Lenovo ThinkPad W540: Conclusion

October 28, 2014 by Charles P Jefferies Reads (36,895)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Software & Support
    • 8
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 8
    • Usability
    • 7
    • Design
    • 8
    • Performance
    • 9
    • Features
    • 8
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 7.86
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


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.

Lenovo W540 front 1Pros:

  • 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




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  1. gusherod

    I don’t like the annoying document flip keys next to the arrow keys and I won’t be buying another Lenovo with this type keyboard. Otherwise it’s an okay computer.

  2. IgnacioBaztan

    Excellent having the thunderbolt port.
    many here might not be aware that on the Studio and Pro Audio world the last couple of years have seen an important rise in the release of crucial hardware; Apollo line, and recently even MOTU 1248, 828x and now even low cost Zoom Tac-2. Being the main reason the low latency. With thunderbolt finally all-round latencies in digital audio are approaching the 5ms audible range, hence live monitoring, DJ mixing and other is possible. Note that even those with hardware equiped with old Firewire connectors will benefit from cheap (US$40) thunderbolt to firewire adaptors.
    W540 is one of the few Windows’ Laptops able to handle this new tech in a portable and powerful way:
    W440 14″ would be much more portable, just leave out the GPU, and allow its own Intel HD5000 to show how good it is already (for Audio related visual tasks).