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Guru
Posts: 948
Registered: ‎06-03-2011
Location: US
Views: 1,940
Message 11 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

My opinion on their package add-ons:

I would get the W530. You'll appreciate the FHD 95% gamut screen, the additional RAM, and the ability to game with a more powerful graphics card.

 

I suggest a system as configured below. With academic discount it comes in under $2,000, giving you over $500 to spend on RAM, SSD, and Office. I didn't factor in sales tax, because I live in a state that doesn't charge it, so you may need to account for it. I've noted where you could change things to save a little bit, if you need to drop the price. Going with the Quadro 1000M instead of the Quadro K2000M might be the first thing that I would cut, if the K1000M will meet your needs. Next would be the Bluetooth -- I've only ever used Bluetooth to connect to my cell phone and pull pictures off of it. Finally, I think the case is a good deal, but I love SafePort and ThinkPad cases. I have a case that looks similar that I bought with the A20m listed in my sig. I still use the case everyday with my T420.

 

ThinkPad W530COMMENTS
Processor:Intel Core i7-3720QM Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.60 GHz)quad core, gives you everything including VT-D
Operating system:Genuine Windows 7 Professional (64 bit) 
Operating system language:Genuine Windows 7 Professional 64 - English 
Display type:15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) LED Backlit AntiGlare Display, Mobile Broadband Readynice screen
System graphics:NVIDIA Quadro K2000M Graphics with 2GB DDR3 Memoryyou can save by going with the other card if you want
Total memory:4 GB PC3-12800 DDR3 (1 DIMM)you will be putting this on ebay, or selling to one of your classmates after you upgrade to 16GB
Keyboard:Keyboard - US English 
Pointing device:UltraNav with Fingerprint Reader 
Camera:720p HD Camera with Microphonedrop this if you don't need it
Hard drive:500GB Hard Disk Drive, 5400rpmYes, you will upgrade to a SSD. However, 180GB of HDD for ~$10 is a worthy upgrade. Put this in an external enclosure and use it to back up your system.
Optical device:DVD RecordableYou can get the Panasonic UJ240 aftermarket if you want Blu Ray.
System expansion slots:Express Card Slot & 4-in-1 Card Reader 
Battery:9 Cell Li-Ion TWL 70++You probably want the big battery.
Power cord:170W Slim AC Adapter - US (2pin) 
Bluetooth:Bluetooth 4.0 with AntennaBluetooh is the future?
Integrated WiFi wireless LAN adapters:Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 AGNBest wifi (3x3)
Integrated mobile broadband:Mobile Broadband upgradableAdd something here if you need it.
Language pack:Publication - US English 
  
Accessories and options: 
4YR Onsite + 4YR ThinkPad ProtectionTheir computer comes with 4 years, so I added this in here. I normally recommend 3 years. I figure by year 4, you would want the excuse to upgrade anyway.

4Yr Battery

 

One free battery replacement. You'll wear out at least one battery in 4 years. This costs a good bit less than a second TWL 70++ purchased with the machine. So it is worth it.

ThinkPad Business Topload Case

 

 

X1 Carbon 3rd Gen Type 20BT i7-5500U, 2560x1440 (non-touch), Win 10 Pro, 8GB RAM, 512 SSD, Intel 7625 WiFi, BT 4.0 | ThinkVision P24q-10 monitor

------------------------------------------
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Former Administrator
Posts: 8,592
Registered: ‎11-19-2007
Location: US
Views: 1,886
Message 12 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

 

ME_gradstudent,

 

Thanks for joining and posting here and for your interest in the W530 - I think you have a great approach and I'm sure others will appreciate your write up and additional thoughts if you purchase the system.

 

Jday, UAR, Nibs, Djembe,  

 

Thanks for your technical and deal coaching advice - I think that is exactly the kind of positive interaction we'd like to see in the forum.

 

As the discussion continues, it might help us to understand a bit in the decision making.  When I buy something, I try to find the best deal possible and comparison shop online.   Obviously, we'd like to be able to sell you as much as possible, to have you select Lenovo options including memory, bundled MS office packages, etc.

 

Can you share a bit more about why you didn't configure with Lenovo memory?  I can imagine it might be because you could purchase 3rd party memory (corsair or kingston) for less somewhere else.  Knowing your thoughts and reason - whether it was to get a different memory spec than what we made available, or whether it was simply a matter of price will help.  In terms of price, I'd appreciate your thoughts - for you to go ahead and purchase the memory during the intitial configuration, where would we need to price our memory option vs where it is priced now?

 

Obviously, purchasing the Lenovo memory has the benefit that if there are issues, we can cover through our warranty.  

 

Thanks!

 

Mark

UAR
Punch Card
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎06-22-2012
Location: Chicago
Views: 1,875
Message 13 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

Lenovo cost to add 16GB (2 DIMM) upgrade $1060 (minus whatever applicable coupon)

Crucial cost to purchase 16GB (2 DIMM)       $ 160

 

 

Guru
Posts: 1,774
Registered: ‎04-20-2008
Location: US
Views: 1,855
Message 14 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop


Mark_Lenovo wrote: 

 

Can you share a bit more about why you didn't configure with Lenovo memory?  I can imagine it might be because you could purchase 3rd party memory (corsair or kingston) for less somewhere else.  Knowing your thoughts and reason - whether it was to get a different memory spec than what we made available, or whether it was simply a matter of price will help.  In terms of price, I'd appreciate your thoughts - for you to go ahead and purchase the memory during the intitial configuration, where would we need to price our memory option vs where it is priced now?

 

Obviously, purchasing the Lenovo memory has the benefit that if there are issues, we can cover through our warranty.  

 

Thanks!

 

Mark


The same Samsung memory is available at Newegg for $25 vs the Lenovo "add to system" price of $160 as a specific example.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147090

 

Here's the price ( $34.99) of the slower PC-10600 in the Lenovo accessory area:

 

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:item.detail?...

 

So, the issue can even be looked at within the Lenovo shopping space while configuring a system. I would assume that the memory used for the accessory vs the memory installed on the factory line to be held to the same standards. The price differential of $125 is just too great. Remember that the accessory SO-DIMM has to be separately packaged, boxed, labeled and stocked which makes the $160 for an additional 4gb totally out of whack.


P70 XEON 1505, BIOS 2.29, UHD 4k Display, 64GB non-ECC RAM, M3000M NVIDIA GPU, RAID 1 512GB Samsung 951 PCIe-NVMe SSD x 2, 2x Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD. EM7455 WWAN
P1. BIOS 1.21,Xeon Processor, 32GB, PM981 1TB x 2, RAID 1
T470s, 16GB RAM, BIOS 1.10, i7-7500, WQHD display, 512GB PM961 PCIe NVMe SSD
Guru
Posts: 948
Registered: ‎06-03-2011
Location: US
Views: 1,836
Message 15 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop


@UAR wrote:

Lenovo cost to add 16GB (2 DIMM) upgrade $1060 (minus whatever applicable coupon)

Crucial cost to purchase 16GB (2 DIMM)       $ 160

 

 


Lenovo RAM warranty: 1 year (unless user upgrades to a different warranty)

Crucial RAM warranty: Lifetime (most RAM companies offer a lifetime warranty)

 

Chance of a memory module failing during the useable life of the machine: very low

Ease of installing RAM: pretty easy

 

In my mind, Lenovo would need to price the RAM at or below the cost to purchase it somewhere else, since the warranty on the part purchased from Lenovo is inferior to the part purchased elsewhere. This is exactly what Lenovo did when I purchased my T400. Both the SSD upgrade and the RAM configured with the system saved me money compared to the same parts purchased elsewhere, as both were on special at the time. Lenovo's current pricing for RAM is worse than Apple. Apple charges $200 to upgrade from 8GB to 16GB of RAM on the Retina MBP. RAM on that machine is not capable of being upgraded by the user, so Apple knows you will pay them if you want the RAM. 

 

Without a special deal, adding in an SSD normally costs more than the same SSD purchased through Lenovo. If Lenovo were to offer a fast SSD for a reasonable price, then I would advise people to purchase it. Why? Unlike RAM, SSDs can have odd compatibility issues, come in different sizes and heights, and require proper OS install (from recovery media / correctly aligned clone) to gain all of the performance benefits. I think many users would benefit from a good SSD option; however, Lenovo doesn't seem to provide one.  In fact, Lenovo doesn't give you meaningful details on the SSD that comes with the machine. There is a large performance difference in SSDs, and not telling the customer the kind of SSD the machine comes with is like only listing processor speed and not telling the customer if it is made my Intel or AMD and how many cores it has. The lack of detail is unacceptable. There is actually a good bit of issues with the ordering process not giving enough detail to make a decision. I shouldn't have to have the Tabbook open and use it at an attempt to guess what various options mean. For example, what is the difference between "no color calibrator" and "no color calibrator w/ bezel". Lenovo does not tell you that the SSDs are SATA 3, and that is an improvement. I have a fondness for Samsung SSDs, and I think the Samsung 830 is an excellent choice. Lenovo does not offer this SSD as an option, so my recommendation is to purchase the SSD elsewhere. With the correct advice from the forum, SSD selection and installation is easy.

 

The economics additionally weigh in favor of purchasing the SSD elsewhere, by keeping the HDD shipped with the machine the purchaser now has something that can be used for backup purposes with the purchase of an enclosure or the UltraBay adapter. The least expensive 500GB USB 3.0 external HDD on Newegg.com is $74.99 (rating on this product is low). The least expensive USB 3.0 enclosure is $14.99 (this is the enclosure I own). So for $25 total, $10 to upgrade to 500GB HDD and $14.99 for a USB 3.0 enclosure, it is possible to gain the value of $74.99. This represents a savings of $50, and an external backup drive is important. I did not spec out a second drive for the UltraBay because I have found 160GB of SSD to be more than enough for my needs. In fact, I find the 64GB SSD on my T400 to be only slightly confining. If ME_gradstudent can live within the bounds of a 128-256GB SSD, then a drive for lesser used files in the UltraBay is not necessary.

 

For university students, Microsoft Office from Techhead is probably the best value for the money on Microsoft Office anywhere. It includes everything that is in Office Professional ($349.99 1 user 1pc) for $95.00. This includes: Microsoft Word 2010, Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, Microsoft Outlook 2010, Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft OneNote 2010, Microsoft Access 2010, Microsoft Publisher 2010, Microsoft InfoPath 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010, Microsoft Communicator 2010. Other versions of Office generally do not include Publisher, and I personally find Publisher useful. If someone does not need Outlook, Publisher, and the additional software included in Microsoft Office University and desires more than one license, Microsoft provides 3 licenses of the Home & Student Edition for $149.99. Lenovo wants $119.00 for a single license of Home & Student, and does not offer the option for a 3 license pack. The good news is that if you are not a student, the single license Home & Student from Lenovo is the same price from Lenovo or Microsoft. If this were the case, I would recommend purchasing from Lenovo to avoid the lengthy install time. I think Office takes around an hour to install.

 

If Lenovo offered Win 7 Ultimate, I would have recommended it simply to keep the machine I configured as close to the one recommended by the school as possible. Lenovo doesn't have this option, and I don't think there is much of a difference in usability between the two. 

 

I have a keyboard without a backlight in my configuration. This represents my personal bias against keyboard backlighting, as I am a ThinkLight person. I feel a backlight on a keyboard strains my eyes, since the only time I might use one is at night. On every keyboard I've seen with a backlight, the minimum backlight is brighter than the screen at the minimum dimness setting. I frequently use screens at that setting at night, meaning the keyboard is distracting and causes eyestrain.

 

UltraNav with fingerprint reader was required here. If Lenovo had allowed the choice, I would have recommened against it. I think fingerprint readers make machines unsecure and are easy to defeat. Additionally, it is a minor additional power draw. My recommendation is to turn it off in the BIOS when the machine arrives.

 

I can't recommend purchasing an anti-virus software from Lenovo when Microsoft Security Essentials is free, and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free can handle the heavy stuff. If Lenovo had  Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO as an option, I'd suggest it.

 

I think I explained everything else, such as case and battery warranty, in my original post. I should have mentioned the TrackPoint Cap Collection. I like ordering this as it allows experimentation with the different TrackPoints. Once a user has determined the preferred TrackPoint, then Amazon or eBay is the best place to buy additional ones as they wear out (3-6 months). Lenovo will only sell you the 3 pack collection. I only use one of the 3, and 9.99 for a single TrackPoint is too much. Since ME_gradstudent is coming from a MBP, a TrackPoint might be a strange and alien device. As a TrackPoint True Believer, I hope that in time ME_gradstudent will come to appreciate the truly awesome nature of the TrackPoint and never use a heretical touchpad again. 

 

I know ME_gradstudent wanted directions for the install of the RAM and SSD. Is the hardware maintenance manual for the W530 posted yet?

X1 Carbon 3rd Gen Type 20BT i7-5500U, 2560x1440 (non-touch), Win 10 Pro, 8GB RAM, 512 SSD, Intel 7625 WiFi, BT 4.0 | ThinkVision P24q-10 monitor

------------------------------------------
When asking for help, post your question in the forum. Remember to include your system type, model number, and OS. Do not post your serial number.

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If you find a post helpful and it answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution"! This will help others with the same question in the future.
ME_gradstudent
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Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-22-2012
Location: USA
Views: 1,701
Message 16 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

Hello Everyone, 

 

Thank you for the responses - JDay, UAR,Djembe and nibs amongst other posters. The table by nibs coupled with the advice from JDay+UAR+Djembe is what a someone like me really needed to put an order together. Typically I would suggest that I could treat you all to some beer but that will have to wait till any of you are in the Troy, NY area. Smiley Happy

 

I have decided that I will not be buying the T430 offered by the University. I am guessing choosing the W530 makes a lot of sense given my needs and future requirements.  As of now, I think my order will be for the exact configuration listed by nibs except for the 9 battery cell. Upgrades wise : Crucial 16GB and a SSD within the 128-256GB confines (nibs you hit the nail on the head in terms of how much space I need - that is exactly how much space I have used on my MBP). 

 

I also spoke to the excellent folks who deal with the computing services (of RPI) and they said that there is a certified Lenovo repair team on campus which I would have access to regardless of where my laptop comes from. That apparently makes it okay for students to not purchase the next day tech support. But I might do it either way, as my research might need me to visit other university collaborators for extended periods.

 

Also, they asked me to give them a machine configuration which they would get quoted for me through the Lenovo-RPI programe. I am just trying to explore all options before I go down the .edu signup suggested by JDay.

 

Regarding the preloaded software goodies, there is just one software (MAPLE - symbolic computing) which is part of the laptop package but is not available as a free download from the university servers for students. That makes it a non-factor for me. Additionally, I already have a license to Maple 15 (current version being 16) - again no biggie. 

 

So thats my final approach to this matter. I might make this purchase close to the end of the summer - right before the start of the fall semester. I am planning to use my savings from my current internship. I will keep an eye out for some sale on the Lenovo web page - they seem to have good ones often. Good on them! 

 

Thanks again for you input folks. Maybe I will post here or elsewhere when my laptop arrives! 

 

Best Regards. 

 

dchow78
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Posts: 5
Registered: ‎07-01-2012
Location: Dallas, Texas
Views: 1,510
Message 17 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

Do you have to have an edu email address to use that student purchasing portal?

 

I tried out that portal, picked the laptop, and was able to get to the check out page where it asked for my paypal id.

 

Up until then, there was no request for a .edu email address.  I don't want to pay for it via paypal and then have an after-pay validation of them asking for an edu email address.

 

Anyone actually purchase from the edu website yet?

 

Do you guys expect the prices of these Ivy Bridge laptops to drop?  Rumor has it that there are lots of Ivy Bridge laptops coming out very soon, in anticipation for the school year.  Will it cause the W530 price to drop too?

Guru
Posts: 948
Registered: ‎06-03-2011
Location: US
Views: 1,457
Message 18 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

I'm not sure if you need a .edu address. While I had one when I purchased my T400 & T420, I do not remember putting it into the system. In fact, all my e-mail correspondence about both systems went to a different address that ended in ".com".

 

The first page says that the requirements are:

 

  • You must be a current or accepted student at an accredited K-12 school, college or university
  • You must be the parent or guardian purchasing on behalf of a student at an accredited K-12 school, college or university
  • You must be a faculty or staff member of an accredited K-12 school, college or university

I wouldn't expect people in the second category, parents/ guardians, to have a .edu address. Additionally, people who are merely "accepted students" do not always have e-mail addresses. I would order the system. Also, you can often find you can find a box for a 10% off discount on Lenovo's site. It looks like this: 

 

As far as price, ThinkPad pricing is not really something that is easy to predict. I think it often comes down to taking advantage of the various sales that occur. For example, when I purchased my T400 there was a sale on RAM (pay for 4GB, receive 8GB), SSD (it was half off), and a privacy screen for one cent. Most of these things existed because I think Lenovo was trying to reduce inventory -- the SSD was an old 1.8" model from the x300 days, RAM speeds were going to increase for the upcoming generation of ThinkPads, and I think they knew screen size and ratio was changing. Due to the sale, it was significantly less expensive to purchase the RAM and SSD from Lenovo with the system than anywhere else.

 

When I bought the T420, there was a model-specific sale on the Tseries, a major sale on the warranty, a free upgrade from 320GB to 500GB HDD and a free upgrade from 2GB RAM to 4GB RAM.

 

For the most part, the base price of the systems generally doesn't change. The best sales tend to either be model-specific ones, such as an additional 5% off of a particular series. I don't know how often the W series goes on sale, but you have some time to wait. You should bear in mind that it sometimes takes 23 weeks for the system to arrive.

X1 Carbon 3rd Gen Type 20BT i7-5500U, 2560x1440 (non-touch), Win 10 Pro, 8GB RAM, 512 SSD, Intel 7625 WiFi, BT 4.0 | ThinkVision P24q-10 monitor

------------------------------------------
When asking for help, post your question in the forum. Remember to include your system type, model number, and OS. Do not post your serial number.

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If you find a post helpful and it answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution"! This will help others with the same question in the future.
JDay
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Posts: 999
Registered: ‎01-06-2011
Location: Sacramento, CA
Views: 1,444
Message 19 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

I used my .edu to signup but most .edu email accounts let you forward to another email that you usually use when signing up for school. My schools email system defaults to forwarding to your primary email.

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