Our Verdict
The Ideapad 530S is a notebook computer with premium looks and good performance for a not-so-premium price.

For
Elegant, premium design
Slim display borders
Thin and lightweight
Strong performance
Good value
Against
Display could possibly be more colorful
Speakers aren’t great

The Lenovo Ideapad 530S proves you don’t have to spend $1,000 for reduced laptop computer it doesn’t skimp on performance. For $699, you get yourself a 15.6-inch, 1080p display; an 8th Gen Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD — the minimum specs we recommend for a notebook as of this price. However, the highlight may be the compact, aluminum design, that could easily make persons mistake the Ideapad 530S for a far more expensive laptop.

While there aren’t any deal-breakers, this machine does underwhelm in a few areas. The laptop’s battery life falls short of your competition, and its own slim bezels border a dull display. Still, the Ideapad 530S is among the finest Lenovo laptops, and an excellent option for anybody who doesn’t want to splurge on reduced laptop computer but feel just like they did.

Design

The Lenovo Ideapad 530S’ design reminds me of a monochrome painting you’d find in a modern-day art museum. There is not much too it, yet, it’s mesmerizing. Every design cue feels as though it includes a purpose, accumulated to a notebook that looks elegant and feels expensive.

The Ideapad 530S would merge nicely with Apple’s portfolio of laptops, and that is quite a compliment. The device sports a two-tone silver aluminum deck and light-gray lid and keyboard. The contrast is subtle, nonetheless it gives the notebook computer a unique look. A little, dark-gray rectangle with Lenovo branding hides privately of the lid such as a T-shirt tag. A slanted hinge and chrome trim around the deck and touchpad add a lot more elegance to this superior design.

Unfortunately, the deck of our review unit wobbled when I applied pressure left of the touchpad. An upgraded unit Lenovo sent us didn’t have exactly the same issue, suggesting it isn’t widespread.

The Ideapad 530S would blend nicely into Apple’s portfolio of laptops, and that is quite a compliment.

Because of the thin bezels, the 14.1 x 9.6 x 0.7-inch Ideapad 530S is remarkably compact for a 15-inch laptop. The Acer Aspire E 15 (15 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches) includes a much larger footprint, as the 13-inch Asus ZenBook UX330UA (12.7 x 8.7 x 0.5) is, as you’d expect, much smaller.

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At 3.7 pounds, the Ideapad 530S weighs significantly less than some 14-inch laptops. Compared, the chunky Acer Aspire E 15 will come in at 4.9 pounds, and the sleek Asus ZenBook UX330UA weighs only 2.7 pounds.

Ports

Due to its thin chassis, the Ideapad 530S is light on ports. However, it has just about everything you could require, lacking a Thunderbolt 3 input.

On the left side, you will discover an HDMI, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 3.1 Type-C input, a headphone/mic combo jack and a DC power connector.

The right side is quite sparse, housing just a 4-in-1 card reader another USB 3.0 port.

Display

The Ideapad 530S’ 15-inch, non-touch 1080p display gets plenty bright, but I wish it were more vibrant. When I watched a trailer for THE HOME with a Clock in its Walls, the ornate gilding around Jack Black’s kingly chair was properly visible. I didn’t have even to squint to start to see the intricate design on the trunk of his handmade cards.

The colorful house where the trailer is set must have been bursting with magic, but rather, it appeared uninspired. The bright orange eyes on the living jack-o’-lantern didn’t scare, and Cate Blanchett’s beautiful purple dress disappeared contrary to the dark scenery. It isn’t that the colors were dull; they just looked subdued upon this matte display. It isn’t all bad, though. The display’s white balance seemed on point, and I didn’t notice any glaringly inaccurate tones.

The 15-inch, non-touch 1080p display gets plenty bright, but I wish it were more vibrant.

The Ideapad 530S’ display fell short in the colour department, reproducing only 72 percent of the sRGB color space. The Acer Aspire E 15 (74 percent) edges out the Ideapad, as the Asus ZenBook UX330UA (105 percent) and the mainstream notebook computer average (90 percent) blow it away.

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On the bright side (pun intended), the Ideapad 530S’ display reached a good 255 nits, outshining the Acer Aspire E 15 (200 nits) and the common mainstream notebook (238 nits). The luminous display on the Asus ZenBook UX330UA (302 nits) makes the Ideapad 530S appear dim compared.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Without as brilliant as those on ThinkPad laptops, the Ideapad 530S’ backlit keyboard is decent in its right. I was greeted to pleasantly tactile feedback every time I registered an integral press, and the keys felt springy, not mushy.

However, with 1 millimeter of key travel (below our 1.5-mm preference), the keyboard is quite shallow. Combine that having an above-average actuation force of 71 grams, and the Ideapad 530 isn’t probably the most comfortable to type on for extended periods.

With a score of 112 words each and every minute, I wasn’t in a position to reach my typical 115 wpm average in the 10fastfingers.com typing test. Also, at 92 percent, my accuracy was below my 95 percent average.

Audio

The Lenovo Ideapad 530S’ speakers get loud enough to fill a sizable room, but the music lacks depth. When I paid attention to Panic! At the Disco’s new song “High Hopes,” vocals were clear however the pop track sounded thin and veiled. The speakers also didn’t separate instruments, which led to a grating clash of high-pitched drum hits and shrill guitar sounds.

When I paid attention to Avicii’s remix of “Wake Me Up,” Aloe Black’s smooth voice sounded hollow and the drum rhythm had no weight to it. Overall, the speakers are sufficient for everyday listeners, but discerning audiophiles would want to plug in a few headphones.

Performance

Built with an Intel Core i5 CPU and 8GB of RAM, the Lenovo Ideapad 530S offers plenty of performance for the purchase price. I’m the type of one who avoids clearing up browser tabs no matter what; fortunately, I never really had to with the Ideapad 530S. I opened 20 webpages on Google Chrome, and didn’t notice any lag. A lot more impressive is that the Ideapad 530S didn’t falter once when I simultaneously opened a Twitch blast of Ninja playing Fortnite and four 1080p YouTube videos.

The Lenovo Ideapad 530S performed well inside our performance benchmarks. It scored a 11,966 in the Geekbench 4 test, which measures efficiency. It crushed the Core i5-equipped Acer Aspire E 15 (9,278), but fell just lacking the speedy Asus ZenBook UX330UA (12,871) with exactly the same CPU. The common mainstream notebook computer (8,600) doesn’t get anywhere near to the performance of the Ideapad 530S.