Lenovo IdeaPad U310: A More Affordable Ultrabook

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SiSoftware SANDRA and ATTO Disk Tests

We kicked off the Lenovo IdeaPad U310's testing with SiSoftware Sandra 2012 and ATTO Disk Test, which are good tools for assessing a system's computing power. The scores are also handy for comparing the ultrabook to other laptops, but it's important to keep in mind that these are not quite apples-to-apples comparisons. Beyond having different hardware, the systems are running different drivers, have different applications installed, and may even have different Windows settings. So, look at the benchmark scores here as way to get a feel for the U310's general place in a range of notebooks, rather than as a rock-solid marker of its performance.

Also, we test each system with few changes to the configuration that the manufacturer selected when it sent us the device. In the case of laptops, we disable security software, which can trip up benchmark applications, and turn off power-saving features that would turn off the screen or put the system in sleep mode in the middle of a test.

Synthetic Benchmarks: CPU, RAM, HD
SiSoftware Sandra is a well-known, venerable system performance program that has a powerful benchmarking component. Until recently, we've been using Sandra 2011 to test systems. The U310 marks one of the first laptops we'll test with the new 2012 version of Sandra. The new version brings support for Window 8 onboard, which means we'll be able to use the same test on new machines when Microsoft's new operating system launches. Sandra 2012's tests are very similar to the 2011 version's tests, as you'll notice if you're familiar with the old version.

SANDRA Processor Arithmetic and Multimedia Performance


SANDRA Memory Bandwidth and Physical Disk Performance

We ran the Processor Arithmetic, Processor Multimedia, Physical Disks, and Memory Bandwidth tests. The scores were mostly as you'd expect them to be: competitive, but not overtaking the scores of systems that have high-end hardware. There were a couple surprises, though. The U310 really held its own in the Processor Arithmetic benchmark, even against systems with faster processors. The U310's drive also offered excellent access times and data transfer rates. On the downside, the U310's memory bandwidth scores are decidedly lower than we've seen with similar ultrabooks.  This is due in part the single channel memory setup in the U310.  The bottom line is the U310 didn't wow SANDRA in these tests, but it's competent. In fact, that about sums up our take on the U310's multimedia capabilities as a whole, which we'll elaborate on a bit later.

ATTO Disk Benchmark
Storage Subsystem Read/Write Throughput

ATTO Disk Benchmark gives us a good look at how your system's storage drive handles data transfers. Because there is a sizeable performance range among the SSDs on the market today, this test is particularly handy when you're looking at a laptop that has one.

Lenovo IdeaPad U310 - ATTO Test

Dell XPS 13 - ATTO Test

Lenovo IdeaPad U300s - ATTO Test

Asus Zenbook UX21

Toshiba Portégé Z835-P330

Comparing the U310's ATTO Disk score to those we've collected from similar systems, we can see that the U310 is noticeably faster (when reading data) than the Lenovo U300s. The U310's drive clocked in at about 342MB/sec when reading and wrote data at about 85MB/sec. That write speed is much slower than the U300s' SSD, though. However, the U310 writes faster than the SSD in the Toshiba Portégé Z835 that we reviewed earlier this year.  All told, once again the U310 offers middle of the pack but respectable performance.

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