With the new ThinkPad S531 15.6-inch ultrabook PC, Lenovo has tried to make a blend of fashion and business seriousness. The ThinkPad brand is well known for its utilitarian and no-frills look with matte surfaces and the Intel Core-powered S531 goes in line with that, but adds rounded edges and introduces us with a single piece trackpad, without physically isolated click buttons.
Being an ultrabook, it provides a sleek look and on this model, but Lenovo hasn’t provided info on actual thickness of it. However, the PC maker emphasises its beveled front and side edges, creating an illusion that the laptop is suspended over the desk. What Lenovo also emphasizes are material used. The lid is made of aluminum, but the surface is covered with blasted and anodized finish for a smoother feel. The base of the laptop, or at least its top cover around the backlit AccuType ergonomic keyboard with number pad and on palmrests, is constructed of magnesium alloy.
Let’s say one more thing about the trackpad. It incorporates a total of five button areas. Three of them (left-click, scroll, and right-click) are on the area closer to the space button and they are used to accompany the trackpoint stick located in the middle of the keyboard. The remaining two buttons on the lower end of the trackpad serve for left and right clicking, just like on common laptop trackpads.
While we are at design, let’s mention that the display folds up to 180 degrees for high adjustability of viewing angles.
Hidden inside the svelte chassis are the Intel Core-series processors, sadly from the 2012 “Ivy Brigde” lineup, but we can hope that they will include the latest “Haswell” chips with better power efficiency and faster integrated graphics at a later date. However, you can’t expect it to ship with a dedicated video card and that’s understandable considering the business purpose of the laptop and its portability.
A good thing is that the S531 will optionally ship with a full HD display resolution, which is great not only for multimedia but also for work with large spreadsheets and other documents. Luckily, the screen is a non-glare type. Rounding off visual and audio features, lest’s mention its JBL-branded stereo speakers and Dolby Advanced Audio technology. Coupled with the 1080p screen, this laptop can be a good companion when it comes to multimedia and entertainment as well.
Although ultrabooks by their nature have a solid state drive or hybrid mix of traditional mechanical hard disk and SSD storage, Lenovo only mentions a 500GB hard drive for storing files on the ThinkPad S531. Again, maybe they’ll intoduce hybrid and SSD options later. Another interesting point is in the RAM department. 2GB is soldered onto the motherboard and there’s a SODIMM slot for additional up to 8GB, so maximal supported RAM is 10GB.
Selection of ports isn’t as robust as on the other 15.6-inchers. There are only two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, a 4-in-1 media card reader, and a single combo headphone/mic jack. But the ThinkPad S531 has the OneLink port for connecting the laptop to the 100-dollar OneLink docking station providing additional four USBs, HDMI, and an Ethernet jack. This model has a fingerprint reader built-in.
In the UK, the laptop starts at 890.44 US Dollars, but it is not known when it’ll hit the US market nor its price States-side.