There’s a face people make when they’re overwhelmed with excess awesome. It’s somewhere between a wide-eyed pucker and explosive, jowl-shaking laughter. I saw some people making that face today when they tried out the new ThinkPad P40 Yoga, Lenovo’s newest machine that doubles as a tablet and a fully-loaded workstation. Lay it back, flip it forward. Sketch, model, create. Lenovo is calling it the “world’s first multimode workstation”. When I saw it last June, I knew it would be a game-changer. Now that I’ve used it, I think that’s even more the case.
Waaaaay back in 2011, we wrote about Lenovo’s ThinkPad Tablet, gave Lenovo a hard time for not marketing it to designers and published a full review. We like to think Lenovo took notice and launched their plan for a ThinkPad to address all of our needs with a workstation + tablet combo that is truly a designer’s dream machine and a clear elbow to the neckbone of the competition.
A laptop + tablet? It’s not like that hasn’t been done, right? But, a workstation + tablet? It almost seems obvious. Yet, Lenovo has constructed a machine that is unlike any they’ve manufactured before, fit with a touchscreen tablet and workstation power that just does’t exist out there. The auto-activated tablet mode, thin bezel, pen responsive, palm rejection and Lift ‘n Lock keyboard, which raises the frame around the keyboard to prevent keystrokes, shows a departure from the standard laptop and the thought put into a design that makes a sketching to modeling workflow possible from a single device. Even though it’s 3.9 lbs, it packs all the power to drive full modeling software or graphic intensive apps.
ThinkPad P40 Yoga Specs
CPU: Intel® 6th Generation CoreTM i7
GPU: NVIDIA Quadro M500M GPU (2GB VRAM)
Display: IPS touchscreen glossy (2560 x 1440) or matte (1,920 x 1,080)
RAM: 16GB RAM (Max)
Storage: 512GB SSD (Max)
Operating System: Windows 10
Weight: 3.9 lbs
ThinkPad Pen Pro Specs
Integrated with chassis
30 second charge/8 hours usage
Wacom Active ES technology
2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity
A larger, dockable Battery-powered pen with right-click and erase buttons will be an optional add-on. The ThinkPad P40 Yoga starts at $1,399, but you’ll have to wait until Q1 2016 to purchase it. You can see a breakdown of the main features here.
Lenovo tells us the P40 is the workstation for the beginning of the project workflow, but it’s obvious this is a dual-duty workstation that can be used throughout the process, from concept sketching and refining layouts, to mark-up and final artwork or modeling.
Lastly, I like Apple products as much as the next person, but this delivers a level of practicality not achieved by an iPad. I can have full software applications–sketching, modeling, rendering–with a pressure-sensitive stylus and tablet mode. I’m not moving between different devices or limited to feature-weak apps. This is one powerful rig (that’s flippin’ fun to use) and I can’t wait to get my hands on it next year. What about you? Think this is an iPad killer? How would you use it?