"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 develop using Visual Studio, XAMARIN, SQL Server 2012. With all that activity the box runs cool. It is obviously designed for Software Developers. Extremely pleased with this purchase. Have been using for four months now."
Pros: Warranty, Processor, Support, Software compatibility, Memory, Wireless card, Keyboard/peripherals, Screen size, Build Quality, Display resolution, Display performance, ultimate-n wifi great for fios, virtual xp, able to upgrade myself
Cons: Storage, upgrades are costly
"This is an upgrade from my 4 yr old personal T61. I got the W530 with upgrade screen, upgrade Ultimate-N antenna, & virtual XP mode 4 mths ago. My company gave me a T61 but I use my own. I upgraded the W530 memory to 32 GB & 500GB Samsung 840 SSD myself. The SSD maximizes Battery and start up time and the Quad core with the SSD is lighting fast. I take my finger is off the mouse button and the application is open. The Ultimate-N antenna screams with FIOS. I got it w/Win 7 & bought the $15 Win 8 upgrade. I tried it on the original hard drive. I will stick with Win 7 Pro. Win 8 is too jarring jumping back and forth. PS The backlight keyboard is a big plus."
"For those using Revit or Max, this machine rocks. Of course, any machine with an i7 and K2000M graphics card would rock. The matte screen is a big plus. The keyboard takes getting used to, especially since the CTRL key is second in from the left. I keep hitting the Fn key by mistake, which occupies the leftmost position on the bottom row. The power brick is big but not a deal breaker. The case is solid, but my battery has a little bit of play in its dock. I went with the 16GB solid state second drive, and saving is very quick. The USB ports are stacked instead of side by side, and I think this was a mistake. The sound is worse than on my Studio XPS, but I did not buy this for speaker quality. Bottom line, I thought this the better machine than the competition offerings, and still do."
"I bought a W530 recently as a replacement for my 4 year old T500. Like any product, you can find positive & negative reviews online. However, having been very happy with my T series, I decided to take a leap & bought a top spec W530.
The screen quality is fantastic, the build quality is rock solid & I have a quad core i7 processor, 8 Gigs of RAM & lots of storage. Apart from buying this machine, the next best thing I did was dump Windows 7 and install Linux. I am now running Manjaro Xfce on both the T & W series ThinkPads & have not looked back for a second.
It might be a bit on the heavy side & not that sexy - I love it's retro look - but I am very happy & it runs very cool.
"I am a developer and need a powerful laptop. W530 is the right choice. MSATA makes it fast. memory can expand to 32GB. It is easy to upgrade it.
There are some defects I have to say: 1. Lenovo cannot give solid supports to Windows 8. For example, the power management software is missed in Windows 8. 2. My wireless adapter is Intel Advanced-N 6205. It may occasionally disconnect from the network. I have tried to install the latest driver from Intel.com but it has not been solved yet. 3. The Fn keys of the keyboard was inconvenient, especially for developers like me. They are huddled together. I have to glance the keyboard when I pressed the Fn keys or Home/End."
Cons: Wireless card, Included Software, Software compatibility
"When I received my W530, it barely functioned. Upon arrival, the discrete graphics, wireless monitor functionality, wireless networking, and optical drive did not work. I opened the device manager and found about a half dozen exclamation marks indicating bad or missing drivers. The color calibration sensor software wasn't installed, and the monitor was not calibrated at the factory as Lenovo claimed it would be.
Because the W530 doesn't work very well right out of the box, I wouldn't recommend this machine to anyone that isn't capable of installing the OS on their own, installing device drivers, and so forth. If you're a creative professional and you need a calibrated monitor, expect that you'll have to load the X-rite software yourself and run the first calibration routine."
"Bought the W530 to replace a 4-year-old R500. In general, I'm satisfied, but the new machine is a little heavier than the old one, and I'm really disappointed with the chiclet keyboard and its non-standard location of the Home, End, Insert, Delete, PgUp and PgDn keys. I wish I could transplant my old keyboard to the new machine...
But the new machine is a lot faster, and the display has higher resolution and is brighter than the old one."
"Some of the concerns with the keyboard seem to be dependant on their use. I am an IT / GIS / Web coder, and I am comfortable using this keyboard.
anyone try making glow in the dark lettering on the keyboard?!
The red dot mouse is good as usual and the multi touch mousepad seems nice . . . I actually use it sometimes
The battery brick is huge, however this is only minorly inconvient having it in my bag . . . The battery lasts so long anyway. I do feel betrayed by the description of being a "SLIM 170w adaptor" how very misleading compared with other slim travel adaptors . . . I think this was only on the canadian site . . .
Having said that, if your just complaning a little about a keyboard and the power cord, I think your doing just fine . . . overall this laptop is da best . . . bro."
"Extermely happy with the purchase. I am a Consultant and was in a need for a best performance class laptop out in the market. Lenovo was the only company that was offering the laptop that I was requiring. Upgraded to 32GB RAM and a SSH Cache drive. The laptop just flies. I run numerous servers on this laptop for several POC requests for my clients and it just performs really good. Very glad with the purchase. Can't speak about reliability yet but I hope it will last for few years."
"I shopped for a mobile workstation which would allow me to develop scientific software, and ThinkPad W530 looked like a very attractive option.
When I received the box, first I liked it a lot. Hardware vise it is what I expected it to be. I have installed Ubuntu 12.04 and had almost all the hardware working properly with no efforts. All looked very good until I have actually started coding. The problem is with the keyboard. It feels great, but Home and End keys are in so unnatural places, that I am not sure I will ever get used to it. It looks like a minor thing, but it makes a big difference. Huge disappointment. Lenovo ought to develop a replacement keyboard for this model which would have Home and End keys at your fingers."
"W530 overall is fine machine with one big problem area – its keyboard. I’m a developer and may attest that the key layout and most importantly, their size is horrible and absolutely not suited for application development - huge disappointment."
Cons: Weight, Keyboard/peripherals, Included Software
"I was always a Dell person. I have been through 4-5 Dell laptops in the past decade. I was confident that I had the best laptop for my needs. My new W530 makes my latest model Dell look like a 14" black-and-white TV near my 60" 3D Flat Screen. I am happy to see that with the combination of Windows 7 I am a happy camper once again."