Get up close with one of the first Ivy Bridge-based laptops on the Australian market
With a third generation Intel Core i7-3612QM CPU in its engine room, the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 530 is a cutting edge laptop with a ton of horsepower that's suitable for pretty much any home or small business computing task. It has a good all-round configuration, including a discrete, mid-range graphics adapter. Along with boring (but necessary) office tasks, it can be a more than adequate gaming machine.
It weighs about 2.5kg, which isn't too bad, but it's a unit that will require a relatively big bag for comfortable carrying. We had no problems lugging the unit to and from the office in a regular-sized backpack. It's plain-looking laptop, but we think it's also quite attractive. There are some nice little touches in the design, such as the status lights being the little red dot on the 'i' of the ThinkPad logo on the lid and the palm rest.
The right side of the unit has the built-in DVD burner, as well as the Gigabit Ethernet port, power port, headphone/microphone jack and one USB 2.0 port (which can also be used to charge USB devices when the unit is not powered on).
Here's a close-up of the ports at the front, and you can also see the SD card slot.
The left side has a large heat vent, and the air travelling through it can get very warm if you're running a game or another program that uses the discrete graphics adapter. You can also see the VGA port, another USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port and two USB 3.0 ports.
This is the rear view. You can see it's plain and that the battery can be pulled out towards the back of the unit. The hinges that hold the screen are strong.
Like many Lenovo notebooks, this one also has dual pointing devices. You get a TrackPoint as well as a touchpad. The touchpad has little bumps on it that can feel a little ticklish, but it's accurate and supports gestures. We're not fans of its left and right buttons though, as they reside underneath the pad and make right-click-and-drag operations impossible.
Here's the bottom view. The regulatory and Windows product key stickers are located in the battery compartment.
There are access panels that can be easily removed for maintenance, and they have captive screws so that you can't lose them.
A close-up of the Ivy Bridge CPU to the left of the fan, which is attached to a heat sink and heat pipe. A heat pipe also transfer heat from the graphics chip at the top of the picture. The fan runs smoothly and isn't overly loud. Sometimes it pulsates, which can be startling.
There are two memory slots and our review model came equipped with 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM (1600MHz) via two 4GB modules.
The hard drive resides to the left of the memory modules and is held by screws. Ours was a 1TB, 5400rpm model.
The dual-band Wi-Fi module can be accessed easily, too.
Lenovo has also made it simple to access the motherboard's CMOS battery, should you ever need to change it.
Overall, the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530 is a very good laptop. For more information, read our full review: [[artnid:424635|Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530 Ivy Bridge laptop]].
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