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Description

RAM

  • Installed Size
    8.0 GB

HARD DRIVE

  • Spindle Speed
    5400 RPM
  • Capacity
    8 GB

PROCESSOR

  • Manufacturer
    Intel
  • Clock Speed
    2.40 GHz

MONITOR

  • Diagonal Size
    13.3 in.

OPERATING SYSTEM / SOFTWARE

  • OS Provided: Type
    Windows 8.1 64

VIDEO OUTPUT

  • Graphics Processor
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 920M 2GB

GENERAL

RAM

  • Installed Size
    8.0 GB

HARD DRIVE

  • Spindle Speed
    5400 RPM
  • Capacity
    8 GB

PROCESSOR

  • Manufacturer
    Intel
  • Clock Speed
    2.40 GHz

MONITOR

  • Diagonal Size
    13.3 in.

OPERATING SYSTEM / SOFTWARE

  • OS Provided: Type
    Windows 8.1 64

VIDEO OUTPUT

  • Graphics Processor
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 920M 2GB

GENERAL

  • seller warranty

    Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE Notebook Review

    Sascha Mölck (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 02/09/2016

    Lack of endurance. Lenovo's 13.3-inch subnotebook attracts with its good connectivity. However, the battery life is, unfortunately, just middling.

     

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    For the original German review, see here.

    Lenovo's U31-70 is tantamount to 13.3-inch subnotebooks. The latest Skylake processors are not inside. Instead models from the former Broadwell generation are installed. That makes it obvious that the U31-70 lineup has been on the market for quite some time. Our review sample was built in the summer of 2015. Four months prior to that, we tested the 14-inch sister model, Lenovo's U41-70. The U31-70 finds its main opponent in Acer's Aspire V3-372. However, the models from the Zenbook UX303 and Zenbook UX305 lineups by Asus are also rivals.

    Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE (U31 Series)
    Graphics adapter
    NVIDIA GeForce 920M - 2048 MB, Core: 954 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, DDR3, 64 bit interface, ForceWare 361.43 (10.18.13.6143)
    Memory
    8192 MB  
     
    , DDR3, single-channel, one memory bank (filled)
    Display
    13.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, LG Philips LÜ133WF2-SPL1, IPS, glossy: no
    Mainboard
    Intel Broadwell-U PCH-LP (Premium)
    Storage
    Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache, 1000 GB  
     
    , 5400 rpm, 860 GB free
    Weight
    1.5 kg ( = 52.91 oz / 3.31 pounds), Power Supply: 350 g ( = 12.35 oz / 0.77 pounds)
    Price
    999 Euro

     

    Case

    The U31-70's base unit and display back are composed of metal. The display bezel is made of plastic. All these components are white. Black plastic encloses the laptop's sides. The U31-70 is optionally available in a completely black casing. Lenovo does not structure the surfaces, which are all sleek. The laptop does not have a maintenance hatch. However, it is quite easy to remove the bottom tray. The user can then access the non-removable battery.

    No production flaws are obvious. The gaps are even, and all components are manufactured accurately. The U31-70 presents the same torsional behavior as most laptops. The casing yields on both sides of the keyboard and below the touchpad. The base unit proves to be quite stiff. It can only be twisted marginally. That is even more the case for the lid. Pressure on the lid's back only leads to minor image distortions in a few spots in the center. Opening the lid with one hand is easily possible. Its maximum opening angle is roughly 180 degrees.

     

    Connectivity

    The U31-70 comes with the current common interfaces. Three USB ports are installed. Two operate in the USB 3.0 standard. A Gigabit-Ethernet port is also present. The interfaces are situated in the back areas of both sides. Thus, the areas beside the wrist rest remain clear of cables.

    Left: Kensington lock slot, power-in, USB 2.0, memory-card reader
    Left: Kensington lock slot, power-in, USB 2.0, memory-card reader
    Right: 2x USB 3.0, Gigabit-Ethernet, HDMI
    Right: 2x USB 3.0, Gigabit-Ethernet, HDMI

    Communication

    Lenovo furnishes the U31-70 with a Wi-Fi module that carries a chip by Qualcomm (QCA6174). It supports the 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards and also provides Bluetooth 4.1 functionality. We did not experience any connection issues. The connection was always very stable in a radius of 15 meters to our router. A Gigabit-Ethernet chip from Realtek's RTL8168/8111 family takes care of cabled network connections. It is a familiar model that is found in innumerable laptops. It did an impeccable job.

    Memory Card Reader

    The memory-card reader in the U31-70 will not break any speed records. A maximum transfer rate of 30.8 MB/s is reached when copying large data blocks. Transferring 250 JPG image files (approx. 5 MB each) was finished at a speed of 27.4 MB/s. We always test the memory-card reader with our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II memory card.

    Accessories

    The laptop is shipped with the usual accessories: A quick-start poster and warranty information.

    Operating System

    The laptop is delivered with Windows 8.1 (64-bit) preloaded. A recovery DVD is not included. Laptop owners can change to Windows 10 free of charge. Since Lenovo also has variants of the U31-70 that are shipped without a Windows operating system in its lineup, we also tested installing Windows 7. That was no problem.

    Maintenance

    The U31-70 does not have a maintenance hatch. It is nevertheless possible to access the innards without much effort. The bottom tray can be removed after releasing all screws on the bottom. No additional tool is needed. The laptop is furnished with one working memory bank that is filled. The 2.5-inch hard drive can be replaced without problems. The same is true for the battery. It is also possible to clean the fan.

    Warranty

    Lenovo includes a two-year warranty on the U31-70. Upgrading the warranty is possible. For example, Lenovo offers a three-year on-site warranty for approximately 55 Euros (~$62).

    Input Devices

    Keyboard

    The U31-70 features a backlit chiclet keyboard. The backlight has two brightness levels. The keyboard's layout corresponds to the well-known Lenovo design. The flat, sleek keys have a short drop and clear pressure point. The keyboard yields marginally when typing on it, but that is not annoying. The keyboard leaves us with an overall pleasing typing feel.

    Touchpad

    The multitouch ClickPad has a surface area of approximately 10.5 x 7 cm. Thus, there is enough room for using gesture control. The pad's sleek surface makes it easy for the fingers to glide over it. The pad has a short drop and a clearly audible and palpable pressure point.

    Input devices
    Input devices

    Display

    Pixel grid
    Pixel grid

    The U31-70 is furnished with a 13.3-inch anti-glare panel that has a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. Both the screen's brightness (289.2 cd/m²) and contrast (814:1) are good. The screen displays quite visible clouding. It is strongest in the right-hand corners. Positive: The panel never exhibited PWM flickering.

    The Full HD IPS screen installed here is not only reserved for higher-priced U31-70 models. Lower-priced members of the lineup are also equipped with this panel.

     
      279
    cd/m²
    287
    cd/m²
    293
    cd/m²
     
      288
    cd/m²
    293
    cd/m²
    285
    cd/m²
     
      284
    cd/m²
    299
    cd/m²
    295
    cd/m²
     
     
    Distribution of brightness
    X-Rite i1Pro 2
    Maximum: 299 cd/m² Average: 289.2 cd/m²
    Brightness Distribution: 93 %
    Center on Battery: 233 cd/m²
    Contrast: 814:1 (Black: 0.36 cd/m²)
    ΔE Color 4.94 | - Ø
    ΔE Greyscale 4.11 | - Ø
    58% sRGB (Argyll) 37% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll) 
    Gamma: 2.48

    Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

    To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
    Screen flickering / PWM not detected    
     

    In comparison: 57 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 6562 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

    U31-70 vs. sRGB
    U31-70 vs. sRGB
    U31-70 vs. AdobeRGB
    U31-70 vs. AdobeRGB

    The screen's DeltaE shift of 4.94 in delivery state is decent. A rate less than 3 would be desirable. The screen does not exhibit a bluish tint. The AdobeRGB and sRGB color spaces cannot be reproduced. The coverage rates here are 37% (AdobeRGB) and 58% (sRGB).

    CalMAN - ColorChecker
    CalMAN - ColorChecker
    CalMAN - Grayscale
    CalMAN - Grayscale
    CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
    CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
     

    The U31 is furnished with a viewing-angle stable IPS panel. Therefore, the screen remains legible from every position. The laptop is only conditionally outdoor suitable; the screen's brightness decreases in battery mode.

    Outdoors
    Outdoors
    Viewing angles: U31-70
    Viewing angles: U31-70

    Display Response Times

    Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
           Response Time Black to White
    30 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined ↗ 7 ms rise
    ↘ 23 ms fall
    The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
    In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 72 % of all devices are better.
    This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (26.7 ms).
           Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
    54 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined ↗ 19 ms rise
    ↘ 35 ms fall
    The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
    In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 87 % of all devices are better.
    This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (42.8 ms).
     Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
    IPS, 1920x1080
    Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
    IPS, 1920x1080
    Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
    IPS, 1920x1080
    Asus Zenbook UX305LA-FC012H
    IPS, 1920x1080
    Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
    TN LED, 1440x900
    Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
    TN, 1920x1080
    Lenovo U41-70
    TN LED, 1920x1080
    Response Times  
    18%
    -22%
           
    Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
    54 (19, 35)
    46 (19, 27) 
    15%
    68 (25, 43) 
    -26%
           
    Response Time Black / White *
    30 (7, 23)
    24 (5, 19) 
    20%
    35 (15, 20) 
    -17%
           
    PWM Frequency    
    178 (90)
           
    Screen  
    -5%
    23%
    24%
    3%
    -53%
    -41%
    Brightness
    289
    247 
    -15%
    394 
    36%
    338 
    17%
    310 
    7%
    228 
    -21%
    222 
    -23%
    Brightness Distribution
    93
    87 
    -6%
    89 
    -4%
    87 
    -6%
    82 
    -12%
    90 
    -3%
    84 
    -10%
    Black Level *
    0.36
    0.43 
    -19%
    0.41 
    -14%
    0.25 
    31%
    0.405 
    -13%
    0.54 
    -50%
    0.42 
    -17%
    Contrast
    814
    581 
    -29%
    939 
    15%
    1396 
    71%
    812 
    0%
    441 
    -46%
    583 
    -28%
    Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
    4.94
    4.51 
    9%
    3.84 
    22%
    5.49 
    -11%
    3.96 
    20%
    10.64 
    -115%
    9.55 
    -93%
    Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
    4.11
    3.18 
    23%
    3.79 
    8%
    5.43 
    -32%
    3.51 

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