Lenovo U410...bad idea?
September 30, 2012 9:56 AM   Subscribe

Lenovo U410 for AutoCAD and SolidWorks?

I need a new computer ASAP to run the AutoDesk suite (AutoCAD, Inventor) and Solid Works. These are 3D modeling software, but I don’t think they’re too graphics intensive. I think the Lenovo U410 will work, and I’m considering the following specs: 8GB ram, 5400rpm HDD + 32GB SDD, i5 processor.

I'm considering Lenovo because it consistently gets praised here.

I think this will be adequate. Things I don’t think I’ll be that concerned about: 14” screen, not having the awesome touch pad of my MacBook Pro, not having a backlit keyboard, only having a 3-5 hour battery life.

One thing I’m concerned with is not having an optical drive. I have an old iMac with an optical drive, and it’s running Snow Leopard. How hard will it be to install Solid Works from an .iso, or over the network?

Have you owned or used this computer? Do you love/hate it? Anything I’m not considering?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I bought my son this laptop for University and it is a very good machine he isn't using it for that type of program but he does play some video games and it seems to handle it great. The one odd thing I found was that the OS is on the conventional HD? but he says it hasn't made a difference. He LOVES it. We purchase an external 2TB HD and had an external DVD which he has used a few times so you might want to consider that. Installing ISOs has been fine he did that with all his school related software either through a network or sneaker net.

Personally it is the first Lenova that wasn't a business machine I have used and I thought it was stunning for the price. (I use a mac personally)
posted by mrgroweler at 10:01 AM on September 30, 2012

actually solid works and i think the new 3d suite on autocad requires a lot of power from the graphics card. Take a look at the system requirement . I would reccomend laptop with discrete video cards to run intensive 3D Models in solidworks
posted by radsqd at 10:05 AM on September 30, 2012

Response by poster: I should have added that the model I'm considering has a discrete NVIDIA 1GB graphics card.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:09 AM on September 30, 2012

Response by poster: Update: I've had the laptop for a couple weeks now, and it runs Inventor and SolidWorks without a hitch. The battery life is pretty poor, which I knew before buying it, and lack of an optical drive has kinda been a bummer twice now (but I have a clunky workaround for getting data from a disc to this computer).

It plays Portal and Half Life 2 pretty smoothly, but I guess it steps down the resolution a bit.

The touchpad isn't NEARLY as nice as a MacBook. Neither is the display. A few times I've mistaken the green of AskMe for the gray of MeTa.

The design of this thing seems like it's trying hard to imitate a MacBook Pro. The hinge on the display seems sturdy, and the tolerances seem tight on how the lid closes. They keyboard feels great (but it's not backlit). Windows is frustrating after dealing with OSX for the last 4 years.

The power cord seems like it's about four feet too short, and it plugs into the computer rather than doing that cool little magnetic trick like Apple. I'm so scared my dog or myself will trip on the cord and send the laptop crashing to the floor.

Boot speeds are great. It's about 15-17 seconds from pushing the power button to my desktop. Maybe that's normal these days, but I was impressed.

Oh, one big thing that I notice every time I open the laptop is that my MacBook has a little recessed area on the front for your thumb to catch, to make opening the screen a little easier. This Lenovo is like a tight clamshell when it's closed, and opening it is a two-handed operation.

Pros: Sturdy enough. Powerful. Sleek design.
Cons: Short battery life. Display quality. Frustrating trackpad (every trackpad is frustrating to me except a Mac).
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:41 AM on October 31, 2012

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