Sunday, 14 February 2016

Lenovo L540 Review


The Lenovo L540 is a workhorse laptop for around the $1000 mark. These are i5 4GB of RAM, 500GB HDD, 15.6" machines. I purchased 4 for a client (as you can see) and in the back right of the picture you can see one is experiencing sadness. These are quite nice notebooks for a no-nonsense work machine. The screen is clear and readable, and I especially like the keyboard - the keys have a wonderful return and solid feel to them - far better than my Dell notebook. I find the touchpad to be clunky though - the movement of the click isn't refined and the travel seems quite large.

Interestingly, these machines all came with Windows 7 Pro pre-installed - a preferred option for our business clients unwilling to make the jump to Windows 10. We are certainly not foisting Windows 8 off onto people we like - ti's an awful operating system that needs to die as quickly and quietly as Vista did. These run Windows 7 quite happily and once Symantec and a lot of the other Lenovo bloatware is removed the operating system is quite happy - except for the machine there at the back. Something went wrong when installing patches and I ended up having to restore it from scratch. It was a bit of a head scratcher, but the recovery process was surprisingly quick and painless. The tendency for Windows 7 to take ages to first do patches was fixed with a Microsoft Hot Fix - and I think this is what splattered it last time. It only takes something small and the day goes south quickly.

I also purchased docking stations for these laptops, proper drop in docking stations. The mechanisms are easy to use and lock in quite happily. The end users seem to really like them, and they are not technical at all, so I call them a winner. 

All other activities - installing of Office etc were handled quite promptly and it all worked well. These are a solid, unassuming notebook and I recommend them for end users who are looking for a machine with a simple basic function required. That being said, I'd happily use one of these in my day to day work. Lots of capabilities there indeed. It should be noted that while I sell Lenovo stuff, they (sadly) don't pay me to advertise their gear. I've been a fan for a while - the solid construction, great keyboards and relatively functional software (apart from that little issue with spyware a while ago) is really worth considering.

This is ripped from the Lenovo website: Lenovo L540 Tech Specs

ThinkPad L540 LaptopTech Specs

DESCRIPTIONTHINKPAD L540 LAPTOP
Processor
  • Intel® Core™ i3-4000M Processor (3M Cache, 2.40 GHz)1
  • Intel Core i5-4210M Processor (3M Cache, up to 3.20 GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-4300M Processor (3M Cache, up to 3.30 GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-4600M Processor (4M Cache, up to 3.60 GHz)
Operating System
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit preinstalled through downgrade rights in Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Display
  • 15.6" HD (1366x768), anti-glare, 220 nits, 500:1 contrast ratio
  • 15.6" FHD (1920x1080), anti-glare, 300 nits, 500:1 contrast ratio
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 4600 in processor, supports external analogue monitor via VGA and digital monitor via Mini DisplayPort; supports dual independent displays; max. resolution: 1920x1200@60Hz (VGA); 3840x2160@30Hz (DisplayPort via Mini DP cable)
Memory
16GB max (2 SO-DIMM slots), PC3-12800 1600MHz DDR3, non-parity, dual-channel capable
Webcam
Integrated 720p HD Camera
Storage
  • 500GB 7200 RPM
  • 1TB 5400 RPM
  • 128GB SSD SATA3
Optical Drive
DVD +/-RW MultiBurner
Dimensions (W X D X H)
  • HD: 377 x 247 x 28.8-34.05 mm 
  • FHD: 377 x 247 x 31.0-36.25 mm 
Weight
  • 6-cell, HD: 2.54kg
  • 6-cell, FHD: 2.60kg
  • 9-cell, HD: 2.70kg
  • 9-cell, FHD: 2.76kg
Battery
  • 6-cell Li-Ion battery - 57+ (56Wh)
  • 9-cell Li-Ion battery - 57++ (99.9Wh)
Battery life2
  • 6-cell, Win7: up to 11 hours
  • 6-cell, Win8: up to 7 hours
  • 9-cell, Win7: up to 19 hours
  • 9-cell, Win8: up to 12 hours
AC adaptor
65W
Keyboard
ThinkPad® Precision Keyboard with NumberPad
UltraNav™
TrackPoint® pointing device and 5-button Mylar surface touchpad
Fingerprint reader
Optional
Audio support
HD Audio, Realtek® ALC3232 codec, Dolby® Advanced Audio™ v2 / stereo speakers, 2W x 2 / dual array microphone, combo audio/mic jack
Wireless LAN
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 (2x2, 802.11ac/a/b/g/n) with Bluetooth® 4.0
Wireless WAN (optional)
  • Wireless WAN upgradable
  • Ericsson N5321 Mobile Broadband HSPA+1
  • Sierra Wireless EM7355 (4G LTE/HSPA+/EVDO/GSM/GPRS/EDGE, GPS)
Ports
  • 1 x USB 3.0 (AlwaysOn)
  • 3 x USB 2.0
  • ExpressCard
  • Smart Card reader (optional)
  • Combo audio/microphone jack
  • Ethernet (RJ45)
  • 4-in-1 card reader (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC)
  • Dock Connector
  • VGA
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • Security keyhole

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