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Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E531 opinions?

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  • Laptops
  • Notebooks
  • Edge
  • Lenovo
  • Thinkpad
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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July 16, 2013 10:29:31 AM

Hello,

Recently I started looking for a notebook that will suit my needs and after some searching the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E531 (i5 version with discrete graphics GeForce GT 740M) appeared to be my choice.

One of the main factors that made me to pick the Lenovo ThinkPad over the other brands is their proven reliability and durability.

Now the only thing that stops me buying this notebook is that people tell that the Edge series differ in build quality from the rest of the ThinkPads, being the same as some regular notebooks (consumer class). Is this true? I mean, yes, the series are way more cheaper than the rest but does this mean that their only common thing is the "ThinkPad" label? And in particular, what are your thoughts about the E531? I couldn't find any detailed user reviews about it. Is there anything that I should be aware of before getting one?

Regards

EDIT: I find it mandatory to mention since I was quite confused myself: The GeForce GT 740M mounted on the E531 is the newer Kepler GK208 based version of the chip (64bit). It's worse in performance compared to the old GK107 so be aware of that.

More about : lenovo thinkpad edge e531 opinions

July 17, 2013 11:54:00 AM

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a b D Laptop
July 17, 2013 2:21:44 PM

22_sas said:
Hello,

Recently I started looking for a notebook that will suit my needs and after some searching the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E531 (i5 version with discrete graphics GeForce GT 740M) appeared to be my choice.

One of the main factors that made me to pick the Lenovo ThinkPad over the other brands is their proven reliability and durability.

Now the only thing that stops me buying this notebook is that people tell that the Edge series differ in build quality from the rest of the ThinkPads, being the same as some regular notebooks (consumer class). Is this true? I mean, yes, the series are way more cheaper than the rest but does this mean that their only common thing is the "ThinkPad" label? And in particular, what are your thoughts about the E531? I couldn't find any detailed user reviews about it. Is there anything that I should be aware of before getting one?

Regards


There is a substantial difference in build quality of the chassis between the edge series and the W/T/X series. They are pretty much all plastic construction and the screen hinges in particular are much worse (plastic vs. metal again). I had to pick up two edge series laptops as a quick gap-filler for a couple of T420's that had screens go bad and I was pretty shocked out how much off a difference there was. I wouldn't want any of my users traveling with one for sure. The only semi-redeeming quality in comparison was the keyboard on the Edge was fairly consistent with those of the T/W/X series. I haven't looked at any of the 500 series edge models, but the 400's all had glossy screens with abysmal contrast and 1366x768 was the only resolution available. If you are looking at a consumer class pricerange and in particular like Lenovo, the Z series would be a better pick in my opinion (much less plastic and good screen hinges), and ideally if you have the budget a Y410 or Y500/510 is a great pick for multimedia and medium gaming use.
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July 18, 2013 5:03:00 AM

Tibbs01 said:

There is a substantial difference in build quality of the chassis between the edge series and the W/T/X series. They are pretty much all plastic construction and the screen hinges in particular are much worse (plastic vs. metal again). I had to pick up two edge series laptops as a quick gap-filler for a couple of T420's that had screens go bad and I was pretty shocked out how much off a difference there was. I wouldn't want any of my users traveling with one for sure. The only semi-redeeming quality in comparison was the keyboard on the Edge was fairly consistent with those of the T/W/X series. I haven't looked at any of the 500 series edge models, but the 400's all had glossy screens with abysmal contrast and 1366x768 was the only resolution available. If you are looking at a consumer class pricerange and in particular like Lenovo, the Z series would be a better pick in my opinion (much less plastic and good screen hinges), and ideally if you have the budget a Y410 or Y500/510 is a great pick for multimedia and medium gaming use.


Plastic hinges?! I am not really familiar with the 400 series but this is quite disturbing. Are you sure that they are completely plastic or just covered with it?

Well, I was planning to get Lenovo Ideapad Z500 but a guy from the store where I was looking told me that they had complaints about the heat while in heavy use (like games) since the notebook is slim and the ventilation is not that good. On top of that, the keyboard has a strange flex making it spongy and not so suitable for writing which is the reason why I am looking for a new model. I will type a lot so a good keyboard is a must. Eventually he suggested me the E531 ThinkPad because it has a good and easy to maintain ventilation (according to him), stable keyboard and a matte screen which is a plus for me. Nevermind, thank you for your satisfactory answer about the Edge but I will be grateful if someone has more specifical impressions about the E531 to share.
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a b D Laptop
July 18, 2013 9:30:21 AM

22_sas said:
Tibbs01 said:

There is a substantial difference in build quality of the chassis between the edge series and the W/T/X series. They are pretty much all plastic construction and the screen hinges in particular are much worse (plastic vs. metal again). I had to pick up two edge series laptops as a quick gap-filler for a couple of T420's that had screens go bad and I was pretty shocked out how much off a difference there was. I wouldn't want any of my users traveling with one for sure. The only semi-redeeming quality in comparison was the keyboard on the Edge was fairly consistent with those of the T/W/X series. I haven't looked at any of the 500 series edge models, but the 400's all had glossy screens with abysmal contrast and 1366x768 was the only resolution available. If you are looking at a consumer class pricerange and in particular like Lenovo, the Z series would be a better pick in my opinion (much less plastic and good screen hinges), and ideally if you have the budget a Y410 or Y500/510 is a great pick for multimedia and medium gaming use.


Plastic hinges?! I am not really familiar with the 400 series but this is quite disturbing. Are you sure that they are completely plastic or just covered with it?

Well, I was planning to get Lenovo Ideapad Z500 but a guy from the store where I was looking told me that they had complaints about the heat while in heavy use (like games) since the notebook is slim and the ventilation is not that good. On top of that, the keyboard has a strange flex making it spongy and not so suitable for writing which is the reason why I am looking for a new model. I will type a lot so a good keyboard is a must. Eventually he suggested me the E531 ThinkPad because it has a good and easy to maintain ventilation (according to him), stable keyboard and a matte screen which is a plus for me. Nevermind, thank you for your satisfactory answer about the Edge but I will be grateful if someone has more specifical impressions about the E531 to share.


It looks like they have gone through a complete revision on this line-up so some of what I mentioned you can disregard (hinges are much improved now for instance). They look to have been improved quite a bit compared to the models we purchased. Here is a good overview to consider: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-showcases-Edge-E431...
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January 11, 2014 10:58:07 AM

22_sas said:
Hello,

Recently I started looking for a notebook that will suit my needs and after some searching the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E531 (i5 version with discrete graphics GeForce GT 740M) appeared to be my choice.

One of the main factors that made me to pick the Lenovo ThinkPad over the other brands is their proven reliability and durability.

Now the only thing that stops me buying this notebook is that people tell that the Edge series differ in build quality from the rest of the ThinkPads, being the same as some regular notebooks (consumer class). Is this true? I mean, yes, the series are way more cheaper than the rest but does this mean that their only common thing is the "ThinkPad" label? And in particular, what are your thoughts about the E531? I couldn't find any detailed user reviews about it. Is there anything that I should be aware of before getting one?

Regards

EDIT: I find it mandatory to mention since I was quite confused myself: The GeForce GT 740M mounted on the E531 is the newer Kepler GK208 based version of the chip (64bit). It's worse in performance compared to the old GK107 so be aware of that.


I've had mine for a few months now and am well-educated in all things related to computers. I think the TP E531 is a pretty darn good laptop, especially compared to any other I've ever seen. Hardware-wise, it's very good. I only have 3 complaints about it and they're mostly software:
1) Conexant audio cards and their drivers are complete shite. Too much rubbish built-in and the card actually requires the proprietary driver instead of just working with the Win7 driver (Realtek for instance works 100% with the latter, including things like Stereomix). Also, Conexant refuses to make their drivers publicly available. Instead, you have to go through the Lenovo website (which is hardly a good thing). Sound quality is not always good (try anything above 44100Hz 16-bit and you'll be sorry) and I frequently get weird issues like unexplained crackling coming and going. If I could replace the card, I'd do so right away. The speakers themselves (underneath the keyboard) are very good though.
2) They have a boatload of Intel rubbish built-in as well. A 200MB Wifi driver (???), utterly mysterious "features" like Intel Management Instrumentation, the crappy integrated graphics and its crappy program (for the record: they have both the Nvidia 740M AND Intel Integrated) and other nonsense. Next time I'm getting AMD, Intel has proven to be shite.
3) Lenovo's programs like the update searcher and other things are... shite. The custom window frames, splash screens and unnecessary animations are just some of the reasons.

Uninstalling those things as much as possible fixes those problems though. You don't need any of the Lenovo apps (except the convenient brightness/volume hotkeys and their OSD), you definitely don't need any of the Intel stuff though uninstalling it can prove to be tricky and the Conexant, well... I'm looking into doing something about that right now.
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