Desktop workstations tend to be bulky and heavy as they are optimized solely for maximum performance and expandability. The ThinkStation P360 Ultra goes the opposite way and is primarily optimized for space. Lenovo tries to cram as much processing power into this sub-4 liter space as possible.
This computer is a Small Form Factor (SFF) workstation that claims to be 15% smaller than the competition and has important energy efficiency certifications like ENERGY STAR or EPEAT Gold. The dimensions of 8.7 × 7.9 × 3.4 inches certainly make it smaller than Intel’s NUC 12 Extreme, which is 14.1 × 7.4 × 4.7 inches.
Inside you will find an Intel gen12 desktop CPU (maximum 16 cores) with a maximum RTX A5000 GPU configuration (16 GB VRAM). This is very much like a mobile RTX 3080. The GPU’s mobile nature better matches the cooling and performance envelopes possible on such a small computer.
Note that the GPU board is connected to the motherboard via a proprietary connector, meaning only Lenovo can deliver a GPU upgrade. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if customers actually never upgrade the GPU like laptop users do.
Four DDR5 RAM slots for the primary system should be enough for most SFF workstation buyers. It should be easy to configure 64GB of RAM this way.
As with other SFF machines, the 300W power supply is external, and I’d be curious to see if the highest CPU and GPU options would be limited by performance. But added speed and performance also means more heat, so it’s probably fair to assume that this workstation has better cooling than a laptop workstation like the ThinkPad P15 Gen2 we tested.
The ThinkStation P360 Ultra has many ports. It’s also significantly cheaper (and faster) than a similarly priced ThinkPad workstation. At the same time, it’s relatively (transport)portable if you add a ThinkVision M15 mobile display, for example. However, I wish there were a few more USB-C or Thunderbolt 4 ports.
You can easily expand connectivity in a fixed location with a Thunderbolt 4 dock to access additional storage and accessories associated with this workspace. A one-cable setup is extremely convenient if you connect/disconnect frequently.
In summary, it’s easy to like the SFF nature of this workstation and its relative affordability. It would look amazing on any desk, making it easy to create a tidy environment and provide a degree of portability. That means it’s more for the space-conscious crowd than your typical workstation customer, so we’re excited to hear about real-world experiences.
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