No two workstation users are alike. They have different needs, different goals and different jobs that require different levels of performance to achieve their objectives.
While this may seem obvious to some, you’d be amazed how many workstation providers fail to understand this basic fact. Far too often companies take a “one-configuration-fits-all” approach to workstation design, one that fails to consider the unique needs of the user.
So, what happens as a result of this approach? There are a few recurring scenarios we see. Users will:
•Stretch their hardware budgets to pay for systems that feature components they don’t need
•Wonder why their new workstation won’t allow additional components or memory because their configuration won’t support it
•Purchase a workstation model that goes beyond the needs of their business just because that model has a certain component that a lower-cost model won’t support
None of this is convenient for the user, and that’s why we created FLEX.
When we announced the Lenovo ThinkStation P Series in 2014, our FLEX features were one of the innovations we were most proud of. Our FLEX innovations were designed with a simple idea in mind: users should pay only for the workstation they need, but still get the best possible components and system available to them. With FLEX features, users get a system configured to the demands of their business, with the flexibility to add components as needed but without paying for the components they don’t require. It opens up new possibilities and levels of flexibility other providers can’t come close to offering.
With FLEX components, users get the workstation they need at the price they need to pay – no more, no less.
Let’s look at the different FLEX features to illustrate how they achieve this goal:
The FLEX connector gives the user the flexibility to expand the amount of IO in the system and maximize their usage of PCIe slots, going beyond what a typical PCIe configuration will support. For example, users who need to install a SAS drive can do so using the FLEX connector if needed, but this isn’t required for the majority of users who don’t need to do so. This flexibility means users get the performance they need at the price they want, with the ability to add components and expand the system IO as their business requires.
The FLEX bay offers an easy way to use space that was previously reserved only for certain types of drives (namely DVD ROM) for whatever the user demands. This includes using that space to expand storage, IO or other functionality through the addition of an optical drive, media card reader, Firewire or other component to suit their needs.
Unique to the P Series design, the Flex tray supports both 2.5” and 3.5” hard drives, and, for the first time in a workstation, allows users to install both of these drives simultaneously. System owners have the ability to expand their storage capacity by adding either drive or both, without being required to choose between the two.
With FLEX power, users can match the size of the power supply to their system’s unique configuration (P500 and P700 models), paying only for the performance they require.
Every FLEX innovation was purposefully implemented with a clear-cut goal in mind: enabling the users to purchase a workstation they could configure to their unique needs, goals and job demands while still ensuring they were getting the best possible workstation to serve their business. Whether it’s a CAD designer working in automotive manufacturing or a Hollywood artist looking to develop the next great 3D design, our FLEX features allow these professionals to get a system configured for what they need to accomplish.
It’s still surprising that with users demanding better performance and usability in their workstations, companies are still delivering “one-configuration-fits-all” systems that don’t allow the flexibility of the P Series. I’m proud of our team, as we heard our customers’ requests and delivered a system that truly was designed with the user in mind.