Say what you will about Apple's policies and prices, but the Cupertino-based system builder is currently unmatched in the ultraportable segment. Its new MacBook Air manages to squeeze decent hardware into a body that weighs as little as 2.3lbs and measures 0.11-0.68 inches thick. While no Windows-based machine currently offers such a compact design, Lenovo plans to give it a shot.
The 12.5-inch IdeaPad U260 measures only 0.71 inches thick and weighs 3.04lbs with an anti-glare display, an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor and integrated graphics, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB hard drive. Connectivity is limited to the essentials: two USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, and VGA/HDMI outputs. A four-cell battery is said to offer about four hours of runtime.
Pricing is unknown but ThinkPads.com speculates that the U260 will hover around the $1,000+ range, given the magnesium-aluminum alloy chassis and the Intel Core ix processor. By comparison, the 13.3-inch MacBook Air starts at $1,299 with a 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, a GeForce 320M, and 128GB of flash storage. It's also rated for five hours of battery life and has an SD card slot.