01-13-2017 01:20 PM - edited 01-13-2017 01:34 PM
I have a real difficulty choosing between these two W520 and T530. Both are used and prices close. The main differences are listed as below:
(2) Graphics and display
W520 Nvidia graphics card (Quadro 2000) with FHD
T530 Intel 4000 with 1600x900
W520 is $60 more than T530.
I am planning to use the laptop mostly for word processing, spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentation in classroom, HD video watching, no video editing.
Any advice or helpful information will be appreciated.
01-13-2017 01:38 PM - edited 01-13-2017 01:39 PM
For those tasks you wouldn't need a Core i7 or discrete graphics, save yourself some money and go for the T530.
The only disadvantage would be 1600x900 instead of 1920x1080, but it would be hard to see the difference.
01-13-2017 01:40 PM - edited 01-13-2017 01:58 PM
It appears the specs on the W520 are better and therefore somewhat more "future proof." With respect, I have to disagree with the previous poster. SInce you will not be able to upgrade the base components of either machine, there is a good case to be made to spend a few extra dollars.
You might someday wish to do a bit more than presently contemplated -- having an I7 CPU and discreet graphics adapter would be a plus. For example, voice recognition & transcription software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking would be hugely enhanced by the more potent CPU. Mentioning PowerPoints: if you create or edit them and at some point wish to embed video or other multi-media files, the more power, the easier and faster this process becomes.
Further, having more screen real estate is a really good idea for the applications you mentioned -- word processing, etc. on higher resolution screens is a much more pleasurable experience. The ability to put a couple of pages side-by-side and actually see the text, cut and paste easily from several sources, etc. is a great idea.
01-13-2017 02:44 PM
Thank you both, practical and schuifpui, for the helpful info. Both make sense to me.
I do prefer the higher resolution, but I also want to save a few dollars. I will probably contact the owner of W520 to see if he could lower a bit for me
01-13-2017 02:45 PM
While both are quite old, if the laptop screen is at all important (you're not planning to use external monitors most of the time), W520 with FHD screen is likely to be a significantly better screen.
Those were the dark ages when Thinkpad were shipped with either really bad, or plain horrible TN screens. 1080p AUO TN panel in W520 was significantly better than other available options.
01-13-2017 06:20 PM - edited 01-13-2017 06:20 PM
One other difference which may not matter at all to you: keyboards.
I haven't laid hands on either machine but I believe the W520 has the old-style classic ThinkPad keyboard (my personal favorite) and the T530 has the newer "chiclet" keyboard.
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01-13-2017 06:32 PM
Thank you very much, zoltanthegypsy and p600, for your input!
One of the main reasons I am considering one of the two is because both come with a keyboard without number pad (I don't like this number pad, but it is almost on all 15.6" laptop nowadays But I had no idea about the difference between keyboards of these two models.
I am still waiting for response from the seller of W520, hoping for the best
01-14-2017 08:37 AM
Good catch on the keyboard. If the W520 still has the older style, I'd recommend going for it.
I've always preferred these traditional, "Selectric-style" keyboards and thought they were the best designed, most comfortable and ergonomic ever available in production laptops. The keys had satisfyingly firm feel and deep travel distance.
Now having used the most current, P70 keyboard for nearly a year (which seems to be a distant relation to Apple's incarnation of the Chiclets), it is actually not terrible. I can't really speak to what the T530 was equipped-with but if close to the current version, it should not necessarily a deal-breaker. As to the layout of special keys, functions, etc., that may have been altered.
01-18-2017 04:18 AM
Hope this is not too late for you to make a choice. DONT GET THE W520 if you want to use Windows 10.
I have owned my W520 since release. It is still a competitive i7 machine and is fully loaded with all options. I love it. i have updated SSD a few times but other than the small problem with the memory cover static issue (easy fixed) I have not had any problems. Even the original battery is still rocking 3+ hours. (originally 10hours)
Mine cost me $AU4500.00 or something like that brand new and it is very annoying that Lenovo will not support me by releasing an update (even if paid) to support windows 10 on this great machine. I have always had Lenovo since the IBM days...but I don't think I will support Lenovo on my next purchase. Just compile the source code and sign the drivers with microsoft gee-wiz.
01-18-2017 11:18 AM - edited 01-18-2017 11:27 AM
Thank you, Rob83, for your tip!
I just checked the tech support webpages of Leneno. W520 is not in the list of systems with Win 10 updates; not even W530 is included in the latest lists.
I am wondering what this means in reality and I have some related questions:
(1) If I get a W520 or W530 or T530, can I get all the necessary drivers for the system?
(2) Does this mean the system is more vulnerable to virus or spam?
Basically, I am curious if I should just disregard any of those systems that are no longer tech supported by Lenovo.
Thanks for any advice.