Lenovo IdeaPad U400 Notebook Review

Article Index

Gaming Benchmarks and Battery Life

Metro 2033
DirecX11 Gaming Performance

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is your basic post-apocalyptic first person shooter game with a few rather unconventional twists. Unlike most FPS titles, there is no health meter to measure your level of ailment, but rather you’re left to deal with life, or lack there-of more akin to the real world with blood spatter on your visor and your heart rate and respiration level as indicators. The game is loosely based on a novel by Russian Author Dmitry Glukhovsky. Metro 2003 boasts some of the best 3D visuals on the PC platform currently including a DX11 rendering mode that makes use of advanced depth of field effects and character model tessellation for increased realism. We tested the game engine using the Metro 2033 benchmark tool.

Let's not beat around the bush: Metro 2033 is an intense game. And we aren't just talking about gameplay. It's a title that seriously taxes a machine, and it requires serious hardware to run this title well. The CPU on the U400 was mostly ready for the task, but its lower-end AMD Radeon isn't exactly a powerhouse. That said, the score for this class of machine, was respectable for the U400.

FarCry 2
DirectX Gaming Performance


FarCry 2

Like the original, FarCry 2 is one of the more visually impressive games to be released on the PC to date. Courtesy of the Dunia game engine developed by Ubisoft, FarCry 2's game-play is enhanced by advanced environment physics, destructible terrain, high resolution textures, complex shaders, realistic dynamic lighting, and motion-captured animations. We benchmarked the test systems in this article with the FarCry 2 benchmark tool using one of the built-in demo runs recorded in the "Ranch" map.

Unlike Metro 2033, the somewhat dated Far Cry 2 benchmark isn't as hard on systems, and we were able to squeeze out a few more frames-per-second here. Things were plenty playable at even higher resolutions.

Battery Life
Power Performance

BatteryEater Pro tends to measure worst case scenarios, in that it doesn't really take into consideration power saving features, instead working the system's hard drive, CPU and graphics moderately until it dies out.  We kept our test machines with Wi-Fi on, and screen brightness hovering at 50% for the life of the test.

A 54Whr, 4-cell battery is included here, and Lenovo makes the claim that you can get up to seven hours of productive use. With all due respect, we aren't buying it exactly. Yes, our specific battery test is tough on machines, but we didn't even see two hours of use. Even with brightness on the lowest possible setting and Wi-Fi turned off, there's just no way this machine is going to last over three times longer than what we saw here. Two hours of hard usage is fair for a machine of this stature, and you could probably squeeze 4 hours of usage if you really tried, but it seems unlikely you're getting seven hours of uptime with the U400, regardless of workload.

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