Windows 7 has been teaming up with fashion bloggers for the past several seasons to show how fashion and technology partner up in our daily lives. For New York Fashion Week, I was asked to test drive a Lenovo IdeaPad U160 laptop running Windows 7. At first I hesitated because I’m a recovering Windows person – I switched to Mac about five years ago – but I know Windows has made lots of changes and I know most of our readers are on Windows PCs so I thought it would be a good experience to test drive a new Lenovo.
Windows 7 was one of the sponsors of the Independent Fashion Bloggers Evolving Influence Conference and they had a PC bar with different models of laptops set up for all the bloggers to try out. Dells, Sony Vaios and Lenovos lined the wall with bloggers sampling the wares. At the end of the conference two lucky bloggers won computers to keep, while I got to take home the Lenovo IdeaPad U160 to test out. I’m writing this post on the Lenovo…
The Hardware – Lenovo IdeaPad U160
The Lenovo U160 is a nice size. It’s a bit larger than my net book (Acer Aspire One) so it’s very easy to transport but it’s a lot easier to work on than the Net Book. Measuring in at 11.6 inches, it’s not too heavy and would easily fit into most handbags (if you tend to like big handbags like me). The keyboard is the perfect size for my hands – I’m getting a lot fewer typos than on my Net Book. The Net Book is so small that it usually takes me a while to adjust my hand position so that I can type properly – no hand adjustment issues here. And, I have my beloved Delete button back – I’ve missed it on my Mac keyboard.
The screen is a nice size too – it definitely feels like a computer – not a small phone/net book screen. It’s large enough to view videos, blog, write and peruse the web. I’m not sure it would be big enough for graphic design work though but seems ok for light photo editing (resizing and cropping). The Lenovo U160 is also a lot more powerful than my Net Book. For a smaller computer, it definitely packs a more powerful punch. Whenever I used my Net Book it was hard to multi-task and I felt like I was sacrificing power for size, but not so with the Lenovo. The only thing I would change on this – hardware wise – is the mouse pad. It’s a bit small and I wish it were a tad bigger. I’m also used to finger scrolling on my Mac so I need to readjust to this mouse pad. It is nice to have a right click button though! Between the size and getting used to how it works this has been my only issue with the hardware.
The Software – Windows 7 It’s been a least 5 years since I used Windows regularly (my Mac is my default and my Net Book is for working on the train/bus) the Lenovo U160 has been the first computer that I’ve used with Windows 7 on it. As a Mac user, I was doubtful as to what my experience would be with Windows 7 and I have to say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Windows 7 has made some improvements and things that I found difficult before like installing new programs and getting my wireless internet connection to work were much easier.
The Windows 7 folks gave me a Jonathan Adler Laptop Sleeve to keep the Lenovo U160 snug and safe. The sleeve is like any standard Neoprene laptop sleeve – the only difference is that it features the bold, colorful designs of Jonathan Adler. The sleeves are definitely a nice way to add some personality to your technology and dress ’em up a bit.
In sum, using the Lenovo is definitely a step up from my Net Book. Would I switch from a Mac to a Windows PC? Probably not. I use too many design programs for that to make any sense. But, if you’re a Windows user and looking for a cute PC that is small but doesn’t sacrifice ease of use or power, then I think the Lenovo Ideapdad U160 is a good bet.
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