Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Review: Trying To Keep Up
Cooling, Portability, Software
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.
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?
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.
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.
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