Lenovo's latest mobile workstation is stuffed to the gills with innovations, and it allows you to able to take your most demanding applications anywhere to boot. In addition to ridiculously fast performance, this laptop offers a built-in Wacom drawing tablet, a colour-calibration tool, and even a second LCD. Anybody desiring one of the fastest, most tricked-out, and most costly portables around will find a great sidekick here.
This laptop crushes every application it encounters. In tests with professional-level content-creation tools, including 3D Studio Max 2011, Painter 11, and Avid Media Composer, all of the programs ran smoothly. Demanding games can also bring down lesser laptops -- but while gamers may not be this laptop's target market, on this machine Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Crysis Warhead, and Supreme Commander 2 all looked great at high resolutions and maximum settings.
The ThinkPad W701ds rocked in our quantitative benchmarks, earning a WorldBench 6 score of 123 and an overall mark of 96 out of 100 in our total performance test, among the highest scores yet. An Intel Core i7 X920 running at 2GHz powers this laptop, backed up by 8GB of RAM. The laptop even has an nVidia Quadro FX 3800M graphics card packing 1GB of VRAM. To say this system is loaded would be an understatement -- it's a full-on arsenal.
But there's always a catch, right? Prices for the ThinkPad W701ds start at £1,940 plus VAT; our test configuration, which includes almost every upgrade and extra possible, isn't available yet in the UK and we're waiting for pricing - but we're guessing it'll top four grand. The good thing is, you'll get what you pay for -- if you demand the highest speed and lots of content-creation extras.
Graphics professionals will soak up the terrific 17-inch, 1920-by-1200-pixel main display. It shows off a bold range of colours, contrast, and brightness. Colours pop whether you're working in an image editor or you're kicking back and watching a movie. Visual artists will appreciate the built-in Pantone HueyPRO hardware and software calibrator: Start the process and close the lid, and the sensor visually recognizes the display's colours, perfecting their balance.
The second LCD steals a little focus from the main display. This 10.6-inch, 768-by-1280-pixel extra stashes inside the case behind the main screen; you simply push in to eject and retract the secondary screen. Once it's extended, you can bend it forward, angling the screen toward your face. The screen would work best on the left side, since your hands -- and the touchpad -- favour the left. When the extra screen is tilted, you can see it clearly, but it often looks slightly washed-out, especially next to the unwavering colour of the main display. The additional screen works well if you use it for text and button palettes, and you keep colour-sensitive work on the main display.