The Lenovo IdeaPads U310 and U410 are not the sexiest Ultrabooks on the market, but they're not really supposed to be. Last year's U300s is still top dog, but the point of launching these two at CES 2012 is to finally turn this class of computer into something that normal people might actually be willing to pay for.

Starting from £599, you get Intel Core processors, choice of SSD or HDD drives up to 64GB or 500GB respectively, 8 hours of battery life and some interesting fast boot and quick resume technologies which, in our hands-on time, had the things up and running in the time it took to exchange a few pleasantries with the company execs on the stand. There is also something called Lenovo Smart Update which allows these IdeaPads to update your mailbox, IM chats and social networks automatically even when asleep.


Where the two differ is that the U310 weighs in at 1.7kg and measures 18mm thick whereas the U410 is a slightly chunkier creation at 1.9kg and 20.3mm despite each sporting the same 16:9, 13.3-inch screens. That all comes down to the addition of a dedicated GeForce 610 1GB graphics system in the U410, whereas you have to make do with the integrated Intel GMA 3000 HD on the other.

The difference in form wasn't hugely noticeable in the hand though. Neither come across as particularly super thin and that's because, in comparison to the likes of the waif-like second generation Samsung Series 9, they're not. What did seem to make a big difference was the choice of colour with the graphite of the U310 that we played with a far classier creature than the cherry blossom choice. If neither of those take your fancy, you could always go for a finish in Aqua Blue, Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue or Spearmint.