Lenovo Y530: Beast or Bust?

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The Lenovo Y530 has a steep price for a system that isn’t as powerful as some that you can find online if you just look around for a bit. Fortunately, the Y530, like the rest in the Y series, also comes with some other features that you don’t find in many other laptops.

Priced at around $600 to $900, most buyers won’t be impressed with the meager amount of RAM, hard drive space, and the mainly weak processor. My laptop (model 40512QU for those interested) started at $720 and had 2gb DDR3 RAM, 160gb hard drive, and a 2ghz Dual Core processor. The other usual things came with it: DVD reader and burner, Vista Home Premium, etc. Another thing to mention is the battery life, which can go up to about 5 hours. Not too bad for a 15.4 inch laptop.

The 2ghz Dual Core was a big disappointment for me. I was looking more for a 2.16 ghz Core 2 Duo, because I wanted more computing power and the Dual Core is not as energy efficient as the Core 2 Duo. I don’t know if many buyers will be put off by the Dual Core, but I certainly was. There are plenty of laptops priced for less with a better processor.

The 160gb hard drive is basically standard for entry level laptops now. You would think that for $720, I’d get more than the entry level laptop, but again, I was disappointed here. To be fair, the DDR3 RAM that came with the laptop is fairly expensive. Upgrading to 4gb DDR3 will cost you at least $100, whereas 4gb DDR2 can be bought for as little as $25 if you look online. Be warned though, while DDR3 is more expensive than DDR2, it doesn’t mean it is that much better. The latency time of DDR3 is worse than DDR2, so in most tests, DDR3 loses to DDR2, or beats it by a small margin. So if there is nothing astonishing about the Y530, why would anyone consider buying it?

There are several reasons why I chose the Y530 instead of some more powerful machine. For me, a laptop has to be unique and have style too. And the Y530 delivers.

The top of the laptop is not like most that you’ll find. It has a… cloth like feel to it. The best part isn’t even the feel. The best part is that it never smudges. I can’t believe no one else has ever thought about it. Not only is it stylish, it’s practical.

Since the Y series is basically about entertainment, it has some touch sensitive buttons for controlling media. You’ve got that play/pause button, stop button, next and previous, volume control buttons, and even buttons for an equalizer. There’s a mute button, and a quick launch button too. So much power at the tips of your fingers.

Now, a multimedia laptop isn’t complete without the sound. And the Y530 won’t disappoint you there. Gone are the days of straining to hear when you’re watching a movie on your laptop. The Y530 comes with 4 speakers (2 on the side, 2 in front) and a subwoofer. And the speakers are powerful as well. I noticed immediately that the sound quality beat almost anything I’ve ever heard come out of a computer system, laptop or desktop. Combine that with the HDMI output, and you’ve got an entertainment laptop capable of filling all your needs for under $1000.

So is the Lenovo Y530 worth it? Well, it’s hard to say. If you’re shopping for performance, you can definitely find something better for less. But if you’re like me and you are willing to sacrifice a little functionality for amazing multimedia capabilities, then go for it now. And here’s the best part: Lenovo constantly hands out coupons for their products and then they’ll even slash the price. I waited for the price to be slashed, then I got a coupon for it and further lowered the price, and then I got a $170 rebate for it. So my laptop only cost $520 in the end, and that’s with tax. Lenovo is definitely a company I trust now, and when this machine fails in a few years, they’ll be the first people I check out.


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