September 11th 2013 8:40 am

final rating

reviewed on
this review has been viewed 3220 times

Criteria Comments Rating
  • Speed and features No comments great!
  • Design and form factor No comments good
  • Battery life No comments great!
  • Display On the 'Non 2880x1620' screen the viewing angles are poor. I have not used the IPS version. so-so
  • Durability No comments great!
  • Expandability No comments great!
  • Noise No comments great!
  • Portability (size / weight) No comments great!
Detailed review
I received the W540 two months ago as a desktop workstation replacement for doing CAD for work. I have to say that i am very surprised and pleased about how well it performs.

I use it between two locations and have it always with the lid closed and hooked up to an external display, (one is 2560x1440 via Display port, and the other is 1980x1200 via DVI) In both locations i have external mice and Keyboard and have a single docking station in one location. I rarely actually use the laptop on the move, or use the keyboard, trackpad or pointer. I haven't ever got on with trackpads at all on laptops ever, so i always have a micro mouse when i do need to use it on the move. A lot has been said about the trackpad design flaws, and i have not owned a previous version of lenovo workstations, so i can't compare, and i don't really use it, but i'm sure there are many people who wish to operate the machine as i do who probably shouldn't be too dissuaded from buying one of these machines.

however, i don't like the 1920x1080 TN screen which is the base model of screen, it has a terrible viewing angle, and i found myself moving my head from side to side and up and down to see things. The 2880x1620 IPS should resolve this as IPS's viewing angles are supposed to be much better, although ive not seen it.

I would say that you would be easily mistaken to think that this machine is a high end CAD desktop as it runs CAD software (SolidEdge ST6) very smoothly and with multiple large models and drawings open at the same time. Also, it is very very quiet, runs very cool and is surprisingly light. i am thinking of replacing my home laptop with one, except id go to the higher end machine with the better display and SSD (in my experience, upgrading a HDD to an SSD is like buying a new machine.)

i think most importantly is that it's quick, quiet, cool and lightweight - Great machine.

w540, i7-4600m, quadro 1100m, 8Gb Ram, 500Gbs HDD