Feeds
65%
Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 14in Ultrabook review

Cheaper by design

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

As a MacBook Pro owner, and yet a fan of the ThinkPad range since the early IBM days, it would be easy for me to assume Lenovo's new IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook fills the gap as the ultimate middle ground model. Indeed, it's a ThinkPad descendant that looks like Lenovo desperately wants an Apple lawsuit.

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook

Lenovo's IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook – looks familiar

However, this is unlikely to be the case as, to be blunt, it feels cheap. Perhaps if it weren’t trying to be a MacBook clone I wouldn't care about the lifeless grey plastic feel to what's supposed to be aluminium – or the non-backlit keyboard with its undersized keys. At first use this seems a bit like a knockoff product that I would hesitate to buy.

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook

Key issues

When you actually get down to the hardware though, for the £650 this review model costs, there's actually some decent kit included. Here I have a dual-core 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U (which TurboBoosts up to 2.6GHz), 8GB of DDR3 and a 1GB NVidia 610m GPU. This makes for a decent performer with a PCMark 7 score of 2977 PCMarks.

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook

SSD and HDD combo on board

One feature that I do very much like is the inclusion of a 32GB SSD which, although it can't be used for storage, does vastly improve the system responsiveness. Lenovo has nicely streamlined this cache, making it invisible to the user, but when I ran Crystal DiskMark on the 750GB HDD, it returned 285MB/s reads! Admittedly I only got 80MB/s when writing, but considering that 750GB of SSD storage alone would cost as much as the entire U410...

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook

Perky performer which would benefit from a higher resolution display

From a performance perspective I find the U410 surprisingly powerful for a 14in machine, but the user experience is still letting me down a bit. A 1366 x 768 screen may well be described as HD of sorts, but it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of working area and overall image quality. With the U410 on my lap, I can easily see pixellated edges and the 'fly-screen' effect. I also find the screen to be excessively glossy and reflective.

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Power games

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.