Lenovo IdeaPad U160: 11.6-inch Core i7 Notebook PC

Engadget took it for a spin and here are some takeaways.

Bottom line first: The 11.6-inch LCD on the IdeaPad U160 by Lenovo sports a fairly high 1366×768 pixel format resulting in a pleasant 135.09 PPI. Unfortunately viewing angles are terrible: major color and contrast shifts make it quite unpleasant when looking at the display from anywhere other than straight on. In terms of the display the U160 is a loser.

Graphics is integrated, with Intel’s GMA HM55 HD. Good enough for 720p/1080p video playback, and World of Warcraft ran at 27fps, but falls short the ATI Radeon HD 4225 that’s packed into the Acer Aspire One 721 and HP Pavilion dm1.

Starting at a price of US$1149, Lenovo’s IdeaPad U160 is a 11.6-inch notebook PC powered by an Intel Core i7-640UM CPU running at 1.2GHz. Despite the i7 name performance came between a regular Core i3 and AMD’s Nile CPUs: not the greatest but still snappy. The U160 is just 0.9 inches thick but weighs a hefty 3.2 pounds. I say hefty because a much larger 13.3-inch MacBook Air weighs just 3.0 pounds. Unfortunately the chassis is plastic with cutouts for: two USB ports, a single USB/eSATA combo port, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, a 4-in-1 card reader (SD), microphone and headphone ports.

Engadget’s conclusion:

Yes, the U160 packs more CPU power, but at the end of the day you’ll have to live with the heat and battery drain that it ultimately causes. And frankly, we wouldn’t wish that upon anyone.

A lot of heat? No thanks. The first thing hardware designers need to get when it comes to portable computing is: minimal heat. The price doesn’t help either.