Opinion Piece: Design and CAD professionals can leverage the benefits of mobility too

BY SUPPLIED - SEPTEMBER 8, 2014

Mobility and the growing availability of lightweight, portable notebooks and ultrabooks has changed the business world dramatically, enabling users to work from practically anywhere they choose for greater productivity and efficiency. However, some users have traditionally been left out of the mobility movement due to their requirement for extremely powerful machines with exceptional graphics capabilities and large volumes of storage. In the past it has simply not been possible to pack all of these features into a portable form factor, which means that designers, architects, engineers and others who make use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) software have been, for the most part, deskbound. However, new technological evolutions have changed this and it is now possible for design and CAD professionals to leverage all of the benefits of mobility without sacrificing on performance.

The major hindering factor with regards to mobility for those who require extremely powerful machines has been size. In order to deliver more power, more performance and more storage, vendors have had to compromise on portability. The more powerful graphics cards, for example, have in the past only been available for desktop and workstation computers, and not notebooks and portable machines.

In addition, design and CAD applications are associated with extremely large file sizes. Having access to Gigabytes (GBs) of storage in the past has required multiple hard drives, for which there is simply no room in a notebook. However, once again technological innovation has changed this, as it is now possible to get up to 1 Terabyte (TB) in a standard notebook internal drive. Portable external drives are also available in capacities of 2TB and up for practically limitless storage potential.

To address performance, notebooks can now incorporate quad-core processors, delivering exceptional speeds for intensive applications and multitasking. Mobile workstation devices can also incorporate Solid State Drives (SSDs), which offer less storage capacity but a host of other benefits such as instant power up and faster loading of applications.

Another factor that has hindered the adoption of mobility in the design space has been the quality of the display. For design professionals it is vital that colours are rendered accurately on screen, for example, as this could affect the outcome of the final product. The latest generation of mobile workstations solves this problem with new sophisticated display technologies and optimised workstation-class graphics. Furthermore, large Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) memory ensures that complex models and scenes can be rendered quickly and efficiently.

The addition of Thunderbolt technology, which is becoming increasingly common in high-end workstation notebooks, allows for ultra-high speed data transfer, ideal for moving large files. Thunderbolt enables even the most demanding users to leverage external storage capabilities, video processing, and other high-performance peripherals.

Mobility is the future, and it gives users an unmistakeable edge when it comes to productivity, flexibility and efficiency. The latest offerings in the notebook and Ultrabook space now bring the benefits of mobility within reach of the design and CAD professional, redefining mobile workstation performance with exceptional graphics, powerful processors and vast storage capabilities, along with innovations such as Thunderbolt. Design professionals can now access the same functionality they have come to expect from their workstation desktops, in a highly portable, lightweight form factor that makes working on the move a reality. 

 

Photo courtesy of www.freshnessmag.com