The mobile workstation market has evolved significantly over the last decade as computer parts have become more commoditised and consumer components turned out to be as powerful and feature-laden as their professional counterparts.
This explains why the likes of SGI, DEC and Sun Microsystems faltered and eventually disappeared completely. It also explains recent developments in this market: unless you are Lenovo, Dell or HP, there’s next-to-no-chance that you can develop a true mobile workstation from scratch.
Instead, what is becoming increasingly common is that one base unit (commonly known as the chassis) is given a dual personality. A gaming laptop can transform into a workstation simply by swapping the graphics subsystem and beefing up the support and aftersales.
This is what MSI has successfully done; others such as Schenker, Overclockers, Novatech, Scan and PC Specialist have used products from a massive Taiwanese laptop vendor called Clevo. In the US, Sager, AVADirect and Cyberpower are some of the better known companies that use Clevo’s kit.
Workstation Specialists, whose WS-M151 workstation we’re checking out today, doesn’t even try to hide the fact that it doesn’t actually build the workstation.
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