from home or office, so the screen issues are not a big deal for me.
Second, the IdeaPad's Intel integrated graphics and dual-core i7 processor are good for word processing, media browsing, email and Web surfing. But the i7 visibly strains and becomes saturated under heavy workloads like running OCR on large PDFs or editing large photos in Photoshop. Fortunately, I don't run those kind of tasks too often.
Third, Lenovo's IdeaPad u300s's Web site is terribly incomplete. For example, because I knew I was going to be using this computer at home and on the road, I wanted to buy a spare AC adapter that would sit at home, but the IdeaPad u300s Web site does not show one available for this system. Through carefully targeted Google searches, I eventually figured out that the correct product was the Lenovo 65W Slim AC Adapter, Part No. 0B66260 (it's available in Lenovo's online parts store), which is an exact match to the one that comes with the system. I bought it online, it showed up three days later, and it works fine.
However, the Web pages for both the IdeaPad u300s and the 65W Slim AC Adapter do NOT show that the products are compatible with each other. The only way to be certain is to separately search for and look at the support overview page for Part No. 0B66260, which does show it is compatible.
As an expert computer user, I was able to figure this out and now I'm happy, but most users would not, and this is a very serious error on Lenovo's part. Having a second AC adapter is essential for ultraportable users who will want to plug-in at home to access all the good stuff that can't fit into such a tiny chassis---i.e., a bigger screen, flash memory card reader, DVD/CD drives, full-size speakers, full-size keyboard, mouse, large conventional hard drive, laser printer, etc. Considering the price points and markets that the IdeaPad U300s is aimed at, one would think that Lenovo would have anticipated this issue well in advance.
Fourth, but this is a problem with Lenovo systems in general, there's no fingerprint reader. Those are included as a standard feature on Dell and HP systems nowadays. It was a big annoyance going back to password authentication after having enjoyed six years of swift finger swipes with HP systems.
Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase and would recommend the IdeaPad to anyone looking to purchase an ultraportable, with the above caveats in mind."
"The speed, mobility, and aesthetics of this powerful laptop are awesome. I LOVE how quiet it is and that it doesn't overheat even when left on my bed. The keyboard is excellent--one of the features that sold me on it. I am a med student and needed a laptop that could last for my entire stint in school if not longer. After ~5 months I am still happy with my purchase. However, it is not without drawbacks. Here they are:
1) cost - student discount of 10% doesn't make a huge dent in the hefty price tag 2) the trackpad can be erratic & adjusting the sensitivity did not help 3) the speakers are terrible - sounds tinny even at low volumes 4) no SD card port - didn't think this would annoy me but it does considering how expensive this thing was 5) about 1 out of every 10 times I login the mouse is frozen; to fix it I have to close the lid, open it, and login again 6) Lenovo support can be hit and miss*
As I said, other than these issues I am happy with my laptop!
*The first U300s Lenovo sent was defective. There was an obvious buzzing sound from the moment I first fired up the computer and when keys in the upper left hand corner of the keyboard were pressed, it sounded like an electric razor. A rep from Lenovo tech support told me this was a "customer perception issue." In other words, she suggested I was imagining things or that my expectations were unrealistic. Incensed, I tired of arguing with her and called customer service to return or exchange the computer. The customer service rep was great and assured me that if I had the same problem with the second one I could return it without paying the $250 restocking fee."
"I own two Think Pads and they are wonderful computers, but the U300s which I bought for its portability is becoming my favorite in the 3 weeks I have had it. The screen may have a few less pixels than some, but it is awesome! The color accuracy in Photoshop is spot on perfect.
Then there is the keyboard. An early reviewer called it a good compromise, but I find I make fewer typing mistakes on it than on my beloved Think Pad. I have tried 3 other Ultrabooks and and this is the best "road warrior" by FAR!!! Great design and fun to use. I could use this as my only computer."
"A sturdy, but very lightweight and thin laptop. I travel for business a great deal and this laptop is perfect. The housing feels like a Lenovo and is superior to the other ultrabooks I tried.
Likes: Housing Lightweight Thin Wireless connection (stable) Keyboard Trackpad SSD and fast boot time Lack of bloatware Stays cool--side vented so your lap doesn't get burned
Dislikes (I'm being pretty picky here because this thing works very well): Lack of ports (e.g. SD, Ethernet) Battery life good, but still a little short Windows XP / 7 Professional not available from factory
I rated it 5 stars, as opposed to 4, because a "good" rating doesn't do the machine justice."
1.The design of this laptop is amazing. It is the best on the Ultrabook market. 2. The cooling system is truly an engineering marvel. I was initially worried about what kind of sound this fan would make and when I turned it on the fan was so quite I thought it was broken. 3. Despite the lower resolution than some other ultrabooks I really enjoy the HD quality of the U300s. 4. The battery life is excellent. 5. Rapid fire recharge is awesome. 6. The quick start is great. 7. I love the easy reformat button.
1. The aluminum shell I like but it seems to flex a little to much when pressure is placed on it for my taste. 2. It does not come with the a back lit keyboard, SD card port, or Ethernet port. Honestly, who cares. Not a deal breaker for me. 3. I like the keyboard but don't love it because personally I like keyboards that require less pressure on the keys. Also, I seem to keep hitting the Home and End keys when going for the backspace.
1. My main complaint is really that I don't like the trackpad. This is one of the better trackpads on an Ultrabook but it still has issues. The two figure scrolling is horrible and the mouse has skipped more than once. 2. I was charged tax when buying through the Lenovo site. If I ordered through an online retailer (which you can do) I would be charge no tax and would have saved $162."
"I can't say enough good things about this product! I got the I7/256 SSD version in grey. It is light, the boot time is phenomenal, and I can't believe how powerful it is. The keyboard and trackpad are great for such a small machine. I like the matte screen too. Thank you Lenovo for not filling it with bloatware either!!!!! I loaded Dragon Naturally Speaking software which requires a powerful machine to run smoothly or it crashes, and the U300s handles it just as well as my Quad core. My only "complaints" are that I wish the grey color was a little lighter, it's pretty dark. And now that everything else is so perfect, I would like a backlit keyboard."
Pros: Weight, Build Quality, Battery, Included software, Keyboard/peripherals, Storage
Cons: Display resolution
"Lenovo have managed to produce the best ultrabook yet on the market, with a unique design that isn't just a Macbook air clone.
The design, keyboard and general build quality are outstanding as always from Lenovo.
Software gets plus, because Levovo for the most part have not installed any crapware onto it. Giving you a very clean installation of Windows 7.
Effective battery life is roughly 5 and a half hours. You can squeeze 6 hours real world use out of it depending on your settings.
Some might be upset that there is no SD card slot, however personally it doesn't affect or bother me.
Some also might be upset that the keyboard is not backlit. Personally, I don't care that its not backlit as it just a wonderful keyboard to type for a pc this size. I value the great typing experience Lenovo provides me far above back-lighting.
The big disappointment though is the screen. It's a glossy 1366 x 768-resolution 13.3-inch LCD display panel. The resolution is lacking compared to Asus's Zenbook UX31’s 1600 x 900-resolution for the same sized screen.
Lenovo should make their beautiful matte IPS display, the one they use in the ThinkPad X200, available as an option. Lenovo, please, please make that beautiful screen available in the U300. If they add that screen to the U300 then it would be a perfect ultrabook in my eyes.
As is it is currently its still the best ultrabook out their currently, and if Lenovo made that beautiful higher res matte IPS display available then it would be perfect."