"Unfortunately I wanted an upgrade from my wonderfully built W530; however what I got was an awfully constructed and horribly designed piece of... well... plastic (NOT metal-framed, HORRIBLE build quality).
Every previous generation of ThinkPad could be thrown at a wall, and the wall would lose.
This W540 was returned within 48hrs of disappointment because it had so many design flaws with I will now be looking elsewhere if Lenovo continues to tarnish the name of ThinkPad the way it has done with the W540.
I sincerely hope that this is a one-off mistake that Lenovo made and has realized that this is the WRONG move for them to make (especially with the collectively and consistently atrocious ratings that this W540... thing... is getting)."
"PROS: Fast, runs cooler and less fan than my W520, thinner and lighter than my W520, actual key pad lights up (no longer a light on the lid shining down), quieter keyboard than my W520, keypad
CONS: I HATE THE TRACK PAD!!! Not only does it not have buttons, but it is a pain to use (can't select words, can't accomplish simple mouse movements, UGH!!!!) Dock, Battery, and Bay (for SATA drive) are all new = not interchangeable with my previous W520
Since I use the track pad all of the time, I prefer the W520 over the W540 and would recommend buying a W520 instead of a W540."
"The big one: Had a W520 that's still going after two years; the W540 is showing hardware problems after two months (wireless adapter conked out, spontaneous reboots, system won't boot 2 out of 3 tries.)
Declining build quality: The keyboard is a grease magnet, and everything feels cheap and plasticky compared to the W530 and W520. Runs noticeably warm under the left wrist.
More keyboard gripes: F1-F12 are replaced by volume controls and such, and you need to enable "FnLock" on to use them without having to hold the extra Fn key down. Home, End, Insert, Delete, PgUp, and PgDn are in weird locations. Trackpad is awkward.
"Anytime I spend this much money on anything, its stupid NOT to get the warranty - I'm glad I did because, HELLO, its a machine and technology is moving faster than the speed of light, it'd be crazy for me to think this thing will keep up with everything for as long as I want it to! So, extended warranty, top of the line upgrades, and then replacements as needed... I'll be fine until the next BIG wave of hardware and software changes meet in the middle requiring everyone to change their equipment! Until then, Lenovo & I are hanging out! Price of the product is OUCH but the quality of the product is ultimately WORTH it and after the money is gone, its gone and you move on... too bad I didn't get mine when it was on sale like it is now. Darn, bad timing on my part."
"Like many people on here, I'm a long time ThinkPad user. I _love_ the (high DPI) screen on the w540 - the best I have ever seen on a Windows notebook. And the builtin color calibration is excellent when it comes to photo and video editing. The offset keyboard took me about 10 minutes to get used to. The only real minus for me is the lack of buttons on the TrackPoint. I don't think it is terrible or the end of the world, but I do miss the dedicated buttons. Still, I have gotten used to them pretty quickly. The performance, battery life, form factor, and screen all make this a one of a kind notebook IMO."
"To be honest I was excited for getting a new laptop at work but this laptop doesn't meet the quality I was expecting. Mouse pad is crazy bad and laptop doesn't give performance of what loaded. When you click mouse pad big sound appears and also quality is cheap. You have to click in a particular spot so that mouse pad works. Not worth for price."
Hello Sheru, thank you for your feedback on the W540. I’m sorry to hear that you are experiencing issues with the new ClickPad design. We have recently released drivers for this model that should improve the usability of the ClickPad. You can download and install the driver here: http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?DocID=DS034647
"This model is the worst possible choice I could have made. It lasted all of three weeks before it began to have major issues. All I did was gently close the lid & go to bed. This morning I expected to come out to the computer, open the lid & get right to work WRONG! The screen wouldn't even come back! Tech support had me do a quick restore. It did bring it back but I had to reinstall all my software!
It also has other annoying issues such as the number lock indicator stays put on the screen in a location that is quite irritating since you have to decrease the size of your screen to see around it to move your page down."
"As far as raw performance goes, the W540 is great. The battery endurance is superb, and I have zero issue with the offset keyboard - took no getting use to. Having the numeric pad is actually pretty nice.
A couple small things really take this machine from a 5 star down to 4 or even a hair under. The track pad for example.. is borderline unusable. Terrible at registering right vs. left click. Lack of buttons to go with the track point (red button thing) and lack of indicator lights (HDD activity etc) makes no sense to me. Plug in a mouse and you're fine, though.
For me most of the time this is plugged into a docking station and is great - and then travels for meetings and getting work done at home. Ultimately pretty happy, but a few small design changes would have made this exceptional."
Cons: Keyboard/peripherals, off-center keyboard, lack of separate trackpoint buttons
"I have always had ThinkPads (going on 15 years now) and have found them to be extremely reliable. I upgraded my older W500 to this new W540. I read the reviews and notice a lot of people griping about the off-center keyboard/trackpad. I didn't think it would matter. I was wrong! For the love of laptops everywhere, please center your keyboard/trackpad! It is very awkward to type and move the mouse and my right hand gets cramped because of it's off-center. Fortunately I mainly use this at a desk where I can use a separate usb mouse instead. But when I take this elsewhere, I hate typing. I also want my separate buttons back for when I'm using the trackpoint (red eraser thing)."
"They removed the finely tuned 5 buttons around the trackpad...and made the trackpad one giant unrecognizably bad button. .YOU CAN NOT EVEN USE THE TRACKPOINT!!! That's how bad the trackpad is. It's horrible.
Let me elaborate, I relied on the top 3 buttons to navigate with my tackpoint (the little red button in the middle of the keyboard) ..if you try to left and right click buttons now, you will also move the cursor accidentally.
The trackpad is so bad that you actually TOUCH it with your palm and click/move the cursor while typing...you know, like those cheap laptops that cost 1/3 of the price of this?"
"I have no idea what Lenovo is doing ? how can they make a successful ThinkPad brand this horrible. Offcenter keyboard is a BIG NO NO. The track pad is the worst ever. Please save yourself time and money. I will not recommend this to anyone."
Cons: Input/Output compatibility, Keyboard/peripherals, Included Software, Build Quality, Durability, terrible touchpad. old one was great, no touchpad buttons below keyboard, off centre touchpad, don't want numeric keyboard, don't want optical disk, why sell it with windows installed? i use linux
"No status lights Off centre touch pad - uncomfortable to use; No proper buttons below the touch pad; Hot wrist rest; Plastic feel - cheap construction Why oh why move away from a good formula to something that really is unusable without an external keyboard and mouse. The old Thinkpad designs were really good. The W540 is powerful, but I will have to send it back because I cannot use it with the off centre touchpad. Lenovo, please listen to your customers and reinstate your old line of ThinkPad models, upgraded with better battery life, better screens and faster CPUs, but keep the overall design the same. The old design just works. What you now offer is awful."
"I was a little concerned because people complained about the offset keyboard. That turned out to be a non-issue for me.
However, the complaints about the lack of a hard drive access light are legitimate. When your computer is busy and not responding as quickly as you expect, it is very useful to glance at the hard drive to figure out why.
Of lesser importance but still a miss is the lack of an led indicating the caps lock and num lock are on. They managed to create such status lights on the keyboard for the function lock but skipped these other two common indicators.
But keeping things in perspective, if this is all there is to complain about then the machine is pretty darn good!"
Cons: Wireless card, Input/Output compatibility, Keyboard/peripherals, Included Software, Build Quality
"Sadly I held onto this too long to return and am now stuck with it. It is quite clear Lenovo is focusing on a 'new' user base which by definition is the Windows 8 crowd. The W and T series have been my staples for years and My Thinkpad days go back to a 380. The Thinkpad was the go-to productivity laptop due to reasons like a solid keyboard, solid mouse buttons, and the Trackpoint. For those that don't understand the Trackpoint, its benefit is that one can accurately mouse without moving fingers from the keyboard-- excellent if you type+mouse a lot, for instance work as a developer or engineer. With the silly new keyboard layout and no track buttons, the new Thinkpad design sadly just became a significant usability downgrade."
"These are great. I've purchased 4 W series for my place of work. The last two are W540's and there's one BIG flaw that I have with them. Lenovo seems to think that status lights aren't necessary which is totally incorrect for a business environment.
"wow, so many haters. I agree that this is a change from previous Ws, but honestly it's not that bad, takes a few days to get used to it. I don't find the off-center keyboard as annoying as people have commented on. the machine runs very quiet and smooth, screen is very nice. However I find the left palmrest getting hot even under light loads. I have received that laptop for over a week now, I'll give it a few more days and if I can't get used to the hot palm rest, I might return it :( but that's the only neg point I've seen so far."