Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 – Review 2022

The ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 (starts at $1,676; $three,599 as tested) is the absurd child in Lenovo’s lineup of mobile workstations. Carrying an array of independent software vendor (ISV) certifications for specialized design, CGI, and scientific apps, it’due south the workstation version of the ThinkPad X1 Farthermost, merely as the Dell Precision 5560 is the drafting and rendering sibling of the XPS 15. That means it’s less powerful and expandable but thinner and lighter than Lenovo’s flagship ThinkPad P15 Gen 2—a piece of prosciutto under the 4-pound line at 3.99 pounds versus a portly 6.32 pounds. The P1 costs much more than comparable content creator laptops without ISV cred, but its performance and ports edge it by the Precision 5560 as our new Editors’ Choice honoree for lightweight mobile workstations.


The Fashionable Attribute

Formerly a 15.6-inch laptop, the ThinkPad P1 at present flaunts a 16-inch screen with a slightly taller xvi:10 aspect ratio. For $ane,676, the Gen 4 base model features an Intel Core i7-11800H processor, an Nvidia T1200 GPU, 8GB of memory, a 256GB solid-state bulldoze, and a ii,560-past-i,600-pixel display rated at 400 nits of effulgence.

Our review unit (model 20Y3006XUS) ranged from $three,599 at Staples to $3,925 at CDW. It steps upwardly to an eight-core, ii.5GHz (4.8GHz turbo) Core i7-11850H CPU and GeForce RTX 3070 graphics—the RTX 3070 and 3080 accompany Nvidia’s RTX A-series professional GPUs on the options list—along with a 1TB PCIe Gen four SSD (the storage ceiling is 4TB) and the max 64GB of RAM. Processor choices climb to the Cadre i9-11950H and six-cadre Xeon W-11855M, the latter offered with error-correcting-code (ECC) memory.

If you want higher resolution, both bear upon and non-touch 3,840-by-2,400 IPS screens are bachelor, each rated at 600 nits. Our organisation has the non-touch on console with medium-thin bezels around it; the top border makes room for a face-recognition webcam with sliding privacy shutter, which along with a fingerprint reader in the power push gives you two means to log in with Windows How-do-you-do. The keyboard is flanked past stereo speakers, so there’due south no room for a numeric keypad.

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 rear view

Outfitted with an aluminum alloy bottom and carbon fiber weave tiptop, the ThinkPad P1 Gen four has passed MIL-STD 810G tests against road hazards like shock, vibration, and hot and common cold temperatures. There’s almost no flex if y’all mash the keyboard or grasp the screen corners. The system measures 0.seven by fourteen.1 past 10 inches (HWD), making it a tad bigger than the Dell 5560 (0.73 by 13.6 past 9.1 inches) and HP ZBook Studio G8 (0.69 past thirteen.9 by 9.2 inches). The HP weighs the same as the Lenovo; the Dell is a third of a pound heavier.

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 left ports

While the Precision 5560 offers simply 3 USB-C ports (two with Thunderbolt iv) and a USB Type-A and HDMI dongle, the ThinkPad has a fuller set of interfaces. Two Thunderbolt 4 ports join an HDMI port, an audio jack, and the Air conditioning adapter connector on the laptop’s left side. The right edge holds ii USB 3.two Type-A ports and an SD card slot plus a security lock slot. Wired networkers will detect a USB-C to Ethernet adapter in the box; Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth handle wireless links.

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Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 right ports


Above-Boilerplate 1080p Camera

The workstation’south IR webcam is manner above average, offering 1080p instead of the usual, minimal 720p resolution and capturing sharp, colorful images with nigh no static—you’ll look a little dark in a less than brightly lit room, but your colleagues will know if yous skipped shaving this morning time.

The upward-firing speakers pump out sound that’s loud and clear; there’s a surprising amount of bass and information technology’s easy to hear overlapping tracks. Dolby Atmos software provides dynamic, game, film, and music presets, and an equalizer. Another preinstalled utility, Lenovo Vantage, centralizes arrangement updates and information, Wi-Fi security, and settings ranging from cooling fan speed (and noise level) to keyboard defaults.

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 keyboard

Speaking of the keyboard, it has a brilliant backlight and Lenovo’s trademark showtime-class typing feel. There are defended Home, Finish, Page Upwards, and Page Down keys, and the summit-row Escape and Delete keys aren’t too tiny. The F10 and F11 keys place and end calls in Microsoft Teams; the Fn and Control keys are in each other’s places at bottom left, but if you lot tin can’t adjust yous can bandy them with Lenovo Vantage. Both Lenovo’southward TrackPoint keyboard pointing stick (with three buttons including the centre one beloved of ISV apps) and a good-sized touchpad are available for cursor command; the pad takes merely the right amount of force per unit area for a tranquillity click.

Dissimilar the Gen 2 model we reviewed in March 2020, the ThinkPad P1 Gen iv doesn’t offering an OLED display, and so it doesn’t have incredibly high contrast and utterly black blacks. Just the 3,840-by-ii,400-pixel screen is nearly as skilful as an IPS console gets, with remarkable brightness and ultra-fine details; you can’t see any pixelation even if you try.

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 right angle

White backgrounds are equally pure as the driven snow, helped by a screen hinge that tilts way dorsum. Colors are deep, rich, and well saturated and viewing angles are broad. An 10-Rite Color Assistant utility in the organisation tray lets you switch among default, sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3 movie theater, Rec. 709 boob tube, and DICOM medical imaging color palettes.


Performance Testing the ThinkPad P1: Workstations Vs. Creative Laptops

For our benchmark charts, I compared the P1 Gen 4 to four other high-performance desktop replacements whose basic specs appear below. The Dell Precision 5560 is a straight competitor as a lightweight workstation, while the HP ZBook Studio G8 straddles the workstation and content-creator worlds. The Acer ConceptD 5 and Asus ProArt Studiobook xvi OLED belong to the content-creator camp—and cost a lot less than the mobile workstations at nearly $2,000 and $two,400 respectively.

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Productivity Tests

The chief benchmark of UL’s PCMark 10 simulates a variety of real-earth productivity and content-creation workflows to mensurate overall performance for office-axial tasks such as word processing, spreadsheeting, web browsing, and videoconferencing. We too run PCMark 10’southward Full System Drive test to appraise the load fourth dimension and throughput of a laptop’s storage bulldoze.

Three benchmarks focus on the CPU, using all available cores and threads, to rate a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 uses that company’south Cinema 4D engine to return a complex scene, while Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Pro simulates popular apps ranging from PDF rendering and voice communication recognition to machine learning. Finally, we apply the open-source video transcoder HandBrake ane.4 to convert a 12-minute video prune from 4K to 1080p resolution (lower times are ameliorate).

Our final productivity test is Puget Systems’ PugetBench for Photoshop, which uses the Creative Cloud version 22 of Adobe’s famous epitome editor to rate a PC’s performance for content creation and multimedia applications. It’s an automated extension that executes a diversity of general and GPU-accelerated Photoshop tasks ranging from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving an image to applying masks, slope fills, and filters.

Clearly, this is an overachieving group. All 5 laptops pulverized the 4,000-point score that indicates excellent productivity in PCMark 10 (using them for Word or Excel is a waste). Considering it was going up against a Core i9 and a Ryzen nine CPU, the Lenovo’s Core i7 aced our processor benchmarks, and information technology’s a brilliant Photoshop platform.

Graphics Tests

We examination Windows PCs’ graphics with two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL’s 3DMark, Dark Raid (more than modest, suitable for laptops with integrated graphics) and Time Spy (more enervating, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs).

We too run two tests from the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench five, which stresses both low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like image rendering. The 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Car Chase tests, rendered offscreen to adapt dissimilar display resolutions, exercise graphics and compute shaders using the OpenGL programming interface and hardware tessellation respectively. The more frames per second (fps), the meliorate.

The ThinkPad didn’t win any gold medals but it’s conspicuously more capable of handling medium-high afterwards-hours gaming also as demanding visual apps, fulfilling the promise of its eye-pleasing screen.

Workstation-Specific Tests

We run three additional programs to simulate workstation applications. Since we don’t have results for them for every notebook in our database, I swapped in three heavier laptop workstations, the MSI WS66, Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2, and HP ZBook Fury 15 G8. All have Core i9 processors and Nvidia’southward professional pinnacle RTX A5000 GPU.

The beginning test is PugetBench for Adobe Premiere Pro, a counterpart to our Photoshop criterion that focuses on video rather than image editing. The second is Blender, an open-source 3D suite for modeling, animation, simulation, and compositing. We record the time information technology takes for its built-in Cycles path tracer to render 2 photograph-realistic scenes of BMW cars, ane using the arrangement’southward CPU and one the GPU (lower times are improve). BMW creative person Mike Pan has said he considers the scenes also fast for rigorous testing, but they’re a popular benchmark.

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Mayhap our most important workstation test, SPECviewperf 2020, renders, rotates, and zooms in and out of solid and wireframe models using viewsets from popular ISV apps. We run the 1080p resolution tests based on PTC’south Creo CAD platform; Autodesk’south Maya modeling and simulation software for film, TV, and games; and Dassault Systemes’ SolidWorks 3D rendering bundle. The more than frames per second, the better.

You lot might want to concur out for a Core i9 fleck if you’re a full-time 4K video editor, only otherwise the P1 Gen four was amazing, coming inside an eyelash of matching the much bulkier and heavier ThinkPad P15 and thrashing the Precision 5560 in Blender and two of iii SPECviewperf tests. If you need a top-performing mobile workstation that won’t bust through the bottom of your briefcase, expect no further.

Battery and Display Tests

We exam laptops’ battery life past playing a locally stored 720p video file (the open up-source Blender movie
Tears of SteelTears of Steel) with display brightness at fifty% and audio volume at 100%. We make sure the battery is fully charged earlier the test, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting turned off.

Nosotros likewise use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor scale sensor and its Windows software to measure a laptop screen’s color saturation—what pct of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 color gamuts or palettes the display can evidence—and its 50% and pinnacle effulgence in nits (candelas per square meter).

I don’t think we’ve always seen a finer set of laptop displays in a comparison. The Asus ProArt and HP ZBook Studio boast OLED panels, only all five screens are superb, with the ThinkPad P1 actually looking bad for covering merely ninety% of the DCI-P3 gamut (used for picture palace rather than pattern programs) and falling 1% shy of its advertised 100% of Adobe RGB. The P1 compensated by delivering the highest brightness you’ll notice aside from rugged laptops meant to be used in outdoor sunlight.

Its vii-hr battery life is unimpressive but mobile workstations spend virtually of their time plugged in for lengthy sessions of 3D rendering or dataset crunching, so it’s forgivable.


A New Lightweight Champion

The ThinkPad P1 Gen iv has the USB-A and HDMI ports that the Dell Precision 5560 restricts to a dongle, and information technology beats upwards the Dell and takes its tiffin money in most of our performance benchmarks. Unless yous require an OLED rather than IPS display, information technology’south an like shooting fish in a barrel pick as our new Editors’ Option winner among truly portable workstations.

Source: https://sea.pcmag.com/laptops/49467/lenovo-thinkpad-p1-gen-4