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Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Review: Trying To Keep Up

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Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Lenovo

Introduction, Design

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Before Intel released the ultrabook standard there were already laptops that we’re close to what Intel would envision, and while some had already gained attention on their own, most were not given any special attention. One of these laptops was the IdeaPad U series, a part of Lenovo’s consumer line-up which had long focused on thin and light design.

I reviewed one of those laptops, the Lenovo U260, in 2010. That 12.5 laptop weighed in at just 3.04 pounds and is - to this very day - among the thinnest and lightest laptops we’ve reviewed at PC Perspective.

Alas, the U260 was not long for this world, but its largest siblings live on. Now we’re taking a look at the U410, Lenovo’s 14-inch ultrabook and the largest product in the U-Series. Let’s see what kind of hardware it brings to this suddenly crowded category.

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Well, there are no surprises here, but you shouldn’t have expected any. Intel’s moves to make cool, thin laptops more widespread has ironically robbed them of their excitement. They’re all roughly the same in size and weight and they can all be equipped with identical Intel processors.

This makes it hard for any particular ultrabook - even those with a bloodline that starts prior to Intel’s ultrabook push - to stand out. Let’s see if the Lenovo IdeaPad U410 can conjure some magic.

Continue reading our review of the Lenovo IdeaPad U410!!

Design

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The day after I received my U410 I took it out for a critical test - the coffee shop jaunt. This involves plopping down among a crowd of other people and seeing if anyone else notices what I’m using.

No one did, but their lack of observation can be excused, as they probably thought I was just another dude with a Macbook Pro. It’s striking how similar the two products look. They both have a silver lower chassis with a black bezel around the display. They both have black chiclet keys. They both have large silver touchpads. And they are of roughly the same thickness.

Of course, there are differences. Lenovo does not offer edge-to-edge glass on its display, for example, and the corners of the chassis are rounded in places the MacBook Pro feels sharp and rough. The U410 offers build quality that is nearly as good, as well. It’s also possible to buy the U410 with colorful lids, though my review unit arrived in gunmetal. On the whole, this laptop actually comes across as a bit friendlier and more usable than Cupertino’s aging Pro.

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Examining this laptop’s flanks reveals amazing connectivity for an ultrabook. There are four USB ports (2x 2.0, 2x 3.0) as well as HDMI-out and a card reader. The only annoyance is a combo headphone/microphone jack, but overall, this small laptop packs a lot of functionality.

September 19, 2012 | 01:54 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 | 07:37 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 | 01:34 AM - Posted by Margot (not verified)

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October 13, 2012 | 01:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

does this model have any Wifi problems like the U310?

March 25, 2013 | 01:33 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

ya it does

November 4, 2012 | 05:03 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 | 04:33 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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