Lenovo’s ThinkPad P50, P70: possible DIT powerhouses

By Boon Shin Ng

When I was asked by postPerspective if I’d like to get a hands-on preview of some of Lenovo’s upcoming embargoed products over lunch, my answer was, “Of course!” Technology and food — a match made in heaven!

Both lunch and tech did not fail that day. It was an intimate setting of five at an upstairs private balcony of a nice restaurant here in New York City. During lunch, we were presented with Lenovo’s latest laptops — the ThinkPad P Series, which includes the P50 (15 inches) and the P70 (17 inches). The company pitched them as workstations in a laptop size, which feature new Intel Xeon processors.

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While Lenovo went over the details of the products, I began wondering if they could be used as part of my DIT setup in order to reduce my footprint. In my mind I kept checking boxes:

– Number pad on a 15-inch laptop — check
– USB 3.1/Thunderbolt 3, offering transfer speeds of 40Gbps — check
– 4K UHD IPS display and FHD touchscreen options — check
– Integrated X-Rite Pantone color calibration — check
– Two dims (oh wait, no, it has four DIMMS!) – check
– RAID-capable drive setup — check (M.2 PCIe is an option)
– Solid and rugged feel – check

For those who remember the ThinkPad when it belonged to IBM — before Lenovo bought the technology — the little red knob tracker is there. Double check!

The machines also feature Nvidia Quadro graphics and up to 64GB DDR4 ECC memory.

The beauty of the machine comes in its innards. While we were presented with three different kinds of antipasti, the different parts of the machine were handed over to us to get hands-on. The roll cage was surprisingly light and sturdy. When I held it up, it looked like a piece of steam-punk art. The cooling design continued along this theme, with its two fans on each end — brass-like tubes extended toward each other and melded together as one piece. I didn’t know a laptop could be sexy on the inside.

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While I mulled over how lucky I was to be able to get to see the insides of a laptop (Yes, I’m that geeky!), our steak entrée came and we all started chatting about the weather, our first computers and what other things we would like to see in a laptop. It was informal, casual and relaxing, which is exactly how I like my tech to be presented.

When the preview of the tech ended, and as I walked the streets of New York on the way to my next meeting, I thought about using this laptop as my next DIT setup. The many I/O ports are always a plus, and integrated color calibration is nice to have, although it will not replace a reference monitor on the set. I’m the kind of person who will need to test the laptop out thoroughly before drawing a conclusion on its value, but it’s looking very promising for a start. Look to this space in the future for a full review.

Now I am just waiting for the day when we can have screens flexible enough to be able to open up a laptop like a pop-up book, to have three different screens and a pen tablet. I hope to be among the first to see that, and if it’s over a delicious lunch, all the better.

Boon Shin Ng is a NYC-based post pro working in turnovers, workflow, finishing, online, color and dailies.


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