All too often, it is our tools that define the work we do. Of course, things shouldn’t be this way round, as results should be driven by the abilities of the user. But in reality, a state-of-the-art computer with the highest capabilities makes a huge difference to our day-to-day tasks. We should not be afraid to make a sizeable investment when it is necessary, but we should also only select the specific functions that we require.
Another factor that can contribute to business success is reliable and experienced IT support. Growing businesses that are struggling to keep up with their workload may consider using an IT consultancy to assist or enable them to concentrate on core functions.
What is a mobile workstation?
Mobile workstations are high-performance computers that come close to the power of a desktop, but with the portability of a laptop. These are often required by users of graphics-intensive apps and are often associated with the world of gaming. For working professionals, this means the use of 3D rendering and animation, architecture, engineering, video editing, virtual reality, or computer-aided design (CAD).
Powerful graphics processing units (GPUs) set these apart from ordinary laptops. Other features to look out for in mobile workstations include the central processing unit (CPU), RAM and VRAM, display, colour management and storage.
Despite being more powerful, these laptops are often thinner and lighter than standard laptops. But this kind of advanced mobile technology is usually considerably more expensive than the middle-range types.
1. Lenovo Thinkpad P1
A workstation aimed at animators, engineers and video editors, the Thinkpad P1 has a 2.7GHz Intel Xeon processor, a 256GB SSD, a storage capacity of 2TB, and between 8 and 32GB of RAM. It excels with an excellent screen and keyboard, a relatively long battery life of seven and a half hours and is surprisingly thin and lightweight. All this for a reasonably low price, starting from $1,299.
2. HP ZBook Studio x360 G5
The ZBook Studio x360 G5 is a powerful workstation, great for CAD users, engineers and scientists. With a 2.9GHz Intel Xeon processor, it also boasts 32GB RAM, an impressive 4K display and just over nine hours of battery life. It has a tactile keyboard, pressure sensitivity, tilt controls and three customisable buttons. It is somewhat bulky, heavy and expensive, but is still a great, all-round creative laptop. Pricing starts from $2,149.
3. Dell Precision 7730
The Precision 7730 from Dell is a leading workstation laptop, featuring a processor, screen and GPU that equip this model for more heavy-duty work. It has an Intel Core i9 CPU and 32GB of VRAM for running the more demanding graphics programmes. With a 4K display, it’s a great choice for photo and video editing. This does make it quite a large and heavy laptop, but it is otherwise an excellent choice priced at $1,299.
4. MacBook Pro 15-inch with Touch Bar
As the most powerful laptop from Apple, this MacBook Pro has an Intel Core i7 CPU, up to 32GB RAM, an incredibly fast solid-state hard drive and a 15.4-inch retina display. With an innovative touch bar and Apple’s unmatched sleek design, this workstation can be configured to meet your individual needs. At $1,878, it’s not the most affordable laptop, but Apple delivers an excellent standard in power and design.
5. Lenovo Thinkpad P40 Yoga
Marketed by Lenovo as the first ‘multi-mode workstation’, this model has an Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia Quadro 500M graphics card, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. Coupled with unique design features, the P40 Yoga has a 360-degree hinge and built-in Wacom Active ES pen technology, with tilt recognition and 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. Pricing starts from $1,049.99.
6. HP ZBook x2
Especially for creatives in the visual arts, this ZBook from HP is a detachable laptop with a useful Bluetooth keyboard. This workstation laptop has an Intel Core i5 to i7 processor, Nvidia Quadro M620 GPU and up to 512 SSD. In addition, it features an intuitive stylus with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, six shortcut buttons on the display that can be programmed to different apps, and a 14-inch 4K panel. This is available from $1,851.
7. MSI WS75
The MSI WS75 is a 17.3-inch mobile workstation with an Intel Core i9 CPU, Quadro RTX graphics, 32GB RAM and over seven hours of battery life. The display isn’t very strong, but the laptop weighs much less than others of its size, the processor is powerful, and it has excellent graphics.
8. Dell Precision 7720
The Precision 7720 from Dell is another 17-inch workstation laptop. It has an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. It can be configured to meet your individual requirements, and the CPU, GPU and screen can be upgraded for the highest performance. The large screen upgraded to 4K make it well-suited to visual editing. However, it’s relatively large and heavy, and slightly expensive at $1,899.95.
Investment in a computer should always be considered carefully, especially in the case of a mobile workstation which offers various features and is priced higher than standard laptops. Each workstation has its own personality, with a different range of capabilities and attributes. As consumers, we need to determine precisely what we are looking for before we look to see what is available.