Lenovo unveiled Tuesday three workstations -- the ThinkStation S30, C30, and D30 -- which are said by the PC maker to deliver fast memory and compute performance, save on energy costs, and offer channel partners an opportunity for higher margins and revenue.
The new ThinkStations run either Intel Xeon E5 1600 or 2600 processors and are being targeted specifically at vertical markets -- including computer-aided design (CAD) and engineering, film and animation, financial services, and health care -- which rely on compute- or graphics-intensive software platforms.
"In terms of specific verticals [for ThinkStations], it’s anybody manufacturing a product and going through that whole design process," said Rob Herman, director of product and vertical solutions for Lenovo ThinkStations. "They might be doing it in 2D or they might be doing it in 3D, which is a big trend right now, moving to 3D design. And when you get into that, it’s very graphics-intensive, so these configurations need to be heavier duty in terms of power supply and the amount of memory."
In addition to Intel Xeon E5 low-power processors, the three stations run on an Nvidia Quadro graphics card and are said by Lenovo to boost performance with support for up to 256GB 1600MHz DDR3 memory and up to 10 times faster transfer rates with USB 3.0.
What’s more, the S30, C30, and D30, which are made with up to 65 percent recycled materials, offer up to 90 percent power efficiency and Energy Star 5.2 certification, according to Lenovo.
Herman said that the ThinkStations offer Lenovo channel partners an opportunity to glean higher revenue and margins compared to those they make from a traditional desktop sale.
"They [ThinkStations] offer the opportunity for higher revenue and higher margin for both Lenovo and the reseller," he told CRN. "These tend to be systems that start at a price that’s three times that of a commercial desktop, and that’s just a starting price for entry level systems. They can span up to really high-end configurations. So from a business opportunity standpoint, right there, is a very attractive one – the greater opportunity for higher revenue and higher margin."
ThinkStation configurations depend largely on the type of software the client plans to run on the machine, Herman explained. Whether they are running the 3D CAD Design program SolidWorks or the Adobe suite, software determines the level and type of hardware customization needed. To help walk resellers through this process and arm them with the knowledge they need to make the best recommendations possible to their clients, Lenovo offers a workstation configurator tool.
"It’s a configurator tool where you can step through, 'okay, what does the end user do?'" Herman explained. Once a partner identifies the specific software used by a client, and the tasks for which it’s used, Lenovo presents a series of "good, better, and best" configuration options that the reseller can offer, depending on the client’s budget. The tool is available on Lenovo’s Web site.
The lower-end ThinkStation S30 model is available starting at $1,029, while the C30 is available for $1,399 and the D30 for $1,549.