Lenovo recently announced half a dozen new upgrades and additions to its "Think" line, including a smart tablet for business users, a speedy ultraportable laptop, a cut-price server and a new version of its "screen and a half" notebook first seen in 2008. With a lot of interest in dual-screen laptops recently, has Lenovo seized the opportunity to lead the field?

Graphic designers, video editors and gamers were offered their first taste of increased desktop real estate on a laptop when the W700ds first broke cover in December of 2008. A 17in 1920x1200 screen was complemented by smaller 10.6in second screen which popped out from behind the primary display when needed.

Gizmag took the W700ds for a test drive and found the second screen to be a bit disappointing, its size being awkward and the quality of the display didn't match up to the main screen. In fact, our reviewer Dave Weinstein only ever really popped out the extra screen "to show off the fact that it had it". Overall though, Gizmag found the W700ds to be a very capable laptop indeed in spite of reservations about the second screen.

New versions incoming

Lenovo has now announced that it has revisited the dual-screen and offered an improved version, the W701ds. The company has opted to stick with the "screen and a half" second display (with the troublesome extra 80 pixels of screen height) instead of going all out for full dual screen capabilities. However, the mobile workstation has received quite a performance boost.

The W701ds is powered by an Intel Core i7-820QM processor, the graphics by NVIDIA's Quadro FX 2800M/3800M GPU, there's a USB 3.0 port in addition to four USB 2.0, DDR3 RAM of up to 16Gb and both solid state and hard disk storage. A full size keyboard with trackpoint, a built-in overhead light for continued after hours keying and the option of a Wacom palm rest digitizer and pen cater for comfortable input. Other features and options include color calibration, VGA/DVI out, eSATA, fingerprint reader, webcam, numeric keypad, Windows 7, compact flash and media card support. Like the model before it, the "ds" does come in a format minus the second screen in the shape of the equally powerful W701.

Lenovo's other announced products include the lightweight power performer X201 which features Intel Core i7-620M processor at 2.66GHz that Lenovo claims to clock over three gigahertz when in turbo boost mode. There's also a claimed battery life of 11 hours, or 12 hours on the even thinner and lighter X201s. The X201 tablet offers a highly configurable sensitive capacitive 12.1in touchscreen display, a wide viewing angle of up to 185 degrees, fingerprint reader and anti-theft technologies, WiMAX/3G/WiFi and ethernet internet connectivity and benefits from an Intel Core i7 processor and up to 8Gb of memory.

The ThinkServer TS200v is the first from Lenovo to offer Intel Active Management Technology for pain-free remote server management, features DDR3 memory, single gigabit ethernet and Windows Server 2008 and is built with 65 percent recycled plastic and is both Energy Star and RoHC compliant. The server solution benefits from numerous single Intel processor options (including Celeron, i3 and i5 options) and high end features like memory error correction and built-in RAID protection but with prices starting at under US$500, it falls well within the price range of small businesses.

All of the new products will be available from the beginning of this month, pricing details will shortly appear on Lenovo's website.

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