Customer Review

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving my Lenovo, 21 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Lenovo IdeaPad U410 14-inch Touchscreen Ultrabook - Graphite (Intel Core i7 2GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, LAN, WLAN, Bluetooth, Webcam, Nvidia Graphics, Windows 8) (Personal Computers)
I have had this laptop now for a little under a week and so far I am extremely pleased with my purchase. I'm a university student, so for me it will predominantly be used for internet, email, streaming videos, downloading music, Microsoft office etc. For my degree, I also need a couple of student version programs such as LUSAS and GSA and I'm hoping I can do some light gaming with the given specs. I spent quite a bit of time deliberating what I should buy, so I hope you find my run down of pros and cons helpful!

PROS

Touch screen is nice and responsive. I'm actually surprised how much I have been using it, as I did think it was a little bit of a gimmick for laptops. It does make the Windows 8 operating system more intuitive to use, so if you're a little skeptical about Windows 8 (as I was) it might be worth the extra money! I am getting used to Windows 8 now, and I definitely recommend the update to 8.1 as it makes everything a bit easier to navigate! Some of the useful things you can do on Windows 8 with a touch screen are closing apps, swiping between apps, flicking between photos and scrolling on webpages or documents. As more websites become optimized for touch screen devices, a touch screen will be quite beneficial. There's also a touch screen keyboard which is easy to access but I haven't found much use for that yet.

Plenty of storage with 500GB hard drive space. I have also received this laptop with what I think might be an SSD of 22GB usable space installed ; wasn't expecting this so I guess that's an added bonus! Other reviews mention this, but its not specified in Amazon's tech specs. This could mean that this drive is actually just a partition but I need someone a bit more tech savvy to verify this for me!

Unlike some of the other reviews, I have had no problems with the wifi connectivity as yet (touch wood). I have even managed to get connected up at my Dad's house and his connection is a far cry from the fiber optic broadband I'm used to from living in the city. Laptop maintains connection well and doesn't drop the signal. Have successfully streamed videos from YouTube and Netflix and downloaded iTunes and other software without any issues.

Laptop is slim and stylish looking, the weight isn't too bad either. Its not the thinnest or lightest on the market, but I'd say you're getting pretty good value as its very portable. The power brick isn't very bulky either so it will fit nicely in my backpack when I need to take it to uni or the library.

Touch pad is BIG and responsive. Left and right clicks are well defined, and you can use intelligent actions, like two fingers to scroll up and down, without any bother.

The Intel i7 processor and the Nvidia graphics have both been great so far. 4GB RAM as well so its running great just now. The start up is fast as well, at the moment, under ten seconds for me.

CONS

As previous reviews have mentioned, the keyboard does give a little, particularly when using the central keys. I'm not a heavy typer, so I don't see this being a problem for me. Otherwise, I like the keyboard, the keys are well spaced, and Lenovo have put a set of function keys along the top for volume, muting, refreshing webpages, screen brightness adjustment etc. You can still access F1, F2 etc by holding the Fn key. A minor point, but the enter key and shift key on the right are also smaller than what I'm used to, but I should get used to it in time.

There is no disc drive, but there are an abundance of USB ports so if I feel I really need it I will buy an external one. I was a bit uncertain about making this compromise initially, but I can't even remember the last time I used the disc drive in my old laptop. As I download or stream most of my music and films now, I expect its been well over a year, possibly even two.

Since upgrading to Windows 8.1 I'm having a bit of a problem with the Dolby Home Theater drivers that have been installed, I'm still getting sound from the computer, but apparently I need to update/reinstall these drivers as Dolby Home Theater can't start. This gives me a wee error message everytime I start the computer. For me this isn't presently a pressing issue and have found a fix on the internet which I will try - seems that a few Lenovos have been affected by this change and it can be resolved. I just want to make other purchasers aware of this!

I haven't found the battery life to be quite as good as 8 hours, but I'm getting a good 4-5 hours from full charge at least, often more, I guess it depends what you are using the laptop for.

CONCLUSION

Overall I'm very happy with my purchase. My brother and boyfriend (both tech geeks) are extremely impressed by the spec and quality being offered by Lenovo and I'm confident that this laptop will serve me well for the years to come. If you're looking for a decent spec laptop for moderate use then I would say this one is a pretty good bet. At £499, the price is great too, I really feel like I have gotten good value for money with this purchase.

UPDATE 22/12/2013: Have resolved the Dolby Home Theatre Driver problem by uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers, its all working fine now.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Dec 2013 06:41:12 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Dec 2013 06:43:14 GMT
Zell says:
Hi Alisha, I'm pleased to hear the laptop works well for you. Does it come with the dedicated graphics card or not? And I doubt this, but does it come preinstalled with MS Office? Also, are you planning on installing more RAM or does it seem fine as it is? And how's GSA in terms of what it demands from the computer? Is it comparable with Solidworks, if you've used it that is? Thanks in advance :)

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2013 14:36:08 GMT
Alisha says:
Hi Zell. There is a dedicated graphics card, it's an NVIDIA GeForce 710M, I'm not particularly knowledgeable about how good a card this is but it might mean something to yourself! Sadly MS Office isn't preinstalled, there is a trial version, but when I bought the laptop Amazon was doing a deal where you could get Office 365 Home Premium on a five PC licence for a year for free with your purchase. Its currently retailing at £67.86 on Amazon so this will do me for year anyway. As for GSA, its a basic version of the full structural analysis program, I don't think it would be as memory intensive as Solidworks (I've used their Inventor software before). I will be trying to set up AutoCAD over the Christmas period which I imagine is a bit more comparable, will let you know how that goes! Presently, its not my intention to install more RAM, but having spoke to my brother, he reckons if I need it it would be easy enough to do once the year long warranty is up. Hope this info has helped :)

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2013 18:36:22 GMT
Zell says:
Okay, thanks this is actually quite helpful. :)

Posted on 27 Dec 2013 21:14:19 GMT
hiya thanks for reviewing, i'm gonna get one but i need to know if this has an optical out, usually hidden inside headphone socket these days.... if you can find out for me i would be very grateful, i use optical out to drive an external digital to analogue then to my hifi, so if you have anyway of checking? perhaps your stereo or 5.1 theatre has optical in? if you havent considered using an optical out instead of headphone out, i can highly recommend doing it, even with a cheap Fiio D3 digital analogue converter (DAC)

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2014 00:28:59 GMT
Alisha says:
Hey Alan, sorry for the very late reply, I'm afraid I'm no use for checking this, being a skint student I own neither a stereo or a surround sound system. Or any speakers for that matter. I hope you found what you were looking for - did you end up buying a lenovo in the end?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2014 18:16:55 GMT
hehe no worries, i had a mac for 3 years before i found out it had optical out hiding in headphones socket, i gave up on a new laptop for now, bought an epson wo2 projector instead, only 350 quid, am gobsmacked by how good it is
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