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Item#: 9SIA24G1GC3678

ThinkPad Edge E540 Notebook Intel Core i7 4702MQ (2.20GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4600 15.6" Windows 7 Professional (Optional: Windows 8 Pro 64-bit)

  • Intel Core i7 4702MQ (2.20GHz)
  • 4GB Memory 500GB HDD
  • Intel HD Graphics 4600
  • 1366 x 768
  • Windows 7 Professional (Optional: Windows 8 Pro 64-bit)
  • DVD-Writer
  • Email this page
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Learn more about the Lenovo E540

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year


Customer Reviews of the Lenovo E540

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  • Thomas T.
  • 2/24/2015 12:05:27 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsFast, upgradeable, linux-compatible, though not perfect laptop

Pros: I ordered this system because it has a Core i7 processor, upgradeable RAM, and was listed as "Ubuntu Certified" and "Red Hat Certified" (though that doesn't necessarily say much; see Cons below).

The laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 7 Professional installed as a "Downgrade," and Windows 8 DVDs. If you care about Windows 7, be sure to make a backup image (DVDs or large USB stick). The Windows 8 license key is burned into the system, which I was able to read easily using the linux dmidecode utility, but I don't have any reason to use it. Maybe someday I will try Windows 8.1 or 10, but I doubt the key will work, so I may have to buy a standalone copy. The stock partition has a tiny Windows boot partition, the main Windows partition, and a recovery partition. I shrank the main Windows partition and created a new primary and a couple of secondary partitions using the Ubuntu installer. Eventually I may wipe the three Windows partitions completely, though I'm keeping them installed now for BIOS, driver, or warranty issues. (See Cons.)

I found Ubuntu 14.04 "Trusty" ran pretty darned well "out-of-the-box," though I STRONGLY recommend installing gpointing-device-settings so you can overcome the horrible Trackpad defaults. You may also want to install a battery management utility such as TLP. You might also consider installing hdapsd so the hard drive can benefit from the HDAP sensor (to protect the drive from accidental drops).

The machine comes with a 7200RPM 500GB hard drive, and I am considering installing an SSD. If I do I will probably replace the rotational drive, because even though this system has an open m.2 slot, it looks like you get more "bang for your buck" installing a regular-sized laptop SSD. (And of course if the laptop only has an SSD, you no longer need the HDAP sensor to protect it from shock.)

The laptop comes with 4GB RAM and an empty RAM slot. I found 4GB surprisingly useable under Ubuntu, but I used Newegg's Memory Selector to find the least expensive pair of 8GB SODIMMs compatible with the machine and upgraded it to (the maximum) 16GB RAM. I am sure I will ultimately be glad I did!

Virtualbox or KVM/QEMU images open FAST on this system under Ubuntu, so it's a handy way to check out other linux distros and operating systems.

OH and of course, running linux on this system COMPLETELY avoids Windows "bloatware" or "Superfish" security issues (though I cannot comment on whether either applies to this particular system).

Lenovo (and user) support via forums.lenovo.com has been OK.

Cons: There's an annoying BIOS bug that keeps the machine from suspending under any linux operating system. I have an open ticket with Lenovo about that. The workaround is to TURN OFF USB3.0 in the BIOS. (The USB ports still work, but only as USB2.0.)

The latest BIOS on the Lenovo site, version 2.17, does not fix the suspend problem, AND the bootable .iso image on their site is defective, so you must boot Windows to run the .exe BIOS installer. Fortunately I kept Windows for just this reason. I have a second open ticket with Lenovo to track getting that fixed.

The default trackpad settings are horrible, even under (un-updated) Windows 7. (It's likely Lenovo's Windows driver updates fix that problem in Windows, but I don't use Windows so I don't allow it to connect to the Internet.)

Unfortunately, Lenovo doesn't offer this system with either Ubuntu or Red Hat already installed, nor do they make ANY recommendations on their support site for preferred settings. They also seem to be somewhat tone-deaf to linux issues, so I don't know what benefit the certifications have had. I know I felt a bit misled.

So far I haven't had any serious hardware issues at all, but I have been warned the support is painful. Fortunately I have been glad to see corporate responses at forums.lenovo.com, though the issues are still being worked on so I cannot say how responsive they are.

Other Thoughts: This is a reasonably-priced, linux-compatible, fast, upgradeable laptop. It's also weakly-supported, Chinese-made, and probably only somewhat above average in build quality. SO if you buy one, plan to run it hard for the first week or two and exercise all the features you depend upon, and plan to open repair tickets if you see something wrong.

OH and it has a weird square power connector (the same size as a USB plug), so if you use this with a laptop dock, or if you have a different Lenovo 20-volt power adapter, you will probably need an additional adapter to use it.

Overall I am satisfied with my purchase, and I hope to use it extensively for a number of years.

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  • Marconi S.
  • 1/22/2015 4:08:48 PM
  • Tech Level: Low
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsWarning about Finger Print Scanner!!!

Pros: Warning about Finger Print Scanner!!!

If you buying this notebook and you want to use the finger print scanner to login; Don't buy it, it does not work on windows 7. It may work on windows 8, but I did not tested on win8.
Every thing else is good, but I do recommend to buy a extra 4GB of RAM and change the hard drive to a SSD drive.

Cons: *

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Jan P.
  • 12/16/2014 8:50:35 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsBusiness Notebook

Pros: Well designed, nice exterior finish, stable construction, good keyboard, good touchpad and pointing device everything as advertized. Comes with Office 2013 pre-installed. Good deal.

Cons: Sound input/output combined in 1 connector. Lots of Lenovo bloatware.

Other Thoughts: Came in double packaging.

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  • Read B.
  • 12/6/2014 6:43:26 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGreat, But . . .

Pros: This is a really fast machine. Because it uses logical cores in addition to its 4 "real" cores, it really is quick at opening programs, etc.

Cons: My biggest frustration is that so far I have found it impossible to disable the touch pad and pointer. From what I can gather from Lenovo forums, this is a common problem with this model. I have a Toshiba laptop that has a utility that causes the touch pad and pointer to be disabled whenever it detects a USB mouse. They need to fix this problem.

Other Thoughts: All in all it is an excellent machine at a good price.

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Brian D.
  • 8/29/2014 8:11:27 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsLenovo Customer Support Is Horrid

Pros: Great hardware specs, Lenovo normally uses high quality parts

Cons: Tired of dealing with Lenovo customer support over multiple issues. Some background on myself: I have a degree in Computer Engineering, work in sales/repair/service in a small rural town, and have been building computers for over 25 years. I try to stock higher quality products, but Lenovo Support is nothing more than a joke. When a Hard Drive is DOA, it takes them 3 weeks to replace it. It takes them 2 weeks to do other service work; they constantly send parts to the wrong town that does not contain a tech, so I have to wait for them to get their shipping problems sorted out.

This time around, something happened with with either power into the computer or a board. One of the boards bubbled up and caps exploded. They claim this is from liquids. Do they know the difference between blown capacitors and liquid corrosion? They say "they are certified techs" like that means anything when it takes them literally 10+ phone calls and 3 weeks to replace a DOA hard drive. They refuse to prove anything when asked to send pictures; just that repair work is more expensive than a new purchase.

Lenovo usually makes great stuff, just pray to whatever deities you worship that you never have to interact with their support.

Other Thoughts: Every single time I deal with Lenovo support it takes multiple weeks for an issue to be resolved and anywhere from 5-15 phone calls.

13 out of 18 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Harminder B.
  • 8/22/2014 1:49:52 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsFantastic

Pros: Tis laptop is fast, and it runs very smoothly

Cons: upgrading to windows 8 was a hassle

0 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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Item#: 9SIA24G1GC3678
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