With an innovative space-saving design, the new Lenovo ThinkStation P360 Ultra brings new possibilities to the workspaces of designers and engineers
For years desktop workstations were bulky towers that took up lots of space. The inevitable drive towards miniaturisation saw machines shrink down, but there was always a trade-off in performance, particularly when it came to graphics-intensive workflows like real-time visualisation, virtual reality (VR) and GPU rendering.
This all changes with the Lenovo ThinkStation P360 Ultra, a compact sub-4-litre workstation with a mighty CPU, a choice of powerful pro GPUs, including the NVIDIA RTX™ A5000 laptop GPU, lots of memory, and levels of performance you’d expect from a full-sized tower. It means product designers and engineers can benefit from the space saving design, without having to limit their workflows.
The ThinkStation P360 Ultra can be used throughout the product development process, from 3D CAD all the way through to engineering simulation, ray trace rendering, visualisation and beyond. This is explored in more detail in this article.
But why is this compact workstation so desirable to designers and engineers, and why is it particularly relevant today?
The hybrid workplace
Over the last couple of years, Covid has led to a huge shift in working patterns. More people than ever are working from home. For many, Tuesday to Thursday is the new office working week.
But product designers and engineers don’t want to make compromises when it comes to performance. They demand the exact same experience from their workstation at home as they have in the office.
Moving a bulky tower between locations is not practical. But it’s eminently possible with the ThinkStation P360 Ultra, which starts at 1.8 kg and fits comfortably in a small bag, measuring a mere 87 x 223 x 202mm.
Small desk, less clutter
One of the biggest benefits of the ThinkStation P360 Ultra’s compact design is that it saves significant desk space compared to a traditional desktop workstation. This is not only important at home, in space-constrained home office environments, but it helps keep design studios and workshops clutter free, making space for other tools used in product development, such as Wacom tablets, 3D printers, 3D scanners, desktop CNC machines, or even the humble sketch pad.
The ThinkStation P360 Ultra can be placed directly on a desk, vertically or horizontally. With a sleek, aesthetically pleasing design, it can enhance any design studio or home office. For a true clutter free desktop environment, it can be paired with a wireless Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Or, for precise control over your 3D models, even a 3D mouse, such as the 3D Connexion SpaceMouse Pro Wireless. WiFi is built-in so there’s no need for an Ethernet cable.
Of course, some peripherals, such as desktop CNC milling machines and 3D printers still need to be wired in. With (5) USB Type-A ports (1 front, 4 rear) and two Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C (front), the ThinkStation P360 Ultra has plenty of options. Compared to a desktop tower hidden under a desk, access to ports is incredibly easy.
For the ultimate clutter free working environment, the ThinkStation P360 Ultra can be VESA mounted, hung on a wall, under a desk or behind a monitor.
Some compact workstations, by the very nature of cramming powerful components into a small chassis, can be hard to upgrade or repair, but the ThinkStation P360 Ultra has been designed with serviceability in mind.
This could prove particularly important when working from home, as IT support staff are not on site. The workstation’s cover slides off at the push of a button, giving easy access to dual M.2 slots for SSDs and four DIMM slots for DDR5 memory. No tools are required.
The ThinkStation P360 Ultra also includes a user-serviceable dust filter to help maximise airflow and cooling and hence maintain its high-performance levels.
Keeping a workstation on a desk, rather than underneath it, can also minimise the accumulation of dust in the first place. This can be particularly important in workshop environments when CNC machines are in use.
As well as being extremely portable and easy to move between locations, the ThinkStation P360 Ultra can also support distributed workers remotely. Multiple workstations can be rack mounted and users can then remote in from anywhere using a low-powered laptop or desktop PC. With remote graphics protocols, and a high-bandwidth, low-latency Internet connection, users can get the same workstation experience they would expect to get in the design office.
Because the ThinkStation P360 Ultra is primarily a desktop workstation and is designed to run quietly, racked machines can be kept in the office. They do not need to be in an air-conditioned server room or datacentre.
The ThinkStation P360 Ultra stands out from other sub-4-litre workstations because it can house two NVIDIA® T1000 GPUs and therefore support two users per machine to increase user density. Using virtualisation and GPU passthrough, each user gets access to a dedicated GPU for great performance in CAD-centric workflows.
The ThinkStation P360 Ultra is a great choice for demanding product designers, engineers and manufacturing professionals that want to declutter their workspace without sacrificing performance. The stylish design makes it suited to any setting, while providing more space for other tools used in product development, such as peripherals and machines.
Furthermore, the workstation can easily be transported between places of work or client offices for presentations.
But the ThinkStation P360 Ultra is also incredibly flexible, offering remote access to more than one user through its dual GPU capability.
Whether you’re looking for a compact, but powerful desktop workstation for the office, home or workshop, the ThinkStation P360 Ultra is the perfect way to go.
Lenovo ThinkStation P-Series workstations
Lenovo ThinkStation P-Series workstations come in a wide range of form factors from minute desktops to fully expandable powerhouses. All workstations can be configured for a range of different workflows and budgets