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By Hanleigh Daniels 21 October 2009

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If you\'re scouring the market for an affordable entry-level laptop, then the Lenovo G530 is definitely worth considering. The proposition is made all the more appealing by Computer Corporation\'s current special on the device which sees a mouse, the Canon IP 1900 ink-jet printer, a notebook bag, as well as a 2 GB flash drive thrown in. All this for a very reasonable R4999.

The look and feel of the G530 is simple yet elegant. The edges are rounded and the lid has a nice black finish that is smooth to the touch. Underneath the hood you’ll find the Intel Celeron M900 running at 2.20 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, and a 160 GB hard drive. Yes it’s quite average, but good considering the price. Luckily it comes with all the important extras, most importantly Wi-Fi, a DVD writer, a web cam and Bluetooth. Vista Home Basic does the operating. 

The screen

The Lenovo’s 15.4\'\' screen is crispy and clear when viewing photos, web pages or movies on DVD. VibrantView adds a glossy, reflective surface to the screen which helps to improve colours and contrast, but can sometimes be very reflective, mirroring whatever’s in front of it.

Input devices

Typing on the keyboard is easy and smooth. There are four media-related keys, the volume up/down buttons, mute button and a button that deactivates the touchpad and these are all located above the keyboard. The touchpad has good sensitivity and a smooth surface texture which makes it easy to work on, while the touchpad buttons need only light pressure to operate, but do give off a sharp click when pressed.

Interfaces

There’s a whole host of connectivity possibilities with this notebook, it has a 4-in-1 media card reader, four high-speed USB 2.0 ports, two on either side of the notebook, as well as a VGA connection.

Speakers

Sound quality when using the onboard speakers is okay for listening to music or when you are watching a movie, but the speakers are fairly average as far as notebook speakers go. Bass was lacking, especially when listening to music, but given the cost of this notebook it wasn’t a major issue. We preferred hooking it up to external speakers when watching movies since it was a tad too soft to really watch comfortably.

Verdict

Considering its price and the offer that comes with it, the Lenovo G530 notebook should be definitely above that case of Black Label on the consummate student\'s shopping list. There’s also no reason why it cannot be used in a business environment either. It has all the features you need and most of the ones you want, true it might not be that powerful, but then again you’re not paying R10 000.

R4999 from Computer Corporation on 08616-08616.

PROS
Stylish looks and its affordable.
CONS
A bit heavy to lug around.
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