Lenovo Ideapad U310 review - best cheap ultrabook

Uploaded by gadgetjm on 18.08.2012

Hello guys, Mike here and today we're having a look at the Lenovo Ideapad U310,
one of the most affordable ultrabooks on the market.
A lower price usually means that corners had to be cut, but you'll find out by the end
of this review that this is not necessarily the case here, as the
Lenovo Ideapad U310 has plenty to offer for the money.
We're going to start our review by having a quick look at the exterior.
The Lenovo U310 sseems a lot like last year's Lenovo
Ideapad U300,
one of my favorite ultrabooks back then.
However, the new ideapad u310 no longer fits a fully metallic body,
but only uses aluminum for the lid's cover and the underbelly, while the edges and
the interior are covered in plastic.
Despite that, the laptop feels solid and looks good,
keeping the book inspired silhouette.
Out test unit came in dark silver, also known as graphite grey,
but there are some other color options available, with pink or blue lids and
white interiors.
With its .7 inch thick body, the Lenovo U310 Ideapad isn't more massive
than most of the other machines on the market,
but it is heavier, weighing about 3.75 pounds, while the
average 13.3 inch ultrabook only goes for about 3 pounds these days.
The extra weight probably helped Lenovo make the ideapad U310 sturdy, but
i would have hoped that would translate into a big battery as well,
which is not really the case, as you'll see later in our review.
As an upside, the extra girth does make room for plenty of ports, lined on the sides of
this laptop
There's a quick recovery bottom on the left, alongside the a cooling grill,
A Gigabit Ethernet slot,
a full-size HDMI port, two USB 3.0 slots and the microphone pin.
The right side feels a bit barren though with only the headphone microphone jack
another USB 2.0 and the PSU connector residing here. The card reader
isn't missing anymore, like on the Ideapad U300S, and it's placed on the
front edge, where you'll also find the status LED, just beneath the trackpad.
Turning the laptop upside down
you'll notice one of the most appealing underbellies you've probably seen on
a laptop,
with some cooling grills punctured in the middle.
like with most ultrabooks, the battery and internal are encased,
so there's no easy way to access those.
Lifting the lid cover , You'll notice a matte plastic interior on our test
model, although the white finishing is a bit glossier.
The laptop looks classy, some might even say a bit sober on this graphite gray
version and also feels reliable.
There are no buttons or holes piercing the body, except for the Power switch
the top left corner.
The screen's hinge and bezel are however glossy and black,
thus will easily easily show smudges.
the 13.3 inch screen itself is unfortunately glossy too.
Combine that with the overall poor brightness of this display and you get
a screen you'll hardly be able to use outside or is strong light.
Indoors though, it should be alright, as long as you're fine with a
1366 x 768 px resolution and an average TN Panel,
which means limited vertical viewing angles and rather poor contrast and
For the average user though, this screen will probably do, but if you want a proper
display on your ultraportable, you should look otherwise.
The keyboard and trackpad however are awesome. I really enjoyed the nice contrast
between the black keys and the silver case.
And besides that, this Accutype keyboard was inherited from the uLenovo U300S,
thus is perhaps the best you can find on an ultrabooks these days. The keys are
properly sized and spaced, the travel and feedback are good.
In fact, there's only one thing this keyboard lacks and that's illumination.
As for the trackpad, this one is wide and covered in glass.
The entire surface is responsive and accurate, multitouch gestures work just fine
and palm rejection is present too.
And unlike other clickpads, this one isn't very stiff,
which should allow you to comfortably perform your daily clicks.
Let's take a second and talk about the hardware inside the lenovo ideapad u310.
Out test unit came with an Intel Core I5 3317U
processor, 4 GB of RAM, integrated intel graphics and
hybrid storage,
with a 5400 rpm 500 GB hard drive
and a 32 GB caching SSD.
That is in fact the standard config you could the get budget
ultrabooks these days,
so there's nothing fancy here, but you should know that the Lenovo U310
is also available with the corei3 CPU and standard HDD storage,
on a much cheaper version than this one.
The laptop feels decently snappy in daily use,
despite not sporting a true SSD, as it can deal with various everyday
tasks at ease, like editing tesxts, browsing, listening to music or chating on
Skype. it takes about 30 seconds to boot and about 3 to resume from
thanks to Lenovo's Enhanced Experience technology, which is not bad at all.
It can also handle Full HD content. either streamed or stored on the
hard drive.
Resources hungry apps or modern games are however tougher nut to crack,
as the ULV platform can only do so much, although you can play a bit older
titles on this laptop as long as you get the details down,
like starcraft 2 or world of warcraft.
You'll be able to read more about the software Lenovo bundles on this laptop and
about its performances in the written review, there's a link towards that in the
description below. I'm happy and happy to say that this laptop not only performs well,
but also manages to run fairly cool and quiet.
yes, it's bottom left side will get hot when pushed,
when playing games or watching 1080p videos for hours,
but the palm-rest and the entire interior remain cool even in these
conditions. The fan inside the laptop is active most of the time, so there's
always a slide buzz when using the Lenovo Ideapad U310,
but it's never too loud, not even when running some intensive tasks.
Lenovo packs stereo speakers on this laptop and they are placed beneath that plastic
strip on top of the keyboard, facing towards the screen's hinge and bouncing
the sound from the screen, towards the user. As a result, the sound quality us decent,
for an ultrabook, and so is the volume, although the audio can distort
The Lenovo Ideapad U310 also features an HD webcam on
top of the screen, which does a good job on video calls.
As for the wireless solution, there's a latest generation Intel Centrino
dual-band platform embedded, that also packs WiDi, and it did perform
well in my tests as long as i was very close to my router. As soon as i got a
bit farther away, at about 25+ feet, with one wall between
it and the laptop, the download speed drops massively, which does not happen with
any of the other laptops I've tested. I did contact lenovo about this
and they admitted the problem.
They also said that that any laptop manufactured after July 23rd 2012
no longer has the issues.
If you have an earlier model, you shoud take it to your local service you should take it to your local service
and it will be fixed free of charge.
By the way, the manufacturing date is printed on the bottom of the laptop, near
the Serial Number.
As we get closer to the end of this video review, it's time to talk about the
battery inside the Lenovo U310. Like i said in the beginning, given
the extra weight, i was hoping for a big battery on this Ideapad,
but there's only a 3 Cell 46 Wh one,
pretty much on par with what other producers feature on their 3 pound
notebooks, is not a bit smaller.
Ss a result,
the Lenovo Ideapad U310 will go for a little over 4 hours doing average daily use,
while performing various casual tasks,
with the screen at 70% and Balanced mode selected.
You'll get a bit more when using the laptop lightly, but that's still less
than i was expecting and less than what the competitors can offer.
Ss for the prices, here'swhere the Lenovo U310 scores some extra points.
Our test unit is available in stores for $719,
with only a standard harddrive, while the Core i3 versions sells for
about $80 less.
That means the Lenovo Ideapad starts at around six $650 right now
and that makes it the most affordable ultrabook you could buy.
With that in mind, you're probably going to forget about the average screen, the heavier
body and the sub par battery life.
Of course, if you want these solved, you can get better ultrabooks than this one,
for closer to $1000.
But if you're looking for an affordable and good everyday ultrabook,
the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 is pretty much your best option right now,
as it looks good, feels sturdy, performs fairly fast and offers a great keyboard
and trackpad.
Of course, more details about the Lenovo Ideapad U310 are
available in the written review on Ultrabookreview.com, you'll find
the link towards that in the description below.
OK, and that pretty much sums up the video review. Don't forget to share it
and please subscribe to our channel, many other cool clips will follow in the weeks to
come. I'm out for now, so thanks once again for watching and you'll hear from
me again very soon!