"A fast ultraportable, let down by many hardware issues"3.0 starson by alipmcg
Pros: Surprisingly fast, in Windows at least
Nice feeling touchpad
Nice case design
Decent battery life
Ample ports (3xUSB, VGA, HDMI, SD reader)
Cons: Wireless adapter constantly turning itself off in Win7
Unit occasionally switches itself off entirely in Win7
Win XP suffers serious power management/crash issues
Ubuntu mysteriously slow
RAM upgrade requires removal of entire back panel
Summary: I bought this laptop in March 2012 for about £220 as a refurbished model without operating system - the spec of mine was an AMD E300 Fusion APU (2x1.3Ghz) with 2GB DDR3 RAM and 320GB HDD. I actually really like this laptop for the way it looks and feels - the keyboard is a great size and the keys are responsive, and the screen is fairly bright and colourful, albeit quite reflective. However, I've had so many problems with it that I felt like writing a review, to warn anyone considering buying one of the potential pitfalls.
When I first got the machine I had a copy of XP to install on it and I assumed I would be able to install Ubuntu side by side, as I have done on 2 other systems without too many problems. In the event, I couldn't actually use the laptop for the first week I owned it, as I was struggling with installing Ubuntu from a USB stick and getting it to dual-boot with XP, or to boot at all.
Eventually I gave up on Ubuntu and settled on XP only, which worked pretty well except the system used to (and still does) wake itself up from Standby state a propos of nothing, usually within a couple of minutes of being put to sleep. Besides this, it booted up fairly quick and remained mostly stable. It is faster than I expected - I've used this laptop for playing games including Portal 2 and Spec Ops (both very playable), as well as some light 3D CAD work. For general internet browsing and music and video playback it is pretty fast.
A couple of months ago I acquired a copy of Windows 7 so I decided to have another go at getting a dual- or triple-boot system going, and boy has that been an exercise in futility! After a lot of trial and error and searching for related posts in forums, I discovered that the only version of Ubuntu that works reliably (i.e. boots and the wireless adapter works) is 12.04, which runs rather slower than I was hoping, and slower than Windows. This may be because it is the 32-bit version, not installed in AHCI mode, but that's because...
The wireless adapter only works in Windows 7 when Win7 is installed in IDE (legacy) mode. Even now the adapter turn itself off frequently, sometimes to a point where it is fixable by Windows but often requiring a full restart, also often causing the system to crash thus requiring a hard reset. Googling this topic, as well as all the other problems I've had with this machine, reveals that they are common problems. Earlier today, the machine turned itself off completely in Win7, and I have no idea why this was. Haven't experienced this in either of the other 2 OSes. Besides these complaints, Windows 7 whips along at a good pace, especially with 4GB instead of 2GB RAM.
The triple-boot using GRUB works, so I now have Ubuntu 12.04, Win7 and Win XP SP3 all bootable. However, as mentioned above Win7 is not reliable for internet use, so I usually use XP. But in XP, I have to contend with another well-documeted problem with the power management: no matter how I have the Power settings arranged, whenever I close the lid of the machine and reopen it I am presented with a frozen desktop, and although the cursor moves normally I can't affect anything so I am forced to hard-reset. Interestingly, this was not a problem before I did the triple-boot reinstall recently.
A while ago I bought another 2GB RAM module, but in trying to upgrade the memory - a process which requires you to remove the ENTIRE back panel - I stripped one of the cheap-feeling screws, effectively sealing the box. Again, forums told me I was not alone in doing this. I took it to a Lenovo shop near while I live (in Prague) and the guy there managed to fit the second module just by bending the body of the laptop out of the way while he fitted it. I was terrified something was going to snap, so I would recommend anyone planning to upgrade this laptop to pay a bit more and have it done professionally. That way at least you're covered if the same thing happens as happened to me.
In summary, although I do like this laptop, I struggle to recommend it because of all the problems I've had and continue to have. From what other people have written on forums it seems that buying one with Win7 pre-installed and never messing around with other operating systems is the only way to ensure decent functionality, but of course this will include all of Lenovo's awful bloatware. I think it is something of a scandal that the drivers provided on Lenovo's support site for XP and 7 both leave you with a not-entirely-functional product, and Linux use is not really a viable alternative in terms of speed.