Unlike the majority of consumer laptops on the market, mobile workstations are built to provide desktop performance on portable frames. This means organizations are likely to sacrifice thickness and heft in exchange for storage capacity, processing speeds and graphics power.
Most workstations offer no-frills design and don't break in more avant garde consumer-friendly features (for example: you won't see these badboys flip over and turn into tablets). And because these machines are built to withstand the rigors of long workdays, they're likely out of a typical consumer's budget.
Among the best mobile workstations on the market are the boringly-designed Lenovo W540 ($2,573, £1,606, AU$2,946), which weighs 5.57 lbs, but offers an incredible 15.6-inch, 2880 x 1620 (3K) resolution IPS display and a high-end 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-4800MQ processor with a Nvidia Quadro K2100M graphics card. Dell offers the Precision M3800 ($2,236, £1397, AU$2569) a Haswell-based workstation with an Intel Core i7 processor, an Nvidia Quadro graphics card, up to 16GB of memory and a 15.6-inch 3200X1800 QHD display, all loaded into a 0.7-inch thick chassis that weighs 3.96 pounds.
Not to be outdone, HP offers the ZBook 17 ($4,630, £2,950 or AU$5,500), an expensive workhorse that weighs 7 pounds, is 1.3 inches thick, but can outperform some of the best desktops on the planet. Built with an Intel Core i7 processor, up to 32GB of DDR3 memory and an Nvidia Quadro graphics card, the ZBook 17 can "chew through video encoding jobs, render scenes as quickly as a desktop workstation, and perform any number crunching you ask of it," according to our recent review.
Hoping to capitalize off of the ZBook 17's power, but provide just a smidge more portability and accessibility, HP has released the ZBook 15u Mobile Workstation.