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Lenovo ThinkPad W540 review

A top-notch 3K workstation with a top-shelf price tag

Lenovo ThinkPad W540 review

If you're purchasing the Lenovo ThinkPad W540 for your business you won't be disappointed. It's a hefty and solid system that packs plenty of power under the hood to get you through all your daily tasks. Of course, with such a high price tag for this configuration, it might be prohibitively expensive to outfit your entire workforce with W540. So it might be a unit best reserved for your graphic design team.

We liked

Lenovo has inherited ThinkPad's long heritage of building excellent business laptops, and the W540 is another stellar notebook. The laptop's rugged body will survive an accident better than a HP ZBook 14 or Macbook Pro 15 with Retina Display. Thanks to Lenovo's software it's a highly secure tool that won't be hacked easily. Meanwhile, this laptop has perfect inputs - as you'd expect from a ThinkPad. Lenovo has figured out its keyboards to a science. The Chinese computer maker has also designed a trackpad that's twice the traditional size, making navigation even smoother and more comfortable.

Aside from the solid build quality and usability that we've come to expect from Lenovo, the W540 also offers a uniquely gorgeous screen. The screen on this ThinkPad is a sight to behold. It displays text and images with great contrast, gorgeous colors and an amazing resolution. I dare to say, it's the best screen I've ever seen on a laptop. Plus the W540 actually has components with enough power to drive this high-resolution 3K display. If you're in the graphic design or photography world, this is one laptop definitely worth checking out.

We disliked

While we liked the solid build quality on the W540, the few creaky spots were disappointing inconsistencies. Otherwise the only other knock I have against the W540 is its expectedly poor battery life and somewhat astronomical price.

Final verdict

At $2,573 (about £1,606, AU$2,946) the Lenovo ThinkPad W540 is a costly business investment whether you're buying just one or multiple units for your employees. For this reason there are a lot of other machines to consider, especially if your line of work does not require a 2880 x 1620 display.

There are also direct competitors such as the MacBook Pro 15 that offer a slightly higher fidelity Retina display for less money. The Dell Precision M4800 also offers up the same configuration with an even higher-resolution 3200 x 1800 display, all for a smaller equipment bill. If it were not for the enormous price tag we would wholeheartedly recommend the Lenovo ThinkPad W540, just be sure to check out the competition before you decide to foot the big bill.