Lenovo set out to build the ultimate mobile graphics workstation with the ThinkPad W700. And in comparison to every other similarly classed notebook we could find, we think they have succeeded. No other notebook comes close to offering the level of raw performance, pixel precision, and configuration flexibility which is offered on the W700. No matter which competitor you look at, be it Apple, Dell, HP, all of them have some sort of drawback which keeps them from truly competing with the Thinkpad W700. When this model hits the market in the next few weeks, Lenovo will have a sizable technological lead over competing mobile workstations -- one which we don't think will be diminished for quite some time.
For designers and workstation users, the ThinkPad W700 allows for truly mobile content creation, whether it be 2D/web content creation with Photoshop and Fireworks to 3D/animation level content with 3D Studio or Maya, or even high-end digital photography work with Lightroom; all of them are handled easily by the W700. Typically, designers and artists have to fight their laptops in order to get what they want them to do in these arenas, but with the W700, everything was easy and smooth, just as if you were working on a properly calibrated desktop. The big difference now is that you can take it with you wherever you go.
That's not to say that lugging this beast around is easy. With a default weight of 8.3 pounds, once you throw in the A/C adapter, cables, and a mouse, you're looking at a 10 pound package which is not very easy to lug around. Granted, it's light-years easier to carry around with you than a full-fledged tower workstation, but lightweight and easy to throw in your carry-on luggage it is not. The W700 is a monster of a notebook in every way, shape, and form.
Of course, there's that teeny-tiny matter of the price-tag. With prices ranging from $2,500 to $6,500, there are plenty of options you can choose to include or not include. Depending on your line of work, options like the integrated Wacom tablet, color correction, or high-performance Nvidia QuadroFX graphics chip may or may not be useful to you, and we're guessing that most people will be able to configure a very nice W700 to suit their needs at about the $3,500 mark. We'd certainly say that the high-resolution (and high-brightness) 1920 x 1200 display and RAID hard disk configurations are worth it, as they dramatically improve all areas of the system, and the integrated color correction is a life-saver, especially if you're using the system for high-end photography.
This certainly is not a mass-market laptop, and should not be perceived as such. Lenovo built this machine for high-end graphics workstation users, who admittedly are a niche market arena. However, all workstation users can appreciate the raw power and feature set which a laptop like the W700 has. It's big, somewhat bland looking, and heavy, but it's an extremely potent workstation-class machine, and we think Lenovo has done a terrific job of creating a product which caters to this market. While it's not without its faults, the Lenovo Thinkpad W700 is impressive and we think it will be a hit with workstation-users who demand the best from their hardware.