It’s been almost a year now since Lenovo first announced the new P50 and P70 mobile workstations, which were 15-inch and 17-inch notebooks, respectively. The part of the announcement which likely caused the most buzz was that Intel was now going to offer their professional Xeon parts in a laptop, with the launch of the Xeon E3-1500M v5 chip. Previous to this, mobile workstations would only have the option of a consumer level processor, excluding the ability to have ECC memory, which is a staple in desktop workstations.

Lenovo was one of the first (if not the first) manufacturers to announce support for the mobile Xeon processors, and the ThinkPad P50 and P70 offer an option to upgrade to the Xeon E3-1500M series, in addition to the more traditional consumer level Core i7-6700HQ and Core i7-6820HQ models. With the Xeon options, Lenovo offers the Xeon E3-1505M, which is what is in the review unit, and the E3-1575M. They still have the same 8 MB of L3 cache as the higher end Core i7 parts, and add ECC memory support. Unlike some of the Xeon EP parts, there is no AVX-512 support, so other than the ECC support this is basically a higher frequency Core i7. But let’s not discount the ECC support, since that is important for many workloads where workstations are the name of the game.

Looking at the ThinkPad P70 in particular, this is a 17.3-inch notebook with a lot of options on configuration. In addition to the aforementioned processor choices, there is an array of professional graphics options. The lowest performance version is the 2 GB NVIDIA Quadro M600M, and you can also get the 4 GB M3000M, 4 GB M4000M, and 8 GB M5000M. The laptop supports up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory in 4 SODIMM slots, so you can upgrade the memory after purchase. There is room for up to four storage devices, including a 1024 GB PCIe offering from Lenovo. As far as performance, the ThinkPad P70 offers the maximum on all fronts, and the only way to get more in a laptop would be to use a desktop class processor.

Lenovo ThinkPad P70
  As Tested: E3-1505M, 16GB, Quadro M4000M, 512GB SSD, UHD, $3350 USD
CPU Intel Core i7-6700HQ
Quad-Core with Hyperthreading
2.6-3.5 GHz, 6MB Cache, 45W TDP

Intel Core i7-6820HQ
Quad-Core with Hyperthreading
2.7-3.6 GHz, 8MB Cache, 45W TDP

Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
Quad-Core with Hyperthreading
2.8-3.7 GHz, 8MB Cache, 45W TDP

Intel Xeon E3-1575M v5
Quad-Core with Hyperthreading
3.0-3.9 GHz, 8MB Cache, 45W TDP
384 CUDA Cores 837 - 876 (Boost) MHz
2GB 128-bit GDDR5

NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
1024 CUDA Cores 1050 MHz
4GB 256-bit GDDR5

NVIDIA Quadro M4000M
1280 CUDA Cores 1012.5 MHz
4GB 256-bit GDDR5

NVIDIA Quadro M5000M 8GB
1536 CUDA Cores 1051 MHz
8GB 256-bit GDDR5
Memory 4 SODIMM Slots, 64 GB Max, 2133 MHz, ECC Optional
Display 17.3" 1920x1080 IPS No Touch
17.3" 1920x1080 IPS with Touch
17.3" 3840x2160 IPS No Touch
Storage Four Storage Bays
Samsung SM951 NVMe SSD up to 1TB
Up to 1TB HDD
I/O USB 3.1 Type-C x 2 with Thunderbolt 3
USB 3.0 Type-A x 4
RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet
Docking Connector
Headset jack
1.0MP Webcam
Optional Smart Card Reader
Dimensions 416 x 275.5 x 29.9-31.5 mm
16.4 x 10.8 x 1.17-1.2 inches
Weight 3.43 kg / 7.56 lbs
Battery 96 Wh, 230 W AC Adapter
Wireless Intel 8260-AC
2x2:2 with Bluetooth 4.1 and vPro (Optional)
Sierra EM7445 LTE-A Model (Optional)
Price $1862.10 - $5000+

Lenovo offers some excellent display choices, with the standard model coming with a 1920x1080 resolution IPS display rated for 300 nits. You can also get this same panel with touch if required. The upgraded panel is a 3840x2160 UHD IPS offering, which features X-Rite Pantone color calibration as an option. If you are doing color sensitive work, having a built-in calibration tool should make the task very simple. The review unit Lenovo sent features the UHD panel and the X-Rite calibrator, so we’ll go over how it works later in the review.

Rounding out the package, the P70 offers four USB 3.0 ports, with one for charging devices, along with HDMI 1.4, mini DisplayPort 1.2, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, Intel Dual Band Wireless AC-8260 with a vPro option, touch fingerprint reader, SD card reader, and even an optional Smart Card reader. As a ThinkPad, it also supports a docking connector. With that much connectivity, the ThinkPad P70 should have no issues with expandability.

For those that really need their mobile workstation to be mobile, the ThinkPad P70 also offers an optional Sierra EM7445 LTE-A wireless modem.

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  • rxzlmn - Thursday, June 30, 2016 - link

    That's a really strange outcome with the calibration sensor. Did you review other Lenovo models with a similar sensor before (such as the W540)? Did you contact Lenovo about these results, if yes, did they comment?
  • krumme - Thursday, June 30, 2016 - link

    I flat out dont understand what is happening. Why is there a calibration sensor? - ofcource thats going nowhere and a stock calibration must always be better than what this can do? is it to adapt the display then to surroundings?

    Secondly. On my thinkpad t460 1080 ips the problem is not so much calibration that seems okey out of the box but far to small a spectrum. Its far to limited. IMO hunting that last accuracy is nonsense. Sold my x-rite a year ago. Most screens today come good enough calibrated, the problem is in spectrum and contrast.
  • osxandwindows - Thursday, June 30, 2016 - link

    I will install VMware ESXi on this and then run OS X on it.
  • BillyONeal - Thursday, June 30, 2016 - link

    1. That would not be legal.... 2. ESXi doesn't have a console; manageable only remotely. No reason for it to be a laptop at that point.
  • adamto - Friday, July 1, 2016 - link

    I did similar and it run very smooth. A free Mac with 32G dual channel memory!
  • fanofanand - Thursday, June 30, 2016 - link

    This article appears to contain malware, moatads kept trying to download onto my machine. This isn't the first time either. Ryan please tell me you are not selling your readership out by authorizing tracking software for 3rd parties to be downloaded.
  • bill.rookard - Thursday, June 30, 2016 - link

    Hmmm... didn't get anything pulling up for any DbD (drive by downloads) but I am running Ad-Block...
  • extide - Thursday, June 30, 2016 - link

    Never had that problem here and I do not block ad's on this site. Perhaps your machine is compromised?
  • skifiddle - Thursday, June 30, 2016 - link

    I've got it too, along with profile.json. Time for the penicillin.
  • wolfemane - Thursday, June 30, 2016 - link

    Yeah I can't even view this site anymore on movile. I load an article and a full screen ad comes up. Browser Insta close. If its not full page ads it's the unbearable promoted stories bull crap at the end of the article. Slows the hell out of my browser. Anantech is getting to the point it's unreadable on mobile devices.

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