Ever since acquiring IBM’s laptops business, Lenovo quickly became one of the leading players in the industry, both on the corporate and consumer markets, having released over a dozen different laptop models, with the most popular ones being the ThinkPad and IdeaPad lines for corporate and individual clients, respectively.
This year, they’re continuing the great work, having already released the successors to the ThinkPad W, T and X lines, and just a few weeks ago, they’ve announced a new portable workstation aimed at the consumer market, but which would look great in any corporate environment as well – the IdeaPad U400.
MacBook -like design, complete with the glass touchpad
On the outside, the new U400 looks a lot like the MacBook Pro, with the top cover being made out of one piece of aluminum, which is bolted onto the base enclosure, which in turn is also a big piece of aluminum. Needless to say, the laptop is very sturdy and will hold up excellently to everyday use and abuse. It is relatively thin and light at 22.5 mm and 1.98 KG, and can be a great machine for the road warrior, as well as people who need to commute from home to work with their laptop on their shoulder.
Continuing the MacBook feel is the big glass touch pad, island keyboard (which has about the same travel as the one on the MacBook) and even the round power button that sits in a corner. There’s no doubt the laptop can easily be confused with Apple’s creation, but whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up to you to decide. The display is a 14.0 inch unit with a resolution of 1366×768 pixels in the basic configuration, and sadly there doesn’t seem to be a higher resolution available, at least at the moment.
Decent performance for a dual core and a great price
The performance should be relatively good, although it won’t be anywhere near the quad core Sandy Bridge monsters that are currently on the market. The Lenovo U400’s top processor is the Core i7-2620M dual core, which is plenty fast (just as fast as a Core 2 Quad QX9300, actually), but if you need more power, you’ll have to look somewhere else. If it’s enough though, you’ll be glad to know that it comes with up to 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, a SSD or HDD and the AMD Radeon HD 6470M graphics adapter, which is also relatively good for OpenGL apps and some older games (Crysis 2 should run pretty well, but only on the lowest settings, for example).
The configuration above, with a 750 GB HDD can be bought for $1300 at the moment, which is a pretty decent price for the build quality and performance that you’re getting, and if you need an affordable, high quality laptop with enough processing power for any apps including Photoshop and After Effects (both of which should run problem-free), the IdeaPad U400 is definitely worth considering.