Lenovo IdeaPad U400 review: Lenovo IdeaPad U400

The 2.5GHz Core i5-2450M CPU in the middle-range IdeaPad U400 is a common one we've seen in several laptops lately, including the HP Pavilion dm4-3090se and Sony Vaio SA41FX. Our review unit's slightly slower CPU matched up more equivalently with the Samsung QX411-W01, which had the same processor, but you should expect the newer, slightly faster version to pair equivalently with the HP dm4 and Vaio.

Gaming using the included AMD graphics is a feasible achievement, with a great deal of limitations. Street Fighter IV ran at 34.2 frames per second in native resolution with medium graphics settings, which is better than Intel integrated graphics, but not by a whole lot. Those AMD Radeon HD 6470M graphics are the only option available on the IdeaPad U400, so you're going to have to live with it.

Juice box
Lenovo IdeaPad U400 Avg watts/hour
Off (60%) 0.26
Sleep (10%) 0.79
Idle (25%) 8.21
Load (05%) 46.13
Raw kWh number 40.24
Annual power consumption cost $4.57

Annual power consumption cost
Lenovo IdeaPad U400
$4.57 

The included integrated four-cell battery lasted 4 hours and 43 minutes using our video playback battery drain test, which amounts to a better than average result for a Core i5 laptop. It's better than the Sony Vaio SA 41FX and HP Pavilion dm4-3090se, but worse than a MacBook Pro or Samsung Series 7 Chronos.

Lenovo offers a one-year standard warranty with the IdeaPad U400. Lenovo's Web site is easy to navigate except for the surprising number of laptop models and configurations.

For around $800, the IdeaPad U400 is a reasonable price for a full-featured laptop. There's not much that wows about the U400, however, and that sticker price isn't exactly bargain-basement. With the arrival of new ultrabooks and next-gen Intel processors in laptops in just a few months, you could be perfectly satisfied with this Lenovo, but our gut feeling says you should wait it out.

Find out more about how we test laptops.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Lenovo IdeaPad U400
576 

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Lenovo IdeaPad U400
177 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Lenovo IdeaPad U400
117 

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Lenovo IdeaPad U400
283 

System configurations:

Lenovo IdeaPad U400
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430M; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6470M/ Intel HD 3000; 750GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

HP Pavilion dm4-3090se
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-2450M; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 3000; 520GB Intel 7,200rpm

Dell Inspiron N411Z
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 3000; 750GB Western Digital 7,200rpm

Samsung QX411-W01
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430M; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 640GB Seagate 5,400rpm

Gateway ID47H02u
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Resolution 1366 x 768 ( HD )
  • Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Installed Size 4 GB
  • Color graphite gray
  • Weight 4.4 lbs
  • Optical Drive DVD-Writer - fixed
  • Graphics Processor PCI Express x16 - AMD Radeon HD 6470M / Intel HD Graphics 3000 - 1 GB
  • CPU Intel Core i3 (2nd Gen) 2330M / 2.2 GHz
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