Lenovo IdeaPad U260 Is First 12.5-Inch Ultraportable with Intel Core i7 Chip

The Lenovo IdeaPad U260 is said to be the world's first 12.5-inch ultraportable with an Intel Core i7 processor. At $899, it's meant for the design-conscious consumer.

The IdeaPad U260 is Lenovo's newest laptop for design-savvy consumers and, it says, the world's first 12.5-inch ultraportable.

With a silhouette inspired by the curved edges of a leather-bound journal, plus a magnesium-aluminum alloy cover, glass touchpad and a black leather-patterned palm rest, this newest addition to the Idea Pad U Series, says Lenovo, "is all about luxury."

Looking, to that end, to make a statement, the U260 will come in mocha brown or clementine orange.

"The U260 is a design one can truly touch and feel that showcases the extreme attention our team places in every aspect of design, from mechanical to human interaction to color, material and finish," Yingjia Yao, vice president of the Lenovo Innovation Design Center, said in a Nov. 15 statement. "Our philosophy is that Idea product design should be simple, unique and provide value, and the IdeaPad U260 delivers just that through the high-quality selection of materials, advanced ergonomics and a signature design concept."

On the ergonomics front, the U260 can be opened with one hand, and its proportions and hinge mechanics are said to offer "maximum comfort." The island, or "chiclet style" keyboard, is called a Breathable Keyboard, and in addition to being spill-resistant features Intel Advanced Cooling Technology, for keeping the device's temperature low.

The nuts-and-bolts here are that it's the world's first 12.5-incher with an Intel Core i7 processor. It can also be configured with an up to 320GB hard drive or 128GB SSD (solid-state disk) flash storage drive, and 4GB of DDR3 (double data rate 3) memory.

The U260 runs Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic or Premium, with Lenovo's Enhanced Experience for Window 7, a certification program that includes maintenance tools. Also included is Lenovo's Active Protection System, "which acts as an 'airbag' for the hard drive," says Lenovo. On the entertainment front, there's an HDMI port for streaming high-definition video to an HDTV, a Webcam for video calling and Dolby Advanced Audio surround sound speakers.

"The IdeaPad U260 is a luxury laptop for someone with discerning tastes that desires high quality and elegance paired with the freedom of immense mobility," Dion Weisler, vice president of Business Operations at Lenovo, said in the statement. "This is one of numerous additions to the Idea portfolio, manifesting Lenovo's fun and fashionable PC consumer offerings, which are not only sophisticated but brimming with features."

It's hard to talk about high design marrying cutting-edge technology without mentioning Apple, which first introduced the concept to the mainstream and in late October reintroduced its MacBook Air with a lowered price point. An 11-inch model features an 11.6-inch display (on the diagonal), weighs 2.3 pounds, runs Intel Core 2 processors and is priced at $999, while a 13-inch model, with a 13.3-inch display and a weight of 2.9 pounds, is $1,299.

By relying on SSD storage technology, Apple was able to whittle down the notebooks' girth to 0.11 inches at their thinnest point-an innovation it came to by merging know-how from its smartphone and PC businesses.

"We've taken everything we've learned about miniaturization from the iPhone and iPad and applied it to the MacBook," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in his introduction of the notebooks.

The Lenovo IdeaPad U260 weighs 3 pounds, is 0.7 inches thick and will be available Nov. 15 for a starting price of $899.