Lenovo IdeaPad U310/U410 WiFi Issues

Posted on 08 August 2012 By


Lenovo’s IdeaPad U310 Ultrabook hit the market not long ago but apparently not without issues. Problems with WiFi range and speed have been reported by a number of users. We’ve actually had a chance to get out hands on two U310′s for testing and both have exhibited the problem. We mentioned this issue in our U310 unboxing article, but because it’s a persistent issue we wanted to highlight it as a warning to those looking at the U310. According to several reports, the U410 Ultrabook shares the same issue.

The issue is with WiFi speed and range. The U310 seems to have exceedingly short range, unable to find a connection where other devices have no problem. When it is close enough to the access point to get a connection, downloads speeds are significantly slower than other devices. Upload speeds on the U310 seem to be a bit slower than other devices but don’t seem to be affected as greatly as download. A quick test reveals that the U310 download/upload to be 7.81 Mbps / 12.72 Mbps while the UX31E is pulling down 29.25 Mbps / 16.79 Mbps at the same distance from the router.

Our IdeaPad U310 Ultrabook uses Intel’s Centrino Wireless-N 2200 adapter, however it seems that in some localities it might be equipped with a Qualcomm Atheros adapter. It isn’t yet clear if units equipped with either adapters have the issue or only some.

Out of the box, the U310 WiFi was even worse than it is now, hardly ever breaking the 3 Mbps barrier, and showing extremely jumpy download speeds. Updating to the latest Centrino Wireless-N 2200 adapter seemed to improve speeds somewhat but they are still slower than expect and there are still issues with range. U310/U410 users can easily update their Intel drivers using the same guide that we posted for updating your Intel HD 3000/4000 drivers, just find the section titled “Update Your Intel HD3000 or HD4000 GPU Drivers” and grab the latest WiFi driver (and update the others while you’re at it!).

There is a thread regarding the issue on Lenovo’s official U-series forum which is now 26 pages long with 253 responses, the first post of which was on July 5th. One of three reviews for the U310 on Amazon also indicates the same WiFi problem. Lenovo says that they are aware of the issue and have been attempting to troubleshoot with users on the thread to no avail; their latest response to the thread was on the 24th of July, saying “We have made progress on this, and we should be able to provide an official update shortly.” and “I can assure you that this issue does have our full attention.” That was more than two weeks ago and users in the thread are clearly becoming frustrated at the lack of a solution, some of them claiming to have returned their U310 or U410.

We’ve got our eye on the thread and are waiting for a solution. We’ve reached out to Lenovo for an official comment regarding the situation. For the time being we recommend waiting to pull the trigger on a U310 or U410 purchase until this issue has been sorted out by Lenovo.

Thanks to Sven for bringing this issue to our attention!

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  1. #1 by LironR on August 9, 2012 - 00:45

    thanks guys for publishing this issue.

    the problem is worldwide and lenovo is keeping the lid on their progress fixing it.

    can you contact lenovo’s PR and ask for an official comment on the matter?

    i already passed my 14 days return policy and quite frustrated with it..

    • #2 by Ben Lang on August 9, 2012 - 01:17

      Already done, we’ll update here if they get back to us.

      • #3 by Mark on November 8, 2012 - 23:01

        Hi Ben,

        I was wondering if you have any update on the root cause of the wi-fi defect or if you know whether Lenovo completely fixed the issue (other than Lenovo’s bald assertion of discovering a fix).

        Thank you

  2. #4 by Aly on August 9, 2012 - 16:37

    I had bought the U310 yesterday at Fry’s Electronics because it was on sale. Now I know why. If they don’t fix this soon, I will return it. I shouldn’t have to buy a USB Wi-Fi adapter.

  3. #5 by mark on August 9, 2012 - 17:23

    Ben,

    Thanks for the write up ! We’ve replied to the thread today:

    During July, Lenovo received customer reports of lower than expected wireless performance on some U310 and U410 IdeaPad systems. As a result, we extensively tested sample U310 and U410 models and a design update was implemented to ensure a more consistent wireless performance in all customer environments. U310 and U410 models manufactured after July 23, 2012 incorporate these updates and are not affected. Customers with U310 and U410 models manufactured prior to July 23 who have experienced lower than expected wireless performance should contact Lenovo support to schedule service.

    • #6 by Ben Lang on August 9, 2012 - 22:57

      Thanks, Mark. I think more detail is in order though. What was the issue, hardware, or software? Did you recall laptops manufacturered prior to July 23rd or are you making any attempts at informing those customers (or potential customers) that there is an issue? Are you going to let retailers continue to sell pre-July 23rd units to customers with no warnings about the issue?

      • #7 by ken on August 20, 2012 - 16:02

        Agreed Ben; I think it speaks volumes when Lenovo is secretive about the cause and resultant fix so we can all determine whether the issue is actually remedied. Perhaps you can get one of the “new” laptops and test out yourself and report the results.

  4. #8 by Toschin on August 10, 2012 - 05:57

    I think, now the stock of u310 in Thailand maybe older than 23 July, I had bought u310 last week and it had the wifi problem same issue, I think lenovo should be announce to return all of the problem machine if not it is the last time for lenovo.

  5. #9 by Dan on August 10, 2012 - 11:48

    The U300s has had no wifi issues, to my knowledge. 8 months running, and not a single problem for me! Hopefully Lenovo will release a fix soon, if it is software fixable.

  6. #10 by yosef Bakalzuk on August 11, 2012 - 10:43

    בעיות רציניות עם חיבור אלחוטי

  7. #11 by parveen yadav on August 11, 2012 - 12:54

    i purchased u410 on 4th july but I am still facing the problem.please do anything to resolve it………………

  8. #12 by Rohit Mittal on August 13, 2012 - 16:33

    I bought the machine & returned it within 2 days. All is good with the machine, apparently the feel of alumium body is great but the problem in WIFI kills every thing. It is a major problem.

  9. #13 by Bartosh on August 15, 2012 - 11:55

    i am really liking this ultrabook :)
    but i thought i will better google the name of the laptop and add a little helping word “problems” and see what guys have discovered and here i am. i think for the price and an ultrabook like this i dont mind to buy an additional good brand WiFi adapter which will workaround the issue. i will probably use it for the time being until Lenovo will find a solution ;)

    • #14 by Pete on December 8, 2012 - 11:36

      And i suppose you take the bus, because your car doesn’t run. ;-)

  10. #15 by Diane on August 15, 2012 - 18:59

    I am very disappointed with my U410 because of this. Asides from the wifi range and speed issue, there’s also a problem with the wifi connection whenever I connect a my hard drive (Seagate 500GB USB 3.0) to the USB 3.0 port. The wifi disconnects and only comes back after removing my hard drive. Has anyone else had the same problem?

  11. #16 by U410 now fine2 on August 20, 2012 - 12:49

    In the lenovo forum it was reported that the WiFi problem has been solved and all units produced after the 23rd of July 2012 don’t have the problem. U410/310 produced before can be sent in for service. See:
    http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/IdeaPad-Y-U-V-and-Z-series/My-new-u310-gives-really-low-speeds-on-wifi/td-p/790527/page/26
    My U410 was made on the 26th of July (label on the Box) and Wifi works fine (reach and speed). Connection to the WLAN took some time after booting, After removing the pre-installed McAfee (and replacing it with Avira in my case) there was no more delay in the WLAN connection after booting.

    I am using an external 2.5″ 1TB USB 3.0 harddisk from Toshiba with my U410 and it does not disturb the WLAN connection.

    • #17 by Dan on August 20, 2012 - 12:57

      Awesome, that’s great info and good to hear, thanks!

  12. #18 by ally on August 20, 2012 - 14:42

    I purchased a U410 with a July 30 build date. Wifi is so-so when I’m within 25′ of my router but speed is much slower when 25-40′ away and VERY slow beyond 40′. Note my roomates who have Samsung and HP laptops have no drop in wifi reception even at 90 feet from the router (it is not the router or internet provider).

  13. #19 by amit on August 20, 2012 - 23:05

    anybody in UK got post 23rd july pieces and if yes please tell from which retailers. thanks in advance

    • #20 by peter on September 13, 2012 - 23:02

      My daughter has a U410 dated 28/07/12 bought 7 days ago and has problems with slow and poor wifi connection. PC world are not keen to take it back until they test it and find the fault. How do I stand legally regarding and exchange.

  14. #21 by Ray on August 21, 2012 - 02:58

    I purchased a U410 for my oldest daughter as an upgrade from her older laptop. It’s now the slowest laptop in the house and drops the signal if used outside the house by the pool. Needless to say I’m the jerk of the house for not properly researching. The laptop box shows a build date of 7/27/12. Been trying to troubleshoot the issue after Lenovo support tried to blame the router then I found this article and a few others. 4 other laptops in the house that have no wifi issues through a new Cisco 4200V2 router.

  15. #22 by Andre on August 28, 2012 - 07:14

    I too trusted in Lenovo’s assurance that the post July 23rd build date machines would be fixed. NOT THE CASE! Mine is July 27th and has the same issues. Horribly slow unless you’re right next to the router, even then it’s not as fast as it should be. With full signal strength speed tests put it at best at 5% the speed of other laptops sitting right next to it.

  16. #23 by Jessica on August 29, 2012 - 09:54

    My laptop has a build date of July 26, 2012. Wifi signal is steady, but speeds drop drastically after walking a few feet.
    For numerical comparison:
    Highest wifi speed in house (custom desktop) – 34 mbps
    Sibling’s laptop (Alienware m11x R2) – 15 mbps
    Parent’s laptop (Lenovo G series essential) – 15 mbps
    Lenovo u410 – 5 mbps

  17. #24 by sad user on September 3, 2012 - 06:42

    my laptop was made 8/17/2012 in China. same problem,

  18. #25 by Helene on September 10, 2012 - 12:12

    How do you check the build date? I just bought an U410 from an IT fair. Wifi had been working OK, then after a Win7 automatic update and reboot all of a sudden I could not connect to wifi even though I was sitting at the same place, 2-3 metres away from the router in the living room.

    • #26 by Andre on October 5, 2012 - 22:09

      You can find the Manufacturing-date either on the box or on the sticker on the bottom-side of your Lenovo ultrabook, so similar to the Serial-nr (S/N).

  19. #27 by Cobra Byte Tech on September 10, 2012 - 18:06

    I found this info, am anxious to try it on a customers problematic U410.

    “I had the same issue and I solved the issue by swapping the wireless card antenna connections, so black to white connector and white to black connector.
    I believe they had a kind of production issue.”

    Taken from: http://www.helpowl.com/q/Lenovo/IdeaPadU410/Technical-Support/poor-wireless-range-80211n-lenovo-u410/197511

  20. #28 by Julie on September 18, 2012 - 07:33

    My new U410 that was built on Sep 3, 2012 has the same WIFI problem the day I received it. Lenovo technical support couldn’t fix it after spending 2 hours trying to fix it remotely. Finally they admitted it that it is a known problem and asked me to send it in for repair. I decided to just return it, but couldn’t reach anyone at Lenovo customer service line. I never had such a bad experience purchasing a new computer before!

  21. #29 by Ian Scott on September 30, 2012 - 22:23

    I bought a U410 after usung a U350 for 18 months. I have the same wireless connection problems as the other users reported. From the same distance from the router the U350 reported an excellent signal whereas the U410 reported poor. This is obviously a retrograde step in Lenovo’s development and it negates all the excellent aspects of the new ultrabook.

  22. #30 by Fred law on October 10, 2012 - 06:47

    I have bought the u410 two weeks ago and I got the same WiFi problem as you did.I returned it to Lenovo but they have not yet give me a solution .hope they will exchange a new one for it

  23. #31 by Noushad on October 21, 2012 - 16:25

    I bought it 2 weeks ago from a Dubai offer. They were giving away lenovo netbook+touchmate tab+external harddrive with. I fall prey for it! System sucks when it comes to Wifi. It also fails to connect to my office wifi while other notebooks simply connects. We have to manually configure lenovo. Overall, this machine looks good, but performance sucks so badly!! i hope i can return it!

  24. #32 by Ian Scott on October 21, 2012 - 17:12

    My post #27. I have now got an excellent wireless signal using A GUMP dongle. Using this I have moved from poor to excellent in signal strength. This means that the antennae in the laptop are not sufficiently configured to achieve maximum reception. I appears from the manual they are only at the bottom of the lid instead of lining the full margin of the lid. The dongle is a cheap solution and you can get it on Amazon for about £10.

  25. #33 by kkzz on October 31, 2012 - 13:49

    I just bought a brandnew u410 and updated to the lates wireless adaptor driver. I have the same issue. My other machines (much older) don’t have any issue – the range is very limited really shocking!!!

  26. #34 by Tom on November 17, 2012 - 07:19

    Mark :
    Hi Ben,
    I was wondering if you have any update on the root cause of the wi-fi defect or if you know whether Lenovo completely fixed the issue (other than Lenovo’s bald assertion of discovering a fix).
    Thank you

    the root cause is the place on the board for the wifi card and the metal casing. All users with all cards (and Lenovo has tried six different cards in the u410) are still reporting problems. see lenovos user boards. November 2012 builds still have major wifi issues

  27. #35 by Pete on November 18, 2012 - 10:35

    Bought my u410 a week ago at Mediamart in bergenopzoom,The Netherlands – same poor wifi conection here. I was no aware of the issues – now that i’m reading all the comments, not just here, i feel realy stupid. Lenovo, please, solve the problem.

  28. #36 by Bob on December 3, 2012 - 20:15

    Bought my u310 Friday, returned it today (Monday). Truly frustrating. Lenovo tech feigned ignorance of any widespread issue but immediately offered to swap for another unit. I asked for latest drivers, but they did little. Works great 5-6′ from access point. Slows considerably at 15′ with no intervening walls. Drops out frequently at 30′ with 1 wall. I can set an old Asus EEE netbook or a very cheap, old Toshiba laptop next to it and have no drop-outs at all. Switching between G and N wifi makes no difference (I have two different access points, one for each).

  29. #37 by Lena on December 8, 2012 - 00:08

    I’m so upset with my new U310. I found the problem with WiFi next day when Lap Top arrived. Happened that in different places of my flat I have connection or not. Some times I even can’t work sitting near Wifi connection point. The bad thing that I read about wifi problem when I already purchased laptop. I asked Lenovo Support to resolve the problem didn’t help. They responded – everything is OK. But I wander why I have connection with my old LG laptop and I can’t work at all with my new Lenovo. In case lenovo has problem with wifi, why not to solve it instead of support response – it works. I’m so upset. Server Support doesn’t work in Ukraine, haha.

  30. #38 by Andreas on December 11, 2012 - 19:26

    I almost bought a U410 today – but decided to do some web-search first and I am happy I did.
    the vendor explained that the metal casing meant that cooling would be much more efficient.
    I believed him – looked good.
    But I am a physics MSc in the back-ground so I should have thought: “Faraday’s Cage”, i.e. any electromagnetic waves will be completely wiped out in a metal container.
    Same with Mobile phones in elevators.

    I see the comment above “the root cause is the place on the board for the wifi card and the metal casing. All users with all cards (and Lenovo has tried six different cards in the u410) are still reporting problems. see lenovos user boards. November 2012 builds still have major wifi issues”.

    I.e. they try different WiFi cards and it does not work –> I.e. they make a mistake with the metal casing.

    I’m sorry for Lenovo and the rest of you.
    The PC truely looked great and I loved the 30 GB SDD for the OS…

    • #39 by Dan on December 11, 2012 - 19:30

      I really do not believe it’s a metal / Faraday cage issue.

      I have the U300s which is a completely metal aluminum predecessor to the U310 and U410 laptops… I and the many users on the U300s have had ZERO problems with wifi.

      It must be either a faulty chip, drivers or antenna.

      I also just bought the Lenovo Yoga, and in many cases it also has wireless problems. Not the same metal though. Just a crappy Realtek wifi card with proprietary connector.

  31. #40 by Drake Jones on December 13, 2012 - 01:42

    Per Lenovo: There is an antenna design/placement flaw WITH NO PROJECTED FIX!!! Lenovo is criminal in it’s conduct, knowingly misrepresenting and selling a defective product.

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  33. #42 by Hasse on January 26, 2013 - 12:06

    Got an U410 – same issue. makes the U410 completely useless in the daily life!

  34. #43 by gcookie on February 24, 2013 - 20:57

    This is the same problem with the Lenovo Yoga 13….broken wireless.

  35. #44 by James on March 28, 2013 - 06:35

    Got my new U410 a few days ago. No problems whatsoever! Works good, and without installing new drivers.

  36. #45 by Sebastian on April 11, 2013 - 18:46

    I purchased a Lenovo U310 and at the beginning no problem but now my Wi-Fi conection continously drops. The Wi-Fi has dropped 5 times already today and I when I open the Window to “Fix Issue” option of Windows 8 it keeps saying that the Wireless Adaptor was not workint properly. The conection issue is fixed everytime and it gets conection back buts it should not be doing that so often. Some days I have to fix the problem to conect to Wi-Fi at least 5 or 6 times.

    Is there an apdate I can do, or do I have to return a faulty unit?

  37. #46 by nova on April 20, 2013 - 14:20

    I bought a U310 in February, the manufacturing date is 21/09/2012 and yet the wifi is still pants?! even when I’m sitting right next to the router (as I am now), my download speeds are horrific and I’m lucky if I can get a connection upstairs in my room. apart from that, the ultrabook is beautiful. but, let’s be honest, quality wifi is integral to an ultrabook. should I phone in or continue being frustrated?

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