Laptops

Lenovo IdeaPad 530S, 330S, 330: Which is right for you?

There’s a GadgetMatch for all

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Lenovo has a fairly rich selection of IdeaPad laptops, from large powerhouses to more compact travel companions. The naming scheme can get confusing, however, and each model has its own strengths and weaknesses.

For this review, we’re looking at three of Lenovo’s newest models: the IdeaPad 530S, 330S, and 330. To get more diverse opinions, we employed three different users: content creator Dan, visual producer MJ, and editor Marvin, respectively.

Which IdeaPad is your GadgetMatch? Let’s see what our three subjects have to say.

Lenovo IdeaPad 530S — Dan

The IdeaPad 530S is well-specced and has the best build among the bunch. The laptop’s body has a polished aluminum finish, and I’m loving Lenovo’s new approach to design. The lid of the laptop is understated with just the Lenovo logo on the side.

That’s not the only premium aspect of the laptop’s design. It also has an IPS display that measures 14 inches diagonally with a Full HD resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Nothing sounds fancy about the screen’s specs, but it’s got thin bezels. It’s not as edge-to-edge as Dell’s XPS, but at least Lenovo placed the webcam where it should be. Although, this laptop’s webcam quality isn’t that great either.

I used the IdeaPad 530S primarily for writing and working on the go. So, I appreciated the laptop’s smaller dimensions compared to other 14-inch laptops in the market. It’s portable enough to fit inside most backpacks, plus it doesn’t take up so much space on a coffee table. The typing experience is generally okay, but I find the key travel a bit shorter than my old IdeaPad notebook. The trackpad, on the other hand, works great.

The configuration I have has an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor paired with 4GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage. It even has NVIDIA GeForce MX150 dedicated graphics. This specs combination is more than enough for everyday tasks and light gaming. The notebook’s memory should be upgraded to at least 8GB, though, to avoid hiccups.

Another good aspect of midrange notebooks is the selection of ports. The I/O on the IdeaPad 530S includes an HDMI port, two USB-A, USB-C, audio jack, and an SD card reader.

I usually get around six to seven hours of battery life with this one, depending on what I’m working on. A full charge using the included 65W charging brick takes about two hours and a half. Not the best battery life and charging time around, but they’re not that bad either.

The IdeaPad 530S is an easy choice for those looking for a well-balanced notebook that doesn’t cost much. Just be sure to upgrade the memory immediately to avoid any lag.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330S — MJ

As an artist, the most important thing for me when looking for a laptop is its style and how it handles multimedia work. So when the Lenovo IdeaPad 330S arrived, I was a bit excited.

The IdeaPad 330S comes in platinum gray and a smooth, polished aluminum cover that made me feel like I’m using a premium laptop. It has a responsive touchpad and soft keyboard so I didn’t have to rely on a mouse to get work done. It also has thinner bezels, and therefore, a bigger screen to enjoy.

The IdeaPad 330S has a 15.6-inch FHD IPS panel, which means it has better color accuracy and wider viewing angles, perfect for all my multimedia work. It also has built-in Dolby Audio, which provides clear sound while watching videos online.

Speaking of portability, this laptop weighs 2.6kg — a bit heavy for a tiny build like mine. Its bigger size means it needs a backpack that can carry a 15-inch laptop. Since I used to own a 15-inch laptop back in college, a laptop this big is no problem. What I’m more concerned about is getting my work done.

Because I handle lots of creative tasks, my laptop consumed battery faster than with more average users. Surprisingly, the IdeaPad 330S didn’t disappoint, lasting at least four to five hours with constant use of Adobe Photoshop and other creative software.

The only thing I didn’t like about this laptop was its ridiculously slow load times. It’s packed with Intel’s 8th-generation Core i7-8550U, but runs on 4GB of memory and 2TB of HDD storage. Boot up was slow, and I could count up to eight seconds before my browser loaded. Most of the time, it couldn’t handle multiple tabs at once and the browser ended up not responding.

The IdeaPad 330S could’ve become a complete powerhouse if not for the sluggish user experience. It has the premium look that everyone wants, and its screen and audio are made specifically for entertainment. This laptop is ideal for those who need it for leisure and entertainment, because that is where it’s great at.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 — Marvin

This model is clearly the least attractive of the three with its all-plastic body and unsightly bezels. And even though the port selection is mostly complete — two USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, SD card reader, Ethernet — the body’s thickness (22.9mm) and heft (2.2kg) mean I need a larger backpack to carry it in.

On paper, the specs are alright: Intel’s 8th-generation Core i5-8300H, 4GB of RAM, 1TB HDD storage, and dedicated GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip. While the CPU and GPU combo can handle demanding tasks, the low amount of memory and slow hard disk mean startup can be slow for both the machine and apps.

I’d say the best part of this laptop is its keyboard, which is vital for any full-time editor. Like most Lenovo notebooks, the keys are well-spaced and have a bottom curve to make them easier to hit. It also has evenly distributed backlighting and a decent trackpad to complement it. I just wish the power button wasn’t placed so close to the keyboard itself, resulting in accidental presses.

The worst aspect has to be the display quality. Even though the screen is 15.6 inches in size and 1080p in resolution, its TN panel offers poor color reproduction and even worse viewing angles. This isn’t the type of laptop I’d use for watching online shows or presenting to a group of people surrounding the display.

On the brighter side, the speakers can get loud, albeit with a little distortion while at max power. I also found the battery life above-average with over six hours of balanced usage on a single charge, and the unit reaches a hundred percent quickly using the bundled charger.

The IdeaPad 330 is definitely the weakest of the three notebooks reviewed here, and is best suited for those who want less flare and more traditional features, such as the older ports, top-mounted webcam, and reliable battery life.

Entertainment

LG just launched a limited edition NewJeans laptop

It’s pretty… expensive

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Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

NewJeans is continuously making waves both in and out of South Korea. From their ultra-catchy songs, dance moves that are trending in TikTok and Instagram Reels, to reaching top charts in UK and US’ Billboard, there’s no surprise that homegrown tech brand LG Electronics partnered with these power rookies.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

LG just released the gram Style NewJeans Limited Edition! While this is an unfortunate news for Hanni (who is actually an iPhone), it’s actually a big step towards knowing NewJeans past the K-Pop hype (and by that you should stream Hype Boy).

Mini and Big Bunnies

This special edition LG Gram Style is available in two styles: Mini Bunny and Big Bunny.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

There’s actually no stark difference between the two except for — you guessed it — the size of bunny decals on its lid. Either of the two, you will never get wrong choosing the bunny for your personal taste.

Other than that, the highlight of this laptop comes from its weight. From the brand itself, it’s just 999 grams — actually 23 grams lighter than the 2022 model. It also has the US military-graded MIL-STD 810H standard that passed seven (7) durability tests.

Powerful punch

The LG gram Style NewJeans isn’t slouching in performance. Just like a hopping bunny, it’s quite a powerful device for its size and heft.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Hardware specifications of these two Bunnies aren’t too far off — at least after making a side-by-side comparison of their spec sheets. Both styles come with an Intel Core i5-1340P under EVO Platform for lightweight ultrabooks plus Intel Iris Xe graphics. It’s then paired with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of NVMe 4.0 SSD with an extra PCIe 4.0 slot for expandability.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Just like NewJeans‘ visuals, you can’t also go wrong with the visuals of this device. It has a 14″ low-reflective OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, WQXGA+ resolution (2880 x 1800), a 16:10 aspect ratio for wider screen real estate, and an improved 400nits brightness over last year’s 350.

Moreover, it supports 100% DCI-P3 wide color gamut for color-accurate goodness as well as VESA Certified DisplayHDR TrueBlack 500 for deeper blacks and better contrast ratio. Its 2-watt stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support make it a full-on entertainment device.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

One more highlight is its “Hidden Touchpad”. Instead of the usual rectangular trackpads, it’s highlighted by two halo lighting on its two sides dubbed as “Aurora White” paired with haptic feedback for that nice feeling when clicking.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

For ports, it has two (2) USB-C plus one (1) USB-A ports, microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones, earphones, amplifiers, and other audio peripherals.

Goodies for Bunnies

If you have actually reached this part, you’d know that you are not here for its powerful hardware, rather for the NewJeans styled-laptop. Aside from having that special laptop, there are more goodies that come with this device.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Being one of the few Bunnies out there since NewJeans’ Attention, I was actually more excited when I saw the list. There’s a notebook pouch, cable strap, posters, sticker and stationery set.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

There’s even a free NewJeans-style mouse with this cute vinyl-like mousepad. These are truly treats for Bunnies! The laptops even come with preloaded wallpapers and four icons in it.

Pricing and Availability

While the LG gram Style is light, the pricing isn’t. It’s a pretty laptop with a pretty expensive price. It retails for around KR₩ 2,700,000 — which is about US$ 2190 / SG$ 2675 / ₱119,513.

There’s no word on global availability but LG will hold a live event in Korea with NewJeans on February 1, 2023 (Wednesday) around 8PM KST (Korean Standard Time).

If you will participate during the live, a comment could help a participant win a specially-signed autograph from NewJeans or three winners of the Limited Edition Goods.

If you plan on buying the NewJeans’ limited edition laptop, there are more benefits other than having the Limited Edition Goods set such as 12 winners of NewJeans autographs.

But if you’re just opting to buy the regular LG gram Style without the NewJeans skin, it will still give you other perks such as a free LG gram mouse, Wiggle Wiggle goods package consisting of a notebook pouch, mousepad, and a cable strap, as well as a free 512GB microSD card.

More advanced purchase benefits are Intel software package, 2023 gram gift pack, and 5,000g Jammy points coupon.

Other common benefits include MelOn one-month free subscription, 10,000 membership points after writing a photo review after purchase, and 20 winners of two Helinox chairs and table set.

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Laptops

Samsung to launch improved touchscreen notebooks soon

In time for Galaxy Unpacked

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Touchscreen notebooks are making a new push to the spotlight. While the general technology has been out for a while, new developments are starting to introduce better screens with faster response times. Samsung, according to a new report, is already ready to launch an improved version of its own touchscreen notebook as early as next month.

As first reported by ZDNet, Samsung Display has started to mass produce OLED screens which integrate touchscreen functionality directly on the panel. The technology, called OCTA or on-cell touch AMOLED, will launch first on upcoming Galaxy Books this year.

Though essentially unconfirmed for now, the new touchscreen lineup might launch in time for the Galaxy Unpacked event early next month. If so, Samsung will have a huge leg up against Apple, who is also working on its own touchscreen laptop.

Apple, contrary to Steve Jobs’ initial reaction against the technology, is building a touchscreen OLED MacBook for a hopeful launch by 2025. Because the upcoming MacBook allegedly uses OLED panels, the device will be thinner and lighter than current MacBooks in the lineup.

Much like the chatter around Apple, Samsung Display’s new OLED panels will also be thinner and lighter — a big step, considering last year’s notebooks were also touted as thinner and lighter then ever before. Unfortunately, the report does not indicate how large the new screens will be. If anything, the Galaxy Book lineup currently offers devices in 13- and 15-inch models.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S23 Preview

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CES 2023

HP reveals new hybrid, gaming lineup at CES 2023

New Dragonfly and Elite series too

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HP CES 2023

At CES 2023, HP has revealed its newest gaming devices: the OMEN 17 laptop and the OMEN 40L and OMEN 25L desktops.

Both these gaming powerhouses are powered by up to 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900K series processors. They also have NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics for 4K visuals.

All new OMEN devices also utilize HP’s OMEN Tempest Cooling Technology. Meanwhile, the OMEN 17 will be the first to feature optical mechanical keys. These are 25 times faster than traditional laptop keyboards.

HP has also introduced cloud gaming through the OMEN Gaming Hub. It offers gamers access to over 1,450 titles.

HP E-series G5 monitors: More immersive experience

Meanwhile, the visual experience is about to be taken to new heights further, with HP’s new E-series G5 monitors which range from the 21.5 to 44.5-inch sizes and are all capable of displaying 4K seamlessly.

The HP E45c G5, in particular, is the world’s first QHD dual curved monitor which showcases a super ultrawide Virtual Dual Display feature.

Essentially, there is just one extra-long monitor instead of two monitors which need to be combined side-by-side to create the ultimate gaming setup.

The M24h and M27h FHD monitors also provide upgraded experiences while coming with improved ergonomics to tailor fit users’ postures and viewing angles.

Poly Voyager Free 60 series

When it comes to accessories, headlining the list is the Poly Voyager Free 60 series wireless earbuds.

This wearable comes with 10mm drivers for hi-fi sound and adaptive hybrid ANC. It has a smart charge case with 3.5mm OLED display, a three-mic array, and Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity.

It supports up to 24 hours of total playtime on a full charge. Everything is made a breeze too through the Poly Lens mobile app for customizing settings.

For other accessories, there’s the HP 620/625 FHD webcam for Zoom-ready looks on a 1080p camera. It has built-in dual noise-reduction microphones and video features like auto-focus and AI face framing.

The HP 710 rechargeable silent mouse also allows users to work seamlessly. Its compact design features six programmable buttons for 20 custom shortcuts.

Hybrid-fit laptops: Dragonfly, Elite series

Lastly, HP has unveiled the new Dragonfly G4, EliteBook 1040 G10, and Elite x360 1040 G10. These productivity laptops shall benefit users who work in remote setups, physical office spaces, or a combination of both.

All powered by the latest gen processors in the market, here are some of the distinct new features:

  • Multi-Camera Experience: The laptops support dual video streams and camera switching. With it,  users can easily show both themselves and an object or keyboard at the same time, picture-in-picture or side-by-side.
  • Auto Camera Select: Since there are two cameras on each device, this feature uses intelligent face tracking to recognize which camera a user is facing for uninterrupted virtual eye contact.
  • HP Be Right Back: This will enable users to change their video feed to a still feature when taking a break, without having to steal the attention from meetings
  • Intelligent Hibernate, Smart Sense: As users begin to work on their PCs regularly, these study their patterns to optimize performance and even predict what’s next.
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