Nov
11
2012

Lenovo U410 Ultrabook Review

It was finally time to get a new laptop, and I now find myself typing on a Lenovo IdeaPad, the 14″ u410. This is considered an Ultrabook, which I think is some sort of official term that Intel came up with. It basically means powerful, and yet slim and sexy. After using this thing for about a week solid now, I think I’d have to agree.

This is a ‘real world’ review, based upon the usage of a non-gaming web developer, and a non-tech wife. What this means is that I won’t be running any benchmarks, or giving detailed performance numbers. I’ll sum it up very quickly right here: the Lenovo U410 is basically the closest thing to a MacBook Pro that you can get while still using Windows. I really do mean that. I had a MacBook Pro right next to this, and for a second, I mistook it for the Lenovo. It really is that nice. Honestly, it’s almost going over the line of copying Apple’s design. No complaints here though.

Now, it did come with Windows 8, which is taking some getting used to. I really must admit that I’m not quite in the flow with it yet, but at the same time, I’m getting by just fine. This isn’t about Windows 8 though, since you could run whatever you’d like. So regarding the U410 itself, the only other thing which took some getting used to was the track pad. Once again, it basically stole the ‘modern’ track pad design from Apple. It’s big, and has the traditional mouse buttons activate by pressing the lower left and lower right of the track pad. I will say this, I had to adjust the sensitivity settings to prevent errant movement, and I also turned off the “Edge Swipe” feature, which would bring up menus and switch applications if you slide your finger in from the left/right most edge. It’s one of those things that may be nice in the long run, once I master the feel of this track pad, but for the moment, it was absolutely maddening and would kick in when I wasn’t expecting it.

Other than that, this laptop, oh I mean ultrabook, is really solid, and attractive. Compared to an actual MacBook Pro, the keyboard is not as physically rock solid, but still pretty good. What I mean by that, is that there’s a little ‘give’ if you type a slightly hard. It’s barely noticeable, but if you’re comparing to the very high end ultrabooks, you may not like it. But for real, that is being super picky. Sometimes I wonder if I’d even notice if I had not read some other review which mentioned it.

As for connections, it has all of the HDMI/USB ports you’d need, and even at the most basic setup is more than powerful enough for almost anything non-gamers would do. Like I said, I develop websites, my wife consumes content. Honestly, any computer you can purchase these days will have more than enough power for that. If you’re not gaming, then get something that you like based on other features. So in our case, we got something portable, relatively light, and attractive. Yes it’s powerful, but that’s almost a non-factor for our usage. Don’t get caught up in the performance rat-race! It’s pointless.

One last thing, the screen. I find it very clear and plenty bright. I’ve even turned down the brightness a bit. The colors are nice, video is smooth, and text is crisp. I refuse to get all insane about retina display and pixel density stats. Yes, other screens are better, but it doesn’t matter. The general concept is the same as all things in life, there’s always something better, but that doesn’t mean that what you have doesn’t fulfill your needs perfectly already.

So in summary, if you love the look and feel of the MacBook Pro, but want to run Windows (or Linux) and pay half as much, then I would highly recommend you take a look at the Lenovo IdeaPad U410. It’s got enough power, looks amazing, and honestly seems like a PC MacBook Pro clone. Oh, and there’s even a little-bro version, the Lenovo U310, which is essentially the same thing, but with a 13″ screen instead of 14″. There are some other minor details, but for standard usage, you would never notice. The overall verdict, I love this thing. There are many different configurations (Windows 7/8, 4/6/8GB RAM etc), so shop around until you find what fits you.

About the Author:

I like technology, sci-fi, fantasy, and anime. You know, cool geeky stuff.

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