Lenovo IdeaPad U310 review: a dorm-room Ultrabook

Inexpensive and available in bright colors, the IdeaPad U310 will most likely appeal to college students.

By Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, PC World |  Hardware, Lenovo, Ultrabook

The U310's battery life is just below average--in our tests it managed to survive for 5 hours, 27 minutes.
That's a pretty decent result, but considering the size and portability of this laptop, we would have liked to see
it run for at least 6 hours. Luckily the included power block is small and light, so toting that around with the
Ultrabook wouldn't be a hassle.

As you might expect, the IdeaPad U310 isn't a gaming notebook. Like other Ultrabooks and ultraportables, the
U310 relies on integrated HD graphics technology, which is fine for viewing high-def video, playing run-of-the-mill
MMORPGs, and performing mild graphical tasks, but not so great for enjoying hard-core gaming or working on an
intense Photoshop project. Case in point: In our Crysis 2 graphics tests, the U310 barely managed 20 frames per
second (low quality settings, 800-by-600-pixel resolution).

Design: Chassis, Keyboard, Touchpad

If you're seeking a laptop that mimics Apple's MacBook Pro (though with a significantly lower price tag), look
no further. The Lenovo IdeaPad U310 comes in three color schemes: dark slate gray with a silver-and-black interior,
bright aqua blue with a white interior, and cherry-blossom pink with a white interior. Of course, the latter two
color schemes greatly reduce the resemblance between the U310 and the MacBook Pro--but our gray, silver, and black
review model looks as if it wants nothing more than to be mistaken for Apple's flagship laptop.

Don't get me wrong: The IdeaPad U310 is a pretty machine. The cover, made of dark gray aluminum with a soft
finish, rounds off at all four edges. A diamond-cut chrome Lenovo logo sits in the upper-left corner.

The interior of the U310 is where it gets eerily close to the MacBook Pro's appearance. A medium-thick, shiny
black plastic bezel surrounds the U310's glossy screen, giving the illusion of Apple's glass-to-glass, bezel-free
design. The wrist-rest area is made of a single sheet of silver aluminum, broken by a recessed black Chiclet-style
keyboard, a large glass touchpad, and a small round power button with the power symbol formed by pinprick-size
LEDs.

The island-style keyboard has matte-black keys with slightly rounded bottoms. Though the keyboard is comfortable
to type on, the keys are light to the touch and a little too clicky for my taste. The keyboard also seems a bit
flimsy, especially in the middle, where it visibly bends as you type on it.

The glass touchpad, on the other hand, is nearly perfect. Smooth, responsive, and very roomy, it has no discrete
mouse buttons--instead, the entire touchpad depresses near the bottom. The touchpad supports multitouch gestures
such as pinch-to-zoom and two-finger scrolling, all of which were responsive in my tests.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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