It has been a long wait for notebooks to provide the workstation computing power and graphics capabilities needed by engineering firms to run design programs and other power hungry software systems.
Many firms are still committed to the desktop workhorse in order to ensure not just adequate power but also memory, hard disk space and importantly graphics capabilities.
But the norm is set to change with the latest generation of workstation notebooks, which are not only ticking all the right boxes in terms of performance, but their functionality and ability to offer tablet versatility is set to revolutionise how manufacturers use their computers.
Imagine the designer being able to pick up their high powered designer’s computer and walk right out on to the shop floor to speak directly to the machine tool operator about a proposed last minute change to a design. Well, if that’s the dream, it will soon be a reality and help bring manufacturers and designers closer together.
The latest range from Lenovo
Lenovo is helping to set the pace of change and while the company still of course offers even more powerful workstation desktop towers, the P series set of notebooks will definitely make, not just the hardware junkees, but also the everyday user, the designer, and especially the frequent traveller, sit up and take notice.
Four new offerings from Lenovo, which were on display at SOLIDWORKS World in February 2016, present a new look for the iconic ThinkPad. From the entry ThinkPad P40 Yoga to the powerhouse ThinkPad P70, which features a 3TB HDD and a 16GB memory capacity, all of the new P series are able to run SOLIDWORKS and Autodesk software, and run them well. Download the full P series (desktop and notebook) workstation comparison table here.
The power is certainly the key component of the notebook workstations but what Lenovo describes as ‘multimode’ functionality is the icing on the cake. On the P series notebooks, the keyboard is not only able to spin around 360° to allow the notebook to become a tablet, but impressively, in tablet mode, the keyboard also recedes and locks away using Lenovo’s ‘Lift n Lock’ technology – see video below.
This not only protects the keyboard but also prevents the keys being accidentally pushed while in the tablet position . Furthermore, rather than with tablets that split the screen from the keyboard to create the tablet, the keyboard is immediately available if needed and also the battery life is improved and will reportedly last all day.
Also one of the other exciting elements of the P series notebooks, particularly for designers, is the inclusion of a supercapacitor powered stylus. The stylus takes almost no time to re-charge and has an unbelievable 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity built in to pen – meaning you’ll be able to shade that design just right – but you’ll also be able to take notes and make annotations quickly and easily.