The Bottom Line
Oct 23 2012 - Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E530 offers a good choice for those looking at a business class laptop for under $600 that still has good performance. It sets itself apart from the competition thanks to its excellent keyboard and the fact that it includes three USB 3.0 ports. Of course the lower cost means it doesn't have the same level of feel as the more expensive ThinkPads and it lacks an ExpressCard slot that its competitors do have.
- Excellent Keyboard And Trackpad
- Multiple USB 3.0 Ports
- Anti-Glare Screen
- Doesn't Have The Same Solid Feel As Traditional ThinkPad Models
- No ExpressCard Slot
- Intel Core i3-2350M Dual Core Mobile processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel HD Graphics 3000
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 3.0, One USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 4-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.8" x 9.7" x 1.4" @ 5.4 lbs.
- Windows 7 Professional
Review - Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530
Oct 23 2012 - Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge is its way of offering lower cost laptops for those looking at business or corporate class systems. The ThinkPad Edge E530 uses the Intel Core i3-2350M dual core processor that provides it with sufficient performance for the average business user that likely uses it mostly for email and productivity software. This combined with 4GB of memory provides a smooth overall experience with Windows 7 Professional and the limited software installation of the business system. In fact, this is a pretty typical configuration for many laptops in the $500 to $600 price range.
Corporate laptops typically feature smaller hard drives than consumer systems. Because of this, it isn't surprising the that ThinkPad Edge E530 features a 320GB hard drive compared to the 500GB drives found in consumer laptops. To make up for this, Lenovo packs in a total of three USB 3.0 peripherals ports that can be used for high speed external storage or laptop docking stations. Most budget consumer laptops either have one or none of these ports. Surprisingly, the laptop still does feature a dual layer DVD burner which is surprising as it is not something that is very commonly needed in a corporate system.
Most consumer laptops tend to use glossy coated display screens to provide a brighter picture that is well suited to media viewing. The downside of these is that they are much more difficult to use because of the glare and reflections they produce. Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E530 instead uses an anti-glare screen that is much more common for corporate use because of the florescent lighting that can make a glossy screen hard to use. Beyond this, the display is fairly typical with a 1366x768 resolution with some moderate viewing angles. The graphics themselves are driven by the Intel HD Graphics 3000 that is built into the Core i3 processor. This is perfectly fine for business use that doesn't really require any 3D performance. Those that might have to do video editing work will like the acceleration for video encoding when using Quick Sync compatible programs.
Probably one of the best features on almost any ThinkPad laptop is the keyboard. Lenovo uses the new isolated keyboard design with its curved lower edge keys. The design continues to be one of the best on the market with a very comfortable and accurate feel. The keyboard deck even includes a numeric keypad which is being dropped from many consumer systems now. In addition to the keyboard, it features both the trackpoint and a trackpad device. The trackpad is a decent size and features both integrated button functions or dedicated buttons but they are located above the pad which can make them difficult to use. The dedicated buttons are more for the trackpoint device.
For the battery, Lenovo includes a fairly typical six cell battery pack with a 4400 mAH capacity rating. In digital video playback tests, the laptop was able to run for just over three and a half hours before going into standby mode. This is pretty much average for the size of the laptop and its features. If still falls well short of the HP Envy Sleekbook 6 with a larger battery pack providing it two more hours of running. Of course, if you do want a similar running time, Lenovo does offer a larger 5600mAH capacity battery available for those that need additional running times although it still will likely fall short of the up to eight hour running time Lenovo claims in the technical specifications.
In terms of competition, the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530 closest competition is the Dell Latitude E5430 and the HP ProBook 4530. Both offer many of the same features at roughly the same price. Dell's has a slightly slower processor but comes with an ExpressCard slot. HP's comes with a larger hard drive and an ExpressCard slot as well. Netiher has as many USB 3.0 ports or the same quality of keyboard as Lenovo.