Working away from the office sounds great until you realise that you don’t have a suitable device to be fully productive or versatile. If you’re using an ageing laptop or home PC, it might be too slow and frustrating, and the idea of accessing confidential work data on a personal device is a cause for concern. Or maybe you don’t even have space to house a huge desktop PC in the first place.
So, for all you remote workers new and old, here are two suggestions that swing to either extremes: a machine that’s powerful enough for fast 3D modelling and data crunching, or a machine that’s so small it can basically hide in plain sight.
A Laptop to Tackle All Possibilities
A workstation-grade laptop might sound heavy, but the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 2 (starts at $2,900) fuses power and portability similar to those flagship smartphones – so good you can’t help but desire it.
Its high-performance Intel Xeon processor works with a discrete NVIDIA Quadro graphics card to make any computing task possible, whether you’re a VR designer, video editor, or even a hotshot data analyst.
This might be a familiar but all too common horror scenario: you’re trying to open a bloated spreadsheet with tens of thousands of entries that usually takes minutes to open, but this time takes almost an eternity. Well, the P1 Gen 2 opens it in half the you’d normally expect. Somewhere, someone just sighed in relief. Even AutoCAD renders are a breeze on this notebook, making it a form-fitting match for manufacturing professionals — don’t worry, it’s ISV certified for reliability.
Lenovo tucks all that power in an impressively slim 18.4mm body. However, the ThinkPad lineage demands military-approved durability. If you ever find yourself stuck in the wilderness, you know that the P1 Gen 2 can still send that email. On a more serious note, it’ll spare your heart from stopping during accidental drops and spills.
OK, you muse. It’s light enough to work with on the couch, and its hardy enough to survive the dining table. But what if I need to do some “serious” work? Just tote it back to a desk and connect an external monitor to boost your productivity. Or maybe two monitors. Perhaps four? It’s all possible – you get two USB-C ports (with Thunderbolt 3 support) that does power, display, and superfast transfers.
It has some much-needed data protections, too. The P1 Gen 2 touts a match-on-chip fingerprint sensor for improved security, Fast Identity Online (FIDO) to replace old-fashioned passwords, and a dTPM 2.0 chip that encrypts your data with hardware authentication. Think about it: you don’t want to be the person who accidentally leaked the company’s secrets, especially on a home or public wireless network that nobody looks after.
The ThinkPad P1 Gen 2 brings your office to you. It has the same amount of power (if not more) than your workstation and nearly the same level of security, presented in a form factor that’s much more agreeable for a home or cafe. Just try not to get caught gaming on it.
On a tighter budget? Look to the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 (starts at $2,299) equipped with Intel H and NVIDIA GeForce components in the same 18.4mm slim body.
Introducing the “Invisible” PC
Not a heavy user? Then don’t blow your budget on a powerful laptop. In fact, a laptop may not be the solution you’re looking for. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano (starts at $977) is so small you can just mount it behind a monitor, freeing your home from unnecessary clutter. They call it the “Tiny-in-One” and you’d be hard-pressed to disagree.
Specifically, the M90n-1 Nano is 179mm tall by 88mm wide and only 22mm thick, which means it has a smaller footprint than a 7-inch tablet! But still, it packs the punch of a fully functioning computer. It uses an Intel Core i5 processor, Windows 10 Home, 8GB memory, and 128GB of space, which is enough for most day-to-day office uses like sending emails, joining video conferences, and slacking off on YouTube. What’s more, expect to chalk up a cheaper electricity bill too, since it consumes 15% less energy.
Now you see me, now you don’t. The M90n-1 Nano already comes with mounting and bracket accessories so you can immediately hide it wherever you want. While mounting it behind the monitor is the easiest in terms of cable management, it can also go under a desk or onto a shelf. Think of it as being almost “invisible.” Use either DisplayPort or USB-C for your monitor and the USB 3.1 ports for your keyboard and mouse; don’t worry, it also has USB options on the front for easy access.
What’s great about the M90n-1 Nano is that its external, whereas all-in-one PCs are typically integrated with a monitor. That means you could just slip the whole thing into your bag and bring it back to the office or vice-versa. It’s the perfect solution for someone who doesn’t already have a computer desk at home – for a truly lean setup, match it with one of Lenovo’s portable ThinkVision monitors (like the M14) and a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
Lenovo already knows a thing or two about durability from its ThinkPad line-up, so you don’t have to treat it with kid gloves. In fact, they made it go through the same military-specification testing, so it’s basically a mini urban commando. They weren’t lax about security either, making sure to add a TPM chipset to store your critical data.
The M90n-1 Nano completely reimagines what it means to own a desktop computer, and it truly beats substituting your smartphone or tablet for a desktop.