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Round Up: Five Powerful, Light Ultraportables

Lenovo Ideapad U110: Price, Battery, Performance


Lenovo sells the U110, as configured in our review unit, direct from its web site for $1749—that’s $150 off the price when it first launched a few months ago, and slightly cheaper than some of the ultraportables in this roundup. Lenovo understands that, while ultraportables are premium machines, in the current U.S. economy consumers need to be motivated to buy an item like this. It seems unlikely that a corporate IT department, or even a high-salaried executive, would be the typical buyer of this very consumer-oriented computer, so Lenovo is attempting to price this machine to sell in the consumer market. In a price-per-performance measurement, this machine would likely come out on the top of this roundup. It is cheaper than the Asus U2E by $150, and features a more powerful processor, and with the low-end/light-weight batteries compared, a better battery life.

But, the battery life of that small battery still isn’t great, and the U110’s still got a slow hard drive, a funky keyboard, strange screen, and external optical drive to consider in your calculus. Whether the stylish color and markings on the body excite you or annoy you will also affect your opinion of whether this machine is worth $1749—but to my taste, it is.

Price score: 4

Battery Life

According to BatteryEater Pro, the Lenovo U110’s larger battery was rated at a capacity of around 5268 mAh; it actually charged to a somewhat higher capacity of 5334 mAh. But with its higher speed processor (see below), the U110 only lasted for 91 minutes on a full charge.

Lenovo also ships the machine with a second, much smaller battery (you can see the difference in the way the two batteries protrude from the back of the computer on the previous page). We didn’t include this smaller battery’s performance in our scoring, but suffice to say that it is close to worthless—it lasted through only 30 minutes of BatteryEater’s battering. It probably delivers about an hour and a half of normal productivity computing, though, so it’s a nice little stick to keep in your bag, charged up for an emergency power boost. Kudos to Lenovo for including it at all.

Battery Life score: 2.20


Our Lenovo U110 came with a higher performing mobile CPU, Intel’s 1.6 GHz Core 2 Duo L7500. However, like the Asus U2E, the notebook had only a 4,200 RPM ATA hard disk drive. The U110 achieved the second best performance score of the five machines in this test.

Performance score: 3.43

  • Thanks for writing this article; I have been interested in how these things perform.
  • these are all at the high-end of the price spectrum, have you considered the asus eee pc or acer aspire one? i have one of these, and while it's not exactly a gaming powerhouse it does all you need in a small laptop... mind you the linux distros these things come with can be a real pain
  • JJeng1
    A possible reason for the fingerprint reader placement. Look into the options of the fingerprint software, as sometimes the reader doubles as a scroll wheel.
  • Regulas
    Rubbish, get the the new Macbook, 13" screen plenty of power no viruses and no bloated Vista for the low end of cash stated in this review.
  • bjornlo
    Rubbish, get the the new Macbook, 13" screen plenty of power no viruses and no bloated Vista for the low end of cash stated in this review.
    Typical ignorant fanboi BS.
    Get your facts straight. Nothing wrong with a Mac other than total cost of ownership and slightly reduced software choices... although the default browser is very unsecure (but fixable, DL any other). But, there is nothing special about them except their style and slightly better ease of use for the "technologically challenged".
  • Placebo
    First of, Macs are rubbish. Buying one is alright for the creative crowd, whose fav. software is exclusive for OSX. Other than that, the company would have already closed up, if not saved by the mighty (LOL) Ipod-brand.

    Regarding the otherwise brilliant review, how come the Dell M1330 isn't mentioned, or even tested, its not even on the site?!?!

    Best selling product in the category for almost two years. Anyone buying should look into it. Had one for around a year, can honestly say its the best electronic device i ever owned.

    Its cheap, lightwight and with supurb spec! for notebooks :-)Sry... they jus do a better job.

  • cruiseoveride
    Linux > OSX >> Windows

    I wish the IBM one was cheaper.
  • boostercorp
    i guess i never understood why you'd need such a small underpowered laptop and also never knew who would buy such a thing.
    But if you're on the road alot like me it would be more handy then dragging around a 8 pound 17" laptop like i 'm currently doing.

    i only hoped they'd be a little less expensive cause i bought my 17" for € 899 and got a shedload of stuff i didn't need like that fingerprint scanner ,bluetooth ,ir , ...
  • Can we post a review of ultraportables with eSATA and Express Card ? I think the ASUS U6V (not sure) has one, the Dell E4200 and E4300 have eSATA but no Express Card. The Lenovo X200 and X300 series have some great features. I really hope manufacturers start making machines with eSATA and Express Card and not one or the other. Oh and How about the Toshiba dynabook R6 ?
  • enforcer22
    "Rubbish, get the the new Macbook, 13" screen plenty of power no viruses and no bloated Vista for the low end of cash stated in this review."

    O your right and look i cant do anything i want to do with it either.. I also cant get it to look like a computer instead of a over priced pos paperweight. Linux is as usless to me as that over priced thing keeping my desk up to.