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Lenovo W530 ongoing usability review

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OP
Automata

Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
It has been a few months since I've posted here and updated the thread. I've been using this laptop extensively for school this semester, so I have a much better idea of what I like and dislike.

Regarding the keyboard, I'm really torn when it comes to an overall "like" or "dislike". For overall feel and regular typing, this updated style seems to be quieter and feels smoother. The layout change in the upper right is the most annoying, because I always have to look at the keyboard to make sure I'm hitting home/end/insert/delete; they feel exactly the same. Having the page up and page down keys where the forward/back buttons were isn't too bad of a change and makes browsing the internet a little bit easier. The print screen button between the alt and ctrl buttons is terrible placement and I hit it all the time on accident. The backlight is one of my favorite features and I use it very frequently. The only downside is there is only a single LED that lights the entire keyboard, so the far corners of the keyboard aren't lit up as much as the rest.

The DVD drive has been designed to be flush with the outside of the case, which makes it very easy to hit the eject button. This is annoying by itself. Lenovo has helpfully added a "feature" that if you hit the eject button and you close the tray within a few seconds, it assumes you closed it on accident and ejects the tray a second time. I frequently have to close the DVD tray multiple times because I brushed the button while moving the system.

I've done all I can short of setting ridiculous numbers in the Synaptics configuration, and I can not get this touchpad to not stop clicking. While typing, since the touchpad is flush with the case and is so large, it is easy to brush the corner of the pad with your palm, which could move the mouse or register as a click. This is especially convenient if you would like to suddenly be typing in a paragraph a few lines up, in the middle of a word, which has now completely screwed everything up (note sarcasm here). This got so annoying that I eventually disabled the touchpad single click since I don't ever seem to use it.

For my final piece tonight, I introduce a possible problem, which I'm hoping is a simply a bug in my Linux install. When I do a shutdown, the system will run the proper shut down scripts (verified) and completely power down the system. Then, approximately 50% of the time, the system will turn back on like I had pressed the power button. It only does this on a full shutdown and standby has never had this issue. It hasn't done this for awhile, so I'm hoping it was simply a software bug. Since school is done for the semester, I'm going to wipe the laptop and start it over.
 
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OP
Automata

Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
I decided it was time to test the durability of the laptop, so I dropped it on carpeted concrete while it was on (this is sarcasm, it wasn't on purpose). It landed square on the bottom corner of the bottom case, near the keyboard. The laptop was open at the time and nothing else is damaged (screen or hard drive), so I'm impressed. There is only cosmetic damage. When I purchased this laptop, I bought the full four year warranty plus the "Thinkpad Protection" (accidental damage). I have a request in to IBM to get the case replaced, so I get to test their support out at the same time!

drop-2013-01-10.JPG
 

ecommerceaustin

New Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2013
Location
Austin
I've come to discover that the three storage solutions, mSATA, Drive Bay & Ultra Bay have speeds of 3, 6 & 6 GB/s respectively. I currently have a 240GB mSATA configured as my Boot Drive and a 320GB HDD in the Drive Bay for alternate storage.

I'm trying to determine if it would be better (faster) if I were to install a SSD into my Drive Bay and have that be the Boot Drive (with a caching partition) to realize the faster data transfer rates.
 
OP
Automata

Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
I really doubt you would notice a difference switching the SSD to another location.
 
OP
Automata

Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
Not sure what I would map it to, but I could probably switch the binding in X fairly easily. Interesting idea.

Might think about switching it to "ctrl + print screen" so I just don't hit it on accident.
 
OP
Automata

Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
It has been a long time since I updated this thread. A few months ago, I switched my operating system to Windows 8 (and then 8.1). I was having some issues with Linux that were probably fixable, but the main issue I had was that the dock (and video card) worked very poorly due to the nVidia Optimus. I couldn't get it to work properly with the dock: I'd either have video on the laptop and nothing through the dock, or the dock ports would work and the laptop display would not. That is pretty useless.

When I moved to the new apartment to go back to school, I wanted my main system to be my laptop. I could take it to class and have everything with me. This is when I switched to Windows 8 and I haven't looked back. The operating system is great and it works perfectly with the dock. I only use my desktop for gaming now, and I'm perfectly ok with that.

When docked, it is hooked up to an external keyboard, mouse, and monitors.

DSC_0208.JPG


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However, as of last night, I'm having my first actual problem with the laptop. The stock mechanical drive the laptop came with is dying. It has been acting strange lately (pausing for a bit, not shutting down/restarting). It hard locked last night and I could hear the drive trying to read in the famous click of death pattern. I ordered a SSD today to replace it.