Eurocom Tornado F5 SE mobile server can eat desktops for lunch

Eurocom's Tornado F5 SE looks like a standard desktop replacement-style laptop that you might find on a shelf in a big box electronics store. However, its unassuming all-black chassis hides hardware that's fairly unique in portable systems, and the company believes these bits give it the leeway to call the F5 a "mobile server." The eye of the Tornado is a choice among three Intel Xeon E3 v5 four-core, eight-thread Skylake-based CPUs. The processor communicates with the system's parts through an Intel C236 server chipset, which is certainly uncommon in laptops.

Eurocom offers nine different Nvidia GeForce and Quadro graphics options, from the base Quadro M1000M up to a Pascal-based M5000M with 8GB of VRAM. The machine has four SODIMM slots for taking in up to 64GB of DDR4. While Xeon E3 CPUs offer support for ECC memory, Eurocom doesn't appear to show it as on option for the Tornado. Storage configurations include a host of devices for populating the machine's pair of M.2 slots and single 2.5" drive bay.

The Tornado may appear compact when compared to a 1U server chasis, but the 15.6" x 10.7" x 1.6" (39 cm x 27 cm x 4 cm) dimensions and 6.5 lb (2.92 kg) weight are fairly substantial compared to many other laptops. That bulk is necessary to pack all the desktop-class parts and the 15.6" screen, which is available in 1920x1080 and 3840x2160 flavors.

The F5 is not left wanting for connectivity options. The machine can drive up to four displays including the integrated panel. Gigabit Ethernet comes by way of a Qualcomm solution, and buyers get to choose between five different Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules. The laptop has a single Thunderbolt 3 port and three USB 3.0 Type-A connectors.

While the CPU, chipset, and graphics options certainly make the Tornado sound like a server-class system, the lack of ECC support in the memory options chips away at Eurocom's "mobile server" claim a bit—as does the company's description of the laptop's battery as an "integrated UPS."

The Eurocom Tornado F5 SE can be custom-configured right away. Prices start at $2,000 without an operating system. Virtually every aspect of the machine can be customized to the buyer's performance requirements, so the upper bound on pricing is sky-high.

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