"I have been buying Thinkpads for 15 years, and when the time came to replace my T500, I didn't shop anywhere except Lenovo.com.
The specs on the W530 look great, but many of the things we simply take for granted are gone. In particular, the keyboard redesign is a disaster. A few examples: - The function keys at the top are no longer grouped, but just arrayed in one long row. Not a big deal until you try to use them. I'm an Excel power user, so now I actually have to read the keys to find F9 (recalculate), F3 (Edit Formula), etc. - Speaking of reading the keys: the Fn options on the Function buttons (showing Sleep, brightness adjustments, etc.) are screened in a gray that's almost impossible to see in dim light or when using the keyboard light. - The worst change for a programmer is the elimination of the Break key. Supposedly, Fn+Alt+B works, but it's not a reliable substitute, and is certainly less convenient.
Beyond the keyboard, there are a few other inexplicable design changes: - No microphone plug. If you want to use your Skype headset, you'll need to buy a USB adapter. - The built-in microphone/speaker combination is also atrocious. It was usable on my T500, but on the W530, no one can hear me at all. - The 170W (!) power supply that comes with it weighs more than the laptop, and it seems to be horrible overkill. I thought Ivy Bridge laptops were supposed to be efficient? I guess it's the graphics potential to drive 3 monitors, but I hate carrying around 10+ pounds so I can theoretically drive 3 monitors.
Bottom line: give this dog a pass and go back to the T series -- if they haven't ruined that model, too."
"I am an IT specialist who have worked with several laptop brandmarks so far. I have to work with mac and windows based pcs at the same time and I need more professional laptops. I can honestly say W530 is definitely the best choice with its upgrading options which other companies can not deliver at the moment. Here is the Emperor of the mobile tech and we should respect it :)"
"Nice product but we need a built-in wacom technology for the touchscreen. And we need a 20' inch detachable screen with full 4k resolution because the 15.6' inch is getting boring now. SSD memory drive need to be at least 4TB because the 500gb SSD is becoming booring too. More input & output sockets are needed for the SSD memory so that data retrivability is faster. But the w530 is tolerably "ok" with its speed thoughness, price, etc. Lenovo is capable of generating better technology so let us encourage them."
"I work in an industrial environment, my company purchased the laptop and thought the price seemed appropriate compared to others. The computer is fast and durable. Not a lot of flash but all the features needed to get the job done. The software and hardware to add a second monitor as needed is a lifesaver when programming. Speed has allowed me to run 4 programs at a time with out issue."
"This is my 1st thinkpad and i have fallen in love with thinkpad workstations from now on. I couldn't be more happy with workstation build with such an excellent quality plus getting specs that pretty much accomplishes everything in the current demanding needs. Those among us reviewing workstation complaining about bulkiness should go back to media tablets or such toys, with such serious demand of power on CPU/GPU such a build is obvious. I got a i7 3740qm + k2100m+ 32 gigs+ 1tb SSHD, i pretty much nail everything from my virtualization needs to high end gaming demands. On the downside i was expecting 2nd HDD bay rather than swapping dvdrom."
"Good laptop that I started to use instead of desktop PC for my work (I work as programmer). Awesome performance with SSD. Two cons you should consider:
1) really bulky charge, incompatible with other Lenovo laptops. Also w530 will not allow you to use chargers from another laptops .
2) Second-most annoying issue for me is keyboard. Not only it has half of functional buttons replaced (like pgup, pgdown, ins, del, etc), but they removed one of the most used by me button -- open right-click menu that was placed between right alt and ctrl buttons on other versions of Lenovo laptops earlier."
"I needed a desktop substitute that I could move between my two homes. Truly this machine does that. To be true I cloned the hdd to a 1 tb SSD from Samsung. So that ups the performance and specd the i7 3840 Ivy bridge which actually is faster than its Haswell replacement. Machine goes from off to full desktop in 20 seconds and that includes login! Keyboard is great. Screen great. Build quality is superior. This is my third Thinkpad and it is the best of all"
"So I picked up my W530 about a year ago and I am loving this machine. I have bumped the memory on the laptop to 32GB to help with image and video rendering and am loving the laptop's capabilities. Apps usually used are Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, AVS Audio and Video as well as multiple browser windows for site development.
Battery life runs in the 3+ hour range when I can't easily access an outlet. The only drawbacks is the weight, but it's not that big of a drawback (I've had heavier laptops), but still gets 4 stars for mobility instead of 5. The 4 stars for design is just due to a personal preference to have a number pad on the keyboard, but that surely won't be true for everyone."
"Love this laptop. My old thinkpad was 8 years old and had been a great laptop with no problems for all that time so I got a new one. Love this thing. There is nothing I can't do with it. I added an extra 8 gigs of DDR3. Rock on Lenovo."
"I got the W530 at the highest level quad core i7, 8 gigs of memory, 500gb hardrive etc. I love it, at first it was slow until i relaized it was on powersaver, I switched it to performance and it took off. But i do have a small problem with Adobe Premiere not loading some times but i don't think its the computer. The dislpay is just as good as Apple's "retina" display. But i am not a huge fanb of the all-plastic construction. Great job Lenovo, if it for some reason breaks, i will buy another."
Cons: Video card, Battery, Weight, Security Features, Included Software, Build Quality, Durability
"I forked over $2,000 when I purchased my W530 1-year ago because I wanted a powerful, reliable, long-lasting computer that would be worth the steep price tag. At first, I was happy. But then annoying things started happening. First, a key on the keyboard popped off. No big deal. Then my computer wouldn't duplicate screens when connected to a projector. After some research online, it turns out the "Nvidia Optimus" graphics drive was malfunctioning. I was able to work around this by disabling this feature, but this caused my battery life to be cut in half. Nvidia Optimus must also be disabled in order for me to use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, or else they will not operate. Additionally, the black matte finish on the top of the laptop is beginning to rub off after 1 year."
"As long as you aren't scared of a little weight in your laptop this is awesome! It is lighting fast and is very user friendly! The screen quality is good as well as the battery life. Great laptop overall."
"It packs a lot of stuff: fingerprint scanner, FHD anti-glare display (which is surprisingly good, considering the other reviews I've read about TPs), Quadro K2000M, Win8 Pro (now 8.1 Pro), secondary SSD, 32GB DDR3 1600Mhz (replaced the original 8GB RAM myself), and a great trackpad. I really liked the DE-15 compatible connector, which many had replaced it with either DVI or HDMI. The keyboard is better than Macbook Pro, with 3 different illumination options. There were some issues when it just rolled out: BSOD when connecting a projector under Optimus (fixed), biometric vulnerability (fixed), loud cooling system even if the system is cool (fixed), additional difficulties when you want to use bitlocker along with the SSD cache."
"This is best laptop in terms of performance for high ended applications. Very disappointed with the new keyboard layout. I did use W520 and was very comfortable with that model keyboard, with big Escape, Delete keys. If some one looking for an old style keyboard this is not the choice. Wish Lenovo will come back with the previous keyboard."
Cons: Warranty, speakers never worked, cdrom broke
"I bought this laptop loaded with features refurbished from the lenovo site. Favorite laptop to date. I've been using it for almost 2 years non-stop, sometime 12-14 hours a day or longer. i7 8gb ram, 500gb HD, etc. So almost two years later- The cdom is broken, the speakers never worked, the mouse pad is worn out but I love this thing. I bought another furbished Levovo Laptop just yesterday, a T530."
"Bought this machine with most upgrades available. I bought it specifically for cad design. I might add the windows 8 is possibly the worst software to buy on a computer not being used for anything but social networking. I've had several think pads in the past and they were the best computers I've ever had. I have a Toshiba satellite with the same i7 processor and even though I consider this computer to be a throw away it has out preformed the think pad at every task. It is how ever running the windows 7 and was less then half the cost, and already two years old. The think pad was supposed to replace it, now the think pad just sits next to it with the top down."
"I live In Barbados and I must confess, this is the best laptops I have purchased to date. It is a bit pricey, but worth it. Got this from TSL (Barbados) Ltd, excellent service I must add. For me, the weight is not that much of an issue. I got 6 hours + in power saver mode (continuous usage), with the display dimmed to 0. Personally, I would like one in 17 inch but that may be asking too much. great buy, would purchase another."