Subnotebooks Don't Quite Measure Up

Lenovo, Asus debut lightweights that are close, but not there
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted May 8, 2008 3:02 PM CDT
Lenovo launches its IdeaPad U110   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Hamstrung by poor battery life, and burdened with an overly weighty Vista operating system that makes starting up a drag, a pair of new subnotebook computers offer a glimpse of what could be—but isn’t quite, writes Wall Street Journal tech guru Walt Mossberg. Lenovo’s IdeaPad—a junior ThinkPad—and the U2E, a quirky offering from Asus, are pricey to boot.

"I wish I could recommend a clear winner between these two contenders," Mossberg writes, "but both are mixed bags. The IdeaPad is light and thin, and the U2E has a built-in DVD and better wireless connection, but both suffer the usual bane of cramped keyboards. But the battery life—less than 1½ hours—is the true killer for both machines.