Earlier this month, the Lenovo Workstation team made its annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for Autodesk University 2015, the biggest event for users of CAD software in the United States. Each year, AU brings together more than 10,000 professionals for a full week to sharpen their skills, deepen their knowledge and network with their colleagues.
Launching the ThinkPad P40 Yoga
At this year’s AU, we had exciting news packed in our bags. Because the show attendees come from the architecture, engineering, game and film industries, among others, AU 2015 proved to be the ideal launching pad for our new Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga mobile workstation. As the world’s first multimode mobile workstation, the ThinkPad P40 Yoga combines the creativity and sketching capabilities of a tablet with the performance and versatility of a high-powered mobile workstation, making it perfect for AU 2015’s captive audience of designers and engineers.
And this audience was “wowed.” The new system launched on Day 1 of the event in highly visible style. Once the ThinkPad P40 Yoga was announced, people filled the halls and flocked to our interactive lab; where we had plenty of ThinkPad P40 Yoga systems available to be sketched and played with, and hundreds more watched professional artists. Also, the lab featured Sketchbook artists drawing famous video game characters, in the flesh, at the show demonstrating the P40 Yoga’s awesome sketching capabilities using leading ISV applications. Booth-goers especially remarked on how they loved the product’s multimode functionality and its ability to offer the sketching functionality of a tablet (featuring Wacom technology for the utmost precision) and the processing and graphics power of a workstation – providing a whole new level of versatility and power.
One group that was particularly excited about the new system was the Autodesk SketchBook team, who received a first look at the P40 Yoga, which exceeded the team’s expectations. The team continually remarked on the myriad tasks that the P40 Yoga enables them to perform – because of its power – and which they can’t do on an iPad Pro or a Microsoft Surface. For example, the P40 allows complex brushes to be made with ease, a feature not found on an iPad or a Surface, because the brush is too complex. Another common digital sketching task is creating “special brushes,” aka brushes that create chains. By utilizing the P40 Yoga’s pen pressure, an artist can make the chain bigger or smaller, as one might do to show depth in an image.
Another major win for the Lenovo team was the press coverage of the new product, which has been effusive. As of this writing, more than 50 journalists weighed in with adoration of the innovative technology of the new machines. Here are just a few choice quotes from reporters:
“Sorry, not sorry, Tim Cook, but the iPad Pro isn’t going to decimate the market for traditional laptops and desktops. We’re not heading towards a tablet-centric landscape now no more than we were when the first iPad came out, and lest anyone think OEMs are buying into Cook’s nonsense, Lenovo is prepping three new systems for 2016.” – Maximum PC
“Lenovo has constructed a machine that is unlike any they’ve manufactured before, fit with a touchscreen tablet and workstation power that just doesn’t exist out there.” – SolidSmack
“Lenovo teamed up with Wacom to create a custom driver for the P40 in order to deliver the authentic ‘pen and paper’ experience that graphics pros want.” – Laptop Magazine
Lenovo Innovation Dominates the Conversation
While the Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga was undoubtedly the star of the show, it was really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the Lenovo innovation demonstrated at AU 2015. We also launched and gave attendees an inside look at both the Lenovo ThinkPad P50s – which completes the ThinkPad P Series family and offers premium functionality and advanced performance in a thinner, lighter mobile workstation – and the ThinkStation 310, which offers an entry-level desktop machine with the advanced technology of a high-end workstation. And, of course, we also had the our full Lenovo Workstation portfolio on hand, running the advanced ISV applications designers and engineers use to deliver new innovations every day.
Because many AU attendees are also people with buying influence, we also took the opportunity at the event to hold an exclusive focus group. This group, spearheaded by Hector Guevarez, gave Lenovo a valuable opportunity to get deeper understanding about what features, applications and environments are most important and give Lenovo engineers insights into how they are using the systems to push the limits of innovation in their industries.
Finally, beyond our incredible products, Lenovo’s thought leadership could be seen and heard all over the show. Our own Tom Salomone conducted a class for attendees on Tips and Tricks on Mobile and Desktop Workstation Selection 2015, which drew an audience so large that the fire marshal had to be called in to ensure we were we didn’t exceed proper safety guidelines! And Lane Jesseph held a similarly packed class for AU showgoers on The Future of Sketching on Mobile Workstations, in which he demonstrated how the pen is used across a range of industries. Lane’s presentation also featured guest appearances by representatives from Autodesk Sketchbook to showcase how sketching technologies are evolving to meet the growing needs of users.
In all, Lenovo’s solutions and innovation were unquestionably one of the biggest stories of Autodesk University 2015, which was our most successful AU ever. The Lenovo Workstations team would like to extend big thanks to our partners Autodesk, NVIDIA, Samsung and Wacom for helping us get the word out about our machines and supporting us in our launch. Here’s to even greater success in 2016.