OS: Windows 10 (Home, Pro), Linux Fedora 33 | CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H, Core i7-10850H vPro, Core i7-10875H vPro, Core i9-10885H vPro, Xeon W-10855M vPro | GPU: Nvidia Quadro T1000 with Max-Q (4GB), Quadro T2000 with Max-Q (4GB) | RAM: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB; RAID 0, 1 optional | Screen: IPS FHD (1920 x 1080), 300, 500, 600 nits; OLED 4K (3840 x 2160), 400 nits, touch screen | Wireless: Bluetooth 5.1, 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) | Ports and slots: 2x USB-A 3.2, 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, SD Card Reader | Cameras: 720p camera with ThinkShutter; hybrid IR and 720p HD camera with ThinkShutter (option) | Audio: 2x far-field mics, 2x 2W stereo speakers (Dolby Atmos-certified), 3.5mm combo audio jack | Battery: 80Wh (15.9-17.1h), Rapid Charge (80% in 1h) | Dimensions: 18.4mm x 361.8mm x 245.7mm | Weight: 1.7kg | Price: from $1,705 (Core i7-10750H), $1,884 (Core i7-10850H), $1,960 (Core i7-10875H), $2,024 (Core i9-10885H), $2,656 (Xeon W-10855M)
Many people require more compute, graphics, memory and storage than even a power user/creator laptop provides. These demanding professionals include 3D designers, architects, engineers, scientists, video editors, VR developers and more, and what they need is a full-blown mobile workstation.
As well as Core i7/i9/Xeon or Ryzen 9 CPUs, Nvidia Quadro or Radeon Pro GPUs, at least 16GB of RAM (32GB or more preferable) and multiple terabytes of storage, workstation-class laptops need high-quality IPS or OLED screens with high resolution (4K preferable) and good colour space support (sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3). They also need certifications from ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) such as Adobe, Autodesk, Avid and others, to signify that specific configurations are optimised for mission-critical apps.
The leading mobile workstation vendors are Dell, HP and Lenovo, but your search for a suitable solution may also encompass recent entrants from the gaming market such as Gigabyte, MSI and Razer. We’ve chosen a top-end model from a tier-1 vendor, in the shape of Lenovo’s “ultra-premium and luxury in a workstation” ThinkPad P1 Gen 3.
This 15.6-inch clamshell device is a typically black-clad, robust (MIL-STD 810G) ThinkPad with the usual excellent keyboard and signature red TrackPoint. In the US, an entry-level ‘Build Your Own‘ model with an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, an FHD (1920 x 1080, 141.2ppi) 300 nits IPS screen and Nvidia Quadro T1000 graphics costs $1,702. That won’t cut the mission-critical mustard, though, and customisation options go all the way up to a Xeon W-10855M processor (+$1,100), 64GB of EEC RAM (+$1,165), a pair of 2TB PCIe SSDs in RAID 0 or 1 configuration, a 4K (3840 x 2160, 282.4ppi) 400 nits OLED touch screen (+ $660) and Nvidia Quadro T2000 graphics (+ $210). That little lot currently adds up to $4,404.52.
Read the review:Lenovo ThinkPad P1
There’s also a ‘Build with Linux‘ option running Linux Fedora 33, which starts at $1,594.42. And those all-important ISV certifications? These are available for ArcGIS, AutoCAD, CATIA, Creo, Inventor, Microstation, NX, PDMS, Revit, Solid Edge, SolidWorks and Vectorworks.
If a 15.6-inch screen isn’t large enough for you, here’s a couple of 17.3-inch mobile workstations to consider: