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 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 June 17, 2013
I've had to return two of these Lenovo U310's manufactured prior to the wifi reception fix. The reception drops off very quickly as you move away from the router, when compared to other properly functioning laptops. Otherwise, a pretty sharp computer.
on September 4, 2013
This is the story of a defective support service, 6 hard disk drives and an empty box.
Back in April 2013, I acquired a Lenovo laptop (about $900), directly from the Lenovo.com site. Everything works satisfactorily until 4 months later. The laptop wouldn't boot and the error message points at a hard disk drive failure.
Request #1: A quick and pleasant call to Lenovo and, two days later, I receive a replacement drive and reinstallation DVDs. The hard drive is used, below the specification of my previous drive... and started to fail noisily in the middle of the reinstallation procedure!
Request #2: Calling Lenovo and asking for another drive, which I receive promptly. I install the drive (used parts and below specs again), turn the laptop on and... What's that horrible whining sound?! Conclusion: Yet another failed disk. And to be sure of my diagnostic, I extract an old drive from an old laptop. I successfully reinstall my Lenovo laptop and the old drive.
Request #3: Calling Lenovo again. They want me to return the laptop. I make sure they understand the nature of the problem, why returning the laptop makes little sense and why I expect a drive with, at least, the same specifications as the one I originally bought. A week later, the promised drive wasn't there yet (and actually never arrived).
Request #4: On the phone with Lenovo... They don't know what happened to the previous drive. They'll send a new one, with the right specifications. I didn't bother opening the drive when I received it, it wasn't the right kind!!! In the meantime, tired of waiting, I had bought a new drive at a local store. Unsurprisingly, it did wonder in my laptop.
Request #5: Moving online to avoid being impolite on the phone. There, I go through a weird registration and realized all the limit of their support tools. I almost feel sad for the support people working there. I try my best to describe all the extent of my issues with Lenovo. The field limit to 150 characters don't help, at all. My request: A real solution, in the form of a real drive or a real check to cover the purchase of a new real drive. And, a couple of days later, I receive... an empty box?? After some head-scratching, I understand they want me to return my laptop... #FacePalm!!! It's time to share my story with the Amazonians.
Request #6: I'll get to that as soon as I'm done posting this story. I'll update the post if anything interesting happens.
If you ever buy the laptop you're looking at, I wish you good luck!
[Update: 07/09/2013, Lenovo sent another empty box :-((( I'm done with them! This is absolutely hopeless!]
on July 24, 2012
I just received my Lenovo U310 and my first impressions are that it is stylish and lightweight. When I started playing around with the laptop, I figured that the mouse pad, though responsive and accurate, makes an awkward clicking sound every time I tap on the pad. No, I am not talking about left or right clicks, just tap of the finger in the middle of the pad! I figured this is because the mouse pad does not have separate left and right click buttons, but the whole mouse pad tilts/depresses to make the click.
Also, one thing that I did not know when ordered this laptop is that the RAM is maxed out at 4 GB for this laptop and no, you cannot upgrade RAM because there are no more empty slots left. This laptop has only one slot with 4 GB max rating! In this day and age where 8 GB RAM is quickly becoming a norm, I never thought there are computers that are restricted to 4 GB RAM with only one slot!
I did notice slightly noisy cooling fan, but I read that it is a common feature for all ultrabooks. So, I can live with it.
Anyway, the performance so far has been good and I will update the review once I get a chance to try more features. For the price I paid ($653.99, after $100 Amazon gift card), I think this laptop offers high end features compared any other laptop on the market today.
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...