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Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:51 pm
by estevan carlos benson
I think I've heard positive things about the Lenovo brand and their high-end laptops. I'm curious if anyone has used them before. I'm less concerned about performance and more concerned about USB issues and compatibility. For example, I have a desktop PC that has awful USB issues. One minute it recognized a USB hard drive. The next minute it didn't even though the operating system itself (Vista) did recognize the hard drive deep in the system. Also, I have an MPD24 that I once tried to use on a Dell Latitude laptop some years ago. It wouldn't recognize it at all. I installed the software and everything. This is my primary concern. Getting good performance is easy.

So, any opinions on Lenovo laptops or high-end PC laptops in general? I'm looking at the ThinkPad W520 Mobile Workstation.

Also, recommendations on chipsets I should look for?

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:57 pm
by kitekrazy
If I were to spend lots of money on a laptop I would consider a Mac. Leonovos are great but the all around best qualitiy laptops come from Asus.
Chipsets shouldn't be an issue these days. You motherboard may be faulty. Most likely any hardware with an Intel processor most likely has an Intel chipset.

BTW, sometimes most issues with older laptops come from having XP Media Edition or whatever they called it. I've had hardware not work because there is no driver for it. It was a stupid OS.

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:51 pm
by pencilrocket
I think Lenovo is better choice than to get acer's. Thinkpad series have better built quality among them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7cvi00OZDM

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:24 pm
by NothingButInitials
I have a ThinkPad W520. So far my only complaints would be that the native screen resolution is too high, and it came with only a 500GB HDD but I did get a great deal on it and disk space is cheap. It's been a great machine. No USB issues. The W520 is a great choice for a workstation class laptop - I did a lot of research before deciding on the Lenovo.

You mentioned Vista - that was probably your problem right there.

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:40 pm
by estevan carlos benson
NothingButInitials wrote:I have a ThinkPad W520. So far my only complaints would be that the native screen resolution is too high, and it came with only a 500GB HDD but I did get a great deal on it and disk space is cheap. It's been a great machine. No USB issues. The W520 is a great choice for a workstation class laptop - I did a lot of research before deciding on the Lenovo.

You mentioned Vista - that was probably your problem right there.
Do you know if there's a way to increase the size of the HD? I'm surprised Lenovo doesn't offer 750gb on their website.

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:47 pm
by rikhyray
estevan carlos benson wrote:
NothingButInitials wrote:I have a ThinkPad W520. So far my only complaints would be that the native screen resolution is too high, and it came with only a 500GB HDD but I did get a great deal on it and disk space is cheap. It's been a great machine. No USB issues. The W520 is a great choice for a workstation class laptop - I did a lot of research before deciding on the Lenovo.

You mentioned Vista - that was probably your problem right there.
Do you know if there's a way to increase the size of the HD? I'm surprised Lenovo doesn't offer 750gb on their website.
Easy to replace yourself but probably the best thing about Thinkpads is getting the bay for 20$ and use second HDD instead of DVD drive.

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:07 pm
by dude rancher
i have a newer Lenovo W520 quadcore 2.4ghz i7 2760qm processor. its great. tons of speed and 500gb drive. had a toshiba before. will never buy toshiba again...

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:27 pm
by UltimateOutsider
estevan carlos benson wrote:Do you know if there's a way to increase the size of the HD? I'm surprised Lenovo doesn't offer 750gb on their website.
Lenovo (and really any big OEM like Dell or HP) usually put cheap, slow drives in their laptops. You'll do best by looking for a good 3rd-party drive and popping it in yourself. Whenever I order a laptop I get the smallest/cheapest drive they offer, because I always get my own drive separately.

Lenovo make fine general-use laptops, but I will note that there was a Lenovo owner posting here and at GS last week complaining of bad dropouts on his Lenovo. The system specs of his laptop were fine, but Lenovo (and again, most big OEMs) don't let you disable processor features like EIST, turbo mode, and the C-states, which can affect DAW performance.

EDIT: Should also mention that the guy who was having problems with his Lenovo never mentioned whether he was using an external interface or onboard audio (I assumed on-board), and never mentioned whether he'd tried Asio4All, which can apparently work wonders for folks using integrated audio.

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:35 pm
by agent314
Yeah, ASIO4All is more stable and gets lower latency with my onboard card than I get with my external interface.

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:51 pm
by login
UltimateOutsider wrote:
estevan carlos benson wrote:Do you know if there's a way to increase the size of the HD? I'm surprised Lenovo doesn't offer 750gb on their website.
Lenovo (and really any big OEM like Dell or HP) usually put cheap, slow drives in their laptops. You'll do best by looking for a good 3rd-party drive and popping it in yourself. Whenever I order a laptop I get the smallest/cheapest drive they offer, because I always get my own drive separately.

Lenovo make fine general-use laptops, but I will note that there was a Lenovo owner posting here and at GS last week complaining of bad dropouts on his Lenovo. The system specs of his laptop were fine, but Lenovo (and again, most big OEMs) don't let you disable processor features like EIST, turbo mode, and the C-states, which can affect DAW performance.

EDIT: Should also mention that the guy who was having problems with his Lenovo never mentioned whether he was using an external interface or onboard audio (I assumed on-board), and never mentioned whether he'd tried Asio4All, which can apparently work wonders for folks using integrated audio.

Well also take in to account that not all Lenovo's are equal, Think Pad's are no consumer level market products they have some reputation of at least being quite reliable for heavy use among proffesionals.

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:12 pm
by UltimateOutsider
Here's the thread about the Lenovo issue. His specific model was the T520. There's simply not enough info to tell whether the laptop itself was really the problem.

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:32 pm
by H20nly
i like my Lenovo T500. it's built tough and in the nearly 3 years it has given me no significant issues to speak of in general and 0 issues with Live. it runs windows 7.

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:51 pm
by estevan carlos benson
H20nly wrote:i like my Lenovo T500. it's built tough and in the nearly 3 years it has given me no significant issues to speak of in general and 0 issues with Live. it runs windows 7.
Do you use any particular kind of hardware with it? If so, what do you use and do they work fine with the laptop?

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:42 am
by Anubis
One company stands above the rest: MSI. Why?, their user community is great. Just as Svet to write you a custom BIOS to unleash the power of their machines.

Re: Another laptop thread - Opinions on Lenovo laptops?

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:13 pm
by H20nly
estevan carlos benson wrote:
H20nly wrote:i like my Lenovo T500. it's built tough and in the nearly 3 years it has given me no significant issues to speak of in general and 0 issues with Live. it runs windows 7.
Do you use any particular kind of hardware with it? If so, what do you use and do they work fine with the laptop?
i use a T.C. Electronic Konnekt 6 for sound and i also have a Korg nano kontrol & an Akai MPD8 that i use with it. i have a separate setup that is my main DAW but i wanted portability too. all of those components work well.

the only issue that i've had with Live on it was around the 8.0.5 update when i had some freakish group track stuff going on. at the time taking out the tracks that were acting up fixed the problem... later, updates from Ableton resolved the matter altogether. for the record though... i have not thrown a 60 track set with 15 + plugins at it or anything uber extreme. i don't score film or design 200 track "soundscapes"... so if you do, YRMV. i can tell you for sure that it handles 12 - 16 tracks of mostly audio just fine and can take fruity loops rewired to Live at the same time with 4GB of RAM.