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Lenovo IdeaPad U310 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £650
inc VAT

An everyman’s 13.3in Ultrabook, with a great price to boot


13.3 in 1,366×768 display, 1.6kg, 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5-3317U, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Rather than use the same wedge-shaped chassis many other manufacturers have opted for with their Ultrabooks, the Lenovo U310 is just 18mm thick all the way through, rather than tapering to a point. This makes room for extra ports, including an Ethernet port. Two USB3 ports, one standard USB, HDMI and 3.5mm audio complete the selection, with a neatly recessed multi-format card reader in the front edge.

Lenovo IdeaPad U310

The lid and chassis bottom are made from aluminium, but the U310 is mostly made from plastic. There are three colours to choose from, so if you aren’t a fan of our aquamarine blue review sample you could opt for a cherry red or graphite grey model instead. Regardless of colour choice the IdeaPad U310 is a rather minimal affair, with the only design flourish being the machined aluminium power button.

Lenovo IdeaPad U310

Lifting the lid reveals a startlingly white keyboard tray with contrasting black keys. Lenovo usually makes fantastic laptop keyboards, but the one used here is something of a disappointment. The Chiclet-style keys are fine for the most part, but their layout is compromised to fit the 13in chassis. The enter, backspace and page navigation keys are much smaller than usual and have been shunted to the far edge, meaning it will take some practice before your word documents are completely free of accidental key presses. There’s also a huge amount of flex in the keyboard tray that manifests itself with even the lightest touch.

Lenovo IdeaPad U310

The glass all-in-one touchpad is excellent, mainly thanks to its large size and responsive feel. The smooth glass texture occasionally creates friction that slows down your finger, but for the most part it felt accurate and even responded well to multi-touch gestures. The buttons don’t have a lot of travel, but are responsive.

The 13.3in display has a rather sizable glossy white bezel, but the surprisingly bright backlight makes sure your eyes are drawn to the screen rather than what’s around it. The 1,366×768 resolution is standard fare for most mid-range Ultrabooks. Tight viewing angles mean you need to be straight-on to get the best image quality.

Lenovo IdeaPad U310

The very glossy screen coating might be able to produce vivid colours, but it doesn’t help reduce screen glare – in bright light it becomes almost impossible to see what’s on screen. There’s a reasonable amount of screen tilt, but you’ll need to sit face-on to the screen to get the best contrast.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Core i5-3317U
Processor clock speed 1.7 GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 8GB
Size 18x333x225mm
Weight 1.6kg
Sound Conexant SmartAudio HD
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 13.3 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor Intel HD 4000
Graphics/video ports HDMI
Graphics Memory 384MB


Total storage capacity 500GB
Optical drive type none

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth no
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots none
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other ports 3.5mm audio output


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Microsoft Office 2010 Starter edition
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £650