Lenovo Unveils Portable Workstation for AR, VR Developers

With double the capacity of memory to 128GB and increased PCIe storage, the ThinkPad P52 is a necessity for things such as animation and visual effects project storage, large models and datasets and real-time playback.

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They’ve been in the works for a while, and now they’re here: Portable workstations certified for development of virtual and augmented reality applications.

These aren't items that are being used much right now, but Lenovo is enacting that hockey term that a lot of non-hockey people like to use: They're skating to where the puck is going to be in a year or two, when more AR and VR apps are going to be needed.

Lenovo introduced its ThinkPad P52 mobile workstation at the one-day NXT BLD in London June 13. The P52 is basically a more powerful ThinkPad—long one of the high-quality staples of desktop workplaces—packed into a portable 15-inch chassis. They’re not known for thinness or lightweight design; they’re heavier but stronger than most regular laptops and can survive a lot of things out in the big, bad world.

P52 a Heavyweight Bomber is Terms of Dev Machines

It's interesting to note that the P52 sounds awfully similar to "B52," the U.S. Air Force's largest and most powerful military bomber for more than 60 years. Agree or disagree, there is symmetry there.

The ThinkPad P52, at a tad over 5 pounds, is a high-end productivity-oriented device that features the new NVIDIA Quadro P3200 GPU and is targeted expressly at VR/AR developers and those dabbling with heavy-duty AI projects. The mobile workhorse is now VR-Ready certified and ready to take on anything from traditional ISV workflows, AR and VR content creation, or deployment of mobile AI, the company said.

In another new addition, Lenovo said the P52 supports the latest Intel Xeon hexa-core CPUs and offers double the memory and increased PCIe storage from generation to generation. Six terabytes is serious storage capacity, just as 128GB of RAM is serious computing power.

As enterprises begin to examine the viability of using AR and VR applications in their internal and external communications, this Lenovo machine will become a usual-suspect tool on many desktops and remote development locations.

What P52 Brings to the Worktable

Key specs:

  • up to NVIDIA Quadro P3200 GPU;
  • up to eight-gen Intel Xeon hexa-core CPU;
  • up to 128GB DDR4 memory and 6TB total storage;
  • 15-inch 4K UHD display with 400nits, 100% Adobe color gamut, 10-bit color depth;
  • dual USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports;
  • new ThinkPad Thunderbolt workstation dock;
  • 6 Cell (90WHr) battery; and
  • it is ISV Certified.

With double the capacity of memory to 128GB and increased PCIe storage–the ThinkPad P52 is a necessity for things such as BIM on-the-go, animation and visual effects project storage, large models and datasets and real-time playback.

One company prepared to put the ThinkPad P52 to work is Virtalis, a VR and advanced visualization company that is using Lenovo’s latest mobile workstation to power its new CVR2 Solution–the latest portable setup that allows Virtalis to share its solutions on the go.

The P52 also will feature a 4K Ultra high-definition panel that incorporates 100 percent of the Adobe color gamut. With a mix of ports supporting all developer needs, the addition of a second Thunderbolt port supports the display of 8K video and now allows users to take advantage of the ThinkPad Thunderbolt Workstation Dock.

Pricing hasn't been released yet, but bets are that a basic one will start for far north of $2,000. The ThinkPad P52 will be available in late June, Lenovo said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he...