November 06, 2012

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530- Review

Our mind can't help but shift to a specific preconception: "relatively expensive business laptop.This under-$700 laptop is a Lenovo ThinkPad W700ds battery classic get-what-you-pay-for proposition. It performs well, but many business users will prefer the better-looking screens and richer-sounding speakers of higher-end ThinkPad models such as Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530.

The overall build quality of the ThinkPad Edge isn't great, and our test model creaked a lot at the front where the bottom and top pieces of the chassis come together. Furthermore, the side that has the optical drive bends a lot and clicks can be heard when the notebook is picked up from this side; these clicks are the chassis colliding with the Lenovo ThinkPad W700ds AC adapter front bezel of the DVD burner. Basically, it feels like a budget computer system, despite the modern, cutting-edge CPU that it houses.

The ThinkPad E530 is a 15.6” screen small business targeted laptop. The ThinkPad Edge series is very similar in design to the regular ThinkPad line, but certain design touches do separate the two. For starters, you get a red color option for the lid, so you’re not restricted to just the all black finish used on a normal ThinkPad. Another thing you might notice is the fact the "i” in ThinkPad has a red lit dot forming part of the letter, you get this design touch on both the lid and keyboard deck area.

This keyboard is valued by most users as convenient for frequent use. Be it for writing long emails, or surfing the net, most users will be satisfied with the comfort and the speed this keyboard provides for Lenovo ThinkPad W700 AC adapter. If your professional life requires long typing hours, along with the highest levels of comfort, then you might want to consider a keyboard with higher rates. The responsiveness of this keyboard allows for most users to be satisfied with individual key feedback. The keys do require some pressure for efficient typing, without being either too soft or too stiff for manipulation. Most users will find this keyboard supportive for long typing hours as the keys can be pressed down without any difficulty and they respond back quite fast.

The trackpad is positioned conveniently providing ample space for palm-rest. Nevertheless, critical tests have revealed it to be somewhat flimsy. Right clicks and click-and-drag movements failed invariably and this could leave users disappointed. Apart from that, it works fine with Lenovo ThinkPad W700ds AC adapter three-finger flicks and two finger scroll movements.

Lenovo offers several configuration options for the E530. This review unit includes an Intel Core i5 2nd generation processor, 4GB RAM and Intel HD 3000 graphics. The notebook includes 500GB of storage as well as Bluetooth and WiFi. Don’t plan on gaming or running processor intense applications for specialized fields, but office workers will not be left needing more power. Business notebooks aren’t known for audio quality and the E530 doesn’t deviate from this with tinny sounding speakers. Audio is sufficiently loud, but users should look for a good pair of headphones or external speakers.

The laptop, at times, is also reported to bend towards the side which houses the Lenovo ThinkPad W700 adapter optical drive. The clicking sound is often loud which results from the chassis brushing against the optical drive. By and large, the ThinkPad Edge E530 will not give you the impression of a high end laptop despite having a powerful processor.

3D performance was poor, as expected. 3DMark 11 would not run because Intel HD 3000 does not support DirectX 11. 3DMark 06 reached a score of 3,739, which is among the lowest we’ve recently recorded. You can play some old 3D games on this laptop, but demanding new titles are out of the question.

Many mainstream notebooks, such as the aforementioned Qosmio, last just over two hours in this test. Even notebooks such as the Core i3-based, 15.6in Medion Akoya E6228, which has a similar battery rating, last only just over three hours. The last iteration of the Lenovo ThinkPad T420, which is a 14in laptop with a 57 Watt-hour battery, lasted 3hr 30min, so the Edge 530 is better than that notebook, too. Basically, its battery life is impressive for a such a big unit with so much power under the hood.

Still, the Lenovo proved both sturdy and serviceable, and it comes with a strong complement of expansion ports and security options, including a fingerprint reader for keeping Lenovo G550 battery intruders out. All in all, while the ThinkPad Edge E530 offers little to thrill small-business shoppers, it's as safe a buy for them as the company's more costly ThinkPads are for corporate IT departments.

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