Feeds
65%
Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 14in Ultrabook review

Cheaper by design

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Next page: Power games

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.