Whatever IBM sold to Lenovo 5 years ago has apparently given the company considerable momentum in the design of their machines. Sometimes the terms workstation, computer, and PC are used to mean the same thing. Workstation is a specific term for a specific kind of computer. A workstation is a high professional class computer at the furthest end of the personal computing classification. As far as hardware, workstations are the best class of computer for an individual. A market will exist for these machines for the foreseeable future.
Lenovo’s upcoming Intel Skylake based mobile workstation will be offered with Ubuntu as an option. The design of this mobile workstation has a classic laptop look to it. The machine build looks very solid. Undoubtedly, with the right software environment, a machine like this should run for many years and offer many opportunities for those who use computers to create things or data and calculation intense work.
I used stationary workstations twice in my life. Both were outfitted similar to the design described in the article. One of the great things about the Lenovo workstation mentioned in the Ars Technica article is the presence of ECC memory paired with Intel Xeon. Operating systems that I ran on such hardware seemed far more stable and with higher sustainable performance. The ECC memory not only helps with stability and accurate calculations, it also contributes to greater security in the operating environment.
A few of the typical users of this kind of machine is spoken about at the end of the article. One of them are those using virtual machines. Not only could you run multiple virtual machines as mentioned in the article. Those virtual machines that are server-based would essentially run on a hardware architecture similar that normally used to operate server-based virtual machines. With this hardware, there is also tremendous opportunity to get far better support in virtual machines for a range of processor and graphics emulation profiles.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Lenovo Yoga 3 with Core M. At first, I did not think I would like the Core M. I didn’t until I saw what Lenovo did with it in terms of overall design. The Yoga 3 with Core M is the thinnest laptop I’ve seen at this time. The 12″ Apple Macbook may have it beat. What they both have in common is Intel Core M. A processor that now blends together performance and energy use in a single, solid package. A laptop with this component can sport a much sleeker design that fits with a more minimalist aesthetic.
The Lenovo workstation and the Yoga 3 represent two huge contrasts in computer design. High capacity versus highly mobile. Ironically, I think the Lenovo Yoga 3’s design will grow to become the norm in the years that follow. Even in the current design, it is suitable for things like software development of a certain level. Namely software development of an agile nature using low impact tools in a process that is more iterative and gradual possibly involving more intense parts on a remote server. Depending on how the tick-tock cycle goes with Moore’s Law, the tools could very well catch up to make future versions of Core M more suitable a growing number of moderately intense activities.