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77 Global Score
A good product that falls short of greatness.
77

A good product that falls short of greatness.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

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.

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77 Global Score
A good product that falls short of greatness.
77

A good product that falls short of greatness.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

Not yet scored
 

User Reviews

50
abrandao
This computer was an upgrade from an old Thinkpad iR60. I'm a big fan of Lenovo...read more
80
WinterBoggs
I bought this Feb 1st, 2012 at Canada Computers for $849, which I considered...read more
90
bnarybouth
Keyboard is very nice, though not as nice as Thinkpad's; however, much better...read more
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Score Breakdown

 
73
Average user Score
 
50
abrandao
12.20.12
This computer was an upgrade from an old Thinkpad iR60. I'm a big fan of Lenovo laptops because of their ergonomics. The u400 does have a nice (cough macbook pro) stylish design, that I like. But overall I was disappointed with the U400 ,first the keyboard layout is too small for a 14" plus the rt. shift and backspace keys are badly sized, Lenovo is known for great keyboards, but this ones layout sucks! The other disappointment was battery life (all u400 have sealed batteries), I vaguely remember seeing 7-9 hrs. I have never gotten more than 3.5 hours, for a modern machine this is poor. Also not a big fan of the glossy screen, but this I knew going in .. Finally the last issues I have is driver support for Windows 8 . Windows 8 runs pretty well, but the video drivers are not updated, consequently the brightness doesn't work. Overall I'm disappointed with this machine and plan on selling it soon.
 
80
WinterBoggs
02.07.12
I bought this Feb 1st, 2012 at Canada Computers for $849, which I considered to be a very good price. My other options were the U300 at about $1,100, the Acer Zenbook for $1,100ish as well, and the Lenovo E420s for $900.Having spent the last five years as primarily a Mac user, my main concern in getting my first Windows laptop for ages was that I would miss the excellent build quality of my Macs. The U400 has exceeded my expectations so far -gap tolerances are actually tighter than on my Macs, and the case is very rigid. The Good:Excellent build quality and stylePretty good specs for the moneyIt runs very well so farA better value proposition than the Thinkpad EdgeThe Bad:Narrow viewing angleDiscreet graphics card needs to be switched off after each boot in Ubuntu (a better fix may come)Two finger scrolling is not smooth and is the only thing that makes me miss my MBP
 
90
bnarybouth
12.13.11
Keyboard is very nice, though not as nice as Thinkpad's; however, much better than any other form of laptop keyboards (and MPBs!).Camera has good quality for video chatting.HD is a bit slow at 5400 RPM, I'm planning to replace mine later with a 1 TB 7200 RPM HD. The touchpad is very sensitive- I'm sure people with large hands will find it a big hindrance during typing. The entire touchpad clicks, but the bottom portion also serves with respective right and left click options.Lenovo adds a bit of bloatware, but it's not anything severe as with HP, Dell, etc. My fresh Windows 7 Ultimate install wiped all that away.Boot time w/o SSD: 30-45 secondsBoot time w/ SSD: 16-20 secondsBoot time w/ SSD & Ubuntu: 9 secondsBoot time w/ SSD & Linux Arch: 6 secondsAt the moment, Lenovo offers no SSD options for the U400. These options will probably be available next year. I couldn't wait for my U400, so I bought an i5 online for about 850 USD. I almost immediately voided my warranty by installing a fresh copy of Windows 7 (Lenovo makes this easy because they partition a part of the hard drive to carry all the necessary drivers in the instance of a fresh install of windows). A week later, I decided my laptop need a faster boot, so I looked online for an affordable 128 GB SSD, then I browsed the Lenovo forums for instructions on how to take this thing apart. It is incredibly difficult to take this machine apart, and if you're not computer savy, I suggest that you wait till SSD options are available online because installing an SSD also requires partitioning of a hard drive and mirroring an OS. All in all, it took me about 12 hours to finish my modifications (I also added another 2 GB of RAM)- completely worth it for the speed in my opinion.Also, many people who took apart their U400 had problems with closing their systems back up properly (edges didn't completely align), and a lot of people ended up putting a small dent/scratch in their system in the process of pulling the back cover off- I had none of these problems, but I also took a lot of care while disassembling and I had the help of a friend.

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