Lenovo’s ThinkPad W700ds has us seeing double
Laptops, I have no doubt you’re tired of hearing, are taking over the world. Slowly but surely over the past decade or so, sales of portable computers have caught up and overtaken sales of desktops to the point at which most ordinary folk wouldn’t even contemplate buying a hulking great desktop machine.
But you still wouldn’t replace a graphics workstation machine with a laptop, would you? Well, if first impressions are anything to go by, you might if you had the chance to swap it for one of Lenovo’s W700ds workstation laptops.
You may have seen it before on various blogs and news websites, including perhaps our very own – it’s the one with two screens (the DS bit stands for dual screen), and understandably we were very keen to get one in.
But nothing quite prepared us for our first meeting with it…
It’s a real beast of a laptop (pictured here with a ThinkPad X301 on top), measuring 53mm thick, 410mm wide and 310mm deep. It weighs a lot: 5kg without the power brick (which itself weighs a shoulder challenging 1kg) is enough to make me glad I ate my spinach last night. And, as with many high end Lenovo and IBM ThinkPads before it, it has a hulking presence more akin to a piece of military hardware than an office-based computer.
That second screen is ingeniously realised. It stows behind the main 1,920 x 1,200 17in panel, but within the lid like some over-fed SD card. Push it in and it pops out, spring-loaded, ready for action.
Push it back in and it simply locks in place. It’s 10.6in in diagonal – larger than most netbook screens – and boasts a resolution of 768 x 1,280 pixels. Handy for shunting palettes onto, for instance, or anything else you care to think of.
That’s the most exciting innovation, but it’s by no means the only one. To add to the extra screen our W700ds also has a graphics tablet built into the wristrest, with a digitiser pen stowed in the right hand edge. And above this is a Pantone colour calibration sensor, which helps you set up the screen for professional, pre-publication work.
Needless to say, the internal specification is impressive too: a 2GHz quad-core Intel Q9000 processor is backed with 4GB of RAM and two 250GB hard disk drives in RAID0 configuration, not to mention the draft-n wireless, TPM and fingerprint reader, trackpoint and touchpad configuration, number pad and full Qwerty keyboard…
Once you’ve caught your breath after absorbing all that, you might just want to take note that we’ll be posting the full review here later in the week, complete with benchmark scores, battery life figures (for what it’s worth), and our official verdict. That’s if we can get the thing back down the stairs without causing ourselves serious bodily harm.