Notebookcheck

Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB (i5-8250U, FHD) Laptop Review

Steve Schardein, 👁 Allen Ngo, 08/29/2018

Premium for less? With the IdeaPad 530S, Lenovo has further slimmed down and improved the model in addition to adopting the latest generation of components: a Core i5-8250U, 8 GB RAM, and an FHD anti-glare display. Is this the XPS for the rest of us?

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Although we never had a chance to personally review the 15-inch IdeaPad 520S, its thin-and-light, pseudo-premium design carried hints of attributes that one would normally associate with much pricier laptops such as Dell’s XPS 15. Now, with the revised IdeaPad 530S, Lenovo takes this strategy further and punches up against such heralded ultra-high-end rivals with an even slimmer case, beautiful aesthetics (spearheaded by its XPS-like thin bezels and aluminum casing), and thoroughly capable components.

While configurations with discrete graphics are available, our review unit is powered by the typical Intel UHD Graphics 620 alongside an Intel Core i5-8250U SoC, 8 GB RAM, and a 256 GB NVMe SSD. But the real shocker is the price: just $699 MSRP, which is perhaps 30% less than one might reasonably expect to pay for a comparably-equipped XPS 15. That’s surely impressive, but can the IdeaPad’s performance in our exhaustive evaluation match the splendor of its spec sheet? Without further ado, let’s dive in and find out.

Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Core: 300 - 1100 MHz, Memory: 1200 MHz, 23.20.16.4905
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2400 MHz
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, N156HCA-EAB, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Sunrise Point-LP
Storage
SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Realtek ALC236 @ Intel Sunrise Point-LP PCH - High Definition Audiocontroller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio, Card Reader: SD, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17 x 359 x 245 ( = 0.67 x 14.13 x 9.65 in)
Battery
45 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 4-cell
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Primary Camera: 1 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: 2.0, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.676 kg ( = 59.12 oz / 3.69 pounds), Power Supply: 214 g ( = 7.55 oz / 0.47 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Fully adorned in silver aluminum casing, the IdeaPad 530S visually impresses from the outset. With its carefully CNC machined edges and rounded corners, the precision of the construction and general build quality leave little for criticism. The sole bit of plastic is found flanking the display, where the black slim bezel adheres to the panel (again, a la XPS) for a consistent look throughout the entire perimeter. Surely conscious of the quibbles surrounding webcam placement on competing models, Lenovo has opted for a slightly larger top bezel to accommodate the tiny webcam in its normal location.

While appearances are one thing, the quality differential between the IdeaPad and higher-end competitors such as the Dell XPS 15 and MacBook Pro does begin to expose itself once pressure is applied to the surfaces. Though certainly durable enough for everyday use (and stronger than most budget competitors to boot—twisting the base produces no notable creaking), the thinness of the aluminum casing is evident, manifesting in the form of detectable flex under moderate pressure across the breadth of the base unit. Likewise, the display lid isn’t nearly as rigid as that of the XPS, though it still manages reasonably good torsion resistance and protection against pressure from behind. Alas, these are the necessary sacrifices one must make in order to reach such a stunningly affordable price tag while still maintaining such an attractive design and capable components.

In comparison to its predecessor, the weight and size of the IdeaPad 530S have both been reduced slightly (it’s now just 1.676 kg with a footprint only slightly larger than the XPS 15). Although some other trade-offs apply (as we’ll see in the connectivity section below), for the most part, this is a positive move. The central drop-back hinge design is well-tuned to suppress unwanted bounce due to vibration, but as is usually the case with such machines, two hands are required to open the display. Some users dislike this design due to the fact that wide opening angles result in the hinge lifting the machine off the surface slightly, but it’s becoming increasingly widespread as devices continue to slim down further.

Connectivity

The IdeaPad 530S features a decent selection of ports, but it has suffered a bit as a result of its diet. Specifically, it’s lost the Ethernet port, and unfortunately, while three total USB ports are still onboard (one of which is Type-C Gen 1), there are no options for Thunderbolt connectivity. Otherwise, however, the IdeaPad matches the XPS 15 in terms of port selection, and it tramples over the ASUS VivoBook (with its ancient USB 2.0 ports). The larger HP Pavilion 15 still includes the Ethernet port in addition to the rest, however, and the HP Spectre 15 outdoes all of the competitors with not one but two Thunderbolt ports.

Port placement is convenient, lining the left and right edges of the machine exclusively. This is unsurprising due to the central drop-back hinge design obscuring the rear of the machine while in use. However, the ports on the left side have been crammed a bit closer together than is convenient; larger connectors will block adjacent ports in some cases.

Front: No connections
Front: No connections
Rear: No connections
Rear: No connections
Left: Charging port, HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen 1, 3.5 mm combo audio
Left: Charging port, HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen 1, 3.5 mm combo audio
Lenovo OneKey Recovery, card reader, USB 3.0
Lenovo OneKey Recovery, card reader, USB 3.0

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SD Card Reader

Perhaps both the XPS 15 and IdeaPad 530S include identically-sized SD card readers, but performance couldn’t be further apart. In our JPG copy and AS SSD read tests, the IdeaPad is basically dead last with a pitiful 27.35 MB/s and 28.95 MB/s in each test—some 350% and 590% below the speeds of the XPS (which leads), respectively, and far below the class average.

The SD slot does not fully accept the card; roughly half of the SD card sticks out of the port during use.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
 
123 MB/s ∼100% +350%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
75.9 MB/s ∼62% +178%
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
73.1 MB/s ∼59% +167%
Average of class Multimedia
  (11.2 - 190, n=153)
57.2 MB/s ∼47% +109%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
36.31 MB/s ∼30% +33%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
27.35 MB/s ∼22%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26.3 MB/s ∼21% -4%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
 
199.7 MB/s ∼100% +590%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
86.2 MB/s ∼43% +198%
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
86.2 MB/s ∼43% +198%
Average of class Multimedia
  (10.2 - 253, n=150)
74.7 MB/s ∼37% +158%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
38.56 MB/s ∼19% +33%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
29.7 MB/s ∼15% +3%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
28.95 MB/s ∼14%

Communication

The Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
The Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265

Wireless communication was notably better, fortunately. The inexorable Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 adapter in today’s unit manages 652 Mb/s and 530 Mb/s in receive/transmit respectively, which are very good results overall.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
652 MBit/s ∼100%
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
623 MBit/s ∼96% -4%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4
612 MBit/s ∼94% -6%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
542 MBit/s ∼83% -17%
Average of class Multimedia
  (44 - 949, n=112)
496 MBit/s ∼76% -24%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
338 MBit/s ∼52% -48%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
RealTek Semiconductor, Device ID: C821
245 MBit/s ∼38% -62%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4
657 MBit/s ∼100% +24%
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
589 MBit/s ∼90% +11%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
539 MBit/s ∼82% +2%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
530 MBit/s ∼81%
Average of class Multimedia
  (46.1 - 949, n=111)
469 MBit/s ∼71% -12%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
345 MBit/s ∼53% -35%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
RealTek Semiconductor, Device ID: C821
280 MBit/s ∼43% -47%

Accessories

A compact 65 W AC Adapter (sans the sometimes-inconvenient ground plug) is packed in with the IdeaPad 530S. It’s relatively light at just 214 g, but its consolidated design also means that it can block adjacent outlets in some cases.

Maintenance

Thanks to a removable bottom panel, maintenance on the IdeaPad 530S is relatively easy. Ten Torx T5 screws secure the cover, after which some light prying around the perimeter quickly dislodges it. Once inside, the battery, WLAN adapter, M.2 SSD, heatsink/fan, and speakers are simple to replace. The RAM can also be upgraded/replaced, but due to its location beneath a thin metal shield, it’s difficult to reach without damaging the shield during the removal/reinstallation process. As is usually the case with most modern thin-and-light laptops, the keyboard is among the hardest parts to service; not only is it beneath the board, but it’s also attached to the top cover via numerous plastic spot welds, essentially making it impossible to replace.

Most replaceable components are easily accessed beneath the bottom panel.
Most replaceable components are easily accessed beneath the bottom panel.
The RAM is indeed replaceable...
The RAM is indeed replaceable...
...following removal of the delicate heat shield.
...following removal of the delicate heat shield.
The keyboard, meanwhile, is permanently affixed to the top cover via plastic spot welds.
The keyboard, meanwhile, is permanently affixed to the top cover via plastic spot welds.

Warranty

The IdeaPad 530S ships with a 1 year depot warranty.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The IdeaPad 530S’ keys feature short travel with medium actuation force, but feedback is relatively sharp, which led to a relatively short adjustment period before we felt comfortable typing on it at higher speeds. Spacing and layout is good as well, though the fact that the grey keys are labeled in white makes visibility a bit tougher than it should be in certain conditions. Despite its relative proficiency, the IdeaPad keyboard is still a ways off from the best Ultrabook keyboards in this class, such as that of the HP Spectre and Dell XPS 15.

Unlike some other 15.6-inch machines, the IdeaPad makes no room for a numeric keypad. The keys are evenly backlit with two stages of brightness (in addition to off).

Touchpad

The sufficiently large 105 x 70 mm clickpad features a smooth, comfortable Mylar finish with fast response speeds, little to no cursor delay, and seamless gesture interpretation (the Precision drivers are largely to thank for this, of course). The integrated buttons are decent, with hardly any collateral pointer movement during clicks and good interpretation of left/right button operation, but like the keyboard, they’re a grade below those of the XPS and Spectre devices, and of course, nothing works quite as well as separate dedicated buttons.

The keyboard is acceptable but falls short of the best Ultrabooks.
The keyboard is acceptable but falls short of the best Ultrabooks.
The touchpad is comparably proficient.
The touchpad is comparably proficient.

Display

Only a single display options exists on the 15.6-inch IdeaPad 530S, and it’s a typical FHD IPS panel—not that we’re complaining about that. It’s also fortunately anti-glare (though no touch options exist either), and although Lenovo quotes the brightness at 250 cd/m², our initial impressions were that it must be a bit higher than that. The contrast also subjectively appears to be good, and colors don’t have much pop to them, but they’re not wildly deviant to the eye, either. Unlike many matte displays, we don’t detect any untoward graininess resulting from the anti-glare finish on the 530S panel.

Subpixel array, IdeaPad 530S
Subpixel array, IdeaPad 530S
Minor flashlighting mostly in bottom-right corner
Minor flashlighting mostly in bottom-right corner
284.5
cd/m²
276.8
cd/m²
265.5
cd/m²
272.4
cd/m²
285.1
cd/m²
258.8
cd/m²
260.2
cd/m²
282.4
cd/m²
251.3
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 285.1 cd/m² Average: 270.8 cd/m² Minimum: 0.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 285.1 cd/m²
Contrast: 1018:1 (Black: 0.28 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.38 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 3.95
ΔE Greyscale 3.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
62% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 40% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.24
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
N156HCA-EAB, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
AU Optronics B156XW02 V0, TN LED, 15.6, 1366x768
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
AU Optronics B156HAN06.1, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
AUO, B156HW01, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
Chi Mei CMN15D5, TN LED, 15.6, 1920x1080
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Sharp SHP149A LQ156M1, LED IGZO IPS InfinityEdge, 15.6, 1920x1080
Response Times
18%
12%
0%
12%
-40%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
37.2 (19.6, 17.6)
43.6 (20, 23.6)
-17%
32 (19.2, 12.8)
14%
41 (19, 22)
-10%
44 (23, 21)
-18%
49 (25, 40)
-32%
Response Time Black / White *
32.4 (18.4, 14)
15.2 (10, 5.2)
53%
29.2 (17.2, 12)
10%
29 (17, 12)
10%
14 (10, 4)
57%
30 (16, 14)
7%
PWM Frequency
25770 (67)
25000 (10)
-3%
961 (10)
-96%
Screen
-49%
2%
3%
-56%
37%
Brightness middle
285.1
220.1
-23%
240.1
-16%
251
-12%
234
-18%
413
45%
Brightness
271
210
-23%
233
-14%
240
-11%
211
-22%
378
39%
Brightness Distribution
88
93
6%
91
3%
84
-5%
83
-6%
86
-2%
Black Level *
0.28
0.29
-4%
0.23
18%
0.2
29%
0.43
-54%
0.29
-4%
Contrast
1018
759
-25%
1044
3%
1255
23%
544
-47%
1424
40%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.38
11.4
-160%
4.25
3%
5.25
-20%
11.27
-157%
2.44
44%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
24.07
25.96
-8%
17.84
26%
10.04
58%
18.03
25%
4.46
81%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
3.95
4.09
-4%
4
-1%
2.48
37%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.1
12
-287%
2.8
10%
3.28
-6%
11.54
-272%
2.48
20%
Gamma
2.24 98%
2.09 105%
2.3 96%
2.15 102%
2.09 105%
2.43 91%
CCT
6705 97%
12625 51%
6503 100%
6502 100%
11607 56%
7006 93%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
40
36.5
-9%
36.8
-8%
35
-12%
38
-5%
62
55%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
62
57.5
-7%
57.8
-7%
55
-11%
60
-3%
96
55%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-16% / -39%
7% / 3%
2% / 3%
-22% / -40%
-2% / 21%

* ... smaller is better

Sure enough, we measure an average brightness of 271 cd/m² with a contrast ratio of 1018:1 (against a black value of 0.28 cd/m²). Distribution is reasonably good at 88%, which represents fairly uniform luminosity across the panel.

Color coverage is decent, but not far above the rest of the pack: we record 62% of sRGB and 40% of AdobeRGB. When compared to nicer panels such as the XPS 15’s FHD display (96% / 62%), these values pale in comparison—but in context with the price point and immediate competitors within that range it’s actually not a bad result. Just don’t expect color-accurate graphic design or ideal photo editing capabilities and you aren’t likely to be terribly disappointed. There’s a bit of a washed-out appearance to the color, but it’s nothing quite as dreary as what we noted with the ThinkPad T480, for instance.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. Asus VivoBook
vs. Asus VivoBook
vs. HP Pavilion 15
vs. HP Pavilion 15
vs. Inspiron 15 5000
vs. Inspiron 15 5000
vs. XPS 15
vs. XPS 15

As for color rendering accuracy, the IdeaPad once again manages a decent showing. The HP Pavilion 15 and Acer Aspire 3 are the clear laggards here, but the rest of the pack (including the IdeaPad) fares much better; the 530S manages 4.38 / 3.1 out of the box (uncalibrated) in these same two measurements, though Blue is heavily deviant at 24.07. Elsewhere, the Total Gamma of 2.24 and CCT Average of 6705 are not far from their ideal values.

Color analysis (pre-calibration)
Color analysis (pre-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (pre-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (pre-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (pre-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (pre-calibration)
Color analysis (post-calibration)
Color analysis (post-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (post-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (post-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (post-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (post-calibration)

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
32.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18.4 ms rise
↘ 14 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. » 84 % 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
37.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19.6 ms rise
↘ 17.6 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. » 33 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to 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 detected 25770 Hz ≤ 67 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25770 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 67 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25770 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % 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.

Response times are unsurprisingly rather slow, and though we do measure PWM (at all brightness levels below 67%), the high frequency of 25770 Hz means that most sensitive users will not likely find it bothersome. Outdoors, the display is usable mostly in shaded areas. Brighter environments can also be braved for shorter periods of time (and with careful screen positioning), but the display just isn’t bright enough for more than that (even in spite of its matte finish and good contrast). Viewing angles of the IPS panel are expectedly wide.

In the sun
In the sun
In the shade
In the shade
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

The IdeaPad 530S is configurable with three different Intel CPU options: Core i3-8130U, Core i5-8250U, and Core i7-8550U. It supports RAM up to 16 GB max (one total socket), and graphics options range from the Intel UHD Graphics (integrated) up to NVIDIA GeForce MX130 and GeForce MX150 configurations. Our review unit arrived with the i5-8250U CPU, 8 GB RAM, and integrated graphics. Again, for under $700, this is hardly a bad setup.

Operating unplugged inflicts no performance constraints on the machine; we record a 3DMark 11 score of 1787, which is actually above the original score we received (on AC power). LatencyMon reports no issues.

CPU-Z CPU
CPU-Z CPU
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z RAM SPD
CPU-Z RAM SPD
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
Octane v2
Octane v2
LatencyMon
LatencyMon

Processor

Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15

The Intel Core i5-8250U has been extensively covered in the past here at Notebookcheck; visit our dedicated page for an exhaustive look at it and its performance across a variety of machines. As for the IdeaPad 530S, its multi-core performance disappoints in comparison to the Core i5-8250U average of 570; with a score of just 490 in Cinebench R15 multi-CPU, it’s some 14% below the mark. Nevertheless, that’s still 12% above the Multimedia class average, and single-core performance isn’t affected (we received a score of 144 there versus 141 for the CPU average).

Unsurprisingly, the XPS 15 runs away with the crown here in the multi-core test (thanks to its much more power-hungry 45 W TDP Core i5-8300H). The IdeaPad, however, is in a distant fifth place. Only the Acer Aspire scores lower, with its AMD Ryzen 3 2200U CPU managing just 318 points.

In our Cinebench R15 multi-CPU sustained performance loop test, we see an initial score of 523 followed by an immediate drop down to the 490 range for the remainder of the test runs. That’s a retreat of around 6%, which isn’t bad at all considering that many machines suffer drops of 15% or 20% instead… though, to be fair, the initial score in this case wasn’t quite as impressive as that of many identically-equipped competitors.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
Intel Core i7-8550U
172 Points ∼79% +19%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Intel Core i5-8300H
167 Points ∼77% +16%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼66% 0%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼66%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (81 - 147, n=86)
141 Points ∼65% -2%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
Intel Core i5-8250U
140 Points ∼64% -3%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
AMD Ryzen 3 2200U
128 Points ∼59% -11%
Average of class Multimedia
  (36 - 191, n=337)
124 Points ∼57% -14%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Intel Core i5-8300H
840 Points ∼19% +71%
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
Intel Core i7-8550U
663 Points ∼15% +35%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (320 - 730, n=89)
567 Points ∼13% +16%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
Intel Core i5-8250U
557 Points ∼13% +14%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
Intel Core i5-8250U
536 Points ∼12% +9%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
490 Points ∼11%
Average of class Multimedia
  (73 - 1550, n=348)
458 Points ∼10% -7%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
AMD Ryzen 3 2200U
318 Points ∼7% -35%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
144 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
490 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
40.97 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Help
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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

System Performance

We experienced no troubling hiccups or slowdowns during our time with the IdeaPad 530S; the NVMe SSD and CPU seem quick enough to handle most tasks without any issues. Our synthetic scores offer further reassurance, landing within a couple of percentage points of the average for similarly-equipped machines—and while they’re obviously below the scores of the better-equipped XPS and VivoBook, it’s only by margins of 11% to 17%. For most users, the IdeaPad’s performance should not be an issue at all.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
5271 Points ∼81% +11%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
4762 Points ∼73%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba MQ04ABF100
4654 Points ∼71% -2%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2699 - 5106, n=50)
4651 Points ∼71% -2%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
Vega 3, 2200U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
4592 Points ∼70% -4%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix SC311 SATA
4556 Points ∼70% -4%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2213 - 5651, n=254)
4239 Points ∼65% -11%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U, SK hynix PC300 HFS512GD9MND
4188 Points ∼69% +17%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
4030 Points ∼66% +12%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba MQ04ABF100
3675 Points ∼60% +3%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2986 - 4458, n=61)
3592 Points ∼59% 0%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
3585 Points ∼59%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
Vega 3, 2200U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3457 Points ∼57% -4%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix SC311 SATA
3370 Points ∼55% -6%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1740 - 4693, n=274)
3352 Points ∼55% -6%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3585 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4762 points
Help

Storage Devices

Our storage benchmarks clearly separate the NVMe from the SATA drives. Within that category, of course, further discrepancies exist; the XPS 15, for instance, only managed a Total Score of 750 in AS SSD versus 1387 from today’s 530S review unit. The Asus VivoBook actually takes top spot here with a Total Score of 2249 (thanks primarily to much faster 4K-64 read/write speeds than the IdeaPad), but in truth, the subjective difference is small indeed.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark
The M.2 NVMe SSD (covered by heat spreader)
The M.2 NVMe SSD (covered by heat spreader)
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
SK hynix PC300 HFS512GD9MND
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
SK hynix SC311 SATA
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
Average SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
 
AS SSD
38%
-45%
-83%
-155%
-19%
Copy Game MB/s
301.11
791.97
163%
231.61
-23%
145.42
-52%
465.85
55%
391 (301 - 533, n=3)
30%
Copy Program MB/s
233.52
334.26
43%
166.43
-29%
93.97
-60%
117.21
-50%
328 (210 - 540, n=3)
40%
Copy ISO MB/s
868.11
1265.27
46%
301.27
-65%
199.76
-77%
632.4
-27%
678 (539 - 868, n=3)
-22%
Score Total
1387
2249
62%
910
-34%
594
-57%
750
-46%
1399 (1373 - 1424, n=5)
1%
Score Write
415
836
101%
330
-20%
210
-49%
58
-86%
434 (415 - 466, n=5)
5%
Score Read
690
968
40%
383
-44%
256
-63%
492
-29%
674 (628 - 706, n=5)
-2%
Access Time Write *
0.051
0.127
-149%
0.075
-47%
0.225
-341%
0.889
-1643%
0.1472 (0.051 - 0.51, n=5)
-189%
Access Time Read *
0.06
0.059
2%
0.142
-137%
0.136
-127%
0.086
-43%
0.1452 (0.046 - 0.46, n=5)
-142%
4K-64 Write
271.59
676.75
149%
246.99
-9%
145.01
-47%
19.19
-93%
278 (266 - 305, n=5)
2%
4K-64 Read
431.26
755.54
75%
309.7
-28%
187.89
-56%
301.79
-30%
445 (431 - 466, n=5)
3%
4K Write
88.45
85.79
-3%
47.64
-46%
40.46
-54%
5.12
-94%
94.7 (88.5 - 106, n=5)
7%
4K Read
38.69
30.78
-20%
23.71
-39%
22.24
-43%
32.5
-16%
37.8 (34.4 - 39.2, n=5)
-2%
Seq Write
549.75
734.97
34%
356.2
-35%
241.77
-56%
340.31
-38%
607 (544 - 721, n=5)
10%
Seq Read
2205.34
1816.52
-18%
497.48
-77%
457.6
-79%
1573.62
-29%
1912 (1228 - 2205, n=5)
-13%

* ... smaller is better

SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 2606 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 669.3 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 267 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 201.8 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1677 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 804.2 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 40.46 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 93.78 MB/s

GPU Performance

To reiterate what we said in our Performance overview above, 530S configurations featuring NVIDIA dedicated MX130 and MX150 options do exist. However, our review unit is powered by the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 adapter instead, so obviously we should not expect strong graphical benchmarks. Indeed, the results we receive are actually roughly 7% to 14% below the averages for this adapter (and behind the identically-equipped HP Pavilion 15 by similar margins). An overall 3DMark 11 score of 1690 isn’t terrible by any means, but it’ll hardly play any modern games even at low settings—so if gaming has even a remote chance of appearing on the agenda, consider springing for one of the two dedicated graphics configurations instead.

3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H
7607 Points ∼42% +498%
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U
7414 Points ∼41% +483%
Average of class Multimedia
  (375 - 8966, n=601)
2324 Points ∼13% +83%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
AMD Radeon RX Vega 3, 2200U
1940 Points ∼11% +53%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1501 Points ∼8% +18%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (959 - 1928, n=104)
1495 Points ∼8% +18%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1272 Points ∼7%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1249 Points ∼7% -2%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H
7790 Points ∼15% +404%
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U
7563 Points ∼15% +389%
Average of class Multimedia
  (352 - 18234, n=605)
2791 Points ∼5% +80%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
AMD Radeon RX Vega 3, 2200U
1908 Points ∼4% +23%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 1979, n=104)
1680 Points ∼3% +9%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1666 Points ∼3% +8%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1547 Points ∼3%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1529 Points ∼3% -1%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H
6216 Points ∼15% +519%
Average of class Multimedia
  (337 - 14463, n=381)
2693 Points ∼7% +168%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
AMD Radeon RX Vega 3, 2200U
1388 Points ∼3% +38%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (557 - 1336, n=84)
1083 Points ∼3% +8%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1004 Points ∼2%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
997 Points ∼2% -1%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H
39896 Points ∼22% +426%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2468 - 77755, n=383)
15946 Points ∼9% +110%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
AMD Radeon RX Vega 3, 2200U
10053 Points ∼5% +33%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6910 - 11294, n=93)
8858 Points ∼5% +17%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
8567 Points ∼5% +13%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
8112 Points ∼4% +7%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
7581 Points ∼4%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Average of class Multimedia
  (3538 - 171011, n=76)
66218 Points ∼9%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
AMD Radeon RX Vega 3, 2200U
54893 Points ∼8%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (30939 - 59483, n=28)
45012 Points ∼6%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
39688 Points ∼5%
3DMark 11 Performance
1690 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
6844 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
936 points
Help
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
7 fps ∼3%
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U, SK hynix PC300 HFS512GD9MND
61.3 fps ∼23% +776%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix SC311 SATA
7.4 fps ∼3% +6%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
Vega 3, 2200U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
10 fps ∼4% +43%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
67.5 fps ∼25% +864%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (4.5 - 11.1, n=87)
8.78 fps ∼3% +25%
Average of class Multimedia
  (3.62 - 118, n=199)
26.2 fps ∼10% +274%
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
19 fps ∼5%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba MQ04ABF100
15.7 fps ∼5% -17%
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U, SK hynix PC300 HFS512GD9MND
152.9 fps ∼44% +705%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix SC311 SATA
22.4 fps ∼6% +18%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
Vega 3, 2200U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
31 fps ∼9% +63%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (8.1 - 34.3, n=94)
26 fps ∼8% +37%
Average of class Multimedia
  (53.1 - 205, n=234)
58.6 fps ∼17% +208%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
21 fps ∼6%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba MQ04ABF100
18.3 fps ∼5% -13%
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U, SK hynix PC300 HFS512GD9MND
172.2 fps ∼46% +720%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix SC311 SATA
27.1 fps ∼7% +29%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
Vega 3, 2200U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
46.2 fps ∼12% +120%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (11.5 - 41, n=94)
31.1 fps ∼8% +48%
Average of class Multimedia
  (69.2 - 222, n=225)
65.3 fps ∼17% +211%
1280x720 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
47 fps ∼11%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba MQ04ABF100
39.2 fps ∼9% -17%
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U, SK hynix PC300 HFS512GD9MND
227 fps ∼52% +383%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix SC311 SATA
48.1 fps ∼11% +2%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
Vega 3, 2200U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
90.5 fps ∼21% +93%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (18.3 - 81.7, n=94)
58.1 fps ∼13% +24%
Average of class Multimedia
  (19.5 - 298, n=218)
101 fps ∼23% +115%
Rise of the Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
33.2 fps ∼21%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3 - 14.5, n=7)
5.36 fps ∼3%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1.8 - 77.1, n=73)
24.1 fps ∼15%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
6 fps ∼3%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix SC311 SATA
6.5 fps ∼4% +8%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
Vega 3, 2200U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
6.6 fps ∼4% +10%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
40.6 fps ∼22% +577%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (4.9 - 32, n=27)
7.5 fps ∼4% +25%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2.5 - 85.7, n=92)
25.7 fps ∼14% +328%
1366x768 Medium Preset AF:2x (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
11 fps ∼5%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba MQ04ABF100
6.5 fps ∼3% -41%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix SC311 SATA
11.4 fps ∼5% +4%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
Vega 3, 2200U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
16 fps ∼7% +45%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
73.2 fps ∼33% +565%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6.5 - 49.3, n=40)
12.8 fps ∼6% +16%
Average of class Multimedia
  (5.3 - 127, n=101)
36.2 fps ∼16% +229%
1024x768 Lowest Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
17 fps ∼6%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba MQ04ABF100
10.4 fps ∼3% -39%
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix SC311 SATA
18.6 fps ∼6% +9%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
Vega 3, 2200U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
25.6 fps ∼8% +51%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (10.4 - 111, n=51)
21.5 fps ∼7% +26%
Average of class Multimedia
  (9.4 - 158, n=97)
55 fps ∼18% +224%
Metro: Last Light
1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
6 fps ∼3%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6 - 6, n=2)
6 fps ∼3% 0%
Average of class Multimedia
  (4 - 45.1, n=58)
17.9 fps ∼10% +198%
1366x768 High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
13 fps ∼7%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (13 - 15, n=2)
14 fps ∼7% +8%
Average of class Multimedia
  (6 - 83.9, n=85)
28.9 fps ∼15% +122%
1366x768 Medium (DX10) AF:4x (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
22 fps ∼11%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba MQ04ABF100
16.4 fps ∼8% -25%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (16.4 - 23, n=3)
20.5 fps ∼11% -7%
Average of class Multimedia
  (10 - 126, n=85)
38.4 fps ∼20% +75%
1024x768 Low (DX10) AF:4x (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
25 fps ∼13%
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba MQ04ABF100
23.3 fps ∼12% -7%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (23.3 - 31, n=3)
26.4 fps ∼13% +6%
Average of class Multimedia
  (10.6 - 135, n=84)
43 fps ∼22% +72%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 4721197fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 2522136fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 17116fps

Stress Test

Under synthetic CPU stress, for the first few seconds, the CPU maintains its full turbo clock rate of 3.4 GHz. Immediately thereafter, however, it drops (as expected) to 2.4 GHz, where it remains indefinitely. Temperatures are stable at just 64 °C, which is well below the point at which many competing notebooks begin to cap performance. This is surely a result of intrinsic headroom baked into the firmware to accommodate the more power-hungry SKUs featuring dedicated GPUs, but in our less demanding configuration, it merely results in unfortunately artificially limited CPU performance.

GPU stress results in an initial turbo frequency of 1100 MHz before leveling off permanently at a much lower 848 MHz; again, temperatures are held quite low at just 56 °C.

Combined CPU and GPU stress predictably lowers clock rates further, with the GPU managing just 698 MHz and CPU 1.2 GHz (the latter of which qualifies as throttling). Temperatures reach just 60 °C.

Full CPU stress
Full CPU stress
Full GPU stress
Full GPU stress
Combined CPU + GPU stress
Combined CPU + GPU stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.4 - 64 -
FurMark Stress - 848 - 56
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.2 698 60 60

Emissions

System Noise

Clearly favoring low noise levels over top-end performance, the IdeaPad 530S is invariably unobtrusive. While idling, the fan doesn’t run at all except under rare circumstances where it’s barely audible (we measure 2 dB(A) above ambient levels). Even under load, however, the notebook is the quietest of the bunch, maxing out at just 33.2 dB(A) and averaging a trivial 30.2 dB(A). We noticed no coil whine during our time with the machine regardless of power state.

Noise Level

Idle
28 / 28 / 30.1 dB(A)
Load
30.2 / 33.2 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28 dB(A)
Fan noise profile
Fan noise profile
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba MQ04ABF100
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8550U, SK hynix PC300 HFS512GD9MND
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix SC311 SATA
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
Vega 3, 2200U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
Noise
-8%
-16%
-5%
-12%
-13%
off / environment *
28
28.2
-1%
29.2
-4%
30.4
-9%
30.3
-8%
30.3
-8%
Idle Minimum *
28
31.7
-13%
29.3
-5%
30.4
-9%
30.3
-8%
30.3
-8%
Idle Average *
28
31.7
-13%
29.5
-5%
30.4
-9%
30.3
-8%
30.3
-8%
Idle Maximum *
30.1
32
-6%
30.5
-1%
31.2
-4%
30.9
-3%
30.3
-1%
Load Average *
30.2
32.8
-9%
41.2
-36%
31.5
-4%
37.8
-25%
37.1
-23%
Load Maximum *
33.2
35
-5%
47.2
-42%
31.5
5%
40.6
-22%
43
-30%
Witcher 3 ultra *
44
34.3
43.3

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Despite the low noise levels, system temperatures are not problematic under load. Against a room temperature of 20 °C, we calculate averages on top/bottom of 29.5 °C / 34.6 °C, neither of which are worrisome; these values indicate lower heat development than most every other machine against which we’re comparing today.

Idle temperatures are a slightly different story however. Thanks to the delayed fan invocation, average temperatures reach 26.1 °C / 29.2 °C on top/bottom while idling, which is 6.1 °C / 9.2 °C above room temperatures. That’s a fair bit of separation between ambient and surface temperatures while idling, and it’s likely to bother some who prefer lap-based use.

The heatsink/fan...
The heatsink/fan...
...and the empty bay for a second fan (on models with dedicated graphics).
...and the empty bay for a second fan (on models with dedicated graphics).
Max. Load
 32 °C
90 F
33.6 °C
92 F
28.6 °C
83 F
 
 32.4 °C
90 F
33.8 °C
93 F
27 °C
81 F
 
 28.2 °C
83 F
25.2 °C
77 F
25 °C
77 F
 
Maximum: 33.8 °C = 93 F
Average: 29.5 °C = 85 F
31.8 °C
89 F
43 °C
109 F
38 °C
100 F
29.4 °C
85 F
37 °C
99 F
38.6 °C
101 F
28.2 °C
83 F
31.4 °C
89 F
33.8 °C
93 F
Maximum: 43 °C = 109 F
Average: 34.6 °C = 94 F
Power Supply (max.)  31 °C = 88 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 29.5 °C / 85 F, compared to the average of 30.9 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Multimedia.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 33.8 °C / 93 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F, ranging from 21.1 to 71 °C for the class Multimedia.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 43 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 38.8 °C / 102 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.1 °C / 79 F, compared to the device average of 30.9 °C / 88 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 28.2 °C / 82.8 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.1 °C / 84.4 F (+0.9 °C / 1.6 F).
Thermal profile, top of base unit (idle)
Thermal profile, top of base unit (idle)
Thermal profile, underside (idle)
Thermal profile, underside (idle)
Thermal profile, top of base unit (max load)
Thermal profile, top of base unit (max load)
Thermal profile, side of base unit (max load)
Thermal profile, side of base unit (max load)
Thermal profile, underside (max load)
Thermal profile, underside (max load)

Speakers

The internal (rather disappointing) speakers
The internal (rather disappointing) speakers

The IdeaPad’s speakers produce a reasonable level of output, but the shape of the sound leaves something to be desired. Thanks largely in part to its slimness, there exists little to no detectable low-frequency reproduction, and the linearity across the board is average at best. Mids and highs are at least balanced, but the results are hardly impressive for a machine of this class. There is also a slight bit of low-frequency distortion detectable at maximum volume levels in certain instances, though it isn’t what we’d qualify as casing rattle. Regardless, the XPS 15, for instance, does far better in a comparable form factor.

Sound profile
Sound profile
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2040.23740.22536.235.336.2313232.7324031.429.931.45030.229.730.26329.430.229.48029.830.329.810028.328.128.312528.82728.816037.526.637.520050.726.750.725061.22561.231562.725.962.740061.124.961.150055.324.655.363051.223.651.280064.423.764.4100062.523.362.5125054.623.254.6160057.923.357.920006122.761250054.222.954.2315055.32355.3400053.222.953.2500056.522.556.5630059.222.759.2800065.522.665.51000067.222.567.21250065.822.465.81600059.622.559.6SPL72.735.372.7N31.52.431.5median 57.9median 23.3median 57.9Delta61.3638.239.934.73932.735.531.734.333.133.232.832.131.131.330.330.528.62927.932.126.645.926.756.826.162.725.365.124.965.824.265.924.861.624.764.62470.325.972.12465.723.960.624.362.523.967.123.364.523.36323.159.523.16023.261.323.256.736.478.22.742.3median 24.3median 62.51.16.6hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKBHP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72.67 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 15.7% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (17.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (14.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.4% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 64% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 26% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 46% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 45% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72.06 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 19.7% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (15.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.1% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.1% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 55% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 36% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 40% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 54% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Our power consumption measurements show that the IdeaPad 530S is the least power-hungry of all the machines in today’s comparison field, with an idle average of just 5.6 W (max: 10.3 W) versus values in the 6.3 W – 8.5 W range from competitors. Only the XPS 15 comes close, with an impressive idle average (given its specifications) of just 5.8 W.

Under load, the maximum we measure is just 33.8 W. More realistic load conditions provoke a slightly lower measurement still of only 30.5 W. That’s essentially equivalent with the other two machines packing the same CPU (the HP Pavilion 15 and Dell Inspiron 15), and it’s predictably far below all devices featuring dedicated graphics.

Power consumption analysis, Prime 95 CPU stress
Power consumption analysis, Prime 95 CPU stress
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.24 / 0.37 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.5 / 5.6 / 10.3 Watt
Load midlight 30.5 / 33.8 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, SK hynix PC401 HFS256GD9TNG, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba MQ04ABF100, TN LED, 1366x768, 15.6
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
8550U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), SK hynix PC300 HFS512GD9MND, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, SK hynix SC311 SATA, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
2200U, Vega 3, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A, TN LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
8300H, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11, LED IGZO IPS InfinityEdge, 1920x1080, 15.6
Power Consumption
-12%
-87%
-3%
-32%
-66%
Idle Minimum *
3.5
5.6
-60%
5.1
-46%
3.9
-11%
5.6
-60%
2.9
17%
Idle Average *
5.6
7.1
-27%
6.3
-13%
6.6
-18%
8.5
-52%
5.8
-4%
Idle Maximum *
10.3
7.9
23%
10.5
-2%
9.3
10%
8.4
18%
7.5
27%
Load Average *
30.5
32.8
-8%
82.2
-170%
30.2
1%
41
-34%
77.5
-154%
Load Maximum *
33.8
30.5
10%
103.2
-205%
33.2
2%
44.2
-31%
107
-217%
Witcher 3 ultra *
85.9
32
84

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The internal 45 Wh battery produces decent runtimes.
The internal 45 Wh battery produces decent runtimes.

With a runtime of just 6 hours and 31 minutes in our standardized Wi-Fi web surfing battery benchmark, the IdeaPad 530S is a bit disappointing, but not terribly divergent from the field of competitors (whose results are contingent upon the typical delimiting factors such as battery size and CPU/GPU type). Considering its battery size of just 45 Wh, we could have feared worse we suppose.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
6h 31min
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 45 Wh
HP Pavilion 15-cs0053cl
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 41 Wh
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
8550U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 48 Wh
Dell Inspiron 15 5579-9672
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 42 Wh
Acer Aspire 3 A315-41-R7BM
2200U, Vega 3, 37 Wh
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
8300H, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 97 Wh
Battery Runtime
7%
-19%
11%
-12%
141%
Reader / Idle
722
671
536
WiFi v1.3
391
419
7%
318
-19%
435
11%
344
-12%
942
141%
Load
134
110
83
114
Witcher 3 ultra
62

Pros

+ sleek design with great build quality that belies its price point
+ relatively stable chassis
+ very good general system performance
+ mostly straightforward maintenance
+ nearly silent operation in most cases
+ good temperatures under load
+ decent anti-glare IPS display
+ very reasonably priced

Cons

- somewhat disappointing CPU and GPU performance
- port selection is a bit thin (and ports are somewhat crowded)
- case rigidity pales in comparison to pricier rivals
- only a single internal storage port
- no options for dual-channel RAM
- slow card reader that only halfway accepts a card
- elevated idle operating temperatures
- mediocre speakers

Verdict

The Lenovo IdeaPad 530S (review unit courtesy of Lenovo)
The Lenovo IdeaPad 530S (review unit courtesy of Lenovo)

For those interested in an attractive, relatively sturdy, mostly well-rounded entertainment laptop that won’t empty the wallet, the $699 IdeaPad 530S is absolutely worth a look. Thanks to its capable quad-core i5-8250U CPU, plenty of RAM, and fast NVMe storage, our review unit managed very good general performance in our tests. Although our CPU benchmarks fell short of comparably-equipped competitors, the margins were small, and the low fan noise levels and temperature development are likely to more than make up for the discrepancy in the eyes of most users.

Build quality is also top-notch, leveraging CNC machined aluminum surfaces and super-slim bezels to evoke thoughts of HP Spectre and Dell XPS laptops—at a fraction of the cost. Input devices are fairly good overall as well, though the category leaders are a grade above the IdeaPad here.

What the IdeaPad 530S accomplishes is quite valuable. If nothing else, it represents a perfectly appropriate step down from today’s ultra-premium line of machines to a slightly humbler place where perfection is carefully and subtly exchanged for value.

Of course, the curtain can’t stay drawn forever, and eventually, the façade of a $1K+ machine does begin to wear off somewhat. While constructed from metal, surfaces are noticeably thinner than those adorning the XPS 15, for instance, and this is most evident in the flex present across the base unit. The input devices are good, but not great. Graphical performance is obviously not an emphasis of today’s review unit, but the audio also lacks the balance and punch of the XPS 15, and the display (while good overall) can’t compete. There is no option for dual storage or dual-channel RAM, and the card reader is among the slowest we’ve seen. None of these shortcomings is anything close to fatal, and in fact, most could be considered relatively minor, especially in context with the pricing. But taken together, they do somewhat substantiate the price savings, serving as a pervasive reminder that corners had to be cut somewhere. Keeping that in mind (and expectations in check), what the IdeaPad 530S accomplishes here is nevertheless quite valuable.

Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB - 08/27/2018 v6
Steve Schardein

Chassis
82 / 98 → 83%
Keyboard
79%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
45 / 81 → 56%
Weight
67 / 20-67 → 100%
Battery
89%
Display
86%
Games Performance
56 / 85 → 66%
Application Performance
89 / 92 → 97%
Temperature
92%
Noise
97 / 95 → 100%
Audio
54%
Camera
55 / 85 → 65%
Average
75%
82%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB (i5-8250U, FHD) Laptop Review
Steve Schardein, 2018-08-29 (Update: 2018-08-29)
Steve Schardein
Steve Schardein - Review Editor - @othersteve
In grade school, my first computer—an Apple IIGS—started it all for me. Later, in the nineties, if I wasn’t repairing computers for family and friends, I was busy cooking up nifty Visual Basic projects and playing PC games like Command & Conquer and Heroes of Might and Magic. Soon, much of my free time was spent moderating popular gaming forums and covering the industry for various websites. All the while, I never stopped repairing computers, and in 2006, I started a technology consulting company in Louisville, KY—Triple-S Computers—which I have been fortunate to nurture to great success by specializing in not only repairs, but also new machine consultations and purchasing, data recovery, and malware/security. And since 2012, I have proudly contributed many dozens of reviews to Notebookcheck, a site which I have long considered to be the ultimate authority on laptops and related technology. Today, I am truly living my dream: still a child at heart, ever-curious, constantly learning, and thankful to you, our readers.