Brand new 15-inch and 17-inch CAD-class laptops to feature the first ever mobile Intel Xeon CPU

The 15.6-inch Lenovo ThinkPad P50

Lenovo has introduced two new mobile workstations – the 15.6-inch ThinkPad P50 and the 17-inch ThinkPad P70.

There’s a whole host on new technologies packed inside the purpose-built mobile workstations, the most notable being the inclusion of the first ever mobile Intel Xeon CPU, the Intel Xeon E3-1500M v5.

Other mobile workstation firsts include up to 64GB of ECC memory, new Nvidia Quadro GPUs and Thunderbolt 3. Lenovo has also introduced PCIe storage and 4K displays to its ThinkPad mobile workstations for the first time.

This is a bit of a strange product launch insofar as neither the Intel Xeon E3-1500M v5 nor the new Nvidia Quadro GPUs have been officially announced yet.

As a result, details of the mobile Xeon chip are virtually non-existent with no info on clock speed or number of cores. What we do know is that it is based on 6th generation Intel Core technology (Skylake) and it will support ECC (Error Correcting Code) memory, a first for mainstream mobile workstations.

Capacity for up to 64GB (4 x 16GB DIMMs) is also significant, as previous generation mobile workstations have been limited to 32GB. Both of these memory features could make the machine more attractive for large scale simulation or ray trace rendering. Lenovo gave absolutely no details on Nvidia’s new GPUs.

The 17-inch Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Lenovo ThinkPad P50 detail

Both machines offer a choice of three IPS panels, including standard FHD, FHD Touch and 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160). A backlit keyboard with numeric keypad is standard for those all-important engineering calculations.

Beyond the core specs, Lenovo has paid a lot of attention to the design. It describes the new mobile workstations as ‘clean sheet’ products, each having their own workstation-class chassis. Previous generation ThinkPad mobile workstations have shared a chassis with the ThinkPad T-series.

Like Lenovo’s ThinkStation P Series desktop workstations, the new ThinkPad P Series mobile workstations are designed to be serviceable. Lenovo is calling this its ‘big door’ design, where a big panel on the bottom of the machines can be easily removed, exposing 2 of the 4 memory DIMMs and the drives for customisation.

Both machines feature a brand new FLEX Performance Cooling system. Lenovo says this dual-fan design allows for cooler, quieter and faster performance and gives the user the ability to push the system harder and for longer periods of time. Lenovo also highlights build quality with both models MIL-SPEC tested for ‘maximum durability’.

The ThinkPad P50 is thinner and lighter than the ThinkPad W541 it replaces

Delving deeper into the specifics of the 15-inch ThinkPad P50, weight starts at 2.5kg (5.6lbs) and it is 377.4mm x 252.3mm x 24.5mm - 25.9mm in size. It can hold up to three storage devices including a 2TB HDD and 1TB PCIe / SATA SSD. There is no optical drive, which helps make it thinner and lighter than the ThinkPad W541 it replaces.

The ThinkPad P70 is Lenovo’s first 17-inch mobile workstation in some time having dropped the form factor a few years back. It starts at 3.4kg (7.6lbs) and is 416mm x 275.5mm x 29.9 - 31.5mm in size. There’s space for up to four storage devices. There is an optional optical drive.

The new Lenovo ThinkPad P Series mobile workstations will be available starting in Q4 2015. Pricing for the P50 begins at $1,599, and the P70 begins at $1,999. Meanwhile, read our review of the UltraBook-class Lenovo ThinkPad W550s which offers impressive battery life and will continue to be in Lenovo’s mobile workstation portfolio for the foreseeable future.

The Lenovo ThinkPad P70

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