on September 20, 2012
I did a good bit of research on laptops before making a purchase, went into stores, read reviews, etc. A few comments.
A number of people note how the screens are flexible, go into a store and try bending screens, all thin laptops are quite flexible. Seems odd to me too, but if everyones doing it, it must work.
I saw a few reviews about wireless problems with the u310, but saw many other good review so I disregarded. Don't disregard. There is a detailed summary at [...].
Seems to be that lenovo figured out the wifi was really bad, but kept selling units and just fixed it on the new ones. I bought my laptop on Sept 20, it was manufactured on May 28, the fix didn't come out until July 23... The date is printed at the bottom of the tag on the outside of the box, so if you buy in a store you can check.
In my case, the speed seemed not great to me, but the range was terrible. I got maybe 50 feet from the router before I lost signal. Even my phone (which I think has pretty bad reception for wifi) was better than that. I decided to go into work and see if I could pick up signal at my desk and couldn't ... back to the store we go. I read lots of reviews of 2-3 weeks for repairs and the problem not fixed, didn't sound like what I wanted to do with a brand new laptop.
Aside from the wifi issues, it was a great unit, solid build, really nice touchpad, good keyboard, screen was fine. I suppose some people might only use a machine at home, but for anyone that travels around, I think the wifi problems makes this machine a no-buy.
on December 23, 2012
The first laptop I received was obviously defected. The bezel around the screen was unattached and the wireless card refused to work at all.
The replacement got off to a better start, however things ultimately ended up in a return and a refund. The body of the laptop is okay. Metal bottom and lid but the inside is plastic. The screen brightness is very low even at max settings and the colors are extremely washed out.
The deciding factor in returning the laptop came down to the wireless card. It just doesn't work correctly. I re installed windows, updated the drivers, upgraded to Windows 8 but nothing helped. It had problems connecting and when it did connect my speeds were horrible.
There are much better alternatives out there for your money. It's a shame, Lenovo used to be my go-to brand.
Do yourself a favor and spend a little bit more for an HP or even a DELL (can't believe I just recommended a Dell laptop).
on January 3, 2013
I ordered this laptop for my wife for xmas. It is going back after two days of light use. Take the warning that there are WiFi issues seriously. Amazon must have a bulk hold on the older models that still have this issue. Do yourself a favor and get something else.
on May 18, 2013
So I bought this laptop because I really liked the design and it's relatively cheap for an ultrabook.
I'd say it outright:
Nice looking design, fairly minimalistic and looks pretty similar to a Macbook Pro, but a bit thinner and much lighter.
Cheap price (I bought used for 450 US dollars)
Worst LCD screen I've ever encountered. Terrible viewing angles will make you waste a lot of time in finding the right angle for the screen, and find it you won't because it looks bad from whichever angle you look at it. The colors are washed out, the resolution is low for a 2012 device, and it just looks terrible. Glad I only got it for use with Word during classes.
The keyboard feels decent but the right Shift key is terribly short and annoying and I find myself accidentally hitting nearby keys accidentally. Those PageUp/Down and similar buttons on the right side should be removed to free up space for all the other buttons.
Also, the laptop won't accept 3rd party WiFi cards (the BIOS is locked), and since the builtin WiFi is terrible, you're forced to carry an external USB WiFi adapter with you for decent reception and if you want 5Ghz or whatever.
Buy it if you can for like $300 or so. Otherwise, invest in a proper laptop with a good quality screen such as a Macbook Air or any other decent Ultrabook.
BTW, Dell doesn't offer any solution to the WiFi reception problem, so try to avoid them.
on January 2, 2013
Well, it isn't running Mac OSX, but the hardware is aluminum with an Intel Core i5 processor giving me the 4 threads, 4 GB RAM, 450GB drive with SSD 8GB for quick return from hibernation. Best windows laptop purchased for the money in quite some time. Best of all, it's NOT running Windows 8.
on July 17, 2016
I bought this for my son for college three years ago. 1) After 2yrs, the HDD failed and needed be replaced. Lucky it worked just enough to allow me to copy the image to a replacement HDD. 2) After 2.5yrs, the display bezel at the hinge cracked open. The hinge has too much friction causing stress to twist the lid plastic. Repeated lid opening caused the plastic to fail and crack (not from a drop). This in turn caused the display to delaminate. The touch screen and display stopped working.
on December 30, 2013
This is a compromised machine. The processor, HD4000 graphics, 500gb HDD and the styling drew me in.
Good spec for the cash
The aluminium top
Battery life was never as good as claimed, it's gone from 4hrs to about 3.5 in the time I've owned it
The screen isn't great and the bezel around it is cheap feeling
The chassis: it bends if you pick it up by the front corner. ONLY THE TOP is aluminium, the rest is pretty floppy plastic
The touchpad: the pad is fine, but the chassis bending means you can click it by picking the whole machine up by the front left corner.
The wi fi is very poor
on December 1, 2012
How I (try to) use it - note-taking for school, net browsing, listening to music, occasionally streaming movies
- It looks very nice, if not particularly original. (Cough, macbook clone, cough)
- It's light and portable.
- Speakers are decent, as laptop speakers go.
- Battery power is usually pretty good, and is excellent when not using wireless internet. (Not sure how wired internet affects it, sorry.)
- Price was good relative to the specs.
- Once it's up and running, it runs well in terms of how fast things load, plus it's never crashed or frozen.
Cons - the one big problem that would make me never buy a Lenovo again:
After just 2-3 months, the machine sometimes can't be powered up. Charges fine, works perfectly when it's on. But let it hibernate or shut it down, and it sometimes won't turn back on for hours of trying. Then, randomly, it'll work again. After the second stressful day of this happening (with a few days of normal operation in between), I changed all my settings so as to just turn off the screen, but leave the system running. Called Lenovo, and will be sending it back after the Fall semester is finished in a couple weeks. Will update on how that goes. UPDATE (1/26/13) - Slow process, but success! Lenovo sent me a box, I sent it back with the computer in it, they replaced the motherboard and sent it back. Shipping was not slow, but the cost was covered. First day using it again, seems to be alright. Hopefully won't have to update this again!
Cons - other little things that always bugged me:
- DISPLAY - It's just off, for lack of a better word. While using it to take notes on PDFs during lectures, for example, my colors appear slightly distorted compared to my classmates' screens. Annoying for classes like histology, and I'd imagine for any art/graphics work, too. Another example, watching movies - always find myself adjusting the screen in order to fix either washed out lights, or darks that are indistinguishable.
- TOUCHPAD - I have small hands, and even I tend to hit the GIANT touchpad while typing, moving my cursor to some other place. There's a hotkey to turn of the touchpad, but turning it on and off every time I want to stop and start typing is annoying, so I've mostly learned to hold my hands up.
- Trying to right click by hitting the bottom right of the touchpad often gives me a left click. For being so huge of a touchpad, the area dedicated to right clicks is tiny.
- Scrolling with the touchpad works by moving two fingers together. Zoom is by moving two fingers together/apart. When I'm trying to scroll, I often end up zooming. Zoom is super sensitive, too, tough to make slight adjustments, so I end up just using keyboard shortcuts.
- BATTERY/BODY DESIGN - The battery is sealed up INSIDE the cutesy, minimalist, case. Annoying when you want to do a hard reset. Or if you want to carry a spare battery. Exasperating when the Lenovo support tech says, "OK, try taking the battery out?" I CAN'T without probably voiding my warranty, but thanks. Really inspires confidence about how well the phone techs know the product.
My Sony from 2005 is running strong, if a little noisy and slow compared to this new Lenovo. Should've just bought another one of those...
on September 30, 2014
Bought this Ultrabook March 2013. After some initial problems with wifi the unit has been ok up until last week when it went to sleep and hasn't come back. The processor appears to be working but the screen is black. The repair shop has now sent it away for a suspected motherboard problem. I'm guessing it will cost more to repair than it's worth.
19 months is a pitiful lifespan for what is supposed to be a high-end product.
on January 10, 2013
After my last laptop (Dell Studio 14) was stolen in January 2012, I decided to build a desktop from scratch. Even though I built a beast of a machine, I was still jealous every time my wife would flop on the couch and watch Youtube videos on her Macbook Pro, read articles in bed, etc. and hated being tied to a desk. I briefly tested a netbook, and while it was cute and small, I found it too small for what it could do, and too bulky for what it couldn't. So I began to look for a laptop.
I spent about three weeks reading reviews, going to box stores, and watching videos of every Ultrabook on the market. Since this wouldn't be my primary computer, I had simple requirements: aluminum build, lightweight, long battery life, and most importantly, nothing erroneous. I'd find the perfect machine, only to discover it was 15", or had an unsightly VGA port and optical drive, or a touchscreen that rendered the effective battery life at 2 hours.
Eventually, I found this Lenovo. Long story short, it's a 13" Macbook Pro running Win7, in a lighter, slightly smaller frame, with the bonus of USB3 and SSD for quick bootup. Look at the major gripes people have. Keyboard backing flexes during typing. Wifi is no good (my model was built in September and Wifi is perfect). "Only" 4gb RAM.
For those of you debating between this and comparable models (Aspire S3, Samsung Series 5, Asus Vivobook 202), get this computer. The difference between the i3 and i5 processors is night and day. You can easily run Photoshop, play games, multitask, whatever. 4gb is more than enough RAM to do whatever you need to do. My original plan was to wipe the drives and reinstall Win7 to the SSD to improve boot time. No need. Ten minutes in Add/Remove Programs and I'd removed 99% of Lenovo's bloatware (which comprised McAfee and some video players and other nonsense, nothing even close to what HP will jam down your throat). Boot time is seconds, instant sleep and two-second awake. Speakers are awesome, comparable to a MBP. Screen brightness is perfect. I get a full 5 hours browsing the Internet and watching videos. Charging brick is tiny. Best of all, it's a damn sexy computer. No optical drive, no VGA or eSata ports, just USB, HDMI, headphone, and SD reader. The only thing that detracts from the design is the [plastic] bezel around the screen. But for $500, you'll deal with it.
The only actual Con I will list is that the trackpad can be hinky sometimes. Especially when scrolling down a webpage (two fingers swipe), it will start reducing font size. A quick couple Ctrl+ fixes it, but that can be annoying. Not worth a complaint, but something to be aware of. Oh, and there is no shell/case available (like the Speck shell for MBP). Otherwise, this is easily the best computer I've seen all year. For $500, get it and don't look back. Five stars.