Keyboard and Touchpad
The IdeaPad U260 The full-size Chiclet/island-style keyboard has curved keys with plenty of spacing between them. If you’re used to the feel of a traditional ThinkPad keyboard then you’ll need some time to get used to this one. However, the firm support structure underneath the keyboard and the extra space between keys make typing a generally enjoyable experience.
As previously mentioned, Lenovo uses black leather around the the keyboard and the palm rests. Not only do these palm rests make typing feel great, but they add to the premium fit and finish of the notebook.
The U260 has a standard-size touchpad for a 12-inch or 13-inch notebook but it is smaller than what Apple uses on the MacBooks. The dedicated left and right mouse buttons work flawlessly and the mate touchpad surface itself is easy to use with great response and virtually zero lag. I would have liked a slightly larger touchpad surface but I have few complaints about the touchpad overall.
Screen and Speakers
The U260 is the first notebook to use a 12.5-inch display with a 720p (1366 x 768) resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, and LED backlighting. Its matte surface helps prevent glare and reflections; making the screen easier to see under direct sunlight or bright indoor lights. On the other hand, the matte screen also causes a minor decrease in contrast. Our test lab results show the display has a peak brightness of 227 nit with an average contrast ratio of roughly 165:1.
In other words, this screen is easier to read outdoors but doesn’t have nearly as much contrast or color saturation as the screen on an 11.6-inch MacBook Air or a 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Horizontal Viewing angles are relatively good and vertical viewing angles are pretty narrow. There is significant color inversion after 20 degrees off-center vertically. This shouldn’t be a problem as long as you don’t try to view the screen from above or below.
The U260 has two small speakers located above the keyboard. This speaker placement pushes sound up and toward the user and is much nicer than the lap-firing speakers placed beneath the palm rests on most ultraportable laptops. The speakers sound a bit tinny and lack bass despite the good position, making the audio performance “average” for notebooks in this class. The headset jack which also functions as a standard audio out port was free of static and worked fine with the headphones we used during our tests.