Lightweight PC with heavyweight performance
FOR ANY geek who’s been around since the early 1990s, the word “ThinkPad” conjures up images of a no-frills, boxy laptop, legendary for its reliability and durability.
Especially beloved by hardcore business users, these portable PCs were initially developed at IBM’s Yamato facility in Japan, with their design reportedly inspired by Japanese Bento lunch boxes.
Since then, they’ve earned a cult following, with enthusiasts prepared to shell out surprisingly weighty wads of cash for rarer early models.
Several models have even been used in outer space. By 2003, ThinkPads were the only laptops certified for use on the International Space Station.
Chinese tech giant Lenovo acquired IBM’s personal computer business in 2005, scoring the ThinkPad brand in the process and it’s continued to be a popular seller. Recent models have grown increasingly less lunchbox-like as consumer appetite for svelte, featherlight laptops has grown.
Which brings us to the ThinkPad P1, which Lenovo has just launched here, a device it describes as its “thinnest, lightest and sleekest mobile workstation yet”. As the name suggests, “mobile workstation” is tech speak for laptop-sized computers aimed at business users and crammed with many features usually found only in bulky desktop units.
The ThinkPad P1 certainly fits the bill in this respect. Certified for key independent software vendor (ISV) applications, the newcomer features 8th generation Intel Xeon and core processors, including support for the core i9 CPU, and delivers ECC memory support, clocking speeds up to 4.6GHz. Users can also enjoy a boost in performance with the latest Nvidia Quadro
P1000 and P2000 professional graphics cards.
In addition to its graphics and processors, this mobile workstation offers a 15-inch, 4K UHD display, representing 100% of the Adobe colour gamut as well as a touchscreen, IR camera standard, 4TB of M.2
PCIe premier storage and 64GB of memory at 2 667MHz.
“When we set out to create the ThinkPad
P1, our challenge was to build a mobile workstation that would carry the legacy of professional power and reliability of our ThinkPad portfolio, but also meet our customers’ need for a thin, light and sleek design,” said Rob Herman, general manager of Workstations for Lenovo.
“Whether you are looking for power, the lightest mobile workstation around or sleek and slim tech-envy, the ThinkPad P1 delivers.”
The company says this attention to detail extends to the power supply, which is 35% smaller and lighter than predecessors, which is a big plus factor in my books. One of my pet peeves is lightweight laptops with power packs that weigh almost as much as the computer itself.
I look forward to testing a review unit to see just how well Lenovo has managed to balance these modern design elements with the ThinkPad’s venerable history.
The company has also introduced its new ThinkPad P72, aimed at users “looking for top of the line power and performance”. It described it as an ideal choice for users in the oil and gas, automotive and financial industries.
“A true desktop replacement, this 17-inch chassis includes the latest
8th Gen Intel Xeon and core processors, and the most powerful Nvidia Quadro graphics – up to P5200 – to tackle the most demanding workflows with ease. With up to 6TB of storage, 128GB of memory and 16GB of
Intel Optane memory, users can handle immense data sets with vast amounts of computing power.”
The ThinkPad P1 will be available in October, from
R27 999. Local pricing and availability of the ThinkPad P72 are not available yet.
Follow Cooper on Twitter @alanqcooper.