July 12, 2012, 12:32 PM — The Lenovo IdeaPad U310 isn't the sexiest, sleekest Ultrabook out there, nor is it the most feature-packed. But
it does come closer to what we expect an Ultrabook to be: attractive, light, and less than $800. The U310 comes in
multiple colors, sports a third-generation Intel processor, and won't break the bank--what more do you need?
Our review model, priced at $799 (as of July 11, 2012), sports an Ivy Bridge Core i5-3317U processor, 4GB of
RAM, and integrated graphics. It also has a 500GB hard drive and a 32GB solid-state drive for quick boot-up, which
is an Ultrabook requirement. In our performance tests, however, the U310 took almost 53 seconds to boot up--that's
almost twice as long as the average boot time of the last three ultraportables we tested. The AVADirect Clevo
W110ER, for example, booted up in a mere 21.5 seconds, while the Sony VAIO T13 was ready
to go in just 17.9 seconds. Even Lenovo's own ThinkPad
X230 booted up in less time, taking 41.7 seconds. The SSD on the U310 seems to be little more than a
Measuring 0.7 inch thick, the U310 weighs 3.75 pounds and runs the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium.
In PCWorld's WorldBench 7 benchmark tests, the IdeaPad U310 achieved a decent score of 94. This means that the
U310 is just 6 percent slower than our testing model, which has a second-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of
RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti discrete graphics card. (For more information, read about how we test PCs.)
A score of 94 isn't bad for a machine in the ultraportable category, though the average score of the last three
ultraportable laptops we tested was 112.3. In most of our performance tests, the U310 was just slightly slower than
the competition: For example, in our image-editing test the U310 took 238.9 seconds to perform tasks that other
ultraportables completed in an average of 228.5 seconds. However, on some tasks--audio encoding, for one--the U310
was almost twice as slow compared with the average of other computers in its category.