Lenovo G530 Notebook Review

Article Index

Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: In Futuremark's PCMark Vantage test suite, the Lenovo G530 performed admirably in comparison to the more powerful (and far more expensive) systems. In the 3DMark benchmark, the G530 just barely completed the test. We wouldn't expect much more from the underpowered GMA 4500M graphics, though. In the SiSoftware Sandra suite of tests, the machine not only held its own, but handled itself well. For $499, we were surprised by how well it kept up with rival equipment.

All told, we think you'll be hard pressed to find a more well-rounded, solid machine for under $500. We see the target market for the G530 as twofold. First off, it's aimed at business-people looking for a no-nonsense notebook to handle basic tasks without breaking the bank. Then, there's the crowd who is thinking about a netbook, but are worried over the underwhelming Atom N270/N280 CPU and the tiny display. Indeed, Lenovo's G530 starts well below the MSRP of some of today's hottest netbooks.

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To us, there are only two disadvantages for choosing the G530 over a netbook: 1) battery life and 2) weight. If mobility is of the utmost importance, you probably won't want a 15.4" machine that weighs almost six pounds. Also, the ~2 hour battery life isn't quite as good as what most netbooks average. If those two aspects aren't critical for you, however, we'd recommend this over one of those minuscule alternatives. The display on this machine is far nicer to gawk at, it can actually handle 720p multimedia files, and the full-size keyboard is a real joy to type on. Without a doubt, the G530 offers a fuller, more robust computing experience than a netbook, which cuts notable corners to get 90% of a computing environment into a chassis that's far smaller than conventional machines. Then there's the issue of heat -- or the lack thereof, really. We were pleased at how cool and quiet the G530 was even when strained. You could use this on your lap for hours without any discomfort whatsoever.

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As for the business crowd, the G530 has everything you need to handle Office tasks, email and basic multimedia. You won't be gaming (outside of a few obligatory games of Solitaire) on your work notebook, and you've got no need for flashiness when showing off a new sales presentation. Lenovo made sure to include all the right things (a 2.16GHz CPU, 3GB of RAM, a roomy 250GB hard drive) and cut the things that most folks can live without (Bluetooth, DVI/HDMI outputs, eSATA and a multi-card reader). For $499 (or as low as $429), it would be a really challenge to find a nicer looking, more capable machine that is built to these standards.

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The G530 isn't without its quirks, however. The display should definitely be matte, the trackpad buttons are lackluster, the inside styling is decidedly plain and the battery life is nothing to write home about. None of those gripes add up to a deal-breaker in our mind though, and the smooth overall experience makes it a lot easier to overlook the negatives. Plus, Windows 7 is just around the bend, which should make for an even more efficient environment. If you don't expect the aforementioned issues to really be a bother to you, we'd certainly recommend giving the G530 serious consideration.

  • Classy Design
  • Beautiful Display
  • Full-size Keyboard
  • Excellent Value
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Quiet and Cool


  • Gaming Performance
  • Subpar Battery Life
  • Annoying Lenovo Software
  • Plain Inside
  • Glossy Panel


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