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Quick look at Lenovo ThinkPad P70 – the mother of all workstations

There’s a big market out there that relies on portable workstations. Basically, laptops substituting the standard desktop PC for engineering, design, video editing, 3D modeling etc. Of course, they can’t meet the performance of a desktop but get close enough to make it work on the go. So here’s where Lenovo’s ThinkPad P70 comes into play. A machine with display suitable for color-sensitive work and hardware specializing in CAD, CGI and DCC professional software and a few cool features to come along with all that.

You can find some of the available configurations here: http://amzn.to/2aYp8AO

Design

The design is typical for a ThinkPad with strict, a bit clunky at times, simplistic and robust chassis. The base combines the widely used magnesium aluminum alloy for extra rigidity without hitting the scale. However, the outer chassis adopts the same plasticky surface with only the lid feeling a bit rubberized. The latter helps a lot for a tight grip when carrying it around.


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Speaking of carrying, this might be an issue for some because the system weighs 3.43 kg and it’s 31.5 mm high. Even so, the ThinkPad P70 is lighter and not as thick as other 17-inch solutions on the market, although they aren’t necessarily “workstations”.


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Another great thing about the design is the super simple upgrade procedure. The service lid provides access to the two of the RAM slots, 2.5-inch HDD, 2x M.2 PCIe NVMe slots and if the other two RAM slots are needed, the keyboard comes off easily. And as for the input devices, well they are simply “ThinkPad”. Excellent ergonomics, usability, stability and accuracy. However, the absence of LED keyboard backlight is somehow strange. This is usually a standard for high-end notebooks, not an optional feature.

Hardware

For the professional software comes the special hardware to support it. The entry-level of the P70 offers the Intel Core i7-6820HQ CPU, which is basically the 6820HK minus the overclocking capability, plus the vPro Intel security features. It’s paired with NVIDIA’s entry-level Quadro M600M 2GB GGDR5 suitable for the aforementioned software – CAD, CGI, and DCC. But for a few extra hundred bucks, you can configure with Intel’s latest mobile Xeon processors from the E3-1500M v5 family along with Quadro M3000M 4GB GDDR5, M4000M 4GB GDDR5 or M5000M 8GB GDDR5. The RAM storage is upgradeable up to 64GB of DDR4-2133 using four slots. The storage options are also rich featuring 1TB HDD backed up by 1TB PCIe NVMe or SATA SSD. You can also configure it by yourself with two M.2 SSDs working in RAID 0 or RAID 1 array.


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Of course, display options are top notch as well – Full HD IPS or UHD IPS with the former being offered in touch variants as well. They can be further improved to your liking using the built-in X-Rite Pantone color calibrator. The one running the show is a 96Wh battery that should last you for at least a few hours, if not more. Connectivity options will serve you not only during your travels but also provide as a total replacement of a desktop working station with 4G LTE-enabled module, tons of USB connectors – including USB-C with Thunderbolt support – display adapters, card reader, and an optical drive.

Specs sheet

Specs may differ depending on your region

ProcessorIntel Core i7-6820HQ or Intel mobile Xeon CPUs
RAMup to 64GB (4x 16384MB) – DDR4, 2133 MHz
Graphics cardNVIDIA Quadro M600M 2GB / NVIDIA Quadro M3000M 4GB / NVIDIA Quadro M4000M 4GB / NVIDIA Quadro M5000M 8GB
HDD/SSD1TB HDD + up to 1TB PCIe NVMe or SATA SSD (+free slot supporting RAID 0 and RAID 1 configurations)
Display17.3-inch – 1920 x 1080 (FHD) IPS / 17.3-inch – 1920 x 1080 (FHD) IPS, touch / 17.3-inch – 3840 x 2160 (UHD) IPS
Optical driveDVD-RW
ConnectivitySierra EM7445 – 4G LTE-A (optional), – Intel 8260 2 x 2 a/c + Bluetooth 4.1 vPro
Other features
  • USB 3.0, 1 Always-on Charging
  • HDMI 1.4
  • Mini DisplayPort 1.2
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet
  • Docking Connector
  • Microphone / Headphone Combo Jack
  • Smart Card Reader (Optional)
  • ExpressCard / 34 mm
  • SDXC
  • LED keyboard backlight (optional)
Battery8-cell, 96Wh
Thickness31.5 mm (1.24″)
Weight3.43 kg (7.56 lbs)