Notebookcheck

Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB (i7-8550U, MX150, WQHD, IPS) Laptop Review

Sebastian Bade, 👁 Andreas Osthoff, Felicitas Krohn (translated by Martin Jungowski), 07/19/2018

Nice concept! The IdeaPad 530s is more than a simple performance upgrade, and it features a slightly redesigned base. We have had the chance to put the top model through its paces - find out how well it did in our extensive review.

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The Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB is a compact 14-inch subnotebook with a modern and simplistic design in four different colors. The base model (Core i5-8250U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB NVMe SSD, FHD display, no dGPU, no operating system) is not available in the US yet, but given its European prices we expect a US price of around $600. The only model currently on sale on this side of the Atlantic is the one mentioned above, equipped with a GeForce MX130 dGPU and Windows 10 Home, and it starts at around $900.

The WQHD display is limited to the top model only, and the base model cannot be upgraded. All other configurations are thus equipped with an FHD panel instead.

Today, we have the said top model in review. In addition to the WQHD panel it is also equipped with a Core i7-8550U CPU, a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU with 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and a 512 GB large SSD.

The IdeaPad’s main competitors are the HP Spectre 13, which is available with the exact same CPU, the Huawei MateBook X Pro, and the Asus ZenBook UX3430 - both of which feature a dedicated GPU. In order to see what exactly has changed, we have also included the 530s-14IKB’s predecessor, the IdeaPad 520s, in our comparison group. The following table gives you an overview over our test group.

HP Spectre 13 Huawai MateBook X Pro Acer Acer Swift 5 Asus Zenbook UX3430UN Lenovo IdeaPad 520s
CPU Intel Core i7-8550U Intel Core i5-8250U Intel Core i5-8250U Intel Core i5-8250U Intel Core i5-7200U
GPU Intel UHD Graphics 620 Nvidia GeForce MX150 Intel UHD Graphics 620 Nvidia GeForce MX150 Nvidia GeForce 940MX
Display 13,3-inch 1920 x 1080 (IPS) 13,9-inch 3000 x 2000 (IPS) 14-inch 1920 x 1080 (IPS) 14-inch 1920 x 1080 (IPS) 14-inch 1920 x 1080 (IPS)
RAM 8 GB DDR4 8 GB DDR3 8 GB DDR3 16 GB DDR3 8 GB DDR4
Storage 512 GB SSD (NVMe) 256 GB SSD (NVMe) 256 GB SSD (NVMe) 256 GB SSD (NVMe) 256 GB SSD
Rating 87% 88% 84% 88% 83%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB (IdeaPad 530s Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 - 2048 MB, Core: 1469 - 1532 (Boost) MHz, Memory: 6000 MHz, GDDR5 (Hynix), Nvidia 398.36, Nvidia Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2666, 1 of 1 used, single-channel, max. 16GB
Display
14 inch 16:9, 2560 x 1440 pixel 210 PPI, AUO B140QAN02.3, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG), 512 GB 
, M.2-2280, 445 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek Audio
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio combo, Card Reader: 4-in-1 card reader, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 16.4 x 323.4 x 226 ( = 0.65 x 12.73 x 8.9 in)
Battery
45 Wh, 5928 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Keyboard: 6-row chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Lenovo Utility, Microsoft Office Trial, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.479 kg ( = 52.17 oz / 3.26 pounds), Power Supply: 212 g ( = 7.48 oz / 0.47 pounds)
Price
1199 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Lenovo IdeaPad 530s: available colors (Source: Lenovo)
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s: available colors (Source: Lenovo)

Compared with its immediate predecessor, the case has undergone some minor updates and modifications, and has become slightly slimmer. All corners and edges are nicely rounded and/or chamfered. Available colors include Onyx black, Copper, Liquid blue, and Mineral gray. Our review unit is Onyx black. The notebook’s surfaces sport a faux aluminum finish, and they did not just look great but also feel very premium. Unfortunately, at least the black model turned out to be a fingerprint magnet. The base and display lid were fairly rigid, and the base only flexed slightly in the middle. It was not reproducible during everyday use.

The hinges are pretty stiff and can be opened a full 180°. Due to the device’s low weight the lid cannot be opened one-handed but at least the firm hinges did a great job in reducing teetering to an absolute minimum.

All things considered, we liked the new sturdy and slim case a lot. It is well-made and deserves praise.

Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB

Size Comparison

With a footprint of 32.3 x 22.6 cm (12.7 x 8.9 inches) the IdeaPad is one of the more compact laptops in our test group. While the HP Spectre 13 and the MateBook X Pro are smaller they also feature smaller 13.3-inch displays.

At roughly 1.5 kg (~3.3 lbs) our review unit turned out to be quite heavy. The main culprit is the glass cover for the display, which weighs around 100 g (3.5 oz) according to Lenovo. However, we consider 1.5 kg (~3.3 lb) to be an acceptable weight for a 14-inch notebook. The 65-W power supply weighs an extra 212 g (7.5 oz).

Connectivity

Long story short: the IdeaPad’s connectivity is decent. It features one HDMI and a total of three USB ports, two of which are USB 3.0 Type-A and one is a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port. Unfortunately, Lenovo has once again decided not to include Thunderbolt 3, which would have been much faster and more future-proof in the long run. An SD card reader can be found on the right-hand side. The only difference between the 530s-14IKB and its predecessor is the missing Kensington Lock port that was still present on the latter. Because of this, the ports on the right-hand side have been moved further back - a very welcome modification.

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Left: power, HDMI, USB Type-A 3.0, USB Type-C 3.1 Gen1, audio combo jack
Left: power, HDMI, USB Type-A 3.0, USB Type-C 3.1 Gen1, audio combo jack
Right: SD card reader, USB Type-A 3.0
Right: SD card reader, USB Type-A 3.0
Front: no connectivity
Front: no connectivity
Rear: no connectivity
Rear: no connectivity

SD Card Reader

At this point we would like to emphasize the fact that Lenovo is still equipping the IdeaPad 530s-14IKB with a full-size SD card reader that supports the most common memory card formats. Unfortunately, it turned out to be very lethargic and not just slower than average, but also significantly slower than its own predecessor. It almost seems as if the card reader is only connected via USB 2.0 whereas the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB had it connected to the USB 3.0 bus. Another downside is the card reader’s very shallow slot - inserted cards are protruding very far out of the case. In theory, a different card reader capable of taking in the entire memory card would have been possible given the amount of space on the inside.


SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
79.6 MB/s ∼100% +197%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (8 - 186, n=97)
60.6 MB/s ∼76% +126%
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
38.9 MB/s ∼49% +45%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26.8 MB/s ∼34%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87.6 MB/s ∼100% +222%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (17.7 - 251, n=98)
79.9 MB/s ∼91% +194%
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
38.3 MB/s ∼44% +41%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
27.2 MB/s ∼31%

Communication

Wi-Fi modem
Wi-Fi modem

All things wireless are handled by the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 modem, which includes support for Bluetooth 4.1. According to the specification sheet, the maximum theoretical bandwidth is 433 Mbp s and the laptop managed average transmit and receive data rates of 289 and 302 Mbps, respectively. Those are practically identical to its predecessor. Due to the lack of integrated Ethernet, a USB dongle is required for wired communications. Mobile internet (4G/LTE WWAN) is not available.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
660 MBit/s ∼100% +119%
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
530 MBit/s ∼80% +75%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (71 - 950, n=85)
525 MBit/s ∼80% +74%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
522 MBit/s ∼79% +73%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
493 MBit/s ∼75% +63%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
343 MBit/s ∼52% +14%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
302 MBit/s ∼46%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
664 MBit/s ∼100% +130%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
659 MBit/s ∼99% +128%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (72 - 949, n=85)
518 MBit/s ∼78% +79%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
513 MBit/s ∼77% +78%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
511 MBit/s ∼77% +77%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
300 MBit/s ∼45% +4%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
289 MBit/s ∼44%

Security

The notebook features a fingerprint reader on the right palm rest, and it worked very well after initial setup. A TPM 2.0 module is also built-in. All currently available SKUs are equipped identically, and thus feature this fingerprint reader.

Accessories

The only items we found in the box in addition to the notebook itself are the 65-W charger, various service guides, and a warranty booklet.

Maintenance

Removed bottom cover
Removed bottom cover

Maintenance was comparatively easy despite the lack of a dedicated maintenance flap. The bottom cover is held in place by a total of 10 screws as well as a plethora of plastic clips. Consequently, a plastic spudger tool is a must in order to remove the bottom cover.

Once removed, all components including the fan are readily accessible. RAM and SSD are hidden away behind an additional metal shield. The IdeaPad 530s-14IKB features a single RAM slot, which means that it lacks support for dual-channel mode. A second M.2-2242 slot is located right underneath the SSD.


Just one RAM slot
Just one RAM slot
RAM is not soldered onto the motherboard
RAM is not soldered onto the motherboard

Warranty

As usual, European customers get a 2-year limited warranty while US customers are limited to just 12 months. Various warranty extensions can be purchased directly from Lenovo’s web shop, and prices vary depending on region and service level agreement.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB keyboard
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB keyboard
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB keyboard (backlit)
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB keyboard (backlit)

The keyboard has remained almost identical to its predecessor. The main changes include a separate power button and modified keyboard mappings for the Print and Insert keys. The left Shift key has become slightly smaller, and the Up and Down cursor keys are still only half sized and tiny, which takes quite some getting used to.

It is a well-known fact that Lenovo’s laptops feature some of the best notebook keyboards available, and our review unit was no exception. Nevertheless, it was not quite as good as the more expensive ThinkPad keyboards. Typing on it felt very good, and key travel was comparatively short but feedback was very firm and well-defined in return. The keyboard did not flex at all. The keycaps themselves were easily readable thanks to their large print, and the keyboard featured a two-stage white backlight.

Touchpad
Touchpad

The decently sized 10.1 x 7 cm (4 x 2.8 inches) large touchpad (ClickPad) matches the Black color of the notebook perfectly. Its surface was very smooth, its responsiveness was immaculate, and its size was large enough for gesture control. It worked very well all over on our review unit. The two invisible buttons are located along the bottom edge, and their audible feedback when clicked was very full. All things considered the ClickPad’s quality was very high. The only gripe we have with it was that its smoothness all but vanished with moist and sweaty fingertips.

Display

Subpixel geometry
Subpixel geometry
Excellent: no clouding
Excellent: no clouding

Our review unit featured a 14-inch IPS WQHD panel (2560x1440) with a pixel density of 210 DPI. Alternatively, the 530s-14IKB is also available with a FHD IPS panel.

While its brightness (311 nits) and contrast ratio (1,555:1) were very good the Huawei MateBook X Pro and the Asus ZenBook UX3430 were significantly brighter. At 85%, brightness distribution was adequate.

We found no traces of clouding on our review unit’s display, and also no PWM whatsoever. Accordingly, the 530s-14IKB scored very well in this category. The only downside was the panel’s comparatively slow response times.

274
cd/m²
293
cd/m²
269
cd/m²
286
cd/m²
311
cd/m²
281
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
316
cd/m²
291
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 316 cd/m² Average: 292.6 cd/m² Minimum: 5.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 310 cd/m²
Contrast: 1555:1 (Black: 0.2 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 1.6
ΔE Greyscale 8.7 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
96% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 60.9% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.19
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
AUO B140QAN02.3, 2560x1440, 14
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
AU Optronics AUO422D, 1920x1080, 13.3
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Tianma XM, 3000x2000, 13.9
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
AU Optronics AUO203D, 1920x1080, 14
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
Chi Mei CMN14D2 / N140HCE-EN1, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
N140HCA-EAC, 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
39%
25%
32%
35%
25%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
58.4 (29.2, 29.2)
27 (12, 15)
54%
40.4 (19.2, 21.2)
31%
37 (17, 20)
37%
30 (14, 16)
49%
38 (20, 18)
35%
Response Time Black / White *
31.2 (14.8, 16.4)
24 (14, 10)
23%
25.6 (11.6, 14)
18%
23 (13, 10)
26%
25 (14, 11)
20%
26.4 (14.8, 11.6)
15%
PWM Frequency
24510 (60)
Screen
12%
13%
-9%
-10%
-10%
Brightness middle
311
304
-2%
442.7
42%
254
-18%
377
21%
274
-12%
Brightness
293
287
-2%
428
46%
231
-21%
339
16%
256
-13%
Brightness Distribution
85
80
-6%
84
-1%
86
1%
76
-11%
83
-2%
Black Level *
0.2
0.21
-5%
0.31
-55%
0.25
-25%
0.4
-100%
0.18
10%
Contrast
1555
1448
-7%
1428
-8%
1016
-35%
943
-39%
1522
-2%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6
3.66
39%
2.24
63%
3.85
36%
3.33
44%
6.7
-12%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
11.6
5.66
51%
7.19
38%
7.05
39%
8.02
31%
14.8
-28%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.6
1.11
31%
3.66
-129%
3.5
-119%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
8.7
3.51
60%
9.7
-11%
4.1
53%
4.89
44%
6.3
28%
Gamma
2.19 100%
2.55 86%
1.42 155%
2.43 91%
2.37 93%
2.04 108%
CCT
8426 77%
6955 93%
6227 104%
7369 88%
7620 85%
6363 102%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60.9
59
-3%
61.6
1%
63
3%
62
2%
39.6
-35%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
96
91
-5%
95
-1%
97
1%
98
2%
61.5
-36%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
26% / 16%
19% / 15%
12% / -2%
13% / -3%
8% / -4%

* ... smaller is better

Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB vs. sRGB (96%)
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB vs. sRGB (96%)
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB vs. AdobeRGB (60%)
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB vs. AdobeRGB (60%)

Image quality was very decent by and large despite the high DeltaE 2000 deviations of 8.7 (grayscale) and 6 (colors) out of the box. We were able to improve these drastically through calibration, and as always the resulting ICC profile can be found for download in the box above. At 96% (sRGB) 60.9% (AdobeRGB) color space coverage was more than decent. That said, most other devices in our test group achieved similar results. The notable exception was the 530s-14IKB’s own predecessor. All things considered, the IdeaPad is suitable for photo and video editing purposes.

CalMAN: grayscale (uncalibrated)
CalMAN: grayscale (uncalibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (uncalibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (uncalibrated)
CalMAN: saturation (uncalibrated)
CalMAN: saturation (uncalibrated)
CalMAN: grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: saturation (calibrated)

Outdoor usability was severely thwarted by the highly reflective display glass cover despite its decent maximum brightness. We have had trouble working outside even, in the shade while working outside in the sun was completely impossible.

Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB (in sunlight)
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB (in sunlight)
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB (in the shade)
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB (in the shade)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
31.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14.8 ms rise
↘ 16.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 80 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
58.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 29.2 ms rise
↘ 29.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 95 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8933 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Viewing angles were as wide as expected of an IPS panel. The screen remained readable from all sides and showed no signs of hazing regardless of angle. Older IPS panels sometimes had trouble when looked at from the corners.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Our review unit SKU is equipped with Intel's Core i7-8550U CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and a 512 GB large SSD. That alone should carry enough oomph for everyday office tasks. The dedicated GeForce MX150 GPU is a nice bonus that also allows you to play games. In case you do not need that level of performance you can also opt for the slightly slower Intel Core i5-8250U or a model without the dedicated Nvidia GPU. Generally speaking, the systems seem to be very well balanced. LatencyMon failed to detect any increased latencies.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
DPC-Latenzen
HWiNFO
Intel Extreme Utility
Intel Extreme Utility (Benchmark)
 

Processor

Intel Core i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U

Intel’s Core i7-8550U is an efficient quad-core CPU running at a base frequency of 1.8 GHz and a turbo boost of up to 4 GHz. In our test group it achieved the highest single-thread score in Cinebench R15. However, in the multi-thread test it did not do that well and scored just 518 points - still better than Huawei’s MateBook X Pro but there is definitely room for improvement. Compared to last year’s IdeaPad 520s-14IKB performance has improved quite dramatically.

Additional benchmarks for Intel’s Core i7-8550U can be found here.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Intel Core i7-8550U
161 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (108 - 172, n=67)
160 Points ∼99% -1%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
146 Points ∼91% -9%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
145 Points ∼90% -10%
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
Intel Core i5-8250U
143 Points ∼89% -11%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
Intel Core i5-7200U
132 Points ∼82% -18%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U
132 Points ∼82% -18%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (20 - 171, n=233)
111 Points ∼69% -31%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
Intel Core i5-8250U
596 Points ∼100% +15%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (301 - 761, n=69)
575 Points ∼96% +11%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Intel Core i7-8550U
518 Points ∼87%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
516 Points ∼87% 0%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
515 Points ∼86% -1%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U
494 Points ∼83% -5%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
Intel Core i5-7200U
334 Points ∼56% -36%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (32 - 721, n=240)
306 Points ∼51% -41%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Intel Core i7-8550U
8125 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (6737 - 8436, n=12)
8065 Points ∼99% -1%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U
5163 Points ∼64% -36%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (50.8 - 8125, n=300)
4016 Points ∼49% -51%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (12279 - 31667, n=12)
23153 Points ∼100% +6%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Intel Core i7-8550U
21836 Points ∼94%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U
11245 Points ∼49% -49%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1294 - 22468, n=297)
8469 Points ∼37% -61%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Intel Core i7-8550U
1.85 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (1.43 - 1.95, n=32)
1.834 Points ∼99% -1%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
1.66 Points ∼90% -10%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.09 - 1.98, n=267)
1.144 Points ∼62% -38%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U
0.91 Points ∼49% -51%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (4.38 - 8.56, n=32)
6.28 Points ∼100% +10%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
5.8 Points ∼92% +1%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Intel Core i7-8550U
5.72 Points ∼91%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U
3.15 Points ∼50% -45%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.33 - 7.17, n=406)
2.5 Points ∼40% -56%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
263.8 Points ∼100% +22%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (142 - 288, n=53)
237 Points ∼90% +9%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Intel Core i7-8550U
217.06 Points ∼82%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
212.9 Points ∼81% -2%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
Intel Core i5-7200U
198.43 Points ∼75% -9%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (34.8 - 277, n=104)
183 Points ∼69% -16%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Subnotebook
  (797 - 30250, n=124)
2139 ms * ∼100% -89%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
1356 ms * ∼63% -20%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
Intel Core i5-7200U
1177.2 ms * ∼55% -4%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Intel Core i7-8550U
1134.1 ms * ∼53%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (877 - 2114, n=39)
1083 ms * ∼51% +5%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
937.3 ms * ∼44% +17%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (17296 - 42043, n=34)
34140 Points ∼100% +6%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Intel Core i7-8550U
32233 Points ∼94%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
Intel Core i5-7200U
31666 Points ∼93% -2%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
27037 Points ∼79% -16%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (3963 - 41665, n=116)
24092 Points ∼71% -25%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10
Cinebench R10
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
Jetstream 1.1
Jetstream 1.1
Octane V2
Octane V2
Mozilla Kraken 1.1
Mozilla Kraken 1.1

We test a processor’s sustained load capabilities by running Cinebench R15’s multi-thread test in a loop. As can be seen below, the scores were very consistent after the first, much higher, iteration and on a par with the MateBook X Pro (although the drop in performance was more drastic in this case). Our review unit’s Intel Core i7-8550U's performance dropped by 7% under prolonged sustained load. An acceptable decrease and significantly less than on some of its competitors.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540Tooltip
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB Intel Core i7-8550U: Ø481 (476.32-517.64)
HP Spectre 13-af033ng Intel Core i7-8550U: Ø456 (417.3-515.04)
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5 Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø465 (452.33-537.54)
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø408 (359.46-494.25)
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE Intel Core i5-7200U: Ø273 (256.79-300.86)
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
3491
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
8125 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
21836 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
3731 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6219
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
16794
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 32Bit
5.37 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 32Bit
57.62 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.85 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
5.72 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
57.85 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 32Bit
1.63 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
161 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
59.74 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
518 Points
Help

System Performance

Overall system performance was very good, and at no point in time during our review period did we get the impression of having to work with a slow device. Our review unit did fairly well in PCMark’s synthetic benchmarks. That said, all devices in our test group achieved very similar results so there is no clear and obvious winner or loser here. The 530s-14IKB review unit scored slightly above the average for its subnotebook class.

PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (4063 - 5228, n=19)
4767 Points ∼100% +3%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
4700 Points ∼99% +1%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
4648 Points ∼98%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
4628 Points ∼97% 0%
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
GeForce MX150, 8250U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
4613 Points ∼97% -1%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4562 Points ∼96% -2%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4339 Points ∼91% -7%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1283 - 5363, n=175)
3944 Points ∼83% -15%
Home Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3705 Points ∼100% +7%
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
GeForce MX150, 8250U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3672 Points ∼99% +6%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (3145 - 4130, n=20)
3653 Points ∼99% +5%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
3554 Points ∼96% +3%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3478 Points ∼94% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
3463 Points ∼93%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
3264 Points ∼88% -6%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1027 - 4182, n=201)
2991 Points ∼81% -14%
PCMark 10
Essentials
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
GeForce MX150, 8250U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
7589 Points ∼100% +11%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (6084 - 8412, n=18)
7295 Points ∼96% +7%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
7083 Points ∼93% +4%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
6829 Points ∼90%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
6405 Points ∼84% -6%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (3092 - 8549, n=47)
6397 Points ∼84% -6%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
6312 Points ∼83% -8%
Score
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (3056 - 4106, n=18)
3648 Points ∼100% +7%
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
GeForce MX150, 8250U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3569 Points ∼98% +4%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3445 Points ∼94% +1%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
3421 Points ∼94%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1150 - 3860, n=51)
2955 Points ∼81% -14%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
2844 Points ∼78% -17%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
2619 Points ∼72% -23%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3463 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4643 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4648 points
Help

Storage Devices

SK Hynix 512 GB SSD
SK Hynix 512 GB SSD
SSD installed in the system
SSD installed in the system
Free M.2-2242 slot
Free M.2-2242 slot

We liked the 512 GB large SK Hynix NVMe SSD that Lenovo has opted for a lot. Out of the box, around 445 GB were available to the user. Transfer rates were very high, in particular the stunning 41 MB/s 4K read, which makes for very fast application launch times. As we have already mentioned in the maintenance section of this review the notebook features a second M.2 slot. At just 42 mm (~1.65 in), it is shorter than the primary 80 mm (~3.15 in) slot. There is no 2.5-inch drive bay, which would have been pointless in our opinion anyway.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark 3
CrystalDiskMark 3
CrystalDiskMark 5
CrystalDiskMark 5
CrystalDiskMark 6
CrystalDiskMark 6
CrystalDiskInfo
CrystalDiskInfo
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
23%
-19%
-40%
-41%
Write 4k QD32
260.2
476
83%
203.3
-22%
243.3
-6%
244.8
-6%
Read 4k QD32
330.3
543
64%
289.5
-12%
322.2
-2%
279.6
-15%
Write 4k
99.97
144
44%
89.15
-11%
68.42
-32%
77.69
-22%
Read 4k
39.83
60
51%
29.58
-26%
29.58
-26%
24.74
-38%
Write 512
642.2
546
-15%
472.8
-26%
263.2
-59%
252.8
-61%
Read 512
769.3
515
-33%
641.6
-17%
266.9
-65%
347.8
-55%
Write Seq
733.3
878
20%
596.6
-19%
263.9
-64%
254.1
-65%
Read Seq
1360
907
-33%
1113
-18%
480.3
-65%
472.3
-65%
SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
Sequential Read: 1360 MB/s
Sequential Write: 733.3 MB/s
512K Read: 769.3 MB/s
512K Write: 642.2 MB/s
4K Read: 39.83 MB/s
4K Write: 99.97 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 330.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 260.2 MB/s

GPU Performance

Nvidia GeForce MX150
Nvidia GeForce MX150

Intel's UHD Graphics 620 is in charge of video output first and foremost, and it takes care of video decoding, reducing CPU load significantly. Our particular SKU featured an additional dedicated GeForce MX150 GPU with 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This GPU is the successor to the GeForce 940MX and quite a bit faster, as can be seen in the 3DMark benchmark results. The differences between our review unit and notebooks without a dedicated GPU are particularly impressive and important for those customers, who want to purchase an SKU without dedicated GPU. The latter should offer performance comparable to its iGPU competitors.

Additional GeForce MX150 and Intel UHD Graphics 620 benchmarks can be found here.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
3389 Points ∼100% +46%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (2323 - 3739, n=38)
3298 Points ∼97% +42%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
2740 Points ∼81% +18%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
2323 Points ∼69%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-7200U
2132 Points ∼63% -8%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8550U
1052 Points ∼31% -55%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
995 Points ∼29% -57%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (222 - 3459, n=207)
944 Points ∼28% -59%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (16227 - 22183, n=37)
19388 Points ∼100% +2%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
18946 Points ∼98%
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
18513 Points ∼95% -2%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
16553 Points ∼85% -13%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-7200U
13775 Points ∼71% -27%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8550U
8787 Points ∼45% -54%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
7980 Points ∼41% -58%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1484 - 21461, n=231)
6960 Points ∼36% -63%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
4191 Points ∼100% +9%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (2796 - 4876, n=41)
4167 Points ∼99% +9%
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
3833 Points ∼91%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
3483 Points ∼83% -9%
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-7200U
2535 Points ∼60% -34%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8550U
1587 Points ∼38% -59%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1420 Points ∼34% -63%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (230 - 4494, n=321)
1167 Points ∼28% -70%
3DMark 11 Performance
4074 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
39095 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
11890 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2925 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
1455 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
1005 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Nvidia’s GeForce MX150 is certainly fast enough for occasional gaming. More often than not we had to lower the resolution to 1366x768 to achieve smooth gameplay. The MX150 was too slow to run games smoothly at the display’s native resolution. Additional benchmarks can be found here.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 165.298.182.531.4fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 41.635.419.316.4fps
Far Cry 5 (2018) 34171513fps

Emissions

Noise Emissions

Lenovo IdeaPad 530s cooling solution
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s cooling solution

The IdeaPad 530S-14IKB was rarely ever completely quiet. Under average and maximum load we measured a sound pressure level of 40 dB(A). The cooling system consists of two heat pipes and two small fast spinning high-frequency fans. Fan speed remained fairly consistent, and we found no traces of pulsing. We would not call the IdeaPad’s cooling solution distracting or bothersome even though all of its competitors were (significantly) quieter. Keep in mind though that not all devices in our test group were equipped with a dedicated GPU.

Noise Level

Idle
29.7 / 31.1 / 33.1 dB(A)
Load
40 / 40 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29.7 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.228.933.533.12526.729.131.931.53133.233.931.633.14031.631.829.3335031.329.630.831.8632627.526.227.88026.824.625.828.810025.125.627.326.812523.32423.625.416024.423.723.325.220022.722.421.82525021.722.721.323.631520.821.620.325.540020.222.919.428.350019.722.118.929.163018.721.218.429.980019.321.217.527.8100019.220.217.426125020.522.217.126.316001922.216.828.3200018.420.916.627.8250018.121.116.727.8315018.820.316.928.5400018.823.217.428.2500018.219.317.632.263001818.517.826.580001818.317.823.31000017.81817.921.81250017.917.917.819.91600017.817.917.718.8SPL3133.129.740N1.51.91.33.5median 19median 21.2median 17.8median 26.5Delta1.71.71.62.2hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseLenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
GeForce MX150, 8250U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
Noise
8%
3%
6%
2%
6%
off / environment *
29.7
30.13
-1%
27.9
6%
30.3
-2%
30
-1%
29.9
-1%
Idle Minimum *
29.7
30.13
-1%
27.9
6%
30.3
-2%
30
-1%
29.9
-1%
Idle Average *
31.1
30.13
3%
27.9
10%
30.3
3%
30
4%
29.9
4%
Idle Maximum *
33.1
30.13
9%
27.9
16%
31.2
6%
33.1
-0%
30.7
7%
Load Average *
40
31.5
21%
36.2
9%
33.1
17%
37.6
6%
35.1
12%
Witcher 3 ultra *
40
45
-13%
35.1
12%
Load Maximum *
40
33.5
16%
45.2
-13%
34.4
14%
37.6
6%
36.2
9%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

3DMark 11 immediately after running our stress test
3DMark 11 immediately after running our stress test

Temperatures were fairly low by and large, and surface temperatures were on average lower than on all of its competitors, especially when idle. A singular hot spot of 46.5 °C (~116 °F) was located at the bottom of the device right above CPU and GPU.

We ran our usual stress test - at least one full hour of Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously - on the 530s as well. The CPU reached a maximum temperature of 88 °C (~190 °F), the GPU topped out at just 62 °C (~144 °F). Accordingly, the CPU did not show any signs of thermal throttling, and the Intel Core i7-8550U ran consistently at its base clock frequency of 1.8 GHz.

The GeForce MX150 performed differently and throttled down to 1,469-1,532 MHz under sustained load. Accordingly, 3DMark scores for a second run were lower than when taken immediately after a cold boot. Keep in mind that this stress test is an unrealistic extreme load scenario, and that these limitations do not necessarily translate over into regular usage patterns.

Stress test: Prime95 solo
Stress test: Prime95 solo
Stress test: FurMark solo
Stress test: FurMark solo
Stress test: FurMark+Prime95
Stress test: FurMark+Prime95
Max. Load
 38.6 °C
101 F
40.5 °C
105 F
38 °C
100 F
 
 37.3 °C
99 F
39.1 °C
102 F
36.1 °C
97 F
 
 28 °C
82 F
26.9 °C
80 F
27.6 °C
82 F
 
Maximum: 40.5 °C = 105 F
Average: 34.7 °C = 94 F
36.4 °C
98 F
46.5 °C
116 F
35.8 °C
96 F
32.2 °C
90 F
37.9 °C
100 F
34.2 °C
94 F
28.3 °C
83 F
29.9 °C
86 F
29.2 °C
85 F
Maximum: 46.5 °C = 116 F
Average: 34.5 °C = 94 F
Power Supply (max.)  45.4 °C = 114 F | Room Temperature 22.3 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 34.7 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 30.7 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Subnotebook.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.5 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 35.9 °C / 97 F, ranging from 22 to 57 °C for the class Subnotebook.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 46.5 °C / 116 F, compared to the average of 40.3 °C / 105 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24.6 °C / 76 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 28 °C / 82.4 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (+0.7 °C / 1.3 F).
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
GeForce MX150, 8250U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
Heat
-14%
-15%
-8%
-14%
-12%
Maximum Upper Side *
40.5
41.2
-2%
48.6
-20%
42.9
-6%
44.6
-10%
49.3
-22%
Maximum Bottom *
46.5
44.2
5%
47
-1%
44.9
3%
46.8
-1%
53.9
-16%
Idle Upper Side *
24.9
32.1
-29%
28.6
-15%
28.4
-14%
30.4
-22%
26.7
-7%
Idle Bottom *
25
32.8
-31%
30.8
-23%
28.5
-14%
30.4
-22%
25.9
-4%

* ... smaller is better

Heatmap top (load)
Heatmap top (load)
Heatmap bottom (load)
Heatmap bottom (load)

Speakers

Dolby Audio software
Dolby Audio software

The two downward-facing speakers are located at the front of the device right underneath the palm rest. Their maximum volume was decent (78 dB(A)), voices were very clear, and the speakers showed no signs of distortion even at maximum volume. However, they lacked bass and suffered from overemphasized mids and highs. The included Dolby Audio Software allows you to select from various sound presets. We strongly suggest using external speakers or headphones for a more enjoyable audio experience.

Our review unit’s microphone was broken, and did not record anything. Accordingly, we cannot make any claims as to the microphone's recording quality. It is possible that we are going to review the very similar Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-15IKB shortly.

Downward-facing speakers
Downward-facing speakers
Speakers with bottom cover removed
Speakers with bottom cover removed
Audio by HARMAN
Audio by HARMAN
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.533.42531.930.23131.636.14029.331.95030.831.86326.229.88025.830.110027.327.812523.630.316023.341.920021.854.625021.36431520.365.740019.465.350018.961.163018.459.480017.567.4100017.465.9125017.161.9160016.863.2200016.665.8250016.765315016.967.4400017.461500017.670.3630017.866.8800017.869.31000017.967.51250017.860.61600017.754.2SPL29.778.1N1.344.8median 17.8median 64Delta1.65.846.344.246.344.140.244.134.931.634.937.131.537.138.130.238.140.330.540.338.727.238.738.928.438.94025.44042.42742.445.423.445.445.924.145.956.622.556.657.622.157.658.62158.659.919.959.959.519.259.564.418.964.462.21862.264.817.164.863.31763.363.616.763.66216.46261.316.261.361.516.261.55816.35856.216.356.25416.45456.316.756.357.417.157.473.830.173.832.61.432.6median 58median 18median 585.53.35.5hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKBHP Spectre 13-af033ng
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.6% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (15.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 25% of all tested devices in this class were better, 13% similar, 62% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 16% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 79% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

HP Spectre 13-af033ng audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (64.78 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 13.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (14.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 18% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 75% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 13% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 84% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

65 W power supply
65 W power supply

Power consumption was very low in general, and at just 3.9-7.17 W when idle, the 530s-14IKB turned out to be the most efficient devices second only to the Acer Swift 5. Under load, it was at a disadvantage due to its dedicated GPU, and only managed fourth place in our test group. Its predecessor, the IdeaPad 520s-14IKB, was more efficient by and large. In return, the new model features a significantly brighter display and a more powerful CPU. Maximum power consumption was measured at 65.8 W, which is okay given that it was only a short burst. Afterwards, power consumption under load settled at around 50 W.  The battery did not discharge under maximum load.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.33 / 0.42 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.9 / 5.76 / 7.14 Watt
Load midlight 50.8 / 65.8 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
8550U, GeForce MX150, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG), IPS, 2560x1440, 14
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
8250U, GeForce MX150, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 3000x2000, 13.9
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
8250U, GeForce MX150, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
7200U, GeForce 940MX, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
 
Average of class Subnotebook
 
Power Consumption
14%
-21%
36%
-11%
9%
-18%
-30%
Idle Minimum *
3.9
2.8
28%
3.5
10%
2.8
28%
4.5
-15%
3.37
14%
4.53 (2.2 - 11.6, n=39)
-16%
6.84 (1 - 36, n=559)
-75%
Idle Average *
5.76
6.2
-8%
8.9
-55%
4.8
17%
7.8
-35%
5.2
10%
7.89 (5 - 13.8, n=39)
-37%
10.1 (2.06 - 39, n=559)
-75%
Idle Maximum *
7.14
9.4
-32%
12.3
-72%
6.3
12%
8.1
-13%
7.1
1%
9.65 (6.2 - 14.7, n=39)
-35%
12.4 (3.9 - 55, n=559)
-74%
Load Average *
50.8
32.2
37%
54.2
-7%
21
59%
52
-2%
46.2
9%
54.4 (33 - 75, n=38)
-7%
33.3 (6.3 - 75, n=549)
34%
Load Maximum *
65.8
36.6
44%
52.1
21%
23
65%
59
10%
57
13%
63.2 (40.4 - 89.2, n=39)
4%
40.3 (7.6 - 111, n=552)
39%
Witcher 3 ultra *
42.4
38.5

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

3DMark 11 on battery
3DMark 11 on battery
45 Wh battery
45 Wh battery

Unfortunately, battery life has suffered somewhat compared to its predecessor. The non-replaceable battery has shrunk in capacity (45 Wh vs. 52.5 Wh), and the 530s-14IKB featured the smallest battery for a notebook with dedicated GPU. Under load, it ran out of juice after just 85 minutes. In return, it lasted for a respectable 8:40 hours in our real-world Wi-Fi test. As always, display brightness was normalized for this test and set to 150 nits (83% in this particular case). In our video test, the device powered off after a decent 7 hours, which should be long enough to watch three full-length feature films. Charging was surprisingly fast - after just two hours the battery was charged to 90%, and the full cycle was completed after no more than 2:20 hours. 3D performance on battery was not throttled and almost identical to 3D performance on mains (4,058 points in 3DMark 11). The processor was also not throttled on battery.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
14h 41min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
8h 40min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
7h 08min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 25min
maximum battery life
maximum battery life
minimum battery life
minimum battery life
Wi-Fi battery life
Wi-Fi battery life
H.264 battery life
H.264 battery life
charging
charging
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB
8550U, GeForce MX150, 45 Wh
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, 43 Wh
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
8250U, GeForce MX150, 57.4 Wh
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 36 Wh
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
8250U, GeForce MX150, 48 Wh
Lenovo IdeaPad 520s-14IKB 80X200C1GE
7200U, GeForce 940MX, 52.5 Wh
Average of class Subnotebook
 
Battery Runtime
14%
35%
14%
23%
24%
2%
Reader / Idle
881
1243
41%
962
9%
1367
55%
864
-2%
597 (87 - 2557, n=527)
-32%
H.264
428
649
52%
466
9%
505
18%
557
30%
459 (182 - 950, n=102)
7%
WiFi v1.3
520
352
-32%
557
7%
313
-40%
485
-7%
568
9%
463 (206 - 805, n=173)
-11%
Load
85
104
22%
133
56%
150
76%
108
27%
136
60%
122 (40 - 347, n=531)
44%

Verdict

Pros

+ classy design
+ rigid case
+ good port distribution
+ GeForce MX150 with 2 GB GDDR5
+ acceptable battery life
+ bright WQHD display
+ wide viewing angles and no PWM or clouding
+ generous 512 GB NVMe SSD
+ comfortable backlit keyboard
+ spacious clickpad
+ fingerprint reader

Cons

- average Wi-Fi performance
- slow SD card reader
- poor CPU turbo performance
- reflective display
- no support for dual-channel mode
- audible under load
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB. Review unit courtesy of campuspoint
Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB. Review unit courtesy of campuspoint

Lenovo’s IdeaPad 530s-14IKB is a good-looking subnotebook with plenty of CPU and GPU performance thanks to its dedicated GeForce MX150 graphics card. Our particular SKU of this 14-inch notebook featured a WQHD display and a 512 GB SSD, and it sold for 1,199 Euros (~$1397) in Europe at the time of writing. It featured a very robust base and decent input devices as well as a fingerprint sensor for easy identification and authentication. Port availability was decent and elaborate, unfortunately the notebook still lacked a Thunderbolt 3 port that would have given users more options.

Lenovo’s IdeaPad 530s-14IKB offers a more than decent performance not just as a multimedia device. Its long battery life translates into a very decent stamina.

Unfortunately, not all that glitters is gold. The SD card reader was painfully slow, and Wi-Fi performance was mediocre at best. The display left us with mixed feelings due to its highly reflective nature and the consequences for outdoor usability. Intel’s Core i7-8550U was unable to deliver peak performance in multi-thread applications, and we suspect that the cheaper Core i5-8250U is not going to be any slower.

Overall, the IdeaPad 530s-14IKB was a more than decent device. Those looking for a compact notebook cannot really go wrong with this device, and it therefore deserves our full endorsement.

Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB - 07/11/2018 v6
Sebastian Bade

Chassis
85 /  98 → 87%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
46 / 80 → 58%
Weight
69 / 35-78 → 80%
Battery
90%
Display
83%
Games Performance
75 / 68 → 100%
Application Performance
87 / 87 → 100%
Temperature
92 / 91 → 100%
Noise
89%
Audio
63 / 91 → 69%
Camera
42 / 85 → 49%
Average
76%
85%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo IdeaPad 530s-14IKB (i7-8550U, MX150, WQHD, IPS) Laptop Review
Sebastian Bade, 2018-07-19 (Update: 2018-07-19)