Keyboard and Touchpad
Lenovo’s IdeaPad line continues to use a traditional keyboard instead of the “Chiclet” Apple MacBook-style types, which is by no means a bad thing. The V460’s full-size keyboard has a superb feel and, on the whole, provides a great typing experience. The keys have just the right amount of travel; key positions (fully up/down or in-between) are defined well. The keyboard has virtually no flex.
The keys make a pleasant sound when pressed and are not loud; the V460 could be used in most places without disturbing neighbors. A characteristic I like about this keyboard is the thickness of the plastic keys; they feel solid and durable.
The touchpad is good overall. The dimpled surface is easy to track on and has a clearly defined border. The two touchpad buttons are quiet and provide good feedback. I experienced some odd tracking issues with the touchpad, however; the default settings are a bit too sensitive. Occasionally the cursor would skip an inch or two on the screen because one of my fingers ventured within a centimeter of the touchpad surface unintentionally.
Screen and Speakers
The V460 has a 14-inch display with a glossy surface and LED backlighting. The overall quality of the screen is average; it is not better or worse than competing notebooks I tested over the past year. Contrast is low; black levels are not as deep as they could be. Colors are somewhat washed out; the display has a blue-ish cast at default settings which is typical for an LED-backlit display. Brightness is satisfactory. Viewing angles are narrow; from side to side, colors start to wash out after 35 degrees in either direction. Vertically there is significant color inversion after 15 degrees off center.
The 1366 x 768 resolution is also typical for a 14-inch notebook. This resolution is too low for office productivity; with just 768 pixels of vertical space, only about one-half of a Microsoft Word page is viewable at a time (or less). With a higher resolution like 1600 x 900, more content could be displayed on the screen at a time, improving multi-tasking capability.
The V460 has two stereo speakers located above the keyboard and they are surprisingly decent; they have good range and do not distort even at maximum volume. Bass is perceptible, though the V460 lacks a dedicated subwoofer.