We got to mess around with Lenovo's new IdeaPad lineup tonight -- those new ThinkPads were mysteriously absent, however -- and while we'd say Lenovo is playing it pretty safe at the moment, we still like what we see. The hinge design that first emerged in the U110 is now present in the whole line, and while the ThinkPad heritage has been hidden under mounds of glossy plastic, it's still fairly evident in the build quality of the laptops, and particularly in those well-loved keyboards. The new Y-series laptops are rather serious contenders in their respective categories, with the 15-inch Y530 matching up nicely to any mid-tier 15-incher from the Likes of Sony, HP or Dell, while the 17-inch Y730 offers an easily hot-swappable second drive bay, a switch for graphics card overclocking, a performance-oriented secondary display and function buttons, and secondary arrow keys for rocking that dastardly "The World's Hardest Game" -- though most gamers will be sticking with AWSD for the other relevant FPS niceties those keys offer. We'd say our biggest disappointment is the U330, which loses the U110's distinctive (and comfy) glossy-flush keyboard, and whose inclusion of a disc drive leaves it with none of the U110's strikingly small stature. Sure, 13.3-inches and switchable graphics are nice, but it really hardly stands out from the Y-series IdeaPads, which is no good considering the premium prices Lenovo expects for its U-series laptops.
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Lenovo IdeaPad hands-on