Ultrabook Supertest (Part 7) - Lenovo U310

10/16/2012 9:09:51 AM

Attractive and affordable with performance to match

After a slew of silver and black Ultrabooks, Lenovo’s colourful U310 range comes as a refreshing change. Our review sample came in Aqua blue, but there’s also Cherry and Graphite to choose from.

Description: Lenovo U310

Lenovo U310

Like its stablemate, the U410, Lenovo’s U310 ($975 inc. VAT) isn’t about offering the most power and the highest resolution. But in terms of value for money and great design, it certainly deserves your attention.

The great design doesn’t stop at the outside either. Lift the lid and you’re greeted with a white chassis and a black isolation-style keyboard that really does look different from your average laptop. Like most Lenovo laptops, the keyboard here is very comfortable to use. Despite the slimness of this machine (16 mm thick) there’s a surprisingly decent amount of travel on the keys.

The glass trackpad supports multi-touch gesturing - so you can use two fingers to scroll a document, or pinch together to zoom in on Google Maps. The integrated buttons are responsive and not stiff or hard to use. If we had to pull up Lenovo on usability it would be for the slight degree of flex you’ll experience while typing.

Plenty Portable

The Lenovo U310 weighs in at 1.7 kg and, like all Ultrabooks, is ideal for portability. The 199 minute battery life we recorded on the U310 is similar to the U410 and UX32A in this group test, but falls short of most of the other Ultrabooks here. The 16mm thickness of the chassis and the 13.3-inch screen size means this is perfect to slip into a satchel or a bag and carry around for a day.

Description: The U310 is all about great design and reasonable performance - which is great for anyone new to buying an Ultrabook

The U310 is all about great design and reasonable performance - which is great for anyone new to buying an Ultrabook

The screen is bright, with the standard 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution. This will capably handle 720p HD video but stops short of a Full 1080p display. You can attach an external display to the Lenovo U310 thanks to the HDMI port although the older VGA connection has been omitted. There is an Ethernet port for connecting to the internet and also three USB ports for adding other accessories. Two of the USB ports are the USB 3.0 format and will afford you read/write speed 10 times faster than USB 2.0.

Our review sample came with an Intel Core i5-3317U processor clocked at 1.7GHz backed by 4GB RAM. These are accomplished specs that mean the Lenovo is more than capable of handling intensive tasks and multitasking between programs. The quad-core third- generation processor puts this ahead of Sandy Bridge machines, although graphical muscle is limited to the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip.

You won’t be able to run the latest games on this Ultrabook, but general office programs and editing suites will barely tax the Ivy Bridge processor. There’s enough space on the 500GB hard drive to store plenty of media and because this is an Ultrabook, there’s also a 32GB SSD to make sure boot up is quick and painless.

It’s not hard to recommend the Lenovo U310, especially if you’re interested in picking up a portable machine without spending around a grand. Although we liked the design, it won’t be to everyone’s taste. But, rest assured, when it comes to performance, this Ultrabook is definitely more than just a pretty face.


Price: $975


What’s it best for

Web, mail & photos

HD, movies & TV

Light & portable

Key features


OS: Windows 7 Home Premium

Processor: Intel Core Ì5-3317U 1.7GHz

Memory: 4GB

Storage: 500GB HDD / 32GB SSD

Screen size: 13.3-inch

Screen resolution: 1,366 x 768

Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000

Weight: 1.7kg


Value: 5/5

Features: 3/5

Performance: 3/5

Total: 4/5


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