Best Ultrabook: top thin and lights
The Lenovo U410 Touch almost seems a bit too good to be true on paper. Decent processor, stonking graphics, acres of RAM, huge storage and an Ultrabook frame... how could such a thing only cost £750 / US$1,050 (around AU$1,225)?
Inevitably, there are compromises with the Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Touch, but not so many that it falls too far short of our lofty expectations to be worthwhile. Hopefully future versions can offer better battery life and a few other tweaks, to make make it properly irresistible.
The killer thing here is naturally the graphics - well, the spec sheet in general, but the graphics are the most impressive part. This really is a gaming Ultrabook. Ok, it's not a high-end gamers' paradise, but when you consider that something more potent, such as the Razer Blade, will set you back double the cost, the Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Touch makes itself seem like a truly impressive machine indeed.
It's also smart, wakes quickly and is comfortable to use - Lenovo didn't forget to make a laptop as well as a gaming hub.
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While we understand the compromises that Lenovo had to make for cost here, that doesn't mean we like them. In fact, we dislike them. It says so above. So yes, it's a shame that the screen couldn't have been higher quality, and that the keyboard bows in the middle. And while this is an Ultrabook, it's only just - this isn't a super-portable laptop, no matter how many of Intel's standards it meets. The battery life is also disappointing.
That the CPU underperformed was a shame, though, because it means the whole thing should perform even better than it does, and the network issues were also a little concerning. Most of the time, they weren't a major issue, but they're problems that other laptops simply don't exhibit.
Lenovo has produced a really solid portable gaming machine, but it does feel like its focus on a strong GPU, RAM and hard drive have taken a toll elsewhere. The overall balance is definitely still in its favour, though.
The final result may be more a light home machine than a road warrior's ideal Ultrabook, but this much power in this small a frame at this price means it's hard to contend with - warts and all.