Spend $7000? Cos it’s worth it! Lenovo Thinkpad W701 | W701ds Review
April 13, 2010
Are the ThinkPad W701 and W701ds mobile workstations the very best that money can buy? We give you the answer and tell you why you may want to spend close to $7000 to get your hands on one! There are not enough clichés to describe the power the ThinkPad W701 puts at your disposal.
First of all, it goes without saying that the i7 processors on the new ThinkPad W701 and W701ds are exceptionally fast, and even the word exceptional, as clichéd as it may sound doesn’t do the performance real justice.
ThinkPad W701 – unbounded clichés!
Even the base-level processor – a quad-core Intel Core i7 820QM – blows away most mid-level workstation desktop machines. At the top end of the spectrum, the ThinkPad W701 features the Intel Quad Core Extreme Processor i7-920XM. That, combined with the option of 16GB of RAM – yes, 16GB, in a laptop – means that this is the first mass-produced laptop capable of successfully creating a unified field theory. Well, we won’t go that far, but it will handle literally anything a serious professional can throw at it.
To complement all of the processing power, the Lenovo ThinkPad W701 and W701ds also feature Quadro FX-series graphics cards, which mean that whether you’re designing a road bridge or making the next movie in the Shrek series, you’ll rarely have to wait long for rendering and buffering.
Storage, Twin Drives or RAID
For data storage, the Lenovo ThinkPad W701 and the ThinkPad W701ds both come with a range of options, from a Primary 320 GB Hard Drive running at 5400rpm up to 500GB Drives running at 7200rpm. In addition you can opt for a 128GB SSD. On top of that you can choose the option of a further Secondary Hard drive with the same capacity range, which will either be a vanilla twin drive configuration or a RAID 0 or 1 configuration that is set up by Lenovo as a no charge option. Very nice!
That should be plenty to manage the majority of your software packages and essential data and with the RAID option configured give you peace of mind in the event of a primary HD failure.
The display on the W701 is a wonder to behold. The 17-inch WUXGA RGB LED widescreen display, especially when paired with the Quadro FX graphics card, produces flawless images and seamless video with great color, sharpness and resolution.
W701ds – Dual Screen
Where the machine will really shine is in the W701ds version; in case you hadn’t guessed, the “ds” stands for dual-screen. The W701ds is the first laptop to feature a dual-screen display that is both high-quality and affordable; unfortunately, companies have had a hard time providing one or the other in the past. The second screen comes in the form of a 10-inch panel that pulls extends from the primary display case and which retracts when not in use.
The ThinkPad W701 and W701ds feature an integrated Multi Recorder optical drive. For connecting to the world at large, there will also be an Ethernet port, a high-end Wireless card, Bluetooth 2.0, and Wi-Fi options up to the Intel Advanced-N + WIMAX 6250 chipset
Lenovo doesn’t stop its innovation with the amount of power packed into this behemoth; it’s also one of the first companies to incorporate USB 3.0 ports. Whereas USB 2.0 ports can theoretically sustain a transfer rate of 480Mbps, the USB 3.0 ports are designed to handle ten times that – 5Gbps. That may not seem like a lot, but consider this. At full capacity, a USB 2.0 port would transfer a single-layer DVD’s worth of data – 4.7GB – in 10 seconds. A USB 3.0 would do the same in less than one second.
What makes the W701 really unique is the option of the Wacom digitizer which is perfect for digital content creation and CAD/CAM applications. The ThinkPad W701 and ThinkPad W701ds offer a 120mm x 80mm Wacom® palm-rest digitizer and pen. You can configure the digitizer to map to the whole screen area or a just define the screen area you want to use. The Wacom digitizer is compatible with a wide range of applications, from Windows® Paint to Adobe® Photoshop®.
Of course the ThinkPad W701 is ISV Certified. The ISV testing and certification process verifies that the ThinkPad W501 and W701 Series workstations will run some of the most demanding, graphics-intensive workstation applications.
ThinkPad W701 – Earth shattering power
When you look at the ThinkPad W701 and ThinkPad W701ds in context, as a combination of earth shattering power, (there go those clichés again!) functionality, design, build quality and ergonomics, it really is the only mobile workstation of choice for design, engineering and graphical professionals.
The ThinkPad W701 starts at a base price of $2599, and the ThinkPad W701ds starts at a wallet busting $3299, which is by no means inexpensive, option one of these monsters to the max and you’re closing on $7000!
However, when you’re creating the sort of work that the W701 is capable of, you’re going to want the best that money can buy. Well, you are, aren’t you? We have no doubt whatsoever that the ThinkPad W701 and W701ds deserve the title, ‘best mobile workstation that money can buy’ so, wallets out and head over to configure yours!
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