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
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?









Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.