|User Level||Advanced User|
|Max Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Processor||Intel® Core™ i3-7100U (2.3 GHz; Dual-core)|
|Webcam and Mic||HD webcam with Integrated digital microphone|
|Ports||USB 3.0 (1 Port), USB 2.0 (2 Ports), 3.5 mm Combo Audio Jack (1 Port), LAN 10/100 (1 Port), VGA (1 Port), HDMI™ (1 Port), 4-in-1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)|
|Wireless||802.11 AC WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 Combo|
|Preinstalled OS||Windows 10|
The Lenovo Ideapad 310 is built with a 6th Gen Intel i3 chip that offers the absolute best in most computing scenarios. An entry level laptop, it doesn’t have a dedicated GPU, so it doesn’t really make the cut as one of the best gaming laptops.
Regardless, it has the make and feel of a great laptop. Performance is not a letdown either thanks to the fast processor, sufficient RAM and plenty of hard drive storage. Those are things you can expect from a Lenovo laptop, especially since the company has built its solid brand by offering good quality products.
In case you didn’t know this fun fact: since 2014 Lenovo has been consistently ranking second in terms of global notebook sales, with HP being the only company that does better number. That largely boils down to the fact that most Lenovo notebooks are practical for everyday use.
The Ideapad 310 is no different. It’s made for Linux users who want to stream content, binge watch and run the usual applications (like browsers, music players, office suit etc.) without spending an arm and a leg.
Although the laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 10, it fully supports Linux. All you have to do is prepare a bootable DVD or flash drive with your favorite Linux OS and install it.
Lenovo Ideapad 310 Features
1. Processor and Performance
The Ideapad 310 comes with a 6th Gen Intel Core i3-6100U processor that clocks at 2.3GHz. Based on Intel’s Skylake architecture, this CPU features two cores and a hyper-threading rating of 2.3GHz, which is pretty impressive for an entry-level laptop.
Besides superior responsiveness, the processor is very economical on resources. In fact it is a ULV (ultra-low voltage) type. So while it might pack plenty of processing power, it requires minimal electric power to run.
The i3-6100U processor features an integrated HD Graphics 520 GPU, which in turn supports all the graphics functions of the Ideapad 310. The card should be able to support some modern games, provided you tone down display settings and resolution. It offers excellent service for casual gamers, but if you are an avid gamer you probably want a dedicated GPU.
2. Memory and Storage
The 6 GB DDR4 RAM installed in the Ideapad 310 is designed for high performance notebooks. Just like the processor, this RAM is a low-voltage type that might help bring your electric bill down.
More importantly, DDR4 RAM performs far much better than DDR3 and DDR3L, especially in notebooks like the Ideapad 310 where integrated graphics rely on a shared memory. That explains why this notebook can support some modern games that other laptops with 6GB of DDR3 RAM can’t play.
In terms of storage space, the Ideapad 310 comes with 1TB of HDD. Whether you’re planning to use it as an entertainment PC or for work/business, it’s hard to imagine that a whole 1TB won’t be sufficient.
In any case you can always supplement it with cloud storage. This notebook features 802.11 a/c Wi-Fi for faster and reliable internet connections. Besides giving you quick access to cloud-based storages, a fast internet will also help with your entertainment needs. You can stream and download your favorite content without any hassle.
3. Design and Construction
Like most other Lenovo laptops, the Ideapad 310 is a full-plastic PC. Its base feels sturdier than the other parts, perhaps because the plastic used is stronger. It’s also textured to prevent the PC from sliding off a surface. The lid and keyboard bay have a non-glossy plastic, which makes the whole laptop look sleek and decent.
This notebook is not the most extravagant in terms of connection ports. It has just one USB 3.0 port and not a single USB 2.0 port. That’s not entirely a bad thing considering the rate at which USB 2.0 ports are being phased out in modern computing devices.
Still, it would have been better to have at least one more USB port to allow connection of more than one device. As it is you would need a multi-hub USB adapter in order to connect two or more devices (like a phone and tablet) to your laptop at the same time.
In addition to the USB 3.0 port, the Ideapad 310 also has an SD card slot and an optical DVD +/- RW Double Layer drive. Those two may come in handy when you need more alternatives for using external storage media beside the USB option. There’s also a regular mic/headphone jack alongside an HDMI and a VGA port.
4. Display and Sound
While most of the features of the Ideapad 310 are decent for casual and official use, the display leaves plenty of room for improvement. With a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768, it offers virtually the same HD that you will get in an entry-level laptop.
The only problem is that it’s neither vivid nor bright, despite the glossy screen being an impressive 15.6 inches in size. The maximum luminescence recorded was a mere 234 lux, which is makes it an average display panel. I’m pretty sure you can get better displays in the HP 15 Notebooks or even the Asus A555LF.
Anyway, when you’re dealing with an entry-level notebook you will be forced to compromise at least one thing. For this particular laptop it is the screen. On the upside, it’s a touch-sensitive screen that gives your keyboard and touchpad a break every once in a while. It also tilts 180 degrees, so you can tilt it until you find an angle that you are most comfortable with.
Regarding audio, the Ideapad 310 has two bottom mounted speakers that produce a fairly decent sound. You won’t get a thumping bass, but it does a decent job nonetheless.
5. Keyboard and Navigation
Lenovo notebooks have always had better keys than their competitors. That’s evident in this PC whose island-style keyboard features flat keys that have a linear depression. In other words when you press a key it travels straight down without wobbling. That’s the kind of keyboard that makes touch typing easier.
The touchpad too is better than what you will get in other laptops. It’s sufficiently sensitive, you don’t need to apply a lot of pressure for it to move the pointer. The right and left click buttons also work perfectly, so no complaint there.
6. Battery Life
Most entry-level notebooks are not fitted with a long lasting batteries, you might want to tone down your expectations here. The Ideapad 310 lasts about 4 hours when running Windows 10. With Linux that could go up slightly to about 5 hours.
Linux operating systems are more efficient in memory access, scheduling, kernel calls, search algorithms etc. and are therefore more power efficient than Windows. Unless you’re playing games or you’ve cranked up the display setting, the battery should last up to 5 hours when fully charged. That’s not comparable to what you will get with a premium notebook, but it’s not the worst battery life either.
The Drawbacks of Lenovo Ideapad 310
- Has an average display
- Battery doesn’t last long
- Only one USB port
The Final Word
The Lenovo Ideapad 310 is a great buy either for your home entertainment or use in the office. With a 2.4GHz Intel Core i3, 6GB RAM and 1TB HDD, it can support any Linux operating system, save for a few resource-hungry gaming distros.
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