Mobile workstation buyer’s guide

Image From ultrabook to desktop replacement, there’s a mobile workstation for every architect and engineer. Greg Corke delves deep into the CAD-class laptop.

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HP ZBook 14

Image We’ve seen 14-inch mobile workstations come and go, but none can touch the HP ZBook 14 when it comes to mobility.

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Dell Precision M3800

Image Dell’s new lightweight laptop may be a dead ringer for an Apple MacBook Pro, but it’s an entirely different beast — a dedicated 3D CAD/BIM mobile workstation, certified for a wide range of applications including Revit.

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Dell Precision M4800

Image Dell has an impressive pedigree when it comes to mobile workstations and its latest 15-inch offering picks up where the Precision M4700 left off.

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HP ZBook 15

Image This mainstream 15.6-inch delivers far more grunt than its lightweight sibling, the ZBook 14. It can handle a high-end CPU (up to the Intel Core i7-4900MQ), a mid-range GPU (up to the Nvidia Quadro K2100M) – an ideal combination for CAD/BIM.

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Lenovo ThinkPad W540

Image This latest update to Lenovo’s ThinkPad family is a specialist piece of kit. With an exceptional 15.5-inch 2,880 x 1,620 display and an X-Rite Pantone colour calibrator built in, it’s ideal for colour-critical workflows.

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Schenker W503

Image This 15-inch from Schenker delivers 3D performance more commonly found in a 17-inch mobile workstation. Most 15-inch models max out at the Nvidia Quadro K2100M, but Schenker’s W503 takes the GPU up a notch to a Quadro K3100M.

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Dell Precision M6800

Image From the outside the 17-inch M6800 looks just like a bigger version of the M4800. And in many ways it is. It features the same trademark Dell styling, solid chassis and easy maintenance of its 15-inch sibling. The big difference is what’s inside.

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Scan 3XS MGW-10

Image Considering the amount of technology on offer in this 17-inch model from Scan, 3XS MGW-10 wins hands down on value for money.

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Workstation Specialists WS-M1760

Image This 17-inch monster from Derby-based Workstation Specialists is by far the most expensive mobile workstation on test this month, but in terms of its spec it’s in a completely different class.

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Taking BIM mobile

Image Iain Miskimmin outlines the challenges that continue to face construction companies’ mobile technology adoption and offers guidance on the best way to achieve true end-to-end asset visibility.

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3D printer round up

Image With prices continuing to fall 3D printers are now within reach of many AEC firms. Materials, build volumes and cost all vary greatly; here we give you four of the best for architectural models – from quick concepts to presentation models.

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The digital object

Image Stefan Larson, founder and CEO of BIMobject explains the process and benefits of representing manufacturers’ products as BIM components

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On-site control

Image Hensel Phelps relies on Tekla BIMsight for coordination, communication and simulating construction, using BIM models instead of drawings.

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Track star

Image Point clouds and terrain models helped support Network Rail’s Great Western Electrification Programme through collaborative design and live asset management.

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DesignViz

Image A creative solution has resulted in a 100% ‘green’ urban office design, combining public parkland and roof terraces for a sustainable build project

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The problem with COBie

Image From 2016 UK firms working on government projects will be required to deliver data-rich models, drawings and asset information in an open digital format called COBie. AEC uncovers some of BIM’s dirty little secrets

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Simulation-driven conceptual design

Image A new cloud-based multi-disciplinary simulation tool can be used to compare dozens of conceptual designs using Bentley, Revit, Rhino and SketchUp models.

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Autodesk Evolution part II

Image In the second part of our exploration of the changes in Autodesk’s AEC development, we report on the company’s forays into cloud, big data and programmatic design

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Revit: software or religion?

Image Revit Technology Conference (RTC) 2013 attracted some of the most experienced and knowledgeable Revit experts in the world. AEC went to Delft, The Netherlands, to discover the future of Revit

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