Before we get into all of the normal benchmark and tests let’s talk about basic everyday usage of the IdeaPad U410. I am used to carrying around a rather large laptop with me so making the change to a thin and light ultrabook was welcomed. It fit perfectly into my laptop bag and would be easy enough to just carry it with me without the bag. The vibrant color on the lid of the U410 made many people ask me what Lenovo laptop I was using, which I thought was pretty cool.
You really don’t see a laptop or ultrabook these days that does not come with an included webcam. The webcam on the U410 is very easy to use and works well. Lenovo includes the Cyberlink YouCam 3 software which allows you to take photos as well as video at 1280 x 720 resolution. I took so photos of my niece and I, which you can check out here. The U410 also comes equipped with Lenovo’s VeriFace 4.0 face recognition software, which will allow you to login to Windows using your face rather than a password.
Enjoying media on the U410 is a pleasant experience. I have watched many different movies on the U410 as well as Hulu and YouTube. The small stereo speakers get the job done, although they are not the best we have heard on a laptop. For those who want a better audio experience I would just plug in a pair of headphones.
Lenovo uses a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive teamed with a 32GB solid state cache drive. Using this system Windows loads extremely fast and going from hibernation mode back to the desktop literally takes seconds. This system allows you to keep the larger capacity drive, but still have great hard drive performance and of course keep costs down.
One thing I did notice during my time with the IdeaPad U410 was poor WiFi quality. This happened to me multiple times using different routers and at different locations. The signal was very weak using the U410 but any other device I used laptops / tablets picked up the signal just fine. There are multiple posts over at the Lenovo forums discussing this issue.
Battery life is extremely important to most people. No one wants to start a project and run out of battery before they can complete it. Our battery test is constant web browsing with WiFi turned on. During this test the U410 lasted just over 6 hours, which is very good. That should be enough juice for pretty much any flight in the United States. Keep in mind if you are doing any gaming or CPU/GPU intensive task the battery life will decrease dramatically.