Hands on: Lenovo IdeaPad U510 Ultrabook review

Thin but hardly light 15-inch notebook

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If Intel had this in mind when it was thinking about the concept of an Ultrabook, we'd be rather surprised. This 15-inch powerhouse weighs in at 2.2Kg, but still can be called an Intel Ultrabook.

That's because it fits the sub-22mm Ultrabook requirement (it's 21mm).

Lenovo U510

The IdeaPad U510 Ultrabook launched at IFA 2012 is the successor to Lenovo's U310 and U410 released earlier this year and picks up the mantle of high-end computing power, while still giving you the option of either of a DVD or Blu-ray drive.

Lenovo U510

Lenovo says it "combines the best features of a traditional laptop with the sleek aesthetics and desirable qualities of a tablet". We had to laugh at that last bit; it's nothing like a tablet.

It does, however, boast a very quick resume time – just over a second – thanks for the extra 32GB SSD on board. Actual storage is provided by standard hard drives up to 1TB. Expect various processors to be available in the U510 up to the Intel Core i7.

We weren't overly enthused by the 1,366 x 768 screen resolution and lack of extra graphical power, but we were impressed by how thin Lenovo has managed to make the screen - it's just a few milimeters thick.

Lenovo U510

Lenovo U510

Lenovo cites a battery life of six hours for the laptop, though we'd have to see it to believe it.

Lenovo U510

The IdeaPad U510 release date is September 2012 and UK price starts at £749, which means that it won't come with Windows 8 at launch - although, as you may have spotted, this model (at Intel's booth) has been pre-installed with a demo version of Windows 8.

Lenovo U510

The trackpad and keyboard was typical Lenovo - easy to type on and pleasant to use, even if it really doesn't add anything to the aesthetic of the laptop.

The right-hand side of the chassis features the optical drive, two USB ports (they look like USB 2.0) as well as an SD card reader.

Lenovo U510

And on the other side, you get a USB 3.0 port, HDMI, power and good old Ethernet.

Lenovo U510

Early verdict

The IdeaPad U510 is a large laptop and it shows the latitude given to laptop manufacturers within the Intel design spec. However, what you're getting for your money is a more powerful and bigger screened laptop than you'd otherwise get if you went tor a thin and light. If you don't need to move your laptop around it's an ideal solution - with plenty of storage, too.

Lenovo U510

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Contributor

Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Lifehacker UK. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.