Lenovo IdeaPad U160 review

A decent-priced ultraportable for those after entry-level performance

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Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Potability
  • Build quality
  • Good keyboard
  • Connectivity


  • Performance
  • Small screen

As well as the impressive ThinkPad business machines, Lenovo also manufactures the IdeaPad range. The U160 belongs to this series and offers good value, as long as your performance requirements are simple.

Some of the more powerful laptops in this group test might prove to be overkill if your needs are limited, so while the Intel Celeron processor here isn't the latest model, it provides roughly double the performance of a netbook and will happily run most basic tasks with ease.

The same can be said for the integrated graphics card. It provides basic graphical power and while suitable for consuming content, such as movies, won't provide the power for creating it, unlike the Asus U35JC-RX080V or Apple MacBook 13-inch.

Despite the laptop's diminutive size – it is the smallest and, at 1.4kg, the lightest here – storage is excellent and the 320GB hard drive will provide plenty of space for your content.

The laptop's battery life of 305 minutes is about average for the group, but with such a low-powered and resource-light processor, we expected more. However, you will have enough power for use on the daily commute.

The solid plastic chassis and resilient lid provide plenty of protection for the laptop on the road. Like the Toshiba Portege R700-15x, the machine also features a sensor which recognises when the laptop has been dropped and takes measures to protect the hard drive – and your data – upon impact.

The 11.6-inch screen is quite small, but features the standard 1366 x 768-pixel resolution. Images are very sharp as a result, and we were just as comfortable working on this laptop as the larger 13.3-inch models.

Large keyboard

The keyboard spreads the width of the chassis, but is just as usable as the Apple or Sony Vaio VPCS139LE/B. A crisp action is provided and the keys are just the right width apart.

Lenovo ideapad u160

One irritant worth mentioning is that that Lenovo has swapped the positions of the Ctrl and Function keys, with the latter now on the end of the row. This isn't exactly intuitive and took a while to get used to.

There is no room for a dedicated numeric keypad. There are three USB ports for you to attach peripherals to, as well as both VGA and HDMI video out ports, and finally an eSATA interface – which transfers data to an external, compatible device at high speed – rounds out the specification.

If you're after a small ultraportable with a decent battery life and performance enough for running work applications with ease, the IdeaPad U160 is great value at this very competitive price.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time7 Hour
Backlight TechnologyLED
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Product FamilyIdeaPad U160
Operating System Architecture32-bit
Processor ModelU3400
ColourDark Brown
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameLenovo
Processor Speed1.06 GHz
Processor TypeCeleron
Screen Size29.5 cm (11.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.40 kg
Cache2 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, ENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyVibrantView
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height22.6 mm
Width289.6 mm
Depth193 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesU160
ManufacturerLenovo Group Limited
Product Model08946MG
Product NameIdeaPad U160 08946MG Netbook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineIdeaPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberM436MUK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lenovo.com/uk/en/
Marketing Information

Stylish U Series laptops are thinner, lighter, more portable, have updated features and the speediest processors. Turn your old laptop into a bad memory.

Maximum Memory4 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • IdeaPad U160 08946MG Netbook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year