ThinkPad Mobile Workstations Gain Intel Core i7 Processors

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2010-03-09 Print this article Print

Lenovo's W701ds and W510 mobile workstations gain Intel Core i7 processors and top-of-the-line Nvidia graphic chipsets to propel compute-intensive workloads that must be processed on location, wherever that may be. The ThinkPad W701ds has a second display that slides out from the lid and comes with plenty of external ports to handle additional monitors and a host of peripheral devices.

The Lenovo W701ds adds Intel Core i7 Series processors and Nvidia Quadro graphics to the 17-inch ThinkPad, a double-screen mobile workstation that was already loaded with optional enhancements for specialized graphics applications. Mobile professionals who must process compute-intensive workloads while on location should consider the ThinkPad W701ds. For those who need exacting display calibration in a smaller form, Lenovo released the 15.5-inch touch-screen ThinkPad W510, also equipped with the latest Intel processors.

The ThinkPad W701ds goes above and beyond by including a second, slide-out 10.6-inch monitor that is built into a pocket door behind the 1920-by-1200-pixel, 17-inch main display. The second, pop-out monitor makes the ThinkPad W701ds a portable display powerhouse packed into a luggable frame.

Without any extra components, including additional hard drives, the ThinkPad W701ds starts out at 8.97 pounds not including the power supply. My tricked-out test unit weighed just a hair over 11 pounds. To put system weight in perspective, the ThinkPad W701ds is in the same ballpark as other thick and heavy competitors. The real comparison is with a desktop unit that can easily weigh 40 pounds or more. 

As is customary in a mobile workstation of this caliber, the ThinkPad W701ds comes with one of just about everything. My test system was equipped with two quad-core Intel Core i7 X920 2GHz processors and 8GB of 1333MHz DDR3 (double data rate 3) RAM and a nine-cell lithium ion battery. Both Lenovo systems started shipping on Feb. 23.

The ThinkPad W701ds primary display is a WUXGA anti-glare RGB LED backlight component capable of 280 nits (brightness) with a 600:1 contrast ratio and 100 percent color gamut with a built-in screen color calibration system. The system has one ExpressCard/34, one compact flash Type I slot, a multicard reader, one USB 3.0 port, three USB 2.0 ports (one powered) and one USB 2.0/eSATA (external Serial ATA) combo port. There are a plenty of connectors for external monitors, including a standard VGA, a DVI-D and a DisplayPort. In addition to the standard RJ-45 network port and IEEE 1394 FireWire 400 (the smaller, four-pin connector), the system also comes with an RJ-11 modem port. Overall, this exceeds the number and variety of ports offered by competitive systems. 

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at

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