Impeccable finish but limited connectivityUltra slim and with an aluminium and magnesium alloy shell, the U260 is clearly a handsome product. Its shell is covered with a soft rubber layer and ,having tested it, we can tell you that it resists scratches and other marks well. The finish is simply excellent. Well done to Lenovo.
In spite of being slightly loose, the chiclet keyboard is still nice to use. The keys are well proportioned and well positioned. Keying is supple, agreeable and quiet.
The multitouch touchpad is precise. The glide is nice and soft to the touch. The only thing we might fault it for are the click buttons, which are a little too soft for our taste.
The webcam is mediocre. Light tones are burnt and the dark blocked and pixelised. It's really only viable as a fallback solution.
Connectivity is on the light side. On the left you get a USB 2.0 port and a headphones/mic mini-jack combo. On the right there's a second USB 2.0 port, two video outs (VGA and HDMI), the power in and an RJ45 (Ethernet) port. There's no USB 3.0, eSATA, DVD rewriter or even a card reader - something of a lack of ambition on Lenovo's part.
The U260's fan is relatively discreet as long as you don't push the components too hard. Even then though, it there's any background noise you won't notice it. Heat is however not as well managed, a problem common to small models. Even without a discrete graphics card this 12.6-inch expels air into your lap at close to 50 °C.
USB 2.0 port, headphones/mic combo and wireless connections switch
USB 2.0 port, HDMI out, RJ45 socket, VGA out, power in
Processor power: very average performance
With a low consumption Intel Core i5-470UM, the U260 takes on average 50% more time to complete tasks than a model such as the Acer X3830T, equipped with an Intel Core i3-380. While, technically speaking, it can carry out demanding tasks such as 3D modelling, its level of performance makes it more of an office document/Internet browsing model than a multimedia machine.
HD 1080p video playback (Blu-ray equivalent) is a walk in the park for this machine. Although the processor can easily handle this task itself, it is preferable to let the graphics solution handle it. That way, the CPU is freed up and energy consumption falls to keep battery life to a max.
Windows 7 Family Edition 64-bit takes 48 seconds to boot and you'll need to wait another 10 to 20 seconds for the various background applications to start running (antivirus off). It turns off in fifteen seconds.
Gaming: retro-gaming only
While the integrated graphics chipset can decode 1080p videos, gaming is another story. It can barely run a few recent, undemanding titles such as Sims 3, though you will have to lower your graphics options and resolution. Retro gaming is really your best option.
Audio: not impressed
The poor speakers lack power and saturate far too quickly and both the in and out are mediocre, noisy and weak. The audio is really not what you'll be buying this model for!
Battery life: don't stray too far from the power socketWhile very compact and light, the U260 isn't however the sort of machine you'll want to carry around with you. 2h15 video playback is far from what you'd expect on such a model and it's a shame that Lenovo has downsized the battery so much.
- Compact and well-finished
- Light (1.5 Kg)
- Low battery life (2h15)
- Low gaming capacity
- Audio: very poor
Close to the Dell Vostro V130 and nice to look at, this model is ultra-slim and light but lacks enough battery life (2h15) to make it viable to take on long outings. You'll find much more powerful models with longer battery life (Asus U36SD and Acer X3830T) for the same price.