11.6-inch IdeaPad has a Core i7, poor battery life

— 2:31 PM on August 3, 2010

Lenovo's IdeaPad U160 is one of a new breed of ultraportable notebooks endowed with Intel's latest ultra-low-voltage Core i7 CPUs. This new 11.6" system sports a Core i7-640UM, which has two Hyper-Threaded cores and a peak Turbo speed of 2.26GHz. As one might expect, there's a bit of a premium to be paid for the swanky CPU. U160 configurations currently start at $1150, which gets you 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, Bluetooth, 802.11g Wi-Fi, and a six-cell battery.

According to this review over at Engadget, the i7-640UM lives up to expectations, at least on the performance front. However, the system's battery life clocked in at a disappointing three hours—more than an hour short of the run time offered by Core i3-equipped systems from Toshiba and Acer. Despite the i7-640UM's modest 18W power envelope, the U160 reportedly ran quite hot, as well.

It gets worse. The U160's display doesn't appear to be any better than what's available in far cheaper budget ultraportables. Sorry, no IPS love here.  Engadget wasn't impressed with the system's small touchpad, either, and I'm surprised that Lenovo doesn't even offer 802.11n wireless as a configuration option. That's a real shame, because the U160 looks like it has a rather nice keyboard and a casing largely devoid of glossy plastic.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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