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I've had one of these Lenovo Ideapads for nearly 6 months now and it's performance has, quite frankly, surprised me...and very much in a good way!
For a price that is far below most competitors (barring maybe Acer) you can get a high spec and highly performing device that is reliable and has plenty of features. The screen is great - widescreen and good quality, I'd say for me the webcam is pretty pointless but it still will serve a useful purpose for many. The build quality is a little plasticky and tacky - the cd drive cover ALWAYS seems to come off - but I can forget that as long as the laptop actually works. I even managed to replace the screen easily and quickly (and at a low cost) without much stress when I dropped it (I should stress I dropped it pretty hard but barring the screen nothing was affected).
I've had my Lenovo netbook for around 6 months now and can report that it has served its purpose more than adequatley in that time.
It's light and portable but still with a reasonable size keyboard. Its not quite as easy to type on as other netbooks ive used from Toshiba or Acer but its ok for me. I can imagine if you do have large hands then the Lenovo might be a struggle so id just advise trying it out thoroughly in store before buying.
The windows 7 Basic operating system does the job, it doesnt offer any thrills but then i bought this just for browsing the web and editing my work documents whilst on the move so its fine for what i want. It is slightly annoying not to be able to change my desktop wallpaper though, you'd think microsoft could have engineered this in, even on the basic version. If you were looking at one of these as your primary laptop then you might need to shell out for the upgrade to Windows 7 premium. Mine came bundled with a limited version of microsoft works which suits me, but that big 160gb hard drive could easily stand to have office on it if you need more functionality. I've also had it working with the free open office software if you want an alternative.
The webcam isnt great quality but does the job for the few times what i would need to use it. It uses the cam for a facial recognition log on system which is a great gimmick for a couple of weeks but quickly becomes tiresome. It's easy to disable though and i just protect mine with a password now instead.
The processor is reasonably speedy for the basics of browsing or word excel etc. This machine isnt really suited for more intense applications than that but it can handle them if required.
battery life has proved pretty good. Whilst working on office documents have been averaging at least 4 hours. Slightly less when browsing the web but it has still achieved 3 hours plus.
The USB ports and card reader give useful additional functionality and i have had it working with an external dvd drive too.
The screen offers reasonable resolution for watching video clips etc but again there are better screens out there.
I got this on a special offer of £219 and for that price i feel its a good product. I perhaps wouldnt want to pay more than that for it as for the extra cash there are better netbooks out there. The big harddrive and solid construction though, coupled with decent battery life give plenty to smile about
I must admit I'm not writing this review on my Lenovo (but on an old Acer Aspire). The only real reason I have one (sitting in my cupboard mostly) is that it came "free" with a 2 year mobile internet subscription. Normally I back off from these kind of offers, however the sales pitch was impressive, and I actually thought I could do with a very lightweight and much smaller laptop than my Acer, plus the battery was starting to get a bit suspect. I'd never even heard of Lenovo, being more familiar with the Acers, Dells, Sonys and Toshibas of this world, so was waiting for the delivery with anticipation.
On arrival, I thought it quite a cute little beast, and weighs nothing (ok maybe a kg or thereabouts). It would squeeze into the inside pocket of a rather large jacket, but not into my jeans. I wondered where all the bits fitted into such a small box of plastic. Of course there is no CD/DVD drive so this cuts down considerably on space. Then there is the keyboard - very dinky. Still there is a 160Gb hard disk drive (double my Acer), a gig of RAM, a couple of USB ports, memory card reader, wireless, a socket for a full size monitor, network connection and mic and headphone sockets. All this these connections are on the right and left hand of the laptop. The front has one speaker which seems to stretch the complete width of the case. It's not very loud or good quality however. There's also a built in webcam at the top of the screen, again not of the best quality in the world, but perfectly usable.
The screen is a mere 10.1" and is quite restricted. My mobile internet software absolutely refused to work with it as it did not support the minimum resolution. A bit odd considering the company I got it from were offering it as an upgrade to my old laptop. I managed to fiddle the resolution problem after several hours of googling and adjusting things although I really shouldn't have needed to. The support Lenovo offered with this problem was not satisfactory.
The speed of the Lenovo was a bit disappointing, it's got a 1.6Ghz Atom N270 processor which is fine for general web browsing but don't expect it to play the latest games or do a good job manipulating photos, forget video editing completely. It comes with Windows XP preloaded which is fine as I never liked Vista anyway, and I've no doubt that Windows 7 would be a bit of a memory hog for this little guy.
So why am I not using the Lenovo much? Several reasons. Firstly the keyboard is a bit small for me. I can touch type, but I just cannot get it right on this keyboard. Secondly battery life. The sales guy quoted me more than 4 hours on a full charge - not amazing I thought but more than adequate for me. I'm getting 2 hours at best for reasons unknown to me.
I'm sure this little box of tricks would be great for my teenage daughters (although they already have Samsungs), but for me, it never got me excited after the novelty had worn off, which was just a couple of days. It's probably fine for some web surfing, chatting and skype (I'd add a proper headset) but anything more and you are not going to get that impressed.
At around £250 I'd suggest looking around for something with a bit more oooomph. I'd also suggest going into the shop and having a play with it for 10 minutes (you can always buy online after playing in the store).
Recommended only if someone gives it to you for free, and even then it might end up on Ebay within a few weeks.
This laptop is good for MSN and email. Nothing more - nothing less! Its keyboard is good quality (even though i had to send it off for repair - customer services were helpful and repair was fast). the webcam in the top of the screen is very good, the laptop comes with face recognition software that detects your eyes and mouth (just points on your face). the screen is ok, not the best! It is glossy so is hard to view when it is bright, there is also a resolution problem 1024x764 or something like that. this can be a problem when trying to install other applications as the minimum standard is 1024x768. The battery feels secure, even though the 6 cell does look a little strange. It lasts for around 5 hours on a full charge - depends on what you are doing. The speakers are surprisingly good - I keep trying to find out if there are 4 speakers or just the 2 at the front! Without ventalation the laptop can get quite hot and the fans are quite loud when they are going at full power. When the laptop is cool you can barely hear it. When the laptop is off you can hear a whining noise from it, i am not sure if this is normal but it can be a bit annoying if it is right next to you on your bedside table and your trying to sleep! The boot up time is average, if you have alot of things to load then it is, of course, going to take forever to boot up - after all it is only a 1.6ghz processor! When i bought the laptop i was under the impression that it had 2 ram ports but dont be fooled! It only has 1! I use this laptop on a regular basis and we get along just fine! :D