Lenovo U41 review

Great for all basic tasks and highly affordable

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Our Verdict

The U41 ticks the boxes for performance, price and design, but the display on this entry-level model is unfortunately below par.

For

  • Very reasonable CPU and GPU performance
  • Attractive, lightweight design
  • Solid and well-built

Against

  • Dull screen that lacks contrast or brightness
  • Display has poor viewing angles
  • Mediocre battery life
Scores in depth
Lenovo U41 review
Lenovo U41 review
Lenovo U41 review
Lenovo U41 review
Lenovo U41 review

The Lenovo U41 is a portable computer designed for everyone and anyone. It has an attractive svelte silver design, you won't complain about its weight, and there's enough power to chomp through the everyday tasks that the vast majority of people want to use their computers for, such as Microsoft Office, web use and watching movies.

And at a starting price of £500 ($610 in the US, or AU$800) it's a relatively affordable proposition too.

Design

Lenovo sent me the silver version, made from a metallic-looking plastic on both the outside of the lid and the main chassis, but it's also available in "flamenco red" or "ebony". The bezel around the 14-inch screen is matte black and the island-style keys are termed AccuType by Lenovo – they're ergonomically designed with an extra curve at the bottom.

The circular power button in the top right glows white when the U41 is up and running. With the lid closed it measures about 1.7cm high and weighs 1.8kg, making it neither the lightest or thinnest laptop ever made, but it's still highly portable.

Lenovo U41 profile
The U41 is slim and nicely portable

Its 160mm trackpad is generously sized without physical buttons, but an inwards push registers left and right presses with a sharp click. It supports multi-touch gestures for use in Windows 8.1, which comes preinstalled on the U41.

There's a pair of USB 3.0 ports, RJ45 Ethernet, and HDMI on one side, and another USB 2.0 port, an SD card reader and headphone jack on the other. A pair of white LEDs indicate power status and disk access. Right at the top is a 720p webcam.

Whether closed or open, the U41 looks good, for the price at least. Sure, it's an all-plastic chassis, with a low cost being one of its chief aims. But within these tight restrictions, Lenovo has still managed to come up with a design that looks reasonable.

And it feels good to use too. Typing is pleasant, the trackpad works well enough, the device feels fairly sturdy, and there are no show-stopping complaints about its build.

Lenovo U41 keyboard
We have no complaints about the keyboard or trackpad