21 May 2009

Lenovo G530 Review

Lenovo offers three lines of notebooks; the ThinkPad, IdeaPad, and the not-so-frequently-mentioned "Value line" series. The Value line currently only includes the G530, a 15.4” notebook offering either an Intel Pentium dual-core or Core 2 Duo processor and Intel integrated graphics. With a starting price of $429, is the Lenovo G530 value notebook worth considering? Read our full review to find out.
The design of the Lenovo G530 is simple yet stylish, having a black MacBook-ish appearance when the notebook is closed. The edges are rounded off and the lid has a matte black finish that is smooth to the touch. The interior of the notebook shares the same color as the lid, but is textured with a rougher matte finish similar to what you would find on unpainted sections of a ThinkPad. Lenovo took the back-to-basics route with the color scheme on this notebook, making it entirely black inside and out.

Lenovo Value line G530 Specifications:

* Intel Pentium Dual-Core T3400 (2.16GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 667MHz FSB)
* Microsoft Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium (w/ SP1)
* 15.4-inch glossy 16:10 display (1280x800)
* Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
* 3GB DDR2 667MHz RAM
* 250GB 5400RPM HDD
* SuperMulti DVD+/-RW Optical Drive
* Broadcom WiFi (802.11b/g), 10/100 Ethernet, Modem
* 6-Cell 11.1V 53WHr Battery
* Limited 1-year standard parts and labor warranty
* Dimensions: 14.1 x 10.1 x 1.45
* Weight: 5lbs 13.9oz
* Price as configured: $499

Speakers and Audio
The onboard speakers are fine for occasionally playing music or watching video, but they were fairly unimpressive as far as notebook speakers go. Bass and midrange were lacking, but given the low-cost nature of this notebook it was expected. Peak volume levels were fine for a small room, but for the best possible audio quality a pair of headphones connected through the audio jack is the best option.

Performance and Benchmarks
System performance of the G530 was good considering it was equipped with an Intel Pentium T3400 dual-core processor instead of a Core 2 Duo like most of the budget models we review. Graphics are limited to integrated only, with the Intel X4500 chipset used in this notebook. While it can’t handle the latest games, it easily copes with standard applications such as Microsoft Word, Firefox, iTunes, and other media applications. It can also handle playing HD movies, but with only VGA out, external video connections are limited. Overall for basic small business or student use this notebook would work just fine.

Lenovo really made a great budget notebook with the G530. It feels solid and well built, something that isn’t usually the case when it comes to low-cost notebooks. Styling is very basic, similar to the Dell Vostro or HP ProBook line, and just like the ThinkPad comes in an all-black color scheme. System performance was fine for normal use, and could even handle HD content. Gaming is out of the question, but given its intended market that is hardly a concern. Compared to a Vostro or ProBook I think the G530 feels sturdier and given the price and configuration, the G530 is a better deal. Overall I think Lenovo should be pushing this notebook to small and medium businesses instead of the ThinkPad SL500, since the G530 feels like a much better machine.


* Excellent build quality
* Good configuration for the price
* Comfortable keyboard
* Simple, let good looking design


* No HDMI or eSATA

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