We finally got our hands on the long-awaited Lenovo IdeaPad U110 this morning, and we've spent the day putting it through our usage tests to see how this little laptop stands up to the demands of everyday computing.
One of our key questions was whether the keyboard, which is slightly compact, would be usable. The unusual key design added to our concern: the keys themselves are made of the same glossy material as the keyboard deck, they look flat (though closer inspection reveals a slightly concave surface), and there's no space between them. The keyboard did take some time to get used to, but less than we thought. We've typed a day's worth of work on it, including this post, with few keyboard-induced errors.
Our other concern rests with the IdeaPad U110's battery. The sleek package that inspires oohs and aahs -- among even the most jaded Cravers -- depends in part on a tiny four-cell battery. It's been just over an hour since we unplugged the fully-charged laptop, and the battery indicator is saying it has six minutes' worth of juice left -- and all we've done is type some documents and surf the Web. It's hard to accept that such a mobile design needs to be tethered to a wall so frequently.
That said, the IdeaPad U110's power brick is the smallest we've ever seen for a laptop -- almost identical in size and thickness to a fourth-generation iPod -- so it won't take up too much room in your bag. And Lenovo smartly ships a larger seven-cell battery with the IdeaPad U110, though using it adds to the laptop's weight and detracts from its sleek appearance. Expect the full IdeaPad U110 review soon. -Michelle Thatcher