Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Ultrabooks start rolling in: Lenovo Ideapad U300s Ultrabook (5930-7534) Graphite Gray

Lenovo Ideapad U300s Ultrabook has started showing up on shelves of local stores and it comes in pretty much doing what Intel was hoping for. The U300s is a 13.3-inch ultrabook which is just 0.6-inches thick and weighs in just under 3 pounds. This places it in direct competition with Apple's 13.3-inch MacBook Air.

At Php55,990 for the Intel Core i5-2467M model (1.8 GHz, turbo boost up to 2.9 GHz) with 4GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD,  it is Php10,000 cheaper than the entry level 13.3-inch MacBook Air and has a slighly faster processor. For this price, it comes installed with Windows 7 Home Premium. 

But how well does it match up to the 13-inch MacBook Air?

Battery life is a about the same as the 13.3-inch MacBook Air. From the review at the Verge this were the results of their battery life tests:
  • Lenovo U300s: 5:33
  • 13-inch MacBook Air (2011): 6:12
A review at Laptopmag gives a different result:
  • Lenovo U300s: 6:52
  • 13-inch MacBook Air (2011): 6:25
Unlike the 13-inch MacBook Air, the U300s also does not have an SDCard slot. The Lenovo U300s also does not have a back-lit keyboard. The U300s also has a lower resolution 1366 x 768 screen versus the MacBook Air's 1440 x 900 resolution screen.

For high speed data transfer from peripherals, the Lenovo U300s has a USB 3.0 port, while the MacBook Air use Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is faster, USB 3.0 is the more practical solutions since there are a large number of USB 3.0 external drives in the market. The Lenovo 300s also has a standard HDMI out port, so it easily plugs into your LCD TV. The MacBook Air requires an adapter to connect with HDMI devices.

So as it stands, the Lenovo U300s costs 10K less than the equivalent 13-inch MacBook Air. Both perform about the same and have similar battery life. With the Lenovo you loose the SD Card slot, back-lit keyboard and get lower resolution display. The Lenovo u300s does give you USB 3.0 and a HDMI out port. 

If you prefer Windows, this looks like the best Ultrabook in the market. If you prefer Mac OSX than you do get more for the additional 10K you will shell out for the MacBook Air. 


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