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Lenovo IdeaPad U350

Lenovo is probably best known to ZDNet UK readers for its business focussed ThinkPad notebook line. But there are other lines under Lenovo’s belt, and the IdeaPad is a sort of compromise between business and home user focussed models.
Written by Sandra Vogel, Contributing Writer on

Lenovo is probably best known to ZDNet UK readers for its business focussed ThinkPad notebook line. But there are other lines under Lenovo’s belt, and the IdeaPad is a sort of compromise between business and home user focussed models.

Many business users won’t be enamoured of the operating system which is Windows Vista Home Premium. Nor will they necessarily like the use of integrated graphics and a single core, ultra low voltage processor. In conjunction these features can mean some intensive applications or multimedia rich presentations might stall.

And the four-cell battery is not likely to deliver a full day’s worth of work away from mains power. There is a big downside in the absence of an optical drive too.

But the VeriFace login system, which uses the built in webcam for biometric security, may appeal as may the 250GB hard drive which was in my review sample.

Physical design is quite neat too. The patterning to the lid section looks different without being garish, and build quality is good. Best of all for travellers, the U350 has good portability features being thin and light while also offering a 13.3 inch 1366 x 760 pixel LED display. Its shiny surface enhances viewability, though also increases reflectiveness. There’s an ambient light sensor that adjusts brightness as necessary.

I found the keyboard easy to type on, and the touchpad incorporates multitouch pinch to zoom.

The upshot, then, is that the IdeaPad U350 probably isn’t suitable as your main working computer. But if you’ve been looking at netbooks as an alternative to your main, bulky, large screened machine and feel they are that bit underpowered or lacking in features, something like the IdeaPad with its sub £500 price tag might suit.

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