The plastic case is a very crappy solution from Lenovo. Magnesium cases were much better. The normal screen also has very bad quality colors are awful:-(. I have not seen the full hd screen it might better. The black rubbered top is also a silly solution. After 2 years usage it looks very nasty even somebody take care of it like me.
Here's my experience. After using T500 for nearly 5 years (which means I liked it), I bought a T530 with no discrete graphics card. I was hoping it to be an overall improvement, but sadly, I can't say that's the case. Some points of interest to me.
* screen: the 1920x1080 LCD is pretty good, to make the viewing not a big challegne at this high res. A plus point here. * keybrd: the chiclet is a step backward for me. It's too springy which makes it more tiresome to type. However, it's probably still better than most other keyboards, so... *touchpad: bad. The new grid-textured touch pad is just not as sensitive/accurate as the T500 one. I find myself doing lots of retries because it fails my intention. Awful. * speaker: bad. I could tell the difference IMMEDIATELY. It sounds much coarser and tinny. I would have thought they wudn't stoop so low to save a few bucks like this, but they did. The whole sound system seems worse, even thru headphone. Another item that makes me miss my T500 so much.
So far it's not the worst disaster given longer battery life (especially with on-board GC only), descent screen and keyboard. But you can't escape the CHEAP speakers, skimped LEDs, pgUp/pgDwn and some other keys moved to a more inconvenient location, and many other things. The old venerable Thinkpad T series has now become one of those CHEAP! thingies. Beware.
My review is going to be bad, because the company i work in, have to send 2 out of 50 back. They just reboot sometimes. On bad days its 2 reboots an hour, other days it can go all day without rebooting. Plus its not that good for such a price.
After a LOT of research and testing machines I chose the T530 with i5, 8 gb RAM, SSD-disk, 1600x900 resolution and no dedicated graphics card. This is the best machine I’ve ever had. Despite what you read the keyboard is great. The best out there. Pleasant and precise to type on, quiet and not least - centered in front of the screen. The machine never heats up and is always totally silent despite intensive multitasking. And it goes to sleep and wakes up in a matter of seconds. The best learning here is: GET A SSD-DISK.
I was a bit worried if the resolution might be to high and the fonts to small, but it’s absolutely perfect. I can also recommend Windows 8. I came from Vista and it took just 1 day to get used to the new OS. And learn how to ignore the start screen and just use the desktop ;-)
Downsides with the T530: Tough it’s not bulky and not heavy - it’s not a machine that will impress anybody in terms of design. It’s not a sleak consumer machine. But thinner machines tends to heat up more easily and the keyboards are not comparable in quality. T530 is perfect for real work and you will smile when you turn it on.
And just for the record - a problem with T530 and all other laptops: Why not make the screen higher. I don’t need a wide screen. I need a higher screen for word processing and web browsing. Like in the good old days.
I have had my new T530 for 5 months and I regret buying it. The new keyboard is terrible and not worthy of this class of notebook. My old Lenovo is a far better machine. This T530 feels cheap and the battery is loose in the case. This is my last Lenovo as I am planning on selling it on E bay - it is that bad. The keyboard is by far my worst disappointment - just plain awful. I hope the Dell E6530 will be better.
I've been using the T530 for 2 months now. Very quiet, the 1600x900 backlit is pleasant, performance is as advertised. Would I buy again? No, the keyboard is that bad. For 9 years I used the real Thinkpad R51. Chicklet keyboard is spongy, need to hit keys dead center or may/may not register, keys provide false feedback and I need to press a loot harder than good old ThinkPad. Sad to say an external keyboard is needed.
I have this laptop at work, considering it's price, it's poor.
The quality of construction is well below something I would expect at this price point, the plastics feel cheap and tacky.
The chassis squeaks and creaks, the battery is not a snug fit and rattles when carried.
I've had a variety of business grade machines over the years and this is the worst keyboard I have ever used, the swapped fn and ctrl keys is stupid, 99% of users will use the ctrl key more than the fn key, so why make the fn key dominant??
The separation of the pgup, pgdwn and home and end keys defies logic.
Performance is good considering it has no dedicated graphics.
The screen is the full hd version has the worst colour reproduction of any I've used, not even close to the Dell and HP units i've used.
The textured touchpad is precise, but I don't like it in use, the texture adds nothing and is very uncomfortable in use. I end up switching to a mouse where I can.
The installed manufacturer software is also buggy and prone to crashing.
My review is 3.5/10, if this was a budget laptop i'd probably forgive some of it's shortcomings, but this is a premium product and given the options from other manufacturers, it's well behind the quality scales.
The new keyboard is cool. I prefer the new one over the old one - it feels more solid to me personally. The layout was a little bit unusual compared to the previous thinkpads, but I got used to it after one week. I'm a software developer and doing lots of typing, and the keyboard works.
As for the 'hollow speaker sound' - the speakers indeed sound tiny, but I could fix it to some extent by some digital sound processing magic. If you are not satisfied with the tiny hollow sound, please check the driver at my web site: http://yohng.com/software/speakerfix.html