Lenovo IdeaPad U400: Tech Specs and Price

One glance at Lenovo IdeaPad U400 and you will say it’s a 14-inch version of Lenovo’s IdeaPad U300s. With a slim understated design, just like U300s, Lenovo IdeaPad U400 brings optical drive and AMD graphics and an extra inch to fit them. Along with a Core i5 processor, IdeaPad U400 comes with various features like, storage disk, touchpad drivers and so on. Let’s see what we have here!

Technical Specifications of Lenovo IdeaPad U400

  • Processor: 2.4-GHz Intel Core i5-2430M
  • Operating System: MS Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Storage: 750GB HDD, 8GB RAM
  • Display: 14.1 inch Display (1366 X 768)
  • Ports: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, Ethernet, Kensington Lock, Headphone
  • Battery Life:  Around 5 hours and 45 minutes
  • Dimensions: 13.4 x 9.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds

Overview of Lenovo IdeaPad U400

Though it looks like U300s, it’s pretty tough to say that IdeaPad U400 is an Ultrabook. Lift it and you will know the reason. The standard weight of an Ultrabook is less than three pounds, and IdeaPad U400 shatters the standard with 4.4-pounds. However, being heavy is not much of an issue since we can easily carry it. Let’s not forget, HP Folio is still considered as an Ultrabook with 3.3-pounds.

Like its sibling, IdeaPad U400 has sober looks with sophisticated design, inspired by ‘old-novel cover’. Protruding edges at top and bottom definitely give an old-book feel, but at the same time, they are wee bit sharp. Use of sandblasted aluminum over lid, palm rest and keyboard deck gives the stylish touch to it. Though it doesn’t offer resistance against scratches, it does a good job in masking fingerprints.

While Lenovo managed to add an extra inch and weight to supposedly Ultrabook, it didn’t do justice to the keyboard. The AccuType chiclet keyboard fails to impress with shrunken and bouncier keys. In spite of half-inch space on either side of keyboard, the shift key and arrow keys are undersized, so it takes time to adjust. The good points are – the keys are sturdy and emit a pleasant, low sound, no matter how furiously you type.

The spacious Cypress Touchpad (4 X 2 inch) is certainly impressive to look, but it’s annoying when the cursor moves while the keyboard is actually in use. You can press F6 to disable touchpad, but automation could have been better. The list of touchpad pitfalls also include, right-left click confusion due to clickable touchpad and zooming difficulties. On the contrary, this touchpad also offers some amazing gestures – like you can scroll through wallpaper by moving two fingers, and using four fingers you can scroll between items as well as open master control window.

The Display (1366 X 768) is bit average with limited viewing angles and reflective finish. IdeaPad U400 uses Intel Wireless Display technology, which is very rare in laptops. It offers 1080p video streaming and allows you to mirror display on monitor. Overall, U400 offers notable display along with impressive audio.

Speaking of graphics, IdeaPad U400 is crammed with AMD Radeon HD 6470M graphics card and built-in Intel GMA 3000 GPU. It follows Nvidia’s Optimus technology except automatic switching. Here, with the help of AMD’s Catalyst Control Center utility, you have to manually select apps that use GPU.

IdeaPad U400 offers an array of ports, including two USB 2.0 ports, USB 3.0 socket, and HDMI port. It also packs Ethernet jack, audio port and webcam (1.3MP) but SD slot is missing.

Price of Lenovo IdeaPad U400

On the whole, Lenovo IdeaPad U400 gives us the feeling that it packs good things about U300s and few catchier specs like discrete graphics, but reality is awful. For $899.99, IdeaPad U400 is heavy and offers poor battery life and performance. Other configuration with Core i7 processor and AMD Raedon graphics can cost you around $1,499. For Indian customers, price varies between 45,000 INR to 75,000 INR depending on the configuration It would have been tolerable with a low price.

Whatever it is, if you have a geek heart and money to spend, you can buy it.

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