The Lenovo ThinkPad W540 is a lightweight laptop with a completely redesigned case made of a carbon fibre-plastic material, which is complemented by a magnesium frame inside the base unit that improves the laptop stability. The surface is looking more cleaner, slightly roughened, feels very comfortable and does prevent the typically greasy look of the predecessors.
The ports of the Lenovo ThinkPad W540 on the left side of the case are somewhat crowded and will eventually block each other and affect the usability when you attach cables or devices. The two USB ports on the right side, however, have enough room.
Lenovo ThinkPad W540 is equipped with Intel’s Wireless-N 7260 WLAN module. It supports 2.4 and 5 GHz networks, has two antennas and a theoretical maximum transfer rate of up to 144 Mbps. The communication features are completed by Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet as well as a 720p webcam.
The camera is enough for well-lit rooms, but it creates picture noise and loses quality in darker environments. The laptop offers other WLAN and WWAN modules. The notebook is WWAN-ready (necessary antennas already integrated); you just have to integrate a WWAN card (M.2). Read more
Lenovo ThinkPad W540 Specifications and features
Display: The 15.5-inch, 2880 x 1620 display on the ThinkPad W540 provided sharp images with accurate colours. The screen is particularly accurate with a Delta E score of 2.8 (0 is perfect), better than the 5.7 category average.
Audio: ThinkPad W540 provides a solid audio output that’s great for movie watching and good enough for some light music listening. The speakers produced 82 dB of sound on our volume test, which is fairly loud but below the 89-dB category average.
Keyboard: Lenovo’s ThinkPads have long been known for its responsive, tactile keyboards, but not every model has the same amount of vertical travel.
The W540’s keyboard is the best of the best, combining a deep 2.5 mm of travel with a strong 60 grams of actuation force for a snappy, comfortable typing experience. The keyboard backlight provides two different levels of brightness, both of which were adequate for making out the keys in a dark room.
Touchpad and TrackPoint: Lenovo ThinkPad W540 has two forms of navigation: a buttonless touchpad and the TrackPoint pointing stick. The W540 integrates the TrackPoint buttons into the top of the touchpad. The integrated buttons were accurate and responsive, registering clicks even on the corners of the pad.
Ports and Webcam: As a workstation-class laptop, the ThinkPad W540 has more ports than a typical notebook. The right side houses two USB ports (one 3.0, one 2.0), a Kensington lock slot and a DVD drive.
The backside provides room for both the power port and an Ethernet connection, while the left side holds two extra USB ports, a VGA connector, a card reader, an Express Card slot and a Thunderbolt port, which can also serve as mini DisplayPort out
Performance: With the Lenovo ThinkPad W540 2.7-GHz Intel Core i7-4800MQ CPU, 8GB of RAM, Nvidia Quadro K2100 graphics card and 250GB SSD, the laptop offered strong performance on everything from crunching large spreadsheets to copying giant batches of files.
On Geekbench 3, a synthetic benchmark that measures overall performance, the W540 scored a strong 12,652, better than the 11,582 desktop replacement category average and about on par with the HP ZBook 15 (12,797).
Graphics Performance: The W540’s Nvidia Quadro K2100 graphics card gives it enough oomph for CAD and 3D modelling applications, and I was able to play a 4K video without any lag.
On 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme , a synthetic test that measures overall graphics performance, the ThinkPad W540 scored a solid 31,569, which is better than the HP ZBook 15 (30,117) with Nvidia Quadro K610M graphics but not as fast as the Dell Precision M2800 and its AMD FirePro M4170 graphics card (59,874).
Battery Life: Considering its powerful components and high-res display, the ThinkPad W540 and its nine-cell battery lasted a very good 6 hours and 51 minutes, well above the 4:11 desktop replacement category average and about on par with the Dell Precision M2800 (6:47). However, the HP ZBook 15 (7:46) lasted nearly an hour-long and the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display managed 8 hours and 57 minutes. Read more