I need to decide between these two laptop models


Oct 10, 2013

I need some help deciding on these two models (T430 & W530). First, let me detail the reasons why I'm planning to buy one of these two:

I work full time in the QA department of a software company, and I study CS in the evenings/weekends to eventually make my way to becoming a developer. At the moment, I'm doing all my work on an x220 running Fedora 19, and I love this machine. The thing is, my wife's laptop is dying (she has a cheap consumer HP), and the thought came up: hey, I could give her this one, the x220, and get a new one for me. (i'm being so egoistic...)

Why did I think of this? Well, for the kind of work she does on the computer (email, browsing, a bit of photoshop, and word), she really doesn't need all that "power". When she's home, she has an external 24" monitor to plug it in to. The x220 could handle it without breaking a sweat.

Besides, I'm starting to have a bit of trouble with the low resolution that the x220 provides when I'm at work or at the university, and when I come home, I am only able to use 1 external monitor although I've got two. The small laptop screen at the side of my 27" monitor is a bit difficult.

What I do/will do with my laptop: I will want to run windows 7 on it since these two laptops have the optimus technology and I don't want to go through the hassle of configuring bumblebee and co. So, I'll be using VMWare on Windows 7 to run any feasible GNU/Linux, and on Windows I'll be using Eclipse, Visual Studio 2012, Wireshark, Enterprise Architect, the Office Suite, Strawberry Perl, PyCharm, TeamViewer, Photoshop and Dreamweaver, amongst other basics.

Important for me would be the resolution and the display quality. The x220 offers a very nice IPS panel which I love, but it's just a bit uncomfortable when spending hours working on it. I don't know how the 1600x900 resolution of the T430 is, or the contrast for that matter, but I know the w530 with FHD is great to have parallel windows open.

Portability is great, but I'm only in three different places during the day (home, work, university), and the only reason I leave the computer is to grab a coffee or go smoke outside. I don't use the laptop to take notes in class, I use it to sit in a lab on the weekends and work with my colleagues on the different projects we work on.

So, why does it come to these two modells? First of all, it has to be a lenovo. They're durable, repairable, robust and I've had nothing but good experiences with them. The keyboards are great, and I am a trackpoint user (no external mouse, no trackpad). I don't like commercial laptop's keyboards (ugly pad on the left side, dedicated num pad, etc.).
The two modells, the T430 and the w530, are being offered through a special university deal, and the price is tempting. I can also choose to buy a machine without an operating system, which is great because I have a windows 7 license through the university.

Here are the configurations being offered, and their price in euros.

Lenovo ThinkPad W530
Intel Core i7-3630QM, 4×2,4 GHz
8 GB, max. 32 GB (4×8 GB)
500 GB HDD (7,200 RPM)
15,6"" 95% Gamut, 1920×1080, matt, LED
NVIDIA Quadro K1000M, 2GB (Optimus)
2× USB 3.0, 2× USB 2.0, VGA, Mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, Firewire 400, ExpressCard/34
Backlit Keyboard, Farbkalibrator
9 cell battery (94 Wh)
3 years guarantee
€ 1.289,00

Lenovo ThinkPad T430
Intel Core i5-3320M, 2×2,6 GHz
4 GB, max. 16 GB (2×8 GB)
500 GB HDD (7,200 RPM)
14", 1600×900, matt, LED
NVIDIA NVS 5400M, 1 GB (Optimus)
2× USB 3.0, 2× USB 2.0, VGA, Mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, ExpressCard/34
Backlit Keyboard
9 Zellen (94 Wh)
3 years guarantee
€ 949,00

In my place, which one would you take and why?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to give me your opinions and reading my long unstructured post.


Feb 24, 2014
My vote is for Lenovo ThinkPad W530 mainly because the 8 gb memory (which you could probably upgrade on the other for cheaper) and i7. Though performance wise I'd have to look up a few things so take it as you will.