I need a new laptop. My trusty old Asus UL30A is starting to feel slow, and I’d love to have a better screen and an SSD. Because I mostly work from my desktop PC, I don’t need anything to-of-the-line. A mid-range i5 will do. Touchscreen is optional, but I do need 8 GB of RAM. Surprisingly, it’s not easy to find these specs in a 13 inch form factor. Which is why I was happy to see Lenovo’s announcement of the IdeaPad U330 touch. Unfortunately, it seems to have all but disappeared…
June 20th, 2013 – Announcement
Back in June(!) of last year, Engadget posted details about the “Haswell refresh” of Lenovo’s laptop line. By then, most manufacturers were moving to Intel’s new energy-efficient chips, and Lenovo’s offerings looked promising. Basically, I decided then and there that I wanted the orange U330 Touch, with the optional 8 GB upgrade and the Full HD screen. All Lenovo needed to do was release the product.
Six months of nothing happening
Throughout the second half of 2013, I kept an eye on Lenovo’s website, waiting for the “buy” button to to appear. Nothing happened. Then all of a sudden, the lowest-specced model turned up at BCC, a chain of electronics stores here in The Netherlands. But I didn’t want that one. While googling, I found the same model at amazon.co.uk, but not the 8 GB one. Shops offering other configurations never had them in stock. Surprisingly, the U330 is completely missing from Lenovo’s US website.
2014, but no U330 Touch
This week, Lenovo is announcing all sorts of new models at CES, but there’s still no U330 on sale in their own (Dutch) store. Nor hardly anywhere else. Is Lenovo trying to sell old stock before releasing new models? Are they afraid this IdeaPad will cannibalize sales of the more expensive – and equally orange – Yoga 2 Pro? I have no idea. You’d think the mid-range model ultrabook would potentially be their top seller. Bottom line is that the U330 Touch (and it’s non-touch sibling, the U330p) are essentially missing in action.
Do you own a U330 Touch, or have you seen one on sale anywhere? Please leave a comment below. I’m feeling a little cheated by Lenovo (so I may not buy from them after all), but this whole thing has become a mystery that I’d like to solve.