Conclusion: With its swanky metal shell, good Webcam and sound system, and Lenovo's value-added performance and security features, the IdeaPad U400 is on its way to being a nice laptop. But our test unit gave us the impression that it wasn't quite finished yet. Before we can recommend it, Lenovo has a few issues to address.
Pros: Great Webcam and sound system, Strong performance, Gorgeous polished-aluminum case
Cons: Finicky touch pad, No perceptible processing boost from discrete graphics, Small, cramped keyboard
Excerpt: Lenovo’s U Series IdeaPads are all about the blend of style and substance. We’re fans of the ultraportables and ultrabooks in the line and were eager to see how the mainstream U400 stacked up. On first glance you might mistake this IdeaPad for a MacBook Pro thanks to the all-metal body, minimalist design, and skimpy port selection. Once you get beyond looks, the U400 impresses thanks to good performance and longevity.
Pros: Sturdy, attractive design, Good overall performance, Long battery life, Rockin’ speakers
Conclusion: The Lenovo IdeaPad U400 brings the new U series stylish look and aluminum unibody design to a more mainstream size. But it's still one of the thinner and lighter 14" laptops on the market, and the U400 plus its smaller and light charger are easy to take anywhere. The notebook packs a full size notebook punch into one of the most attractive notebooks on the market and you get a good selection of basic ports plus an optical drive.
Pros: Stylish unibody design, mainstream performance plus optical drive.
Cons: Battery is sealed inside, no matte display or Blu-ray options.
Excerpt: The thin-and-light market is seriously heating up, and with CES 2012 just around the corner, Lenovo's hoping to sneak some sales in during the last few weeks of the 2011 holiday season. The IdeaPad U400 is a sleek, sexy machine, understated from top to bottom and aimed at mid-range buyers who have never had so many options. You can't really call this an Ultrabook (you'll need to ogle at Lenovo's IdeaPad U300s for that honor), but it's still super slick.
Pros: Truly beautiful design, Huge touchpad with gestures support, Decent performance, Amazingly cool under stress, No palm rest stickers!
Cons: Trackpad stumbles at times, Not enough USB 3.0 ports, Battery life claims agressive, Unusual keyboard layout
Conclusion: Lenovo’s U400 is a fantastic combination of performance and design. Though the Radeon HD 6470M is a bit of a letdown, the laptop is otherwise a strong performer. There’s more than enough power here for most consumers, or even most enthusiasts.
Pros: Sturdy, attractive design, Large touchpad, Runs cool, Small for a 14” laptop, Excellent overall performance
Cons: Glossy, mediocre display, So-so battery life, Gaming performance could be better
Lenovo IdeaPad U400 – a very MacBook-like 14 inch laptop for home and business users alike
13 December 2011
Conclusion: The configuration above, with a 750 GB HDD can be bought for $1300 at the moment, which is a pretty decent price for the build quality and performance that you’re getting, and if you need an affordable, high quality laptop with enough processing power for any apps including Photoshop and After Effects (both of which should run problem-free), the IdeaPad U400 is definitely worth considering.
Conclusion: The U400 combines a lightweight design with discrete graphics -- something we rarely see -- but its flaky trackpad, crowded keyboard and lack of truly automated graphics switching make it tedious to use.
Pros: Elegant, understated design, Lightweight, even for a 14-inch laptop
Cons: Jumpy touchpad, Cramped keyboard for a laptop this size, No SD slot, Graphics switching isn't fully automatic
Conclusion: For those of you with a specific use-case in mind, be sure to comment below and I'll let you know if I think this computer is the one for you or not. For me, it's simply not the perfect combination of thin, light, and powerful. While it does have the awesome power of the Intel Core i5 chipset, it's not going to beat an Alienware notebook at home for gaming for a rather comparable price.