By WENDY TAN
Good design and sound hardware make the Lenovo Ideapad U460 great for everyday use.
HAVING had no inkling as to what a Lenovo Ideapad U460 looked like, it was a pleasant surprise to tear open the packaging to find a very good looking laptop.
It has a beautiful lid on it with an embossed criss-cross design. The rest of the laptop has a brushed metal look.
My description skills are somewhat lacking but it definitely draws attention and makes you take notice when you first lay your eyes on it.
It also feels light in your hands as it weighs just below 2kg. It is so slim you expect it to be fragile but it feels sturdy enough.
The overall look of the product is very professional and masculine. It does not have a glossy and lacquered finishing. This is a huge plus point because it means no fingerprint smudges!
Lifting the lid on the laptop, you will find it sort of resembles an Apple Macbook Pro which isn't a bad thing.
The IdeaPad U460 starts up pretty fast but nags you to set up the fingerprint and/or face detection technology which may or may not interest you. It is good to have it if you are paranoid or require it for security reasons.
Also, it used to be a feature only found on Lenovo's business laptops, the Lenovo Thinkpads. In this reviewer's opinion, it is rather pointless. But hey, if it floats your boat then it is all good. There is the option to uninstall it, of course.
The notebook comes with only 2GB RAM unfortunately. That is more than enough for Windows 7 unlike its memory hog predecessor Vista.
But it never hurts to have more RAM. It may help with overall performance. So if you do get this notebook, pump up the RAM, ok?
The LCD on the U460 is not as crystal clear or bright as other displays and looked rather disappointing when compared to other notebooks. Also, the U460 comes with a utility that detects ambient light and adjusts the display's brightness accordingly.
It did not work very well because it would intermittently dim the screen whenever it felt like it and it wouldn't listen to the user who wanted it to be brighter. This software can also be uninstalled, thank goodness.
The keyboard is also a little quirky. It is the standard Qwerty keyboard except it has some awkwardly placed keys that are too close to the Delete key. For instance, when working on a document, we almost always ended up hitting the Home key by accident when we're trying to delete some letters.
This will move the cursor the beginning of our paragraph which can get rather annoying and takes a little (or a lot of) getting used to.
The Dolby Advanced Audio speakers are pretty good. It is loud and the clarity is quite good. It would be better with more bass though.
Nothing ever beats standalone speakers or even plugged in headphones.
One of the more interesting things found on the IdeaPad U460 is an eSATA/USB 2.0 port. The eSaTA port will allow for faster data transfer speeds with an external hard disk, for example, so this is helpful.
Aside from the standard speaker and microphone ports, it comes with three additional USB 2.0 ports and a HDMI slot which is always a good addition to any laptop these days.
Like most slim notebooks, the Lenovo U460 does not come with an optical disk drive.
In conclusion, the Lenovo Ideapad U460 is a great laptop to have for everyday use.
It handles most things if not all things seamlessly with its Intel Core i5 processor and nVidia GeForce graphics chip.
Overall, it looks suave enough and will be quite attractive to tote around because it is light and thin. The battery life on the Lenovo U460 lasts pretty long, averaging five hours at least. The laptop was tasked with heavy Internet browsing and it rallied pretty well.
Putting the laptop to sleep and waking it up was also quite effortless which is a good thing.
There are some laptops that go into heavy slumber and do not wake up unless you hit it with a sledgehammer so the IdeaPad U460 is pretty neat in this respect.
Pros: Looks great; has fast processor and graphics chip; affordable.
Cons: Display could be better; awkwardly placed keys.
Processor: Intel Core i5-450M (2.40GHz)
Graphics: nVidia GeForce 305M 512MB, Intel HD Graphics
Display: 14in widescreen (1,366 x 768-pixels)
Connectivity: 802.11bg/n, 10/100 Ethernet
Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
I/O ports: Two USB 2.0, one USB/eSATA combo port, 5-in-1 card reader, HDMI slot, VGA out, headphone and microphone jacks
Other Features: Webcamera
Review unit courtesy of Lenovo Malaysia, 1-800-18-2388.