Lenovo’s ThinkPad W540 is a worthwhile addition to the mobile workstation market. We appreciated its good construction, the excellent picture quality of its optional 3K IPS display, powerful performance for professional applications, strong battery life, and good keyboard feel. The W540 is the first notebook we’ve tested with a built-in display calibrator, a notable advantage over competitors. Lastly it’s a good value at around $2,000, as configured; it’s a lot of performance for the money.
On the downside, we were underwhelmed with the W540’s awkward clickpad because the pointing stick lacks dedicated buttons, defeating the purpose of the latter. The keyboard also has some questionable layout choices like the absence of caps/number lock indicators. We additionally found the W540 warmed up more than expected while running intense applications.
While it falls a tad short of what we look for to grant an Editor’s Choice, the Lenovo ThinkPad W540 nonetheless represents a good value for a mobile workstation and gets our recommendation for the reasons summarized above.
- Excellent quality 3K IPS display
- Built-in display calibrator
- Very good performance
- Good value
- Poor clickpad
- Pointing stick lacks dedicated buttons
- Minor keyboard layout issues
- Gets warmer than expected