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  • Registered: ‎12-01-2008
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  • Message 1 of 8

My first Lenovo

2008-12-02, 2:12 AM

I recently purchased a W500.  I have previously owned Toshiba, Acer and HP laptops and a number of desktops.  I was a little hesitant to go with lenovo because I had not used one before, but after doing some reading I decided to go for it.


My first impression once I received it in the mail was that this is a very solid computer.  The keyboard is very solid, the screen hinges are made of thick aluminum and the whole thing has a metal frame.  It is also surprisingly light, considering the high performance components that it comes with.  Mine has the 2.53 Centrino 2, Core 2 duo with DDR3 ram.  very impressive!  I think that Lenovo was one of the first to offer a laptop with the new Centrino 2 processors and DDR3 ram! 


The video card is very impressive for a 15" laptop.  It handles my engineering CAD programs very well, and can play games like Team Fortress 2 at full resolution (1680x1050) with max settings at very smooth frame rates. It does struggle with newer games like C.O.D 4 or Crysis - you can play but expect to reduce settings and/or resolution.


Of course, keep in mind that its no desktop.  for the price, you can get a desktop computer with double the performance. However, as far as 15" laptops go, you cant go wrong with the W500.  I see all these people around me with other brand name laptops and I cant help but think that they all got riped off!  a friend of mine has a toshiba that he bought 3 years ago, and it is literally falling apart.  I've noticed that 3 years is about all you can expect from most laptops that are built on a plastic frame.  Granted, after 3 years the hardware is starting to be on the obsolete side.  At least if you have a Lenovo, you know that its not going to fall apart on you before you can afford to get a new one.  I guess I'm old fashioned, I like things that are built to last. 


my 2 cents.


52 Posts


Nova Scotia, Canada

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  • Message 2 of 8

Re: My first Lenovo

2008-12-02, 12:40 PM

Nice post - glowing recommendation. Especially as it relats to CAD programs. There are a number of active threads here on the subject of the ATI FireGL V5700 (or not :)  ) and ISV/OpenGL/CAD drivers not working so well. So...it is heartening to hear you are please, as I have A W500 on order and someday might just get bult and delivered.


As for your comment about "3 Years", I am hoping to get more useful life than 3-years - maybe 8! My current Thinkpad (back from the pre-lenovo/IBM days, and no doubt of a slightly different quality standard) is an A21e, 8 years old this December. I run with XP and using AutoCAD 2004 with modest size drawings is quite acceptable.


I consider the W500 to be be somewhat futureproof in as much as it has expandibility to 8 GB of RAM (currently using 256MB) and ordered with Visat Bus 64 (with XP Downgrade)


My $0.02 worth (Canadian cents that is)



W500 4085CTO Vista64/8GB/Solid Non-Flex keyboard

27 Posts


Seattle, WA

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  • Message 3 of 8

Re: My first Lenovo

2008-12-02, 23:31 PM


I was wondering what CAD applications were you using on your W500?


I am planning on purchasing one but have only read bad things as far as the workstation graphics card goes. Can you please give me more information on how it is performing on the CAD front? I am mainly using SolidWorks and need to know if it is usable for this program.



5 Posts



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  • Message 4 of 8

Re: My first Lenovo

2008-12-03, 0:48 AM

I mostly use autoCAD 2006 and I havent had any problems even with larger files.  I haven't used solid works, but since it is a 3D CAD program it will depend very much on the size and shape of whatever it is you are working on.  Truth be told, the fireGL V5700 is not what I would call a high performance graphics card, its more like a medium performance card.  It is however, the best workstation type card I've seen in a 15" laptop.  Will this computer be sufficient to run Solid Woks? probably, but that question depends on your expectations.  If you are used to working on a powerful desktop computer, and expect to take big projects home to work on your laptop over the weekend, you might be a bit disapointed with the W500. 


To compare, a collegue of mine just bought a new Macbook, and she is constantly complaining about how slow it is when using Google Sketchup (its a 3D cad program, good for drawing not so good for analysis) and when I load the exact same file on my W500 its very smooth with no pauses.  To be fair, the W500 would compare more to the Macbook pro (which by the way is almost a thousand dollars more!) and I'm quite confident that the W500 is still considerably faster in the graphics department.


I suspect that the majority of the problems you read about are driver/software related.  Once you get all the drivers/bios updated and things are running properly, you will see that its a pretty fast video card.


I hope this helps!

Message Edited by hemaniscool on 12-02-2008 05:01 PM

102 Posts


New Jersey

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  • Message 5 of 8

Re: My first Lenovo

2008-12-03, 3:41 AM
I have to say that this is my first Lenovo also, I'm am happy with the purchase but I do have a few hiccups to work out.. I need to find a way to optimize the Drivers so I can get a faster loading time it takes forever to load compared to my slower Gateway 1.6 with 2g of ram. Yet once it is loaded up everything is really alot faster and I'm impressed with it.

Before updating the BIOS I had some problems with locking up but now that is pretty much gone. Had a hard time getting a handle on the power management but now that is working good.

The Lenovo is a replacement for a few notebooks and two desktop computers. I made a decision that I want to merge all my workstations into one portable machine so I can have good performance at home and on the road and not have to worry about moving my data from machine to machine to work on it. I still decided to keep my Gateway notebook, the location of the trackpad mouse buttons don't allow for good surfing if your in a reclining chair.

I did have a bad experience with Lenovo sales department.. was so frustrated that I hung up on them. They still keep messing up my order for my extended Warrantee but a badley trained sales staff doesn't make for bad workmanship. I wouldn't think a company would give me such a hard time about me giving them close to 600 dollars extra.

All and all this was a good purchase and I hope it stays that way.

14 Posts


Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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  • Registered: ‎11-12-2008
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  • Message 6 of 8

Re: My first Lenovo

2008-12-03, 19:04 PM

I would like to quickly comment on this topic too, since my W500 is also my first Lenovo Thinkpad.


To be honest, I followed quite a few of the problem posts nervously before its arrival and when my W500 did arrive I was thrilled!  Upgrading Windows and drivers was straightforward, although I did run into some issues preparing the ISO boot DVD to upgrade my BIOS.  I have had several Dells and Compaq laptops previously.  The build quality of the Lenovo is superb and I have experienced no keyboard flex issues.  I am using Adobe Creative Suite Premum mostly and some other non-CAD 3D graphics programs.  The W500 is fast and the graphics are superb.  I am looking forward to using it for at least the next few years.

W520, i7-2920XM, BIOS 1.36, 1920x1080 FHD, 16GB Kingston HyperX 1600Mhz RAM, NVIDIA Quadro 2000M, WD Scorpio Black 750GB HD, Crucial mSATA 256GB, Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

5 Posts


Montreal, QC, Canada

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  • Registered: ‎11-12-2008
  • Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
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  • Message 7 of 8

Re: My first Lenovo

2008-12-04, 21:21 PM
Just picked up my W500 from the workplace. Hoooo boy it looks like this was an excellent purchase. Rock solid build quality (yes, the keyboard isn't flexy) and performance-wise, an absolute beast. The WSXGA screen is gorgeous and offers enough real estate for all my applications. I'm still discovering it's features but from what I've seen so far, I'd give it a ringing endorsement any day of the week!

9380 Posts



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  • Message 8 of 8

Re: My first Lenovo

2008-12-06, 5:58 AM



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