Performance like an F22 Raptor! Lenovo Thinkpad W510 launch Review

January 19, 2010

When we first laid our hands on the new Lenovo ThinkPad W510 workstation, the thing  that impressed us most was the superb build quality, the excellent Multi-touch screen option and the sheer  power available.

<– Click Here to Review and Specify your ThinkPad W510

The Multi-touch option is only available with the 15.6” RG-ph LED (95% gamut 270  NIT) 1920 x 1080 screen. Choosing this option adds $200 to the base price of $1599,  but it is mouth wateringly awesome to look at! The 1920 x 1080 screen has to be the choice of photo, graphics and other visual editing pro’s.

And its the professional market that the ThinkPad W510 is clearly aimed at here  because there is absolutely no corner cutting, even with the base specifications. Start to throw in some of the higher end options and you have a mobile workstation of  incomparable power and versatility.

The base ThinkPad W510 comes with some pretty impressive standard features, starting with 7200 rpm hard drives and Quad Core i7 processors.

Base specification includes Quad Core i7-720QM at 1.6GHz, 1GB NVIDIA NVS 5100m, 1×2GB DDR3, 1.3 Webcam, DVDRW, 9-cell battery, 320GB 7200rpm HDD, Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 Wi-Fi, Win7 Pro, Bluetooth and interestingly. USB 3 in one of the 4 USB ports.

During a conversation with Sam Dusi, Head ThinkPad Engineer at the Lenovo Showcase at CES, Sam confirmed that Lenovo has managed to engineer a USB 3 port into the ThinkPad W510.

We have talked about the advantages of the new Calpella micro architecture in our recent ThinkPad T510 Review, and nowhere is it more apparent than in the ThinkPad W510. Not only does the W510 carry an EPEAT Silver environmental rating, it is ENERGY STAR-compliant, excellent in itself for such a powerful notebook, but even more impressive is the up to 18 hours use with the 9 cell battery!

ThinkPad W510 options include the 2GHz i7-920XM Extreme processor, up to 16GB 1333 MHZ DDR3 Memory, NVIDIA Quadro FX 880m with up to 16 GB DDR3 graphics memory, 500 GB 7200 rpm HDD, 2 megapixel low light webcam and the aforementioned multi-touch 1920×1080 resolution display and Color calibrator.

Start to throw some of these extras into the checkout cart, and you’re going to end up with a hefty hit on your credit card, but presumably if your even reading this review, you’re a pro who needs the kind of power and performance that a fully optioned Lenovo ThinkPad W510 can offer.

One thing is for certain. When you start to build out your ThinkPad W510 with the available power options, you’re going to have a mobile workstation with the performance of an F22 Raptor on your hands! Handle with care!

–> Click Here to Review and Specify your Thinkpad W510 <–



26 Responses to “Performance like an F22 Raptor! Lenovo Thinkpad W510 launch Review”

  1. Espen Barroso-Gomez on January 19th, 2010 3:47 pm

    But what is your source of info on the battery life? I may have to disqualify the W510 from my Thinkpad buying choices (unfortunately) exactly becuase of this line in the Personal Systems Reference / tabook from, from all the W510 configurations:

    “6-cell: up to 3.0 hr; 9-cell: up to 4.9 hr; 9-cell plus slice battery: up to 9.9 hr”

    Doesn’t this mean that an absolute maximum, with the extra slice battery outside of the regular 9-cell, will be 9.9 hours? And that, I suppose, will be without really using the laptop.

    That would be very far from a theoretical maximum of 18 hours.

    I hope someone will get their hands on a W510 and a T510 sometime soon, who’d be willing to post some battery (and other) experiences.

  2. Peter Kellner on January 19th, 2010 11:38 pm

    Small Detail Left out. Lenovo pulled it from their web site and delayed all existing orders.

  3. Gaphic on January 20th, 2010 12:49 pm

    The W510′s appearance on Lenovo’s site was indeed as short as an F22 Raptor flyby.

    “The Multi-touch option is only available with the 15.6” RG-ph LED (95% gamut 270 NIT) 1920 x 1080 screen.”

    According to the psref the multitouch layer reduces the brightness to 242 nits. Only the non-multitouch panel has 270 nits. Could you also elaborate on what RG-ph means, except ‘mouthwateringly awesome’?

    Also, Lenovo has done more than corner cuttung, they cut off the top the LCD! Again! When will Lenovo listen to ‘pro’ customers? We have absolutely no use for squat TN screens! Yeah, I know all about Matt Kohut’s point of view, and frankly my response to Matt is: ‘We need IPS and vertical resolution. YOU get over it’.

  4. Steven Garrity on January 21st, 2010 2:48 pm

    What are the key differences between the W510 and the T510?

  5. Ian Orford on January 30th, 2010 10:22 am

    Gaphic, you are not getting this screen issue. Lenovo have not cut off the top of the screen, and you are not going to get vertical resolution because the glass and LCD manufacturers WILL NOT MAKE THEME! Lenovo, HP, Dell etc do not make their own screens so the screen resolution and what goes into a ThinkPad unfortunately is not dictated by what ‘pro’ customers need. Shame, but thats how it is so you really are going to have to get over it.

  6. Ian Orford on January 30th, 2010 10:32 am

    But its back now Peter!

  7. Ian Orford on January 30th, 2010 10:43 am

    Our source is a Detailed Technical Specification Sheet Espen that we received from Lenovo just prior to launch. Update 1st February. We have now seen an updated spec that puts the 9 Cells battery, with the slcie battery added at just over 9 Hours!

  8. Gaphic on February 2nd, 2010 4:49 pm

    Well, apparently Lenovo can source IPS panels for the X200, and Apple has no trouble finding 4:3 IPS panels for the Ipad. Don’t tell me manufacturers aren’t making them!

  9. Ian Orford on February 5th, 2010 11:47 am

    Unfortunately Gaphic, the situation with the X200 is about to change, maybe not with the ThinkPad X201, but we have it direct from Lenovo Engineers, that this will change! Can’t speak for Apple, its an extremely high volume consumer toy, not a real computer

  10. John Bates on February 23rd, 2010 6:36 am

    Im just adding my thoughts to the screen debate, contrary to what marketing departments might think, I use my w500 for work, i use my television to watch movies. I find it silly that vertical resolution is being sacrificed. This is not a note to enrage anyone, I only write it in the blind hope someone will forward this to the panel makers. In every other respect the w510 looks like it will be a very useful addition to work equipment.

    Ps unfortunalty i wouldnt consider the apple notebook a toy , ( i hate the kb) however the screen is really good from a Graphic design prepress POV.

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  12. Steve on May 29th, 2010 4:44 am

    When Lenovo offers the / 160 / 256 GB SSD hard disk for w510 / w701 ?

  13. Ian Orford on June 3rd, 2010 8:06 am

    We would like to know ourselves Steve, we will forward your question to our friends at Lenovo see if we can get an answer!

  14. Avi on June 13th, 2010 11:17 am

    I am also wondering about the the qualitative, defining differences between the W510 and the T510. In some countries it looks like they can be spec’ed up the same. (That have been said, however, I noticed that in the tabook.pdf there is no configuration for a T510 with an FHD screen.)

    This is all academic for me at the moment since in my country right now you can’t actually spec up the T510 like a W510, e.g, first and foremost there is no FHD option.)

    – avi

  15. Voltaire on June 16th, 2010 10:13 pm

    The W510 offers a 1GB Quadro FX880M which, coupled with the i7 processor, more than doubles the T510′s 3DMark06 benchmark. The graphics chip is the main difference between the W510 and the T510, along with screen options.

    Thw W710, on the other hand, is in its own ball-game.

  16. Patrick on June 21st, 2010 1:18 am

    I agree with the comments above – I use my laptop 99% of the time for work, and do not like the vertical height of the screen being reduced! There is a lot of unused space on my laptop screen in the horizontal dimension.

  17. Ian Orford on June 22nd, 2010 3:53 am

    I think that if there is a ‘bone of contention’ right now Patrick it is this. Unfortunately it is something we are going to have to learn to live with!

  18. spam on July 25th, 2010 7:31 am

    Of course anyone who wants a new laptop have to live with the wide screen LCD’s as there aren’t any options, at least in the 15 inch size.

    That’s unfortunate, and what’s almost as bad is that a site that review a laptop intended for professional “workstation” use actually makes favourable comments about a screens like that. My 10 year old Dell laptop actaully has 15″ screen with better propoptions for work use and at least as good viewing angle as my new W510.

    Don’t you have any way at all to get input from professional users on your reviews?

  19. Ian Orford on July 30th, 2010 1:46 pm

    Did you actually look at all the Screen options before you buy? I don’t know which screen option you bought, but when we look at W510 screens, particularly the FHD Display (95% Gamut, 270nit), we haven’t seen much better out there. And our reviews are from professional users. We are all professional ThinkPad users here and have been for years

  20. EJG on August 18th, 2010 4:02 pm

    I’m about to order a W510. Originally I was thinking about the FHD display but other reviews said that the intense color saturation makes the screen less than desirable for spreadsheet work, etc. I imagine it would be ok for my AutoCAD and SolidWorks work but I use Excel, PowerPoint & MS Project a lot. I also read that that the built in color sensor only helps these applications a little. Right now I’m thinking the HD+ choice is a better screen for me. I’d like to hear other opinions on this.

  21. Ian Orford on August 19th, 2010 11:02 am

    Hi EJG, the FHD display is super bright and when you are looking at large areas of white space it can be a little overpowering. The Pantone color calibration process works extremely well, set it going, close the lid and it beeps when its ready. Superb, if you need it. The only thing you have to think about is resolution, the FHD display runs at 1920×1200, whereas the the HD+ runs at 1600×900.

    If you use the FHD 1920×1080 display at 115% or 125% DPI it looks stunning and should be easy enough on your eyeballs! Cheers, Ian

  22. TonyH on September 8th, 2010 1:27 pm

    Unfortunately, lots of compromises to be made with the ThinkPad series T and W models right now. I’d be happy with a T – but not when it’s limited to 8 Gigs! I don’t need the better video, but I do need the RAM; I work in IT, not multimedia. The T is frequently promoted, but recent coupons don’t work for the W. And try ordering a dock for the W using the online customizing tool – it isn’t offered!

    Also, count me among those who really don’t want a wide screen, but aren’t given a choice. I am very happy with my R40′s 1440×1050 square pixel screen, and I’ve seen the FHD and DON’T like it. Why should I get 15% less screen than what I’ve got (with the HD+)? I scroll vertically a lot more than I do horizontally, and I don’t do much video at all…

  23. Ian Orford on September 8th, 2010 3:04 pm

    Hi Tony, we have lot of W Series Coupons on ThinkPadToday that do work so keep your eyes peeled! We had one just finish over the Labor Day Weekend. As for the screen resolution, as we have said before this is an issue that Lenovo, or any other manufacturer cannot avoid because the screen fabrication plants have just stopped making ‘square’ displays!

    As for the 8 gigs versus 16 gigs limit on the ThinkPad T510 vs the ThinkPad W510, if your not doing video, what on earth are you going to need any more than 8 gigis for??

    We have just published a T510 vs W510 ‘head to head’, let us know what you think.

    As for the dock, its right here

    Cheers, Ian

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  25. Mario on November 19th, 2010 6:21 pm

    Something I really wonder is what is the point in offering PC3-10600 optional RAM upgrades for the W510, if intel’s QM57 chipset can’t support any higher memory speeds than the 1066MHz found on the PC3-8500 types? Don’t tell me the max memory bandwidth is driven by the processor (ix-xxxM or ix-xxxQM) type! Cause then I could pop a PC3-10600 RAM type in a T410 and expect it to run at 1333MHz (given if I have upgraded the processor to the QM series already)!?

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