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PNY PrevailPro P4000 Laptop Review: Quadro Workstation Power, Consumer Chassis

Our Verdict

A balanced-but-beefy configuration, a 4K display, and Quadro graphics boosted our PrevailPro test unit's price. If you need certified workstation drivers on the road, this line is worth considering, but know that its build DNA is largely consumer-minded.

For

  • High-quality
  • Stable
  • Workstation-oriented GPU
  • Attractive Max-Q design
  • Well-designed cooling

Against

  • Noisy under load
  • Expensive
  • Questionable use of a 4K panel

Introduction, Technical Data & Details

PNY's PrevailPro mobile workstation family starts in the $2500 range, but quickly ramps up to the around-$4500 P4000 model we're reviewing today. Availability seems to be working itself out slowly. Though the PrevailPro family was announced in November of 2017, a handful of online vendors do show configurations ready to ship within a couple of days.

A closer look at the tooling indicates that PNY is using the Taiwanese ODM Clevo as a contract manufacturer. PNY's version is based on the P955 platform, but it enables more opulent hardware options. After all, the company needs to justify its business-oriented price tag.

The PrevailPro Base and Upgraded Pro both sport lower-end graphics and storage options, saving hundreds of dollars in the process. But as today's review will show, the flagship's Core i7-7700HQ and Quadro P4000 mobile GPU are a well-balanced pair. Obviously, PNY's motto here is go big or go home.

Technical Data
Memory32GB (2x 16GB) DDR4-2400 SO-DIMM, Dual-Channel
Storage512GB M.2 2280 PCIe (Gen.3 ×4) NVMe SSD
Additional Storage2TB 2.5" HDD
Display15.6" UHD (3840×2160), 16:9 IPS Panel
ProcessorIntel Core i7-7700HQ
Processor Clock Frequency2.8GHz Base (Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz)
Cache6MB Smart Cache
ChipsetMobile Intel HM175 Express chipset
GraphicsNvidia Quadro P40008GB GDDR5 memoryHybrid Graphics ModeSupports up to four active displays
AudioSound Blaster X-Fi MB5High-definition audioS/PDIF digital outputIntegrated microphone arrayStereo speakersANSP 3D sound at audio output
Input DevicesFull-size keyboard with number lockScissor keys with LED-backlightKensington Lock Slot Secure touchpad with TPM 2.0 fingerprint sensor
I/O PortsLeft side:Security lockDC power supply connectorHDMI 2.0 with HDCP2× mini-DisplayPort 1.32× Type-C USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectors2× USB 3.1 Gen 1 connectorsRight:3.5 mm headphone Jack3.5mm 2-in-1 audio jack (microphone + S/PDIF)USB 3.1 gen 1 connectors6-in-1 card readerRJ-45 GbE port
Card Reader6-in-1 Card reader supports MMC / RSMMC / SD / mini SD / SDHC / SDXC up to UHS-II
NetworkBuilt in 10/100/1000Mb Base-TX Ethernet LAN Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8265, 2×2 AC + BT 4.2 M.2 2230 (Windstorm Peak)
Webcam2.0M Full HD camera
Power SupplyFull-Range AC adapter100~240V, 50~60Hz, DC output 19.5V, 7.7A, 150W
BatteryEmbedded Li-polymer four-cell battery pack, 55Wh
Operating SystemWindows 10 Professional 64-bit
Dimensions380mm × 248mm × 18mm (14.96" × 9.8" × 0.73")
Weight~ 2.2kg (4.8lbs)
BIOS64Mb SPI Flash ROM, AMI BIOS
Power ManagementACPI v5.0, Suspend to RAM (S3), Suspend to disk (S4), Soft off (S5), Battery low suspend, Wake on LAN (S5), Wake on USB (S3), Wake on RTC alarm (S4)
LED Status IndicatorsPower/status, battery, HDD, airplane mode, camera
CertificatesFCC Class B, CE, cTUVus, TUV, CB, RoHS
Operating EnvironmentTemperature:During operation: 5°C - 35°CTurned off: -20°C - 60°CRelative humidity:During operation: 20% - 80%Turned off: 10% - 90%
WarrantyThree years

The Bundle

In addition to the notebook, you get an external 150W power supply, a quick-reference guide, a microfiber cloth for removing fingerprints, a DVD, and a USB stick. Since the PrevailPro doesn't even have a DVD drive, the disc probably could have been left out.

Look & Feel

A width of 14.96 inches, a 9.8-inch depth measurement, and a closed z-height of 0.73 inches make this a fairly average-sized device, given its 15.6" display. The PrevailPro does weigh 4.8 pounds, putting it on the heavier side. But obviously a high-end workstation's performance (and cooling) has to come from somewhere. We're just glad it's not an all-plastic affair bound to break sooner than later.

Unfortunately, the metallic matte surface covering everything from the lid to the base plate, as well as the interior plastic surfaces, is extremely sensitive to oily fingerprints.

Connectivity & Audio

With a few exceptions, the PrevailPro is very similar to Clevo's base platform. The left side hosts a security lock slot, ventilation for the CPU cooler, a DC power-supply connector, one HDCP-compatible HDMI 2.0 output, two mini-DP 1.3 interfaces, two Type-C USB 3.1 (Gen 2) ports, and two USB 3.1 (Gen 1) ports. It really wouldn't be possible to cram more connectivity on that side.

On the right, you get a 3.5mm headphone jack, a combined 3.5mm 2-in-1 audio port (microphone and S/PDIF), one USB 3.1 (Gen 1) port, a 6-in-1 card reader, and an RJ-45 GbE port.

The back is dominated by three cut-outs for ventilation. Two are for the graphics processor, and one allows general passive exhaust.

The front is mostly unpopulated, except for the left side with its status LEDs.

Up close, those LEDs include the operating status and mains indicator, battery status, storage activity, and airplane mode.

Beyond the wired GbE controller, connectivity also includes Intel's dual-band Wireless-AC 8265 (M.2 2230) module. Right next to a Fritz!Box 7590 router, we measured a maximum of 674 Mb/s. Range and data rates in the laboratory correspond to those of a proper USB-attached Wi-Fi dongle, even though internal antennas do have some disadvantages in terms of range. We didn't notice any real disruptions or connection breakdowns.

Furthermore, the Windstorm Peak module incorporates Bluetooth 4.2 support as part of a well-rounded communications package. It does nibble away at battery life if you don't switch it off, though.

The two built-in loudspeakers are sufficient for a workstation, but we'd stop short of calling them impressive. Integrated audio, enabled through a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi BM5, supports high-definition audio, as well as ANSP 3D sound at the output. With headphones attached, the sound is quite nice. To be sure, this platform has its roots in the gaming segment; the motherboard employs nearly identical components across all derivative implementations.

Input & Output

The keyboard utilizes standard-fare short-stroke keys, and its configurable backlighting is quite nice. However, this is probably more of an inherited feature of Clevo's platform rather than something we'd choose to see on a mobile workstation.

Large (but still soft) rubber pieces on the enclosure's bottom side ensure a stable grip on the surface below.

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Our sample employs a matte Ultra HD IPS panel made by LG Philips (LP156UD1-SPB1), which features a 60Hz refresh rate, but isn't particularly state-of-the-art anymore. In contrast to pure RGB panels, this RGBW version makes use of a sub-pixel array that, under certain circumstances, may have a negative impact on contrast. Black areas in particular are just not as black as they could be. Although backlight bleeding does occur, we noticed only mild effects. The screen's four corners are affected, as are spots on the upper and lower edge. Depending on the display's angle and on-screen content, this is noticeable but still tolerable. Maximum brightness attached to mains power is sufficiently high: ~260 to 300 cd/m².

Upcoming retail models will come with an AUO B156ZAN02.2. These are AHVA RGB panels, like those already used by other Clevo-made notebooks. A 92% coverage measurement of the sRGB color space is fine, but the meager 62% for AdobeRGB is merely satisfactory for a workstation in this price range.

The display can be tilted up to 130 degrees. This is more than enough, and it doesn't make the device top-heavy or unsteady, either.


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  • Chettone
    That screen must look incredibly good with that resolution with only 15.6''.
    I would love to see 140hz screens on laptops, but I guess it would kill its battery pretty fast.
    Reply
  • FormatC
    WORKstation, not gaming ;)
    Reply