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Lenovo G530 (4446-35U) Review by Brett

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Another Lenovo has made it inside the Midnight Mods HQ, but it’s not a Netbook. No, today we have a G530-444635U laptop with a Dual Core Pentium T4200 (2.00 GHz) CPU, 2 Gigabytes of RAM, Glossy 15.4” Wide XGA display, 160 Gigabyte 5400rpm hard drive, Dual Layer DVD-RW Optical Drive, Webcam (think it’s a Bison 1.3MP), and Windows Vista Home Basic 32bit.

First thing we need to do is get it out of the box and crack it open (to see how pretty it is of course.)

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The packaging is very Lenovo- adequate and efficient. Under the hood, we have the CPU, heat sink, fan, and memory modules under one panel. Nice and easy to get to. The hard drive and MPCI slot each have their own panel. I have no arguments with this layout; it has served very well in the past.

This is the value model in the series, having slightly lower specs on just about everything, but for the price it’s an excellent personal or very small business on a budget computer. The system can handle up to 4 gigabytes of memory, has a sturdy feeling side mounted power jack, front loading Media Card reader (SD, MMC, MS, MS PRO), 4 ports of USB 2.0, long lasting 6 cell battery, and has a SATA interface hard drive.


Really, the only thing I was disappointed about was the responsiveness of the volume buttons after reinstalling the OS (think 20 seconds to go from high to low) and the viewing angle on the webcam, but it’s not really that bad. It’s perfect for a headshot and I’m guessing that’s at least partially because of the facial recognition software (did not test, clean installed Windows as soon as I got it :-) that was preloaded on it. A tip to increase picture quality somewhat: Remove the protective plastic that was put on it for shipping or else people like me are going to laugh at you as if your lens cap was still on.

Overall, I couldn’t find things to complain about. That’s a good thing right? Makes for a short post! Then again, that is why I look to Lenovo for laptops. They seem to be good a delivering solid design without going over budget. So, if your brain screams new laptop, but your wallet disagrees, I’d recommend giving the G530 a spin. It can usually be had for less than $350 when on sale at the big name stores or online.


EH said...

I have one of these and the screen started to flicker after the laptop fell off a low bed. It'll be fine for hours sometimes and a little percussive maintenance (tapping the case near the power button) or varying the screen angle a tiny bit will usually bring it back. I think it's a loose video connector. Looking at your shot of the guts, though, I can't see the connector. It should be in the same bay with the big heat sink - I can see the tiny video cable going in on that side on my machine. It looks like the connector must be covered by the heat sink, which means getting a zillion screws off and finding some good thermal compound to put it back on. Then I'll probably find they soldered the damn video connector...or the problem connection is inside the screen...

Please let me know if you have any ideas or knowledge about this possible fix.

EH said...

Here's the answer - the connector is under the keyboard on the top of the machine. The trim above the keyboard around the power button snaps out then remove two screws holding the keyboard down, slide the keyboard forward then out, then reseat the connector and put it back together.


EH said...

And just to be clear, the first step before snapping out the trim above the keyboard is to remove the battery and the row of 4 small phillips-head screws behind the battery. Use a proper jeweler's-grade small screwdriver, (not a regular one or one of those things that comes with hard drive kits) or the screws will strip before they'll move.

I reseated both small connectors coming off the metal-fabric shielded cable coming from the left hinge - one is camera, the other is display, but I'm not sure which is which. I was careful to only pull and push on the hard plastic connectors themselves - pull on the wire and you're asking for real trouble. I also took the opportunity to blow out the cruft from the keyboard and the space beneath.

So far the fix seems to have worked perfectly. Yay!

Anonymous said...

Could you have dust build up causing overheating? The problem for me seemed to have been dust build up in the fan and heat sink area. There was a lot of dust trapped in the cooling fan -removing this and cleaning the fan solved the screen flicker.

Grace Ray Johnson said...

There are several cell phone repair stores here in Med ford, Oregon who are also saying that they have been experiencing several cases of overheating not only on laptops but also on phones. They said that, they have been really looking out on it now to lengthen the life of the mobile phones, of course, that also includes the other electronic gadgets.

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