Lenovo Unleashes the 17-inch W700

Lenovo today unveiled the latest addition to its notebook line in the form of the ThinkPad W700. We’ll be honest; this thing is a monster (in the best possible way) and we’re a little awestruck.

We’ll discuss the bells and whistles (like the five USB ports, the Blu-ray player and an optional for a flash reader) further down but seeing as how Lenovo is pushing this as a notebook for those in the digital media industry it seems only fair we start with the display.

The W700 is Lenovo’s first product with a 17-inch display and we guess they wanted to enter into the market with a bit of a bang. The notebook is aimed at photographers and graphic designers, so obviously the monitor better be good, but with the option for a 400-nit WUXGA display that gives twice the brightness of previous ThinkPads and 72 percent wide color gamut providing more than 50 percent greater color intensity, it’s better than good.

Those of you accustomed to tablets and balking at the idea of putting down the stylus needn’t worry; instead of digitizing the display, Lenovo has added a 120 mm by 80 mm Wacom enabled digitizer on the right side of the palm-rest and it’s coupled with an on-board color calibrator.

The company said that the digitizer helps graphics designers to "easily configure an image, either mapping it to the entire screen or to an area defined by the user." The color calibrator automatically adjusts the display’s color in up to half the time of many external calibrators and with higher accuracy, resulting in the most accurate, true-to-life images in an integrated package, Lenovo promises.

Salivating over the display aside, what are you gonna get for your buck? Well, that depends. Fully kitted out you’ll get an Intel Quad Core Extreme, an Nvidia Quadro FX 3700 chipset (with 1 GB of on-board memory), dual hard drive bays (configurable as RAID 0 or 1 with up to 200 GB of space and available as either HDD or SSD), 8GB of DDR3 RAM, five USB ports, support for DVI, Display Port and VGA and a 7-in-1 multicard reader.

Minus all the optional frills, you’re looking at a base price of just under $3,000, not cheap, in other words. If that makes you wonder what you’d pay if you customized it and ticked all the boxes next to the big numbers, well let’s just say it doesn’t bear thinking about other than it’s way too close to twice the base cost and that was before we threw in MS Office

You can order the W700 from the Lenovo site now and still have three weeks to explain to the missus why the kids’ college fund is down six grand (for a fully loaded model). On the plus side, it weighs over 8 pounds so it’ll be like having another baby.