Lenovo IdeaPad U410 review

Lenovo is back with a lower-priced Ultrabook to tempt the masses

Lenovo IdeaPad U410
Is the Lenovo IdeaPad U410 an appealing package?

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The i5 chip powering the Lenovo IdeaPad U410 that we mentioned in the intro is a third-generation Intel Core i5-3317U one, clocked at 1.7GHz (up to 2.6GHz using Intel's Turbo Boost tech), backed up with 6GB of DDR3, 1,600MHz, RAM.

This being an Ivy Bridge machine you are, of course, treated to Intel HD Graphics 4000, and all of the DirectX 11 and OpenGL 3.1 goodies that affords you.

And, in what is still quite a rare-occurrence in the Ultrabook world, you also have access to discrete graphics courtesy of the included Nvidia GeForce 610M 1GB GPU.

The hard-drive storage option blows most of its Ultrabook competitors out of the water.

Unlike the 2011-Ultrabook models, that mainly chose extreme slimness and solitary SSD drives in favour of thicker chassis with enough space for a good old-fashioned HDD, 2012 has seen a boom in HDD packing Ultrabooks.

Sure, this does mean that you're substituting some of the desirability elements of the latest laptop genre, but you're definitely getting a much more practical machine, one that is much more likely to meet your HD digital needs, in exchange.

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Review

In the case of the Lenovo IdeaPad U410, you're treated to a 750GB HDD, which sits alongside the 32GB SSD.

It's the HDD that'll come in handy when storing all of your HD media content.

The SSD allows for the usual Ultrabook treats such as Intel's Rapid Start along with Lenovo's own BootShield tech (for faster boot ups after big installation sessions) and a resume from sleep mode of just one second.

But there's no need to awaken the U410 from sleep all of the time – it also packs Lenovo Smart Update, a piece of software that grabs all your social updates (email, Facebook, Twitter, IM and so on) without ever being fully powered up, which is a great feature if you're the type who simply must know what's happening at every waking (or non-waking in this case) hour of the day.

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Review

Lenovo has also pre-loaded the IdeaPad U410 with OneKey Recovery software, allowing you to keep a backup of your system, even if Windows fails to load.

There's also a dedicated physical button on the edge of the U410 to fire-up the recovery process, should you run into major difficulties. It's a handy addition that, hopefully, you'll never have to use.

In terms of connectivity you have the usual setup of Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), 10/100M LAN using the awkward Ethernet connector and Bluetooth.

There are also four USB ports – two of which are the faster USB 3.0 variety, HDMI and a 2-in-1 (SD and MMC) card reader.