Though nowhere near as visible as its laptop offerings, Lenovo’s business PCs are still an important part of the company’s computer stable, harkening back to the early days of IBM’s systems, long before the Chinese manufacturer acquired those assets. So news like this week’s launch of the company’s ThinkStation P350 desktop workstation family isn’t quite as sexy as a new ThinkPad 2-in-1, but enterprises looking to upgrade their workforce’s PCs should take notice.
The new lineup comprises a tower-sized model (P350 TWR), a slimmed-down desktop (P350 SFF), and what Lenovo calls “[t]he industry’s smallest workstation ” (P350 Tiny) , all starting for less than $1,000. The big/little/littler approach to form factor attempts to cover the myriad roles workstations play in today’s business environment, from a traditional full-sized desktop for power users to systems that can fit anywhere they’re needed.
Despite the wild variance in size, the ThinkStation P350 series shares a few things in common, such as Intel’s 11th-generation Core processors inside (up to Core i9 desktop chips along with Xeon W-1390 CPU options for the P350 TWR and SFF) and PCIe Gen 4 interfaces or faster storage and graphics support. But because the P350 Tiny is 96-percent smaller than a traditional desktop, according to Lenovo, it obviously sports some key differences from the P350 TWR and P350 SFF, such as less maximum RAM (64GB versus 128GB) and fewer storage options. While all P350 computers can handle up to a pair of 2TB in solid-state storage, only the larger siblings can house traditional hard drives (up to 6TB for 3.5-inch drives and 1TB for 2.5-inch versions) and provide RAID support.
To its credit the P350 Tiny isn’t completely hobbled in the graphics department, as many pint-sized workstations are. It can be equipped with either Nvidia Quadra P1000 or T600 mobile professional graphics cards , the former of which is available in the ThinkPad P1 mobile workstation. The P350 SFF can include an Nvidia T1000 card instead, while the P350 TWR not surprisingly can handle a powerful Quadro RTX 5000 graphics board.
The P350 Tiny doesn’t lack for connectivity options, either, with five USB 3.2 Type-A ports and USB 3.2 Type-C port, as well as HDMI and DisplayPort outputs and four mini-DisplayPort ports to allow it to support up to six displays. The tower and SFF systems add even more USB ports, a Thunderbolt 4 connection and legacy connections like a parallel port and a pair of serial ports. They also include a memory card slot, optical drive, and a trio of PCIe expansion slots.
As you might expect, the P350 Tiny has the tiniest price tag of the three, starting at $899, whereas the P350 SFF will start at $949 and the P350 TWR will cost $969 and up. Lenovo says the ThinkStation P350 family will be available to purchase beginning on July 23.