IdeaPad U260 becomes official, comes out tomorrow

That 12.5" Lenovo IdeaPad ultraportable we talked about last week is indeed on its way. Engadget has published the official announcement—seemingly ahead of its appearance on the Lenovo website—and it looks like the system will become available tomorrow starting at $899.

The announcement confirms the 12.5" screen size, adding that the IdeaPad U260 will in fact be the first notebook with such a display. Talk of a "magnesium-aluminum alloy real metal cover, leather-patterned palm rest and glass touchpad," also explains the machine's relatively high asking price. The internals otherwise sound disproportionately tame: Core i5 processor, up to 4GB of RAM, and 320GB of mechanical storage.

If I didn't know any better, I would think Lenovo is going up against the new MacBook Airs with this system. Why else play up its thickness ("just over a half-inch"), weight (less than three pounds), and luxurious extras, then announce a starting price just shy of the 11.6" Air's $999? Lenovo isn't trying to give consumer ultraportables a run of their money, that's for sure. As I noted last week, similarly compact, Nehalem-powered CULV laptops can be had for $550 or less.

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