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Cus Lenovo U330 p 13.3-Inch Ultrabook Refurbished

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Vendor: lenovo
Product code: u330p_20190523135505

Description

 

Review Lenovo IdeaPad U330p Notebook

 

 

 

Andreas Reid, ✓ Stefanie Voigt (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 08/28/2013
 

Is good necessarily expensive? Our editorial office got the IdeaPad U330p for an in-depth review. We want to determine what the almost-ultrabook is capable of in terms of mobility, performance, build and display quality.

For the original German review, see here.

We already thoroughly reviewed the predecessor of the U330p, the IdeaPad U310. Now we want to see if Lenovo improved its inexpensive line of mobile devices. The dimensions were only slightly changed; the width was reduced by 11 mm and the depth by 1 mm. We are eager to see whether the new processor is able to maintain its Turbo clock under load or if it is just running with its nominal clock.   

Another important aspect is the battery runtime, especially with a mobile subnotebook. Customers are usually using them on the go, so the weightshould not be too high either. 

We consider the following devices as the main competitors:
S30-i3U465 by MSI (i3-3217UIntel HD Graphics 4000, 500-700 Euros, ~$661-$925)
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L (i5-3337UAMD Radeon HD 7550M, 550-800 Euros, ~$727-$1058)
Asus VivoBook S300CA (i3-3217UIntel HD Graphics 4000, 540-580 Euros, ~$714-$767)

All devices are more or less in the same price range, but the reviewed Lenovo U330p is already equipped with the latest processor architecture from Intel (Haswell).

Case

Similar to the predecessor, the case is made of matte aluminum that gives the U330p a noble and more expensive impression. Only the Asus VivoBook S300CA has a similarly high-quality case within the competition. Other similarities to the predecessor are the different designs and colors of the display cover, which are advertised on Lenovo's website.

The MSI S30-i3U465 is slightly lighter with 1.4 kg but has a plastic case; the other two competitors weigh 1.78 or 1.89 kg respectively. With its 1.53 kg, the U330p takes a top spot within this price range. Nevertheless, you can comfortably open the display with just one hand, the base unit is only lifted by a few millimeters. Even the visible bouncing is very limited when you open the display with one hand and is mainly caused by the user. 

One advantage of the aluminum case is certainly the stability, at least on the bottom of the base unit. We can barely twist it even under high pressure. Unfortunately that cannot be said of the display: It is very easy to twist and there are even loud noises if the force gets bigger. The bottom is also very resistant against concentrated pressure but, once again, the keyboard area cannot continue this impression. Too much pressure, especially in the lower part of the keyboard, and the whole keyboard is pushed down.  

The stability of the case could be better, which is also shown by the (usually more expensive) competition. Considering the low price however, the overall quality of the case is good. 

Connectivity

Instead of the two USB 3.0 ports the predecessor had you only get 1x USB 3.0, but two additional USB 2.0 ports this time. This is a strange decision, the trend is usually to increase the number of USB 3.0 ports since they are downward compatible to the older standards. This is an area where the Toshiba Satellite L830-15L can surpass the competition with 2x USB 3.0 and 1x USB 2.0, which is exactly the equipment of the old Lenovo U310. Asus also integrates 1x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0 into the VivoBook S300CA, while the user of the MSI S30-i3U46 has to live with 1x USB 2.0 and 1x USB 3.0 but gets a VGA port in return. 

Besides the mentioned ports, the U330p also has a 3.5 mm stereo jack and an HDMI port; the other two USB ports and the card reader are on the other side of the case. We really like the port layout, the position of the ports is not too close to the front of the notebook. You can easily manage the cables at the back without affecting the usability of the notebook. 

2x USB 2.0, power, 2-in-1 card reader
2x USB 2.0, power, 2-in-1 card reader
1x HDMI, 1x USB 3.0, 3.5 mm stereo jack
1x HDMI, 1x USB 3.0, 3.5 mm stereo jack
 
Poor picture quality of the webcam
Poor picture quality of the webcam

Communication

You can use the integrated WLAN adaptor for home or office networks, an Ethernet port is not available. The distance to the WLAN router should also not be too large. The connection was somewhat unstable in our tests with a distance of around 12 meters and two walls between the subnotebook and the router.

Maintenance

There is no separate maintenance cover, you have to remove the whole bottom cover to clean or access the components. It is fixed with Philips screws.

Warranty

Lenovo grants the standard 24-month manufacturer warranty for the notebook and 12 months for the battery. A warranty extension should be available, however, there were no details in regard to the prices and services on Lenovo's homepage at the time of writing. 

Input Devices

Keyboard

Lenovo decided to integrate a chiclet keyboard. Contrary to the predecessor it is now supported by a background illumination that can be activated via Fn-key in combination with the space bar. It is sufficiently bright enough to work in a completely dark environment. All the keys, including the arrow keys, are similarly sized. There is no separate numeric keypad, but that is not surprising for such a small notebook. You can only use the F-keys (F1 - F12) in combination with the Fn-key. Key travel and feedback of the keys are average and slightly deeper compared to other subnotebooks.  

The center area of the keyboard can be pushed in under pressure, but that does not affect the feedback of the keys. Even longer typing sessions are very convenient. The noise development is usually very unobtrusive, but it can get louder when you are typing very fast. 

Touchpad

The dimensions did not change and the two mouse buttons are once again integrated into the touchpad. You can execute a left click on the whole left area with an almost steady feedback, the same applies for the right click on the other side. The fingers have no problems gliding on the touchpad surface and the supported multitouch gestures improve the handling.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

U330p vs. sRGB
U330p vs. sRGB

Similar to the competition, the U330p has a display with a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. The price class of our review unit is obviously too low for a Full HD display. Lenovo integrated a display with a mixture of a glossy and anti-reflective surface. The reflections are reduced compared to a glossy display, but it is not like a matte display from a business notebook for instance. 

The maximum display brightness of our review unit is only 105 cd/m². This is, compared to the current standard of 200-250 cd/m², a new negative record. You can still use it indoors, but you should not try to take it outside. Similarly bad is the brightness distribution with just 73%, once again the last place behind the S30-i3U465 with 78%, the Satellite-L830-15L with 83% and the VivoBook-S300CA with a very good 88%. These competitors are also significantly brighter.

 
  240
cd/m²
247
cd/m²
232
cd/m²
 
  257
cd/m²
265
cd/m²
239
cd/m²
 
  231
cd/m²
224
cd/m²
210
cd/m²
 
 
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 265 cd/m² Average: 238.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 79 %
Contrast: 260:1 (Black: 1.02 cd/m²)

Update 29.08.2013

We got an other U330p unit and we did our measurements on the display again. The brighness was much better with this unit but this was a differing configuration with a touch-panel, means a completly different panel type (InfoVision M133NWN1 R3). In the origin U330p (Non-Touch) we had a CLAA133WB03 panel. Check out the following screens with our data of the U330 Touch with InfoVision display.

U330 Touch CalMAN Grayscale
U330 Touch CalMAN Grayscale
U330 Touch CalMAN Saturation
U330 Touch CalMAN Saturation
U330 Touch CalMAN ColorChecker
U330 Touch CalMAN ColorChecker
U330 Touch Illumination
U330 Touch Illumination
U330 Touch Contrast
U330 Touch Contrast

The U330p is not suited for picture enthusiasts because of the low display brightness and the available color space is not much better. We also checked the color accuracy and the result is similar: Both the grayscale presentation and the colors heavily deviate from the ideal values with DeltaE results above 15. We also determined a visible blue cast ex-works, which could be improved by calibration.

 
Saturation
Saturation
ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Grayscale
Grayscale
Outdoor use
Outdoor use

We already mentioned that the notebook is inadvisable for outdoor use. This fact cannot be changed by the anti-reflective display - the brightness on battery power is just too low with only 105 cd/m². All the rivals are superior to the U330p in terms of brightness, even the predecessor is significantly brighter with 187 cd/m². The top spot is taken by the Satellite-L830-15L with a brightness of 230 cd/m², followed by the VivoBook-S300CA with 161 cd/m² and the MSI S30-i3U465 with 136 cd/m². All devices, except for the Satellite-L830-15L, are below the 200 cd/m² mark, which is, based on our experiences, the minimum value for convenient working outdoors - at least with a matte display surface. 

Viewing angle stability
Viewing angle stability

The viewing angle stability leaves a mixed impression: There are big deviations with vertical angles, but the picture is more stable with horizontal angles. The situation is not better for the competition

 

Performance

At the time of writing, the only available configuration of the IdeaPad U330p was our review configuration. It is equipped with an Intel Core i5-4200U with the integrated HD Graphics 4400, supported by a hybrid HDD with a capacity of 500 GB and an 8 GB SSD cache.

 

System information CPUZ CPU
System information CPUZ Cache
System information CPUZ Motherboard
System information CPUZ Memory
System information GPUZ HD4400
System information Lenovo IdeaPad U330p

Processor

According to the specifications, the integrated Core i5-4200U has a nominal clock of 1.6 GHz and a maximum Turbo clock of 2.6 GHz with a TDP of 15 Watts. The CPU has two cores and can execute up to four threads simultaneously. It is usually used for compact notebooks with limited space for cooling. 

We also use the Sony Vaio Duo 13 with the same CPU besides the mentioned rivals for comparison. Both i5-4200U CPUs show the same results in Cinebench. The older i5-3317U falls behind by 24% and the two Intel Core i3-3217Us by 28% in Cinebench Multi. The difference in the Single Core test is smaller for the Ivy Bridge i5 with around 10% compared to the 4200U; the i3-3217U falls behind by 34%. The i5-4200U starts Cinebench Single with a Turbo clock of 2.3 GHz, which is then raised to the maximum of 2.6 GHz. However, the clock fluctuates significantly. The maximum CPU temperature during the benchmarks was 80 °C. 

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad U330p
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.16 Points ∼48%
Lenovo IdeaPad U310
HD Graphics 4000, 3317U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1.06 Points ∼43%-9%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAGN mSATA
1.15 Points ∼47%-1%
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L
Radeon HD 7550M, 3337U, TOSHIBA MQ01ABD075
1.08 Points ∼44%-7%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
HD Graphics 4000, 3217U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.76 Points ∼31%-34%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad U330p
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2.46 Points ∼9%+38%
Lenovo IdeaPad U310
HD Graphics 4000, 3317U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1.87 Points ∼7%+5%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAGN mSATA
2.47 Points ∼9%+39%
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L
Radeon HD 7550M, 3337U, TOSHIBA MQ01ABD075
2.51 Points ∼9%+41%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
HD Graphics 4000, 3217U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1.78 Points ∼7%0%
MSI S30-i3U465 Slim
HD Graphics 4000, 3217U, SanDisk U100 64 GB
1.78 Points ∼7%0%
 
 
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
3589
 
 
 
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
6235
 
 
 
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
5657
 
 
 
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.16 Points
 
 
 
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.46 Points
 
 
 
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
12.1 fps
 
 
 
Help

System Performance

The overall PCMark 7 performance of the U330p is good and can surpass all the mentioned competitors, but the U310 is very close. Toshiba's Satellite-L830-15L takes the last spot with a deficit of 42%. The system storage result benefits from the SSD in the S30-i3U465 and the large SSD cache of the predecessor.

The PCMark Vantage result of the U330p is also good with 7554 points and is only beaten by MSI's S30-i3U465 with 7565 points. Subjectively, the system performance is okay considering the components. The 8 GB SSD cache does improve the starts of regularly used applications, but that cannot be compared with a real SSD.

PCMark 7
System Storage (sort by value)
Lenovo IdeaPad U330p
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3042 Points ∼43%+108%
Lenovo IdeaPad U330p
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3042 Points ∼43%+108%
MSI S30-i3U465 Slim
HD Graphics 4000, 3217U, SanDisk U100 64 GB
3869 Points ∼54%+164%
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L
Radeon HD 7550M, 3337U, TOSHIBA MQ01ABD075
1249 Points ∼18%-15%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
HD Graphics 4000, 3217U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1465 

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