Lenovo’s IdeaPad U410 currently starts at $799. For that you receive the same hardware found in our review unit including an Intel Core i5-3317, NVIDIA GeForce GT 610M graphics processor and eight gigabytes of RAM. More expensive models upgrade you to a Core i7 processor or pairs a 1TB mechanical drive to the cache drive, but those are the only significant differences. In top trim you’re looking at a price just north of $1,000.

This would be a good value if the GT 610M brought more to the table. Instead, I found it was only meaningfully better than Intel HD 4000 in two games out of the five we tested. The GT 610M is the only piece of hardware on offer that might make the U410 stand out, but it fails to do so.

Acer’s Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 only pours salt into this wound. That laptop can be purchased for $780 with a GT 640M LE and otherwise similar hardware. It is, as you’d expect, substantially quicker. Anyone interested in being able to play a few games on their ultrabook will clearly prefer the M5.

Ultimately, there’s nothing about the U410 which makes it stand out from the competition. It is not a bad laptop, but it is merely average. Lenovo needs to bring more to the table if it wants this 14-incher to catch consumer attention.

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