Review Index:

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Review: Trying To Keep Up

Author: Matt Smith
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Lenovo

User Interface and Display Quality

User Interface

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I generally hate ultrabook keyboards, but the keys on the U410 impress. They are large, offer entirely reasonable key travel and are well defined. The only complaint I have is the same one I have with all IdeaPad keyboards - the right-side Backspace, Enter and Shift keys are much smaller than they should be.

Keyboard backlighting was notably missing and is, as far as I can see, not available on any U410 even as an option. I find this a bit odd. Backlighting is not a deal-breaker for me, but it can be for some users.

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The touchpad, as mentioned previously, is large and silver. It has a rather flat texture, however, which results in a vague feel when using it. Multi-touch scroll works well enough but multi-touch zoom seemed to be either too sensitive or too insensitive, depending on how it was adjusted.

Left/right mouse buttons are integrated into the touchpad surface. They’re sprung lightly and offer decent travel, which makes them easy to use. That’s good, because two-finger taps never seem to register as a right-click. You’ll be using the right button frequently.

Display And Audio Quality

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The 14” display on the U410 is a typical glossy piece of kit with a resolution of 1366x768. It is reasonably bright, and the gloss coat seems a bit less extreme than on some other consumer laptops, so it’s usable in most lighting conditions. Still, don’t expect to write your novel at your local park.

Quality is average. Black levels are unexceptional, banding is smooth throughout most of the test image but also drops into oblivion towards its darkest extremes, and viewing angles are narrow. It’s just a display. It shows you stuff. But it doesn’t make it look exciting or detailed.

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Audio quality is about what you’d expect from a laptop of this thickness. Which is to say, not great. Some thin laptops do have good or even excellent audio (for a laptop) but you’ll have to spend more to push yourself into that league of performance.

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

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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)


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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