User Interface and Display Quality

User Interface

I generally hate ultrabook keyboards, but the keys on the U410 impress. They are large, offer entirely reasonable key travel and are well defined. The only complaint I have is the same one I have with all IdeaPad keyboards – the right-side Backspace, Enter and Shift keys are much smaller than they should be.

Keyboard backlighting was notably missing and is, as far as I can see, not available on any U410 even as an option. I find this a bit odd. Backlighting is not a deal-breaker for me, but it can be for some users.

The touchpad, as mentioned previously, is large and silver. It has a rather flat texture, however, which results in a vague feel when using it. Multi-touch scroll works well enough but multi-touch zoom seemed to be either too sensitive or too insensitive, depending on how it was adjusted.

Left/right mouse buttons are integrated into the touchpad surface. They’re sprung lightly and offer decent travel, which makes them easy to use. That’s good, because two-finger taps never seem to register as a right-click. You’ll be using the right button frequently.

Display And Audio Quality

The 14” display on the U410 is a typical glossy piece of kit with a resolution of 1366×768. It is reasonably bright, and the gloss coat seems a bit less extreme than on some other consumer laptops, so it’s usable in most lighting conditions. Still, don’t expect to write your novel at your local park.

Quality is average. Black levels are unexceptional, banding is smooth throughout most of the test image but also drops into oblivion towards its darkest extremes, and viewing angles are narrow. It’s just a display. It shows you stuff. But it doesn’t make it look exciting or detailed.

Audio quality is about what you’d expect from a laptop of this thickness. Which is to say, not great. Some thin laptops do have good or even excellent audio (for a laptop) but you’ll have to spend more to push yourself into that league of performance.

« PreviousNext »