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ThinkPad W Series W520 (42763JU) Notebook Intel Core i7 2760QM (2.40GHz) 8GB Memory 500GB HDD NVIDIA Quadro 1000M + Intel HD Graphics 3000 15.6
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Traditional ThinPad build quality (liquid flow channels, steel roll cage, very solid overall feel). Most colorful display (95% gamut!) I've ever seen on a laptop or desktop. Excellent performance.

Cons: Not a fashion accessory (i.e. Macbook). Expensive, but you definitely get what you pay for. Lacks back-light keyboard, but then it wouldn't be spill-proof.

Other Thoughts: This is without a doubt the most responsive computer I've ever used, even compared to a dual-socket Westmere workstation. I upgraded to an Intel SSD 520 240GB and 32GB (4x8GB DIMM's) Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 RAM. The power brick is GIGANTIC (1.6lbs and 175W), but for a true desktop replacement I suppose that is to be expected. Don't bother trying a smaller power adapter - they won't charge the laptop while powered on (but they will charge it when powered all the way down - tested with standard 90W Lenovo adapter).

This laptop uses an NVidia Quadro 1000M graphics card which is very well suited for professional graphics applications. It is not a gaming card but will suffice. On Diablo 3 with max graphics settings at 1920x1080 I get 30fps.

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Intel 520 Series Cherryville SSDSC2CW240A3K5 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Extremely fast. Can be installed into both 7mm and 9.5mm height bays.

Cons: Expensive

Other Thoughts: In my W520 I get over 500MB/s sustained read for both sequential and random 2MB blocks. Write speeds are also well over 400MB/s sustained for the above parameters. Some reviews have knocked this drive's power consumption, but I have not noticed any loss of battery life since installing. If you have performance issues make sure to download Intel's SSD toolbox.

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lenovo 433830U ThinkPad Mini Dock Plus Series 3 170W
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Excellent docking station for the W520. Includes another power adapter which usually sells for ~$100 by itself. When the laptop is reinserted into the docking station the previous display settings are automatically restored.

Cons: None

Other Thoughts: I've got two 24" 1920x1200 monitors connected via DVI and the W520 will push them both along with the built-in laptop's display.

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Jonathan L.'s Profile

Display Name: Jonathan L.

Date Joined: 12/24/07

  • Reviews: 6
  • Helpfulness: 5
  • First Review: 05/22/12
  • Last Review: 05/24/12
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