Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Lenovo ThinkPad W530 First Impressions

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Lenovo ThinkPad W530 First Impressions

    Review of Lenovo ThinkPad W530

    I saw iru69’s review of the Dell m4700 and thought I would post my initial impressions that I have from the Lenovo ThinkPad W530 that I just bought. I was trying to decide between the m4700 and the ThinkPad W530 and ultimately went with the W530.

    Specs of my particular build:
    Processor: i7-3820QM (2.7 GHz w/ turbo boost up to 3.7 GHz)
    Graphics: Nvidia Quadro K2000M 2GB DDR3
    RAM: 32 GB 1600 MHz (4x8GB)
    Screen: Full HD 15.6” Anit-Glare @ 1920 x 1080 resolution.
    Other info: Windows 7 Pro, Bluetooth 4.0, Backlit Keyboard, 720p HD Web Cam, 3 USB 3.0 ports and 1 USB 2.0 port

    I’ll give my impressions on it in the same categories that iru69 did with the m4700 so as to get a good comparison:

    Quality & Weight: I find the laptop a little heavy (it weighs in at just under 6 lbs), but coming from a 17.3” laptop before this it definitely feels much lighter and is a lot easier to move around when need be. The laptop feels like it is built like a rock which I love. The hinges for the screen are solid and there is no ‘wobble’ from any unintended screen movement while typing, etc. The overall look of the computer is professional which is nice compared to a lot the ‘gaming’ rigs out there that have similar specs.

    Screen: The screen is very nice. One of the best looking screens I have seen on a laptop in a long while. The high resolution is a must but it does tend to make things a little tiny on the 15.6” screen. One downside I’ve seen here is that in order to compensate for small text, Windows text size is set to 125%. This is perfect when you are only using the laptop screen but when I attach an external 24” monitor you can see the exaggerated size of the text. Feels awkward right now, but maybe I’ll get used to it.

    Keyboard: I actually really enjoy the keyboard on the W530. There is no numeric keypad which I actually prefer but some will wish it was there. The keyboard is also backlit which is always a plus for me. Typing on the keyboard is actually a joy for me. I don’t know that I have used a keyboard this comfortable and responsive in a long time. Also, the trackpoint between the G and H keys with the dual set of buttons makes using the computer without a mouse a lot more enjoyable. I didn’t have this in my last laptop so it is a very welcome addition on this one.

    CPU: I’m a little biased here as my previous laptop had a 1st Gen i7 that ran at 1.7 GHz for a base speed. The i7-3820QM in this machine screams and I’ve noticed considerable performance gains when working in Revit. We are currently doing a large renovation of a student center and I was able to rotate in 3D with shadows and ambient occlusion on with very little redraw time. In smaller projects, rotating in 3D with shadows on has no redraw time at all.

    GPU: The K2000M is the best offered for the W530 and it seems to pull its weight just fine. I would have liked to have gotten a higher end GPU like the GTX 670M or 680M but I cannot find these cards available in any professional mobile workstation. They are prevalent in the ASUS and Alienware gaming rigs but then you cannot seem to get a CPU above the i7-3620QM (and, as stated in other parts of this forum – they look like they were designed for a 14 year old). The CPU being the more important of the two results in ‘settling’ for the K2000M. No complaints.

    Hard Drive: I’ve got a standard 500GB 7200rpm hard drive as the main drive. I would like to have gotten a SSD but I really wanted the 512GB and the price point is just way too high for the marginal increase in performance in my opinion. I’ve also put another 500GB hard drive in the bay adapter for additional storage. The bay adapter is hot-swappable with the optical drive which is nice. I keep the DVD drive in my case so it is nearby if I ever need it.

    Wi-Fi: Intel Centrino 6205 – seems to work fine. No problems so far.

    Extras: Like iru69 stated in the review of the m4700 it does seem a little ridiculous that you have to add Bluetooth, backlit keyboard, web cam, etc. on a professional laptop. That being the case, all of these upgrades were about $30-$40 each and seemed like it would be reasonable to pony up the cash in order to have the most well rounded workstation I could get.

    Preloaded Software: Norton is preloaded on it and I uninstalled that real quick. To my surprise, it only took one uninstall and all traces were removed from the computer. Usually Norton software puts up a larger fight than that. There are some other random ‘trial’ software that are installed that are pretty easy to get rid of. Lenovo installs its ‘ThinkVantage’ suite of software to help extend battery, increase performance and update drivers. It doesn’t seem necessary but I haven’t uninstalled it yet. It is rather unobtrusive which is nice.

    Lenovo: This is my first time dealing with Lenovo and everything seemed to go pretty smooth. I read some shipping horror stories on their forums and was prepared for the worse. Fortunately for me, from the day I ordered my laptop to the day it arrived at my door it only took 11 days total. I was impressed. I have not had to deal with customer service yet so I cannot comment on that.

    Verdict: So far this computer has handled everything I’ve thrown at it really well. Revit projects of all sizes are showing really good performance. I would definitely recommend it as a desktop replacement/mobile workstation. If you don’t think you are going to move the laptop that much or size/weight really isn’t an issue you can look at the 17” mobile workstations. They allow for better graphics cards with more RAM, larger screen, etc.
    Chad Koscinski | Architect

    #2
    Hi.
    Please tell me, three months after How does work your W530 today?
    Today I am in the same situation as you a few months ago.
    I'm between a Lenovo W530 vs Dell M4700. Please help me!!
    Thank you!

    Comment


      #3
      Hi, about the hard drive, why did you take a 500G and not a 1T?

      Comment


        #4
        The W530 is still going strong. The only thing that I will be changing in the near future is the hard drive. I will change the main for a 500G Solid State as soon as the Samsung Pro's go on sale. This is also why I didn't take a 1T hard drive. Plus, I have an external that I use for full disk backups/ disk images so I don't really have a lot of need for 1T of space on the main hard drive that the OS resides on. I have another 500G hard drive in the Ultra Bay drive adapter for any other storage needs that arise.
        Chad Koscinski | Architect

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Chadwick17 View Post
          The W530 is still going strong. The only thing that I will be changing in the near future is the hard drive. I will change the main for a 500G Solid State as soon as the Samsung Pro's go on sale. This is also why I didn't take a 1T hard drive. Plus, I have an external that I use for full disk backups/ disk images so I don't really have a lot of need for 1T of space on the main hard drive that the OS resides on. I have another 500G hard drive in the Ultra Bay drive adapter for any other storage needs that arise.

          Hi, I am also in the market for this laptop and was wondering how it is working for you more than a few months after purchase and how you like it overall.

          thanks!!

          Comment

          Related Topics

          Collapse

          Working...
          X