By Andrew Liszewski
FINALLY! While I’m sure I wasn’t the first one to come up with the idea, I wonder why it’s taken so long for a laptop manufacturer to sidle up with Wacom and include a built-in tablet with their hardware. Back in the day (4 or 5 years ago) I even harassed the Wacom sales people about it while doing demos at their NAB and Siggraph booths, but nothing ever came of it… until now. The Lenovo W700 ThinkPad is a ‘PC Beast’ as the company refers to it, with a 17-inch widescreen display (hopefully 1920×1200) with a built-in color calibrator, NVIDIA Quadro FX mobile graphics card, Intel mobile quad core processor, dual hard drives with RAID configurations, up to 8GB of high speed DDR3 RAM and even an optional Blu-ray DVD burner/player. Very impressive.
Lenovo seems to be targeting the W700 at the professional graphics market, which is why it’s the first to include the aforementioned palm rest mini Wacom tablet. I can’t even use Photoshop without a tablet, and while I’m not sure how effective one this small would actually be, it’s about a million times better than not having one and having to rely on the touch pad or trackpoint nub for pixel pushing. Not surprisingly you’ll be spending about $3,000 for the base configuration of the W700, and depending on RAM or SSD hard drive upgrades, you’ll probably even be spending a lot more than that.