Lenovo IdeaPad 530S Review: Looks beautiful. Slick performance.
Lenovo IdeaPad 530S detailed review
About twelve years ago, when the James Bond film franchise was hit during a turmoil, Eon Productions rebooted the entire series with Casino Royale and took charge of the matter by injecting the film into a new stream of maturity and categorization. One such reboot, I believe, has been with Lenovo’s current generation of IdeaPads.
Launched in 2015, the IdeaPads 500 series calls itself a range of ‘powerful multimedia laptops’. And with the recent addition, the Lenovo IdeaPad 530S, I believe Lenovo design has matured to a large extent. The new IdeaPad is definitely a model that you have in the market for a laptop that looks and feels premium and handles heavy photos and light videos in a sophisticated editing suite at home.
Construction and design
The Lenovo IdeaPad 530S has a clear matte aluminum finish on the outside, inside and around the long and thick hinges that extend almost the entire width of the display. At 16.4mm, the laptop is about 3mm thinner than its predecessor, the IdeaPad 520S, and it looks slimmer, smoother and easier to hold. This slab of matte gray-and-silver metallic finish is well curved and neatly chamfered around the edges. Although neat Chamford, the running edge along the touchpad is able to cut at certain angles to the user’s wrist while typing. The laptop weighs evenly across its almost flat body and does not feel too heavy on one side.
The computer sits flat and stable on the lap and on a table. The lid opens easily to reveal the thin black plastic bezel around the display. The hinge of the lid is not too tight or too loose and is fairly stable in movement. As fine as Lenovo branding is, it can probably get, and it gives the computer a very elegant look.
Display and IoT
Internationally, Lenovo offers the IdeaPad 530S in 14-inch and 15-inch variants, but there is still no word on whether it will sell both or only 14-inch models in India. The 14-inch can be purchased with either a WQHD resolution (2560 x 1440 pixels) or an FHD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) with a matte or glossy finish. Both options feature an IPS LCD panel.
The model I tested had a 14-inch display with FHD resolution. The panel is mostly glamorous and reflection free, but has a tendency to attract fingerprints, which can be seen from the side. The maximum viewing angle seems to be relatively wide at about 173 degrees horizontal. Text can be read without too much strain even when the display is pushed backwards and when viewed from the side. The maximum screen brightness is sufficient for public spots such as airports and hotel lobbies, but it can do so with a little more light behind the scenes. I found myself pushing the maximum brightness several times. The colors are not too vivid or too flat. They seem to be naturally neutral in terms of temperature.
The IdeaPad 530S has a full-size USB 3.0 port on both sides. It has an HDMI port, a card reader, a single audio jack and a USB Type-C port. There’s a fingerprint sensor under the keyboard for quick sign-in. It is quick and can recognize fingerprints in the first nine times out of ten The remaining battery percentage is shown on the screen when the computer is turned off and a key is pressed on the keyboard.
Keyboard and touchpad
As owner of the ThinkPad brand since 2005, Lenovo is known for borrowing reliable ThinkPad keyboard designs for other lines of laptops, or at least a portion of them. Oddly enough, the IdeaPad 530S carries a keyboard No. Similar to the ThinkPad keyboard. In the last one month I have typed about six thousand words on laptop. Its keys are flat and shallow and offer very few throws while typing Although there are no dedicated keys for the Home, End, Page Up and Page Down functions, the arrow keys can be pressed together with the function keys to be used.
Depending on whether you like low-profile or not, IdeaPad’s keyboard will prove to be ‘love it or hate it’. For me, I don’t particularly like keyboards; I found myself typing more often than I did because the keys were too shallow for me to feel the reaction. That being said, this is by no means a bad keyboard.
Lenovo has chosen to equip IdeaPad with a perfect touchpad setup. This means you can take advantage of the multi-finger gestures that Windows 10 offers and change what it does directly in Windows settings under the Touchpad section; You do not need any additional hardware-specific drivers or utilities. The touchpad itself is large and smooth. The surface matches the rest of the body and has no textures or bumps. The bottom half of the touchpad is clickable for left-mouse and right-mouse click actions. The IdeaPad 530S provides an enjoyable touchpad experience overall.
Here the Lenovo IdeaPad 530S really comes into its own. Not only does it score favorably on benchmark tests, it also provides a pleasant real-world computing experience. The laptop is offered with a sophisticated CPU like the Intel Core i7, but the one I got for review was a quad-core eighth-generation Intel Core i5-8250U (running at 1.60GHz). The IdeaPad 530S scored 4351 on the PCMark 8 Accelerated Creative Test and 3589 on the PCMark 10.
After using the IdeaPad 530S for over a month now, I can say with confidence that it provides a pleasurable computing experience even under stress. At maximum load time, I had more than half a dozen applications running at once: Windows default email client, OneNote, Word, iTunes (which plays music in the background), WhatsApp for Windows, Steam (which downloaded a game), WordMore and WordWeb. With thirty open tabs). The IdeaPad did not show an ounce of fatigue when working on either of them or switching between them. Apps like Apple iTunes get heavy for no reason and IdeaPad handles them with unexpected parity.
While doing all this, the IdeaPad 530S stays calm and quiet. Laptops get heated downstairs but never get hot, especially in a place where you feel uncomfortable. Thanks to the clever placement of the vents, the removed heat is directed toward the inside of the laptop’s hinge, not the bottom. The closed airway around the hinge creates an ideal sound stage for the fan’s sound, but even then the fan moves fairly quietly. In a quiet room the fan can be heard moving at different speeds, but not otherwise.
Let’s find out before we reach the real-world usage figure and find out the test results statistics: Lenovo claims the IdeaPad 530S boasts a battery life of up to 8 hours. In our PCMark 8 Creative Conventional Battery Life Test it lasted 2 hours and 47 minutes.
During my time with the IdeaPad 530S, I used it primarily for writing, video playback, photo editing, and some gaming. With over thirty Chrome tabs (playing videos from a YouTube), Windows default email client, OneNote, and WhatsApp for Windows open, I’ve been able to get 6 hours out of this slim Lenovo machine every time I charge. During all the tests, I set the screen brightness to 40 to 70 percent, set the Windows Power Mode Slider to ‘Better Battery’, and turned on both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Battery life is reduced to about an hour below the 6-hour mark when I play videos extensively outside the Internet.
The IdeaPad 530S boasts a rapid charge feature that allows the laptop to restore two hours of battery life in fifteen minutes. However, it is important to note that it only works when the laptop is off The full charge from zero is within two hours.
In short, the IdeaPad 530S’s battery is enough for half a day’s work which involves a lot of typing, but not more. Long battery life was hailed as a mainstream multimedia laptop wearing an ultrabook. That said, if you know your apps well, you may be able to juice more than 6 hours from it.
The last row
There’s a lot more to the Lenovo IdeaPad 530S, especially under that smooth metal hood. The latest generation Intel Core i5 CPU quickly crunches data and keeps Nvidia GPU animations smooth. Fancy data storage and retrieval. The CPU clock ticks quickly but it stays cool. The keyboard and touchpad are a breeze to use, and the display is sharp. The Lenovo IdeaPad 530S was then a new James Bond actor.