Hands on: Lenovo IdeaPad U510 Ultrabook review

Thin but hardly light 15-inch notebook

What is a hands on review?
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Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

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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

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.

Tech Specs

Product TypeUltrabook
Hard Drive Capacity1 TB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4000
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time6 Hour
Solid State Drive Capacity24 GB
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyIdeaPad U510
Keyboard BacklightYes
Processor Modeli5-3337U
ColourGraphite Grey
Operating SystemWindows 8
Brand NameLenovo
Processor Speed1.80 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells4-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory6 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.20 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1600/PC3-12800
Height21 mm
Width382 mm
Depth250 mm
Screen ModeHD
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesU510
ManufacturerLenovo Group Limited
Product NameIdeaPad U510 Ultrabook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineIdeaPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number59359624
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lenovo.com/uk/en/

Attention-getter, multimedia maven or gaming virtuoso - no matter what you call yourself, our IdeaPad laptops power your imagination and your sense of self-expression. They feature clever feature clever technology and a spectrum of equally smart designs.


IdeaPad's stylish design makes these laptops ones to see and be seen with. No two people are the same. We kept that in mind when we designed the first IdeaPad laptops. Fact is, we wanted to give you options for expressing yourself. You may look at a tribal tattoo pattern and see yourself. Or maybe bold colors or a sleek metallic finish is more your speed. Choose carefully - you will get noticed.

Maximum Memory8 GB