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Thread: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

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    Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Delivers Industry’s First Built-in Digitizer and Color Calibrator Along with Ultimate Power, Multimedia and Display Technologies

    Lenovo today introduced a monster notebook aimed at photographers. This 17-inch beast includes an Intel Core2 Extreme processor, up to 8GB DDR3 RAM, a 400 nit WUXGA (1920x1200) monitor that displays 72% color gamut, has a built-in color calibrator by X-rite (embedded Huey Pro), Nvidia Quadro graphics (up to 1GB), RAID 0/1, Blu-Ray burner, and built-in Wacom tablet. A 7-in-1 card reader is included and you can add a CF card reader as well. The notebook supports 802.11 BANG, Bluetooth, ultra wideband, and will add Wi-Max support later this year.

    Pricing starts at $2,978 USD. With everything mentioned above, the price is over $5,000 USD.

    Read my analysis here.
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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Think they make a version for lefties?


    (the tablet is in a pretty useless position)

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    It was a valiant first effort. At least Lenovo considered photographers a large enough market to warrant a custom design. This will cause a response from competitors. I have my own ideas about such a unit and I am trying to get one of their competitors to listen to me. Think positive thoughts...

    HP launched a mobile workstation called the Elitebook 8730w that can be equipped with a DreamColor display. HP targeted a broader market than Lenovo, aiming at all workstation users. However, kitting out the 8730w for digital darkroom duty will force the user to purchase a CF card reader, small calibration device (Huey Pro) and a Wacom tablet (more junk to lug around).

    I'd rate the Elitebook as a .9 level device where the Thinkpad is a 1.0. As I mentioned before, I have designs for a 2.0 device if I can get the manufacturers to listen to me.
    Last edited by etrigan63; 13th August 2008 at 22:06.
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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    More me, just joking around here as I am a mac user and don't see heading back to Windows any time soon. I do think it is cool that it is targeted at (right handed) photographers.

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Lenovo seems to finally take imaging and photography professionals seriously. The Thinkpad PM says in his blog that the W700 was designed from the ground up for photographers.

    What's interesting about the W700 is not really performance, rather the wide(r) gamut display and built-in Huey profiling - close the lid to profile. 72% of aRGB is not bad, better than all desktop displays except a few ColorEdge and the like. Neither is 400 nits brightness and RGB LED backlighting. Wow.

    http://lenovoblogs.com/insidethebox/?p=153

    Quad-core and 8GB ain't bad, but in a few months that won't be as much of a differentiating factor as the color management.

    The cool thing is that this puts more pressure on other manufacturers to catch up, including Apple.
    Last edited by Lars; 20th August 2008 at 15:41.
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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    One big problem, wrong OS.

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post
    One big problem, wrong OS.
    Yeah... perhaps you should take that complaint to Apple. It doesn't do any good here.
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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    I just wish I could get the x64 bit XP OS on there. I think they are only offering the 32 bit version for XP. If you want 64, you've got to go Vista. And I'd take WinNT over Vista

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    A lot of the 64-bit driver development is focussed on Vista now. Plus MS is touting Vista as being feature-rich for photographers (so much so, that they now host their own Pro Photo Summit that I have yet to get an invite to :S ). I myself have published articles on creating digital darkrooms using Vista x64. Certain new technologies (like WIC) will only be supported in Vista, so unless some intrepid third party doesn't come forth to backport the new stuff to XP x64, I don't see a lot of the majors going for it. Adobe Creative Suite 4 will have x64 versions only for Vista. CS4 on Mac 64-bit is delayed because Apple decided to kill Carbon64 in favor of Cocoa, so Adobe is going to have to completely rewrite the interface for the Cocoa (OS X) API and break OS9 compatibility.
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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Given that you get differing brightnesses with the differing tilt of the laptop screen, how would you work with even a properly calibrated laptop? I ask out of ignorance, have laptop screens caught up and am I just outdated?
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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Ben,
    Obviously on a laptop power conservation is more important than on a desktop display. Manufacturers use light diffusers (microprisms) for the backlight that project light in a narrow pattern.

    This is not a property of the LCD technology but rather a design choice by the computer maker - is uniform brightness at all angles more important than power efficiency? So the answer to your question that it varies between laptop models, and always will.
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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    My question is how you work with a calibrated screen that is no longer calibrated the moment the screen is tilted slightly, how do you know at what angle of tilt the brighness is accurate?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Think they make a version for lefties?


    (the tablet is in a pretty useless position)
    Exactly my thought...I had the same problem with a 4x5 inch wacom tablet. Everytime I tried to use it, my hand would hit the mouse pad part and make the pointer go crazy.

    Anyway, I think this is a great idea and I hope it meets with success. Some color management and a better monitor is better than nothing, even if it can't be as reliable as a desktop setup. I wish my macbook pro display were even half as good as my Eizo...

    But for me, I'll have to pass -- the trackpad would be on the wrong side and no OSX. It will be a cold day in hell when I give up its stability and ease of use to go back to windows. I just wish they would open it up to third party hardware already...
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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Oh, that's a different question I guess the short answer is "don't". Get a better screen.

    The long answer: There are (at least) two technical issues here
    - Uniformness of backlight brightness at different angles (this is the issue I described above since you specifically commented on brightness variations).
    - Uniformness of color representation in the LCD panel itself (this is what you usually see in cheaper TN panels, even to the point of solarization).

    In a good display both these issues have to be resolved (plus numerous others). The first issue is unrelated to color calibration/profiling, it's just a matter of how directional the backlighting is. The second issue is determined by LCD panel type and quality. A good panel, such as the Flexview IPS panel, represents colors uniformly over wide viewing angles.

    (My current laptop that I'm writing on now fails miserably on both accounts. Cheap TN panel, crappy backlighting.)

    We'll have to wait for reviews to see if Lenovo delivers on its hype. Considering their track-record with the Flexview being the best laptop screen on the market, I'm looking forward to hearing more about this monster.
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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Anyone seen this:

    http://www.dell.com/content/topics/t...=us&l=en&s=gen

    New Dell Precision mobile workstation with 17" AdobeRGB screen, 16GB RAM, quad-core processor, 1GB video card that can drive 2x 30" screens and 2x HD for builit-in RAID. How do you think this will stack up? I'm thinking I have a WACOM tablet already....

    No pricing, available in the "Fall"

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Wow, that has some serious specs. I bet it will cost a small fortune!
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Heh, Lenovo just contacted me today. They are sending me one for review as soon as they get them. I will let you know how it goes.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by etrigan63 View Post
    Heh, Lenovo just contacted me today. They are sending me one for review as soon as they get them. I will let you know how it goes.

    Cool. Looking forward to your review.

    Something else about Lenovo that doesn't get mentioned often is that support for their machines in the US is provided through IBM. And IBM's support has consistently been nothing less than absolutely stellar! It is just impossible for it to be any better.

    The fingerprint scanner I never thought much about but quickly learned its value. I travel a lot. I hadn't considered how often I look over my shoulder for cameras when logging onto email accts, websites, etc. The whole world is now under surveillance, cameras that can watch over your shoulder and record your login. I even noticed the PTZ video security cameras in some internet cafes!!! With a fingerprint scanner, no typing of login names or passwords is necessary. That said, there is still no patch yet for the Thinkpad Password Manager to work with Firefox v3. Still waiting on that.

    I'm two years into my Lenovo T60p and it will take something phenomenal to get me to move to anything other than another Lenovo. The things are built like bricks! And they have the weight to prove it. When you get into dual and quad cores they take more voltage, thus bigger battery packs. The T60p is sucking on 20v, 90w. That translates into heat. And if you carry an extra battery, be sure to bring a Sherpa to haul your laptop bag for you. It's gonna be heavier than your camera bag.

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    Cool. Looking forward to your review.

    Something else about Lenovo that doesn't get mentioned often is that support for their machines in the US is provided through IBM. And IBM's support has consistently been nothing less than absolutely stellar! It is just impossible for it to be any better.

    The fingerprint scanner I never thought much about but quickly learned its value. I travel a lot. I hadn't considered how often I look over my shoulder for cameras when logging onto email accts, websites, etc. The whole world is now under surveillance, cameras that can watch over your shoulder and record your login. I even noticed the PTZ video security cameras in some internet cafes!!! With a fingerprint scanner, no typing of login names or passwords is necessary. That said, there is still no patch yet for the Thinkpad Password Manager to work with Firefox v3. Still waiting on that.

    I'm two years into my Lenovo T60p and it will take something phenomenal to get me to move to anything other than another Lenovo. The things are built like bricks! And they have the weight to prove it. When you get into dual and quad cores they take more voltage, thus bigger battery packs. The T60p is sucking on 20v, 90w. That translates into heat. And if you carry an extra battery, be sure to bring a Sherpa to haul your laptop bag for you. It's gonna be heavier than your camera bag.

    DITTO, DITTO, and DITTO. I'm hopeful on the W700. I was contemplating getting an X300 to go w/ it. LOL. (not likely).

    My T60P is my 2nd Thinkpad and I love them to death. 1 issue once on my A20p and it was handled immediately and to my full satisfaction. Otherwise, they are built like tanks and are great workhorses.

    That stated, I'm willing to wait for a bit to see if it will come down in price a little... Maybe it'll be an X-mas present to myself.

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Hi Carlos,

    Did the W700 ever arrive for you to test?

    Chris,

    Did you buy a new laptop?

    I'm finding my 3-4 yo Lenovo T43 no longer does what I need and the USB ports sometimes temporarily shut off power, so I need to buy something.

    I've been torn, as the PCs seem to have more up-to-date hardware, (quad-core, etc), but I'm afraid of Vista, given how much trouble I have with XP on all 4 of my computers; they all have to be re-booted at least daily or, usually, more. My new Dell desktop came with XP pre-busted and they can't fix it without a full re-install.

    I have used Macs and Linux, but much of my software won't run on Linux (like CS3), so a Mac becomes an option in the hope it is a more stable OS. But Apple has not upgraded their hardware to the new chips, so a device like the W700 appeals to me on the hardware front, but not the OS.

    Life would be easier in the short-term if I stayed with PCs, but I hate the thought of constant rebooting which seems to be the norm for XP and I fear Vista, too. If I could run OSX on the Lenovo...

    All advice is welcome!

    steve

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Hi Steve,

    Nope, not yet. I've been looking for a great sale. Currently they are on sale until the 11th (or 13th? or something like that). But the sale is minimal. And the fact is I can buy a 64 or 128 GB SSD for between $300-500; but they want $900. So I'm hoping that they'll toss in an option for a larger capacity SSD; as well as lower the price significantly.

    My thought is to place an order around black Friday (Day after Thanksgiving). Hopefully there will be some insanely good deals as companies worry about a sluggish holiday period due to the current market situation.

    As to the XP/Vista/give-me-another-good-option-please front:
    My plan is to talk w/ a couple of the local techs and figure out if it'll be easier/faster to have them pre-load Vista or XP. Then after I get it, we'll clone that drive (back-up), then create a new drive that dual-boots Vista & XP; and go from there. For the record, I'm really not keen on Vista either but that is limited to a couple of dozen other people's experiences... though I do know one person who likes it and thinks it works fine. Unfortunately the other 23 people didn't.

    Cheers,
    -C

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Steve and Chris,

    I fired an e-mail off to Lenovo today. Hoping to hear back with an ETA. I have a photo shoot coming up on Veteran's Day Weekend and I hope to be able to use it for some field work. I would love for them to get them to me this month so I can at least get a preliminary/first impressions article posted for you guys to read. I will keep you posted.
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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Hi and thanks,

    Carlos, I'll look forward to your take on the W700, esp with respect to stability issues/compatibility problems (my main concerns about more PCs/Vista for now).

    Chris, I take it you are still in the PC realm, so I'll be curious as to what you end with. I want to keep my current laptop a little longer, a few months maybe, if I can. It may even be under warranty, still. Lenovo's customer service has really been quite good overall, better than with my Dell support.

    If the Vista boxes are still having issues, I will consider biting the bullet and moving to Mac, but I'd like to wait until they update the MacBook Pro to quad core.

    Thanks and I'll be on the lookout,

    steve

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Steve,
    Vista x64 on a Thinkpad is rock-solid if drivers are good. I have a T61 from May last year, by now Lenovo has worked out all kinks in the drivers, I only reboot when software updates require it. I use my laptop for imaging software development, so it's pushed fairly hard in general terms. Of course, make sure the software you need runs on Vista.
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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Hi Lars,

    A dumb question on my part, but if I run Vista 64 do I have to have special software or does it run the usual versions of CS3, Office, etc? Are there compatibility issues I have to worry about?

    steve

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Hi Steve,

    Just saw your post and, since it's been a long time since I've chatted with you, thought I'd pop in and say hello and offer my 2 cents worth. Actually it's pretty simple for me......BUY A MAC ! It might not be perfect, but for digital photography, it's very stable and the OS is just so simple. Hope all goes well with you and your family. Drop me an email and let me know what you've been up to.

    Regards,

    Jim

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Hey Jim,

    Long time no see. :-) Now Go Away! and stop scaring the 2nd to last PC user into buying a Mac!



    I'm running a T60 at home (and at the GetDPI workshops) and aside from Jack complaining because I've disabled the touchpad (I use the eraserhead for my mouse); there have been no other complaints about it. It's build like a tank. Has 1600x1200 in a 15" screen. Tons of memory, drive space, processing power. And I have no real complaints; which is why I'm entertaining the idea of the W700. My T60 is a couple of years old and though it will make it another 1-2 years; the W700 upgrade offers 50% convenience (Better, Faster, Stronger) and 50% computer nerd (Sweeeeeeet).

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Steve --

    In my view, I'm glad you are not looking at Windows XP Professional 64-bit Edition. If you conisder XP then I’d recommend sticking with the 32-bit version of XP and I’d use SP3. I have not had great luck finding the drivers for my hardware for x64 XP.

    With x64 Vista, in general. the only thing "special" you need for x64 systems with Windows Vista is just making sure you have drivers. When Vista released a little over two years back, Vista x64 drivers were a little scare but I'd guess there are not that many current devices that don't have drivers. There are things, like the Nikon film scanner I'm using, that won't ever get drivers unless the hardware maker decides to update their product.

    Software wise things that use poor coding (hard coded directories, undocumented software calls, etc...) will still be problems, but most of those programs - from what I've seen - are either very vertical apps (e.g. something written in house for a given company,) or circa Windows 98.

    I have been using x64 at work, and home without any issue that falls out of the above for almost two years on everything from a Core2 Duo laptop w/2Gigs of RAM to a my desktop dual proc, quad core system with 16Gigs of RAM and in both cases things seem to be just fine for my use.
    Last edited by MrSlezak; 6th October 2008 at 20:06. Reason: updated based on my error in 1st post
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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSlezak View Post
    Steve --

    In my view, I'm glad you are not looking at Windows XP Professional 64-bit Edition. If you conisder XP then I’d recommend sticking with the 32-bit version of XP and I’d use SP3. I have not had great luck finding the drivers for my hardware for x64 XP.

    With x64 Vista, in general. the only thing "special" you need for x64 systems with Windows Vista is just making sure you have drivers. When Vista released a little over two years back, Vista x64 drivers were a little scare but I'd guess there are not that many current devices that don't have drivers. There are things, like the Nikon film scanner I'm using, that won't ever get drivers unless the hardware maker decides to update their product.

    Software wise things that use poor coding (hard coded directories, undocumented software calls, etc...) will still be problems, but most of those programs - from what I've seen - are either very vertical apps (e.g. something written in house for a given company,) or circa Windows 98.

    I have been using x64 at work, and home without any issue that falls out of the above for almost two years on everything from a Core2 Duo laptop w/2Gigs of RAM to a my desktop dual proc, quad core system with 16Gigs of RAM and in both cases things seem to be just fine for my use.
    My website, PlanetAMD64.com, specializes in providing support for 64-bit OS's. We have an extensive driver database as well. My staff and the members are friendly and helpful. We are also celebrating our 5th anniversary.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by scatesmd View Post
    Hi Lars,

    A dumb question on my part, but if I run Vista 64 do I have to have special software or does it run the usual versions of CS3, Office, etc? Are there compatibility issues I have to worry about?

    steve
    Adobe CS3 runs normally on Vista X64. I have it on my laptop (HP tx2000z) and it runs like a champ. CS4 will have 64-bit versions for Vista x64 (not XP x64) which will allow the apps to access as much RAM as you can stuff on the mobo. The theoretical upper memory limit for a 64-bit OS is 16 exabytes which is 16x10^18 bytes (16,000,000,000,000,000,000). To put that number in perspective, if a memory factory can make a million gigabytes in one year, it would take 1600 years to make that much RAM.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Steve,
    I'm still not past CS2 (which works on Vista x64 with the occasional missing redraw) but Carlos was kind enough to give you the answers you need.
    Regarding T60 and Vista x64, it's an older model (3 years?). If you are willing to give it a try, you should check out one of the Thinkpad forums - I'm sure you have visited thinkpads.com in the past, and Lenovo USA has a support forum that is not bad either.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Hi and thanks again.

    I spoke to Adobe today and found someone in tech support using CS4 on multiple operating systems. He claims that he's not having issues with Vistax64 and CS4. I won't be using any old or in-house software, so I don't anticipate large issues there.

    I will check out the planetAMD64 site, too.

    Chris, I also use the eraser fora mouse; I think Jack and Guy both got on me about that, too.

    Thanks again to all. These operating system decisions are likely made harder by me than they should be, but, in a sense, it's half the fun. I'll get something ordered, then change the T43 into a Linux box!

    steve

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by scatesmd View Post
    Hi and thanks again.

    I'll get something ordered, then change the T43 into a Linux box!

    This is something I am very interested in. Someday my T60p will hopefully be sporting a Linux OS. I have managed to convince myself that MS is not in my long term plans for the future, and there is just no way I am going Apple unless they make major changes to product and pricing...which may happen in light of the current economic crisis.

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    I am happy to report that the W700 arrived on my doorstep today. What a beast! I have published some quick first impressions on my blog. Now I have to find a bag large enough to carry it!
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Carlos,

    Looking forward to hearing more about your impressions, especially the display. Do you know if your unit has the LED backlit panel?

    Would you mind posting the product and serial numbers? At Lenovo's excellent support website it's possible to check the exact configuration and parts used in that specific unit.

    Lars
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    Certainly.

    Model number: 2752-3AU
    Serial Number: LV-0007H

    CCFL backlight on the display but it is a high-gamut device and the video card has 1GB onboard.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    How would you rate the LCD against say, a T60p or T61p with the IPS technology?

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    Re: Lenovo Unleashes Monster Notebook for Digital Photographers

    I have not used the T60p or T61p, Chris. I am getting ready to use the unit on a field assignment (assuming Lenovo sends me a bag big enough to take the unit on my flight) and I will compare the images on the W700 against my Color Munki calibrated Dell 3007 WFP. Later (when it gets here) I will compare the output to an HP DreamColor display. If I can get a hold of David Farkas, I will test the images against his calibrated Eizo monitors.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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