Lenovo overload?

The Chinese notebook manufacturer drops a new release into an already bloated mid-range market

Lenovo is no newcomer to releasing mid-range notebooks, in a similar approach to most manufacturers in hammering the market from all directions with different models and specifications. Its latest range of IdeaPads ships with the same new Intel processor range that Apple and others have pounced on, so how can Lenovo stand out from the mid-range notebook traffic? Is the U410 the model to do it? Let's take a peek.

FORM

The signature Ultrabook rounded edges and brightly coloured lids continue in the U410 model. It features a brushed aluminium chassis, which is a little flimsy and bends under pressure but would survive transport in a bag comfortably.

The oversized black plastic bezel housing the screen is a little tacky, but light and functional. Lenovo is bragging a book-inspired design but wasn't that the whole point of the "notebook" in the first place? Its weight of 1.9kg is distributed evenly through the unit that is 21mm thick.

For connectivity, it features two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 interfaces, HDMI and ethernet ports as well as a bizarre button that starts proprietary back-up software of little apparent use. The overall design is well-rounded, without being flashy and above average for this mid-range class.

FUNCTION

The glossy 14.1in screen reflects more than it should, and offers a 1,366x768 resolution, which could be higher considering the gaming and graphics potential. The chiclet keyboard is comfortable to type on, but isn't backlit. An SD card slot is now on board, while an optical drive is omitted to save weight. A 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U chip drives the unit - like many of its peers in this class - helped by a generous 8GB of RAM that comes as standard.

The HDD/SSD combination is an effective compromise and allows for quick boot up/resume times, while keeping costs down. In another plus, the bundled software isn't too bloated, surprisingly enough, with VeriFace smartly enabling facial recognition for logging on, Mission: Impossible style.

Speakers are above average for this class too, and boast Dolby Home Theatre v4 PC Audio spec. Also onboard is wireless display technology, WiDi, to broadcast media to a bigger screen. Multimedia is further enhanced by nVidia GeForce graphics, which kick in when needed, particularly to offer the impressive gaming performance, lying dormant during regular use to save battery life, which is more like six to seven hours than the nine hours advertised, but it charges almost full in around 90 minutes, which is a bonus.


The Lenovo U410 is available in sapphire blue, graphite grey and ruby red officially for 29,900 baht (Core i5), 32,900 baht (core i7) and 25,900 baht (without Windows, i5). Visit tinyurl.com/7grvl2e. Email richardm@bangkokpost.co.th with any gadget thoughts.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Richard Mcleish
Position: Reporter