Quiet worker. A conservative Intel Core i7, a dedicated graphics card from Nvidia and a fast SSD ensure great system performance. The manufacturer promises and delivers long battery life, despite all these powerful components. Find out more about this model in our in-depth review.
The Chinese manufacturer offers a powerful and slim multimedia notebook in the Lenovo IdeaPad U530 Touch. Furthermore, the notebook offers great battery life (over 10 hours). The notebook fulfills the requirements to be called an Ultrabook and is thus tagged as such on the hand-rest regions. Aconservative Core i7 offers sufficient performance alongside a fast SSD. Other configurations are also available.
The predecessor, the Lenovo IdeaPad U510, has little in common with our test model. The series has been almost entirely updated by the manufacturer and is only similar on the outside. The U510 was plagued by a few flaws last year. The notebook chassis was not resistant and the feedback of the keyboard was not good. The panel was also relatively dark.
The competition is strong. They also use Intel Core i7-4500U processors but employ differentdedicated graphic cards. The HP Pavilion TouchSmart 15 uses a GT 740M and the Dell Inspiron 15 has a GT 750M. We will discuss how the U530 performs against the competition in the following in-depth review.
The case of the Lenovo IdeaPad U530 is composed of metal-covered components, which are comfortable to the hand. From the sides, the notebook reminds us of a thick MacBook Air and gives us a good impression. The weight of 2,328 grams is not light by any means, but considering the size, it is within reasonable limits.
The metal-cased display is resistant but lets itself get bent inwards as easily as before (in the predecessor). If pressure is applied to the back of the panel, the screen reveals a slight wave. The borders of the display can be pressed inwards in many places. When closed, the gapbetween the panel and the base is not even.
The base of the 22 mm thick notebook is very resistant. The hand-rest regions and the lower regions of the case are made of metal and areresistant to pressure. The black cover is prone to gathering a lot of fingerprints and smudges. Sadly, both parts of the notebook have rather sharp edges, dropping our rating of the workmanship, despite the good material, to decent.
The keyboard of the Lenovo IdeaPad U530 is described as an “AccuType keyboard” and offers comfortable typing with few typing errors. It is a decent input device, which has a backlight and is quiet. The QWERTZ keys are each 15 x 15 mm, smooth and rounded near the bottom. The stroke distance is rather short and the pressure point is precise. After getting used to the keyboard, the user can work very comfortably. The keys are placed a little too close to the cursor keys. This and the small “Shift” key on the right side lead to a few mistakes while typing.
We like the full-sized numeric pad and the fact that the Num and Caps lock button have an integrated status LED.
The touchpad of the Lenovo IdeaPad U530 is 110 x 70 mm big and fits perfectly in the case. Thesmooth surface ensures good sliding properties and allows the user to move the cursor accurately. The two integrated mouse keys have a clear pressure point, but they are hard to press and often cause the cursor to jump. Multi-touch gestures are supported and executed well.
The touchscreen of the Lenovo IdeaPad U530 supports up to ten fingers. Its surface has good sliding properties. Input is received well and executed quickly. Near the borders, the input device works reliably. Due to the chosen resolution, even the icons on the desktop are easy to choose with touch.
The Lenovo IdeaPad U530 uses an Intel Core i7-4500U, which has two physical cores. These cores have a base clock speed of 1.8 GHz and can be boosted up to 3.0 GHz (Single Core) via Turbo boost 2.0. If both cores are used simultaneously, then the boost can offer a max of 2.7 GHz. Thanks to Hyper-Threading, we can process up to 4 threads. The TDP value of the conservative ULV processor (Ultra Low Voltage) is a max 15 W (incl. the IGP).
In Cinebench R11.5, the scores are at the expected level. In the single-core test, the system scores 1.33 points whereas in the multi-core test, the laptop scores 2.74 points. This means it is slightly slower than the HP model (Multi: 2.84 points). During the benchmark, we observed brief clock speed drops which could be the reason for our test model lagging behind its HP competitor. In the Single-Core test, the Haswell CPU is only slightly slower than the quad-core CPU of the ATIV Book 8 (Intel Core i7-3635QM), which has about 400 MHz more speed. This shows the improved performance per MHz between the two generations.
On battery, the performance of the CPU drops strongly. This is due to the fact that it operates at minimum clock speed. This is good for the runtime, but when we ran demanding tasks, theseperformance limitations are easily noticeable.