Lenovo was one of the original players when the Ultrabook revolution kicked off late last year with its IdeaPad 300s and now, fresh for 2012, the Chinese manufacturer is back with a couple of more wallet-friendly slimline offerings in its U Series; the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 and the U410.

Like the 300s, the IdeaPad U310 is a 13.3 inch Ultrabook, but it's its bigger-brother, the Lenovo IdeaPad U410 that we're focusing on here.

The flagship machine of the IdeaPad U Series, the U410 is a 14-inch machine, ready to take on the likes of the HP Envy 6, the Samsung Series 5 Ultra, the Sony Vaio T13 and the Asus Zenbook Prime, for the 2012 Ultrabook heavyweight (or should that be lightweight?) championship.

At 21mm thick, however, and with a weight of almost 2kg, the Lenovo IdeaPad U410 isn't likely to worry the likes of the Acer Aspire S5 or the Dell XPS 13 in the super-skinny stakes.

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Review

But where the U410 does shine is with its value for money.

The review model that we took for a spin; an Ivy Bridge i5 model boasting 6GB of RAM, discrete graphics from Nvidia and a healthy 750GB HDD, can be yours for a penny less than £700.

If you're happy to settle for an i3 CPU, you can even shave £50 off of this price.

The top model, packing an i7 processor with 8GB of RAM and a massive 1TB drive is less than £800.

In Ultrabook terms, that's incredibly good value. In fact, in plain old laptop terms, it's still a fantastically competitive price range.

Back to the review model in question, the Lenovo IdeaPad U410 is quite a chunky model as Ultrabooks go – but it's still plenty svelte enough to stick in your bag and carry around for a full day.

And, given that it's wrapped in a slick-looking brushed aluminum chassis (with your choice of a Sapphire Blue, Metallic Red or Graphite Grey finish – Lenovo's caps, not ours), it should be plenty sturdy enough and be able to withstand the usual everyday punishment.

The thick(ish) edges have a nice feel to them as well, curved inwards with an aesthetically pleasing silver trim.

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Review

The only thing that spoils the build really is the slightly clumsy placement of the Ethernet port and the slightly cheap looking ventilation grilles.

There is a 1-megapixel webcam on board, which is capable of grabbing 720p HD video.

You can use this camera for the usual stuff such as video conferencing and Lenovo has also chucked in a few software options for it as well, the most notable being the VeriFace face recognition program.

Like the face detection unlocking security of Android 4+, VeriFace allows you to secure your machine with a portrait, with only your ugly-mug able to unlock the action.

In theory, this is a great idea – in practice, it's a laborious affair to setup with massively inconsistent results.