I was actually working at Dell way back in 2001 when the very first Precision mobile workstation came out. At that time, I sneered at the idea of a “mobile workstation.” To me, workstations were massive machines with dual CPUs, SCSI HBAs, and one of these ridiculous things. These days, the mobile workstation is a thriving market segment, and I've seen few laptops that exemplify it better than Lenovo's new ThinkPad P52.
The latest ThinkPad can be configured with both Core i-family and Xeon CPUs. Lenovo doesn't note specifically which chips are on offer, but does say that six-core models will be available. We'd expect this bad boy to make an appearance, along with perhaps this beast. You can pair a Core processor with up to 128 GB of DDR4 memory or slap 64 GB of ECC RAM in a Xeon-based machine.
Lenovo says the standard graphics configuration on the ThinkPad P52 is Nvidia's Quadro P3200. Don't let the relatively low model number fool you; the GP104 chip onboard is just slightly cut down from its full form and packs 1792 shaders. It's connected to 6 GB of GDDR5 memory running at a hair under 9 GT/s across a 192-bit bus. Despite the low board power of 78 W, we expect that the Quadro P3200 should be an impressive performer for its intended tasks.
That Quadro chip will end up connected to 15.6″ displays in 1920×1080 or 3840×2160 resolution. The lower-resolution monitor will splash color on your face at up to 300 cd/m². That display should be able to reproduce 72% of the NTSC color space, a figure that translates to around 100% of sRGB. The fancier 4K UHD screen can get brighter at up to 400 cd/m², and Lenovo says it can light up the entire Adobe RGB color space.
Notably, the P52 only supports solid-state storage. Prospective buyers can purportedly configure it with up to 6 TB of flash, although Lenovo doesn't explain how many devices that requires. If that's not enough, you can hook up external storage to the three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, the two Thunderbolt 3 connections, or use the SD card reader as an impromptu floppy drive. A full-sized HDMI 2.0 port, a mini-DisplayPort 1.4 jack, a 3.5-mm combo audio jack, and a Gigabit Ethernet connector comprise the rest of the external ports.
Given the specs on offer, it's no surprise Lenovo proudly trumpets the ThinkPad 52's VR-readiness. You'll probably want to have it plugged in for that usage, though. While the machine comes with a 90-Whr battery, Lenovo wisely makes no claims about its battery life. The company is also shy about talking prices right now, but we'll find out soon, as the ThinkPad P52 will be available at the end of the month.