Lenovo’s ThinkPad T570 is a loaded laptop that boasts a range of whiz-bang technologies, but the ability to run Intel’s secretive Optane memory stands out.
When it ships in March, the T570 will be ready to run Intel’s Optane, a new class of memory and storage that promises to be significantly faster than today’s SSDs and DRAM.
The T570 is the first laptop announced with support for Optane. Intel has not said when it will ship Optane memory, but the T570 has the hooks to support the technology.
The T570 also can be configured with a 4K touch display, Nvidia’s GeForce 940MX discrete graphics and up to 32GB of DRAM. The laptop is targeted at business users, but it could be a dream machine for enthusiasts.
The 15.6-inch laptop will be available starting at $909 in March. It will have Intel’s latest 7th Generation Core chips, code-named Kaby Lake.
Intel will sell Optane—which is based on technology called 3D Xpoint—in the form of SSDs and DRAM modules. Intel has shown Optane SSDs running 10 times faster than conventional SSDs.
But Optane isn’t yet ready for prime time, as indicated by a closer look into the specification sheet for the T570 provided by Lenovo. It will serve mainly as secondary storage and for caching in the laptop.
The Optane PCIe M.2 2242-S3 memory, which will be optional in the T570, will have a capacity of just 16GB; it will not act as primary storage, but as temporary storage to speed up applications and games. Windows 10 PCs with Optane could boot up at lightning-fast speeds.
In a way, the early Optane memory could reflect the way SSDs, which are faster than hard drives, were first used for caching in laptops. The SSDs had low storage capacity, and served as temporary storage to speed up PC boot and application load times.
Optane could be useful in gaming, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said last year. Parts of games can be preloaded on Optane, and that could provide for a much faster gaming experience.
The T570 can also be configured with a 2TB hard-drive or 1TB SSD storage.
The ThinkPad T570 will weigh about 2.04 kilograms. It will have Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI ports, in addition to two USB 3.0 slots. It will have 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and can be configured with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon LTE modem.