July 22, 2013
- Affordable price
- Premium aluminum design
- Comfortable keyboard
- Fast boot times
- Dim display brightness
- No keyboard backlighting
- Below average battery life
The Lenovo IdeaPad U310 Touch is an affordable, Windows 8 Ultrabook that offers an attractive aluminum design, a comfortable keyboard and solid performance for the price. While it does suffer from below average battery life, it does have a responsive touch display.
With back to school shopping in full swing, many shoppers will be looking to buy an inexpensive laptop before heading off the college. With the IdeaPad U310 Touch from Lenovo, you get a MacBook-like aluminum design for just over $500.
The design of the U310 Touch is definitely the biggest selling point that Lenovo pushes with this laptop. It's really great because despite the cheap price, you don't get a cheap looking laptop. The chassis is made of aluminum that resists fingerprints and has a gunmetal gray finish on the top and bottom and a lighter gray on the keyboard deck. It measures 13.1 x 8.9 x 0.7-inches (wdh) and weighs just shy of 4-pounds, so it's definitely small enough to fit into a backpack during a long day at school.
Lenovo includes an island-style keyboard and each key has a slight textured finish. Overall the keyboard is very comfortable and has good feedback with almost zero flexing. Our only gripe about the keyboard is that it isn't backlit. The clickpad is very large and is very responsive. Multitouch gestures worked wonderfully and the click buttons at the pad's lower corners offered a solid click to them.
The U310 Touch has a 13.3-inch display with a native resolution of 1366 x 768-pixels. We liked the color accuracy of the display but we did feel that the brightness could have been better. The touch aspect of the display was very good in that it was both responsive and accurate. It supports up to 10 simultaneous touch points, so navigating Windows 8's touch-friendly interface and related gestures was really easy.
For ports, you get two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, HDMI-out, Ethernet, a headphone/microphone combo port and an SD memory card reader. Wireless connectivity includes 802.11n, Bluetooth, and Intel Wi-Di. Wi-Di is Intel's wireless display technology, which lets you stream content from your laptop onto a supported display.
The internal specifications of the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 Touch include an Intel Core i5-3337U (1.8GHz) CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive, a 24GB solid-state drive and integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics. In a PCMark 7 benchmark, it earned a score of 2,750, which is about 800 points shy of the Windows 8 Ultrabook category average. The solid-state drive helped to boot up the laptop in an average of 16 seconds, which was faster than the category average. This may not be the fastest Ultrabook but for the price tag, you get more than what you pay for.
Battery life came in at about 5-hours, which is an hour behind the average for this category.