Lenovo: If a Computer Were a Hummer


Consider it a heavy-duty portable workstation for the photographer, designer, video editor or architect who spends far too much time tweaking pictures. The Lenovo ThinkPad W701ds (the "ds" stands for dual-screen) features a 10.6-inch screen that slides out from under the wide 17-inch display, both LED backlit. There's an integrated Wacom digitizer tablet. An nVIDIA Quadro FX 3800M GPU compliments the 1.73GHz Intel Core i7-820QM processor. Weighing a hefty11.4 lb, the W701ds could be the Hummer of notebooks.

If the W701ds were a piano, it would be accompanied by its own piano tuner. In terms of displaying true, consistent colors, the W701ds and its single-screen sister, the W701, are self calibrating. Set the calibration program to run, close the cover so the screen faces the Wacom digitizer tablet, and the computer takes the guesswork out of what you'll be seeing.

There's a digitizer pen that pops out of the side of the computer, so you can use the 5- x 3-inch tablet with palm rest  that occupies the space to the right of the touchpad and under the keyboard (left)  for CAD/CAM design, sketching and selection. You can configure the digitizer to map to the entire screen or to a defined area. It's compatible with a variety of applications including Adobe Photoshop and Windows Paint.

The main 17-inch screen contains 1920 x 1200 pixels and a 16:10 aspect ratio. The secondary 10.6-inch screen in portrait orientation has a resolution of 768 x 1280 pixels. You can use the secondary display for anything, whether as a toolbox or a video window. A 2-Megapixel webcam is built in above the main screen along with an integrated digital microphone and a stereo speaker panel above the keyboard.

There's an abundance of connectivity. There are three USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports. One can be used to charge a peripheral while the computer is in sleep mode. An eSATA connection is shared with a USB 2.0 port. There's a FireWire-400 (4-pin) connection. There's also an ExpressCard/34 Slot and a flash-media slot that can accommodate a CompactFlash, SD, MMC, SDHC, Memory Stick or Memory Stick PRO card. A Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) port runs up to 1000Mbps speed as well as an RJ-11 port with 56k dial-up modem. (Even power broadband users need a back-up plan.) There's 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There's also an integrated fingerprint reader so the computer can verify who's trying to get in.

While there is an internal battery and a power brick the size of a book, Lenovo hasn't talked much about how many hours the computer will run off-grid. The assumption is that though you can move the computer to a work location, you'll probably be plugging it into a power strip. Still, Lenovo says you should be able to get up to two hours per charge from the computer's 9-cell lithium-ion battery.

The ThinkPads come with Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) and internal DVD burners. B&H offers four configurations. Two contain the dual screens, 1.73GHz Intel Core i7-820QM Quad-Core processors and nVIDIA Quadro FX 3800 GPUs with 1GB of graphics memory:

And two come with single screens, 320GB 7200rpm hard drives and nVIDIA Quadro FX 2800M 1GB graphics accelerators:

Discussion 10

Add new comment

Add comment Cancel

Can it handle SMOOTH AVCHD 24Mbits/sec PLAYBACK AND Editing????

I guess in line with the left hand comment since which ever machice in my house I might be on I us the the mouse left or right handed so, I vote a apad on both sides.  Yeah, that well shout them up.  NOT!!!!!!!!!!

what the price on it

the campbell band

I second Mark G's comments about lefties being left out. It's a great-sounding machine but one I will never buy either. They actually could make it so anybody can use it.

Similar critique to Mark G's comments above.  When there is a one-sided anti-ergonomic model for left-handers, I can't and won't consider the computer.  Further, I look for laptops with the left-side (toward the front) of the computer free of e-sata, power, ethernet, and external display ports that will conflict with a mouse on the left side.  Thoughtful and two-handed laptop design was common 5 to 7 years ago, but poor laptop design and ergonomics has become commonplace.over the last few years.

I previously bought two Thinkpads, and was excited when I heard about the specs on this model.  I immediately dismissed it when I learned of the anti-ergonomic design.  Additionally, I've had bad support from Lenovo when they replaced one of my 7200rpm HDDs with allegedly the same spec model, but it fraudulently turned out to be a 5400rpm HDD.  Then they gave me a 7 disc set of "Rescue & Recovery" CDs that don't work and their only proposed tech support solution is to "sell" me the same R&R CDs for $45.  Is this relevant to the new W701?  Support and service is an important factor when someone purchases a high-end, high-priced computer that heavily promotes their support services.

I love that laptops are being developed now with Wacom tablets built in but if someone from IBM is reading this, please, a good proportion of people are LEFT HANDED, have that as an option in online sales. I wont buy a laptop like this made so that I have to cross arms over to operate it.  

Other than that, brilliantly spec'd out. 

Can you offer it with 2 fast and big hard drives set up for Raid-1 (Image Mirroring) and what would the transfer speeds be (reed & write) compared to Raid-0 as well as real wprld transfer speeds to an external hard drive ( USB-2, USB-3, eSATA-3.0, eSATA-6.0, FireWire-400, FireWire-800, ExpressCard/34, and GigaBit ) ?

No HMDI connection?

for your viewing pleasure