Lenovo U300e – Another Hybrid HDD Hits the Ultrabook Market

Posted on 23 February 2012 By


There are rumors and indicators that Ultrabooks are moving more towards hybrid HDDs and the Lenovo U300e is another indicator in that area. The nasty side effect is that the SSD model, the U300s now only seems to be available with a Core i7 and a $1499 price.

u300e

The U300e is launching with a 500Gb hard drive, Core i5 and 4GB RAM – No change from the original U300s that we saw apart from the storage. The price comes in at $1199 at the Lenovo US store though which is shockingly high considering the Samsung Series 5 13.3 is $869 at Amazon.com right now.

Distribution of the Lenovo U300s across the world has been very difficult to track though and all models appear to have delays of 2-4 weeks at Amazon.com. The U300e at the Lenovo shop will ship in ‘more than 4 weeks.’ You wonder if there’s some re-positioning going on in the American market. Perhaps the SSD versions are B2B-only in the US now?

Meanwhile in the UK and in Germany, the U300s (with SSD) is shipping at the same price as the HP Folio 13, the Toshiba Z830 and ASUS UX31, making much more sense.

The trend towards lower-cost=HDD is worrying but one wonders whether market research is telling manufacturers that 128GB is too small for the US market. What do you think?

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  1. #1 by vjachi on February 24, 2012 - 00:03

    The 128gb are enougt I agree, but at the and you will store just programs to work with not your video collection. All your data can be stored on external hard drive.

    We use SSD because its fast, so we dont need it for movies and so on. The hybrid is good idea when you got for examle 32gb ssd for the OS and all programs, you dont need more and 500gb hdd for movies,music and so on.

  2. #2 by Adam on February 24, 2012 - 11:02

    I still maintain that friends don’t let friends by laptops with spinning hard disks; whether that’s just a spinning hard disk or a “hybrid” solution doesn’t matter.

    It’s like Lenovo doesn’t even look at the price of their competitor’s offerings; their prices are absolutely ridiculous; even their employee pricing is pretty pathetic.

    I’m not going to pay for an ultrabook with a spinning hard disk drive. I’d rather buy a non-ultrabook and put an SSD in it like Chippy did. You’re paying for the “ultrabook” name without the ultrabook experience when you don’t get the blazing boot times and app launch times of a REAL SSD.

    The Asus UX31 started out looking great for the money and has just looked better as other ultrabooks have come out; IF you can deal with the 5ish hour battery life. (I cannot.)

    The Toshiba Portege looked like an amazing deal if you can deal with its cheap build quality and it looking like a dated PC and it’s continued to show that it really is a great deal, too. (Especially now that the fan noise issues are mitigated.)

    The HP Folio is closer to what I’m looking for with the battery life to match; I just wish it was less “normal PC” looking and would go on a little diet.

    Updated Asus models, the HP Folio, the LG Xnote (which I expect to be crazy expensive like the Lenovo models but more deserving of the price tag), and the Samsung 5 are my main hopes for an ultrabook that gets the total package right.

    Adam

  3. #3 by PolkSDA on February 24, 2012 - 15:15

    Personally, I don’t get the whole hybrid HDD deal. Yes, it (sort of) improves over traditional HDD access performance while allowing large capacity for file storage, but it still doesn’t give you true SSD performance for apps, and:

    (1) How many people are actually going to use an Ultrabook as their ONLY computer?

    (2) 128GB/256GB isn’t enough? How many gigs of music or pr0n do you need to store?

    (3) Most importantly, doesn’t a hybrid mitigate all the advantages of an SSD-only device, e.g., battery life, heat output, vibration?

    I’ve gotten to the point now that I absolutely abhor a spinning HDD in any portable device just from a vibration standpoint. I hate the vibrations on the palmrests.

    Hell, I’ve replaced the HDDs in all my laptops with third-party SSDs and the boot drives of all my desktops and home servers with SSDs or SSD raids.

    I will never own another computer that boots from a spinning HDD.

    Ultimately, as SSD capacities increase and prices come down, isn’t the hybrid HDD an answer in search of a question?

    • #4 by aden on February 24, 2012 - 16:33

      If these were secondary devices to desktops then, yes, 128/256 GB is probably enough. However, I’m going to guess that most people who buy these things actually are going using them as their sole computing device. If we see more of these hybrid drives in thin and lights then notebook sales must be driving it.

  4. #5 by boots on February 27, 2012 - 03:47

    Looks like Lenovo can’t make up its mind. According to their website, the new price for the U300e is $1199, up from $959. Ouch!

  5. #6 by boots on February 29, 2012 - 22:48

    I was actually headed to their site to buy one of these pieces of junk at $959. However, now they are the same price as a new Macbook, which is a laptop I would much rather have. By the way, who the hell needs a 532g hard drive in an ultrabook!??? Thank you, Lenovo, for keeping me from buying your overpriced garbage. I’m looking forward to using my new Macbook for years!

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