Lenovo Thinkpad S531–Ivy Bridge No-Touch, ‘New’ Ultrabook Offers Working Comfort

Posted on 19 June 2013 by

If you’re using your laptop primarily to ‘get things done’ then you’ll have a couple of things at the top of your wish list. Large screen, perfect working fascia and battery life; You’ll probably also be prepared to take a hit on style or even weight for the right product. The Lenovo Thinkpad S531 could be just what you’re looking for. A 9hr, 15” laptop with the Thinkpad KWM fascia and Ultrabook advantage. One thing to be aware of though is that this ‘new’ Ultrabook is based on older standards.

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Lenovo have just launched the Thinkpad S531, put up a few product pages (EN, DE) and promised that it’s coming soon. Reports indicate a UK starting price of £575 exclusive UK VAT (nearly 700 pounds inclusive of sales tax.)

Because it’s got a 62.8Wh module inside, battery life isn’t going to be a problem. Lenovo say it’s good for up to 9hrs but there’s a potential battery life issue here because it’s based on a current Ivy-Bridge CPU and not the 4th-generation Haswell which would offer much more battery life. It’s also the reason that Lenovo appear to be able to offer this new Ultrabook without a touchscreen. Anything with Haswell needs to have touch. Obviously there’s the possibility of Haswell and touch in an update at some point in the future.

An mSATA SSD is included alongside a 2.5” drive that can be SSD or HDD and the WiFi and memory slot (one) are accessible, along with the drive, by removing the back panel.

531 FRUs

You’ve got a OneLink connector for Lenovo docking stations, 2 USB3.0 ports, an HDMI connector, RJ45 Ethernet port, SD /4-in-1 card reader and a headset port along with microphone array, ‘low-light’ camera and JBL speakers. There’s no DisplayPort.

Fingerprint reader is an option as is an HD screen. WiDi is included which means it’s probably running a Broadcom or Intel Centrino WiFi/BT module.

At 2.29kg (over 5lbs) this isn’t the lightest 15” Ultrabook but if you’re looking for the possibility of a big SSD along with a big HD screen, the Thinkpad S531 should be on your list.

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More images here.

  • This shouldn’t be called thinkpad. I switched from a T410 to a T430 lately and It’s a shame what Lenovo has made under a name like Thinkpad.
    Sadly while Thinkpads getting worse from model to model they are still the best on the market as all others get worse with them.

    I think in 10 years we all have notebooks in the store that we today call ‘china crap ware’. Welcome to capitalism, this just works because most poeple buy bad hardware for good money.

    • Touko

      re: buying bad hardware for good money…

      Have you looked closely at your money lately?

      All fiat money has eventually returned to the value of the paper it was printed on. Not one currency in human history has survived. The interest rate mathematically limits its lifespan to a varying number of years, but the end is always the same, a logarithmic curve of the money supply eventually outpacing the value of the real economy of goods and services at an ever more rapidly increasing rate. A very clever multi-decade ponzi scheme.

      If you don’t have enough money for land, do go and buy some kind of hardware with it ;-)

  • Alan T.

    Way to mess up the trackpoint Lenovo. Based on T431s reviews with the same integrated clickpad and trackpoint buttons, you have to press pretty hard to activate the trackpoint buttons. It’s fine at first but gets pretty bad during prolonged use.

  • Strange Mix

    Never been a fan of trackpoints, they’re require too much training but I understand they have their fans and Lenovo is pissing them off. Are they alienating those customers on purpose? Sounds crazy.

    My main complaint is the trackpad moved to the left. Is this a laptop for the 10% left handed minority? (Nothing against you guys). How about getting rid of the number pad and centering the space bar and the touchpad like on Macs? You know, those MacBook that Apple can’t manage to sell ;-) There should be a reason for that. Hint: not the curved edges.

    Second complaint: Lenovo, give us a 16:10 screen like Apple does. Thanks.

    • guy

      For people who want a number pad, putting the main keyboard and trackpad to the left makes sense. If the main keyboard isn’t shrunken and causes typing issues then I’d rather have a number pad than not since I’d use it often for what I would do on a work notebook. It just needs a screen with a good viewing angle unlike the crappy screen on my T420s.

      I’m also a trackpoint fan and this new design seems to make the trackpoint harder to use. I’ve tried out a T431s and you have to press pretty hard to activate the trackpoint buttons. That’s going to be a pain on a device you’ll be using all day.

    • Touko

      I think the trackpad is left cause the whole keyboard gets pushed left because of the number pad.

      One reason I don’t by 15″ laptops is, that they always have number pads, so for comfortable typing, I always have to sit left of center from the display.

      Understandably, heavy spreadsheet users do like their number pads. I prefer to just plug an external numberpad at that point.

      As for trackpads, I don’t care, I’d prefer if they gave an option for a tissue dispenser or coin storage in its place ;-)

  • Touko

    This looks like they’re trying to copy Samsung’s design in a clunky way.

    Regardless what components you have to stuff into a laptop, there’s no reason to fail at basic proportions.

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