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W700 ThinkPad: First Dual Monitor Notebook

IBM/Lenovo is calling this new powerhouse as the “ultimate mobile workstation.” How exactly mobile this 17-inch laptop is will be for you to decide, but the most astonishing feature of the W700 has to be its secondary display.

The secondary display will be 10.6-inch diagonal size with LED backlight and a resolution of 768 x 1280. Gizmodo has a picture of what this secondary screen is supposed to look like; however, the official IBM hardware announcement page displays a picture of a standard looking W700 without such a screen. We cannot verify the authenticity of the dual-screen image but the laptop is indeed real with an expected release date this month for selected models and January 2009 for the full configuration options.

Other features of note are the integrated WACOM digitizer located in the palm rest area, a quad-core Q9100 Intel processor, Nvidia Quadro FX 3700M graphics processor, Blu-ray recordable drive, integrated DisplayPort and dual link DVI ports. According to IBM/Lenovo, the minimum weight of the dual screen version will be 10.9 lbs. At that weight, we would hardly call this a “mobile workstation,” but in a pinch it would be easier to bring this than the desktop.

Other dual-screen laptops have been mainly limited to smaller touch screens as in the case of the Fujitsu N7010 or as an external display as seen on the Asus concept notebooks.

The ThinkPad W700 marks the first time a secondary display will be used on a laptop computer that can function similarly to how a secondary display would on a desktop computer. IBM/Lenovo is targeting this laptop towards its business sector; primarily the CAD/CAM and digital photography segments where the second screen and integrated WACOM tablet will present a tempting package. No final price has been announced; however, the original W700 with a fully loaded configuration retailed for approximately $3800 USD without a secondary screen. It would be highly unlikely that the dual screen version will cost any less.