Lenovo IdeaPad U510 Hands-On: Is 15-inches Too Big for an Ultrabook?

Lenovo IdeaPad U510

The Lenovo IdeaPad U510 is the new 15.6-inch addition to Lenovo’s popular U series of Ultrabooks and, at first glance, it seems like a bargain. For a starting price of $679, you get the U510 with Nvidia GT625M graphics and a DVD drive for those who still want to play DVDs. However, we got to go hands-on with the U510 at Lenvo’s IFA Berlin booth and we were not particularly impressed with its size, keyboard or multimedia prowess.

The IdeaPad U510 is listed at 4.8 pounds, but in our hands, this notebook felt even heavier. When you consider that the Samsung Series 9 15-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display weigh in at less than 4 pounds, this is hardly the most portable system around. 

You’d think that a system with discrete graphics and a DVD drive would take advantage of its larger screen by providing better display quality, but you’d be wrong, as the IdeaPad U510’s 1366 x 768 screen seemed pretty washed out and not as sharp as notebooks with higher pixel densities. Considering that you can now find 13-inch notebooks with full HD screens, a 15-inch screen with the lowest possible resolution is nothing to type home about.

Speaking of typing, the keyboard on the display unit we tested wasn’t as sharp and tactile as those on other IdeaPads like the S400 that was just a few feet away from it. Even worse, the keyboard had a noticeable amount of flex, something we’d never expect from Lenovo, a company that’s famous for its high-quality keyboards. The metal wrist rest also got a little warm, though mainly toward the right edge of the system.

We did like the matte chrome chassis design, which is identical to the aesthetic on the smaller IdeaPad U310 and IdeaPad U410, both of which came out earlier this year. We were also pleased with the slim, 0.82-inch thick chassic and its plethora of ports.

However, our initial impression of the IdeaPad U510 is that might just be too heavy to carry around everywhere and its washed out, low-res screen and flex-y keyboard make it a poor stationary PC. We look forward to getting a closer look at a final production unit to see if it leaves a better impression. 

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch on
Facebook Twitter Google+
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

  1. John Says:

    I suppose it is an ultrabook to fight Acer Aspire TimelineU M5-581TG-6666.

  2. Ukinau Amin Ngamercano Says:

    If the chinese OEM would put an apple badge on it, it will surely applause applause praise praise by American asshole reviewers; but its Lennovo so they put every negative remarks on it.

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options