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Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Review: Trying To Keep Up

Author: Matt Smith
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Lenovo

Cooling, Portability, Software

Cooling

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The U410 is thin, but not particularly so. There should be plenty of room for cooling. Lenovo seems to prefer minimizing fan speed in this laptop, however, which usually works – the U410 is not a loud laptop even when used to play a game. The downside, of course, is heat.

I recorded interior temperatures as high as 92 degrees Fahrenheit at idle. That is more than tolerable, but it’s a bit warm for a laptop which isn’t being stressed.

Portability

The Lenovo U410 is a bit thick and heavy by ultrabook standards. It just barely fits within the size restrictions and it at four pounds or more, depending on options. Though not hard to carry, it doesn’t have the pack it and forget it quality of the lights products in the category. You’ll always be aware that you are carrying a laptop.

Battery life has been a sore sport for ultrabooks. Most claim huge numbers, but real-world testing rarely supports them. Lenovo says “up to 9 hours” with this laptop. Can it reach that figure?

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No. Not even close. But the U410 is about average for an ultrabook. It comes in behind the HP Envy 14 Spectre but beats the Zenbook Prime and the X1 Carbon. Endurance is than adequate for most consumers.

Software

Lenovo ships the U410 with a standard array of Lenovo software. This includes Lenovo YouCam (a re-branded Cybercam app), some recovery software, Google Chrome, Adobe Reader X and a few other things. A lot of it is useful, a lot of it could work better, and none of it is outrageously annoying.

The same can’t be said for Lenovo’s custom power management app, which represents different power modes with a bicycle, a car and a sports car. It’s overly simple and only provide a few very basic options which aren’t included in Windows by default, such as a custom power saving disk management mode.

I also don’t like Lenovo Smart Update, which is some kind of software updating and laptop management app. It’s the ugliest piece of software I can remember seeing in recent history.

Thankfully, you don’t have to mess with any of the not-so-great software features if you don’t want to, and nothing drags on performance overall. The bloatware load feels light overall.
 

September 19, 2012 | 04:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How about Running the Joe Blow benchmark on this laptop!
the Joe Blow is an easy benchmark, just:

1) do a Windows system image backup, and list the total time it takes using the fastest USB port on the computer attatched to both a usb 3.0(if computer has one) and then a USB 2.0 external hard drive (this will test the computer and the computers ability(time it takes) to perform a complete backup! This will also test how well the computers USB 3.0 port, If it has one, performs when attatched to the previous generation external hard drive (You would be suprised how poorly some USB 3.0 ports perform when attatched to a USB 2.0 external hard drive, mostly beacause of The computer's OEM's poor job writing drivers)

2) Once the image backup is complete, turn around and copy the system Image backup to the computers C drive from the external drive, while it is copying under windows, note the best average copy speed that windows says the file is being copied at, but also keep tabs on the total time it takes to perform the copy! do this test for USB 3.0 and 2.0 External drives (if the computer has USB 3.0)

3) take the system Image backup and copy it, once again, to a 64 gig thumb drive (do this for a USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 thumb drive, if the computer has USB 3.0). be sure to get the thumb drives that are on sale for the least price, but make sure they are at least 64 Gigabites. Record average transfer speeds, and total time it takes for each transfer.
64 gigs is usually big enough for most system images on a new laptop including bloatware!

4)Publish The results in a neat table of your own design!

September 25, 2012 | 10:37 PM - Posted by gregzeng (not verified)

On the 'Joe Blow' benchmark, I'd be interested in the performance in Ununtu 12.04, in both NTFS-WIN7 & Linux's EXT file systems.

Probably the only CPU-compatible benchtest might be 7Z compression & decompression. This varies for the compressiblity of the files, so we perhaps might standardize on the Windows folder on C-drive?

I found the USB-port speeds vary on which of the ports are chosen; one of mine has ESATA available on it as well.
Retired Chief Information Officer (1984), Australian Capital Territory

May 18, 2013 | 04:34 AM - Posted by Margot (not verified)

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October 13, 2012 | 04:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

does this model have any Wifi problems like the U310?

March 25, 2013 | 04:33 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

ya it does

November 4, 2012 | 08:03 AM - Posted by Nickel City (not verified)

I just purchased the i-7, 1 TB (no SSD), version for 699 USD directly from Lenovo's website using a 'weekly deal'. So, maybe they have a surplus of the higher end model. At that price, this seems like a steal to me. BTW, they report a 4+ weeks ship time on the website and talking to customer service, but once purchased the ship time is two days.

August 11, 2013 | 07:33 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hi,

the i7 version of the U410 with 4GB ram and 500gb hdd, 24gb ssd is available hear cheaper as a factory seconds refurbrished. I want to buy it as a cheap light weight alternative to hauling my work laptop around town. Are there any issues in the basic system I should be looking out for?

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