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Pacific Rim

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  • Posts: 30
  • Registered: ‎07-03-2013
  • Location: Pacific Rim
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Longtime Thinkpad User Review of W530 2436 with "More Storage" with FHD

2013-07-07, 21:41 PM

In short: the W530 is versatile, light for its size, entertaining, and fast.


System purchased for: daily computing including web browsing, video conference calls, mail, AVCHD (Blu-Ray and camcorder output) display/editing. Full HD was a must. Core i7 was a must. Future expansion was a must.


Why not Dell or HP? Available range of options for the base platform, price, past Lenovo experience, and positive forum discussions. The comparatively good price/performance evaluation provided in the laptopreviews.com write-up from July 2012.


H/W Options: standard Quad Core CPU, 8 GB RAM, RAID option, Windows 8 Professional, FHD display, K1000M. Also: Mini Dock Plus Series 3.


3rd-party hardware accessories: SONET TEMPO "PRO" 1-port, 6 GB/s ExpressCard eSATA III for storage access, Panasonic/Matshi-ta UJ-260 12.7mm Blu-Ray burner installed with used DVD faceplate and rails. Cheap 12.7mm SATA disk sleds (no padding needed).


Informal performance impressions -


  • LED screen is somewhat visible in open sunlight, much better than non-LED displays.
  • Text size is set to 125% for good reason: fonts can be difficult to read at arm's length.
  • USB 3.0 read/write speeds: about 85-100 MB/s. eSATA read/write speeds: 120-135 MB/s.
  • Can render a 10 minute FHD 1080i video in about 3-4 minutes.
  • System can back itself up (35 GB) in 15 minutes with high compression.



  • 4 cores x 2 threads = excellent performance.
  • HD video is a good choice considering content available today.
  • RAID option ROM provides either performance or reliability in storage.
  • Intel's RST software and the RAID BIOS functions are easy to use and reliable so far.
  • Keyboard back lighting is a great feature. Print Screen key position is handy.



  • Still a lap burner but better than a T6x or a T4x.
  • Windows 8 is still maturing.
  • Based on several weeks of use build quality is better than it looks.
  • New Windows Modern settings application doesn't provide enough control over features.
  • Thinkvantage tools were better than their Windows 8 replacements.



  • Bring back the traditional keyboard. The "island" style keyboard is not an improvement.
  • OSD should show INSERT/OVERWRITE indicator so you know when you toggled it accidentally.
  • Provide "burn to disc" option for Windows 8 recovery in addition to USB creation.
  • Bring back eSATA. More USB 3.0 ports.
  • Docking station should have multiple USB 3.0 ports and eSATA.


All in all, this system is better than expected, and easier to use. Windows 8 Pro has been reasonable considering how new it is. Technical support including this forum have been good so far.

What's on your Thinkpad? T42 2379-R9U, T61 6460-DWU, W530 2436
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