FeaturesBuild and Design The design of the Lenovo U330 is very visually pleasing, with a low profile chassis, super thin LCD, and high gloss display cover. On the inside it has a pinstripe paint scheme with glossy touch-sensitive media controls. The frameless display looks really nice, with a smooth seamless finish side to side. These screens all tend to look great when the system is off, but they do introduce a ton of glare in a bright environment.
Build quality was average, with a good design, but having some components that could be improved. The thin screen while visually pleasing was very flexible, but did seem to protect against ripples in the screen when tapping the back of the cover. The paint scheme looked nice, but the finish could be improved. We saw many areas which looked like dusts had been trapped in the paint surface during the painting process, leaving defects and imperfections on the palmrest. The overall feel of the notebook is nice, but the little things really add up.
Display The “frameless” display, while highly reflective in nature, looked very nice on our review machine. Colors and contrast were exceptional, and black levels were very good with the LED backlit. Viewing angles were above average, with a broad sweet spot for easy viewing. Vertical viewing angles spanned from roughly 30 degrees down or 20 degrees up before colors started to become washed out or inverted. Horizontal viewing angles were much better, easily spanning to the steepest angles before colors started to wash out. In bright viewing conditions, at steeper angles you start to have nearby surfaces reflecting off the screen and dimming your view of what is on display. This is one limitation of the all-glass panels across the board though.
Keyboard and Touchpad The keyboard was very easy to type on, and had relatively good support under strong typing pressure. The style looks similar to what is found on the business grade ThinkPad notebooks, but with more of a consumer vibe. Individual key action is smooth with a soft click on each press. For long typing sessions the keyboard was wonderful and very easy on the fingertips.
The Synaptics based touchpad had great sensitivity and had little to no lag during use. The surface texture had a soft matte finish which was easy to slide your finger across, even if slightly sweaty. One problem we noticed which was slightly odd was a bubble underneath the surface, which may have just been a manufacturing defect. The touchpad buttons were large and had great feedback. Each button had a long throw, with a soft quiet click when pressed.
Port The port selection was a little light on the Lenovo U330, with only two USB ports and no eSATA. I think Lenovo could have easily taken away the HDMI port to make space for something else. That being said the port selection was not that bad with VGA, HDMI, Firewire, LAN, two USB, and headphone/microphone jacks. The U330 also included a 6-in-1 multicard reader located on the front.
Battery Life With the switchable graphics set to power-saving integrated mode, the power profile in Vista set to “balanced”, wireless active, and screen brightness set to 60 percent, the U330 managed to stay powered on for 3 hours and 58 minutes. If you enable the dedicated graphics, battery life dips to 2 hours and 40 minutes. I would love to see an extended battery for the U330, but with the screen hinge design it would need to extended below the bottom of the notebook to add additional cells.
Heat and Noise Thermal performance of the Lenovo U330 was very nice, keeping its cool in both integrated and dedicated graphics modes. System fan noise is minimal under light use, staying at a constant low speed. Under higher levels of stress the fan kicks up in speed, but doesn't get that loud.
Warranty - 1 year Manufacturer Limited Warranty
Lenovo U330E 5932-6049 IdeaPad Notebook
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64
Intel® Core™ i5-2467M Processor - 1.60 GHz, 3M L3 Cache
- Max Turbo Frequency 2.3 GHz
4GB DDR3 RAM
500GB SATA HDD
13.3-inch LED-backlit WXGA (1280 x 800, 300 nit) glossy display
WiFi link, Bluetooth, 1.3MP Camera, HDMI
6-Cell 57Wh Battery
2.5" x 9.3" x 0.9" – 1.1"
* Features, Package Content and Specifications are subject to change without prior notification.*