Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 Evaluate

The ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 (begins at $1,676; $3,599 as examined) is the cool child in Lenovo’s lineup of cellular workstations. Carrying an array of impartial software program vendor (ISV) certifications for specialised design, CGI, and scientific apps, it is the workstation model of the ThinkPad X1 Excessive, simply because the Dell Precision 5560 is the drafting and rendering sibling of the XPS 15. Which means it is much less highly effective and expandable however thinner and lighter than Lenovo’s flagship ThinkPad P15 Gen 2—a slice of prosciutto underneath the 4-pound line at 3.99 kilos versus a portly 6.32 kilos. The P1 prices far more than comparable content material creator laptops with out ISV cred, however its efficiency and ports edge it previous the Precision 5560 as our new Editors’ Selection honoree for light-weight cellular workstations.

The Trendy Facet 

Previously a 15.6-inch laptop computer, the ThinkPad P1 now flaunts a 16-inch display with a barely taller 16:10 side ratio. For $1,676, the Gen 4 base mannequin options an Intel Core i7-11800H processor, an Nvidia T1200 GPU, 8GB of reminiscence, a 256GB solid-state drive, and a 2,560-by-1,600-pixel show rated at 400 nits of brightness. 

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Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 front view

(Picture: Molly Flores)

Our evaluate unit (mannequin 20Y3006XUS) ranged from $3,599 at Staples to $3,925 at CDW. It steps as much as an eight-core, 2.5GHz (4.8GHz turbo) Core i7-11850H CPU and GeForce RTX 3070 graphics—the RTX 3070 and 3080 accompany Nvidia’s RTX A-series skilled GPUs on the choices listing—together with a 1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD (the storage ceiling is 4TB) and the max 64GB of RAM. Processor selections climb to the Core i9-11950H and six-core Xeon W-11855M, the latter provided with error-correcting-code (ECC) reminiscence. 

In order for you increased decision, each contact and non-touch 3,840-by-2,400 IPS screens can be found, every rated at 600 nits. Our system has the non-touch panel with medium-thin bezels round it; the highest border makes room for a face-recognition webcam with sliding privateness shutter, which together with a fingerprint reader within the energy button provides you two methods to log in with Home windows Hiya. The keyboard is flanked by stereo audio system, so there is not any room for a numeric keypad. 

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 rear view

(Picture: Molly Flores)

Outfitted with an aluminum alloy backside and carbon fiber weave prime, the ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 has handed MIL-STD 810G exams in opposition to highway hazards like shock, vibration, and cold and warm temperatures. There’s virtually no flex when you mash the keyboard or grasp the display corners. The system measures 0.7 by 14.1 by 10 inches (HWD), making it a tad greater than the Dell 5560 (0.73 by 13.6 by 9.1 inches) and HP ZBook Studio G8 (0.69 by 13.9 by 9.2 inches). The HP weighs the identical because the Lenovo; the Dell is a 3rd of a pound heavier. 

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 left ports

(Picture: Molly Flores)

Whereas the Precision 5560 affords solely three USB-C ports (two with Thunderbolt 4) and a USB Kind-A and HDMI dongle, the ThinkPad has a fuller set of interfaces. Two Thunderbolt 4 ports be a part of an HDMI port, an audio jack, and the AC adapter connector on the laptop computer’s left aspect. The best edge holds two USB 3.2 Kind-A ports and an SD card slot plus a safety lock slot. Wired networkers will discover a USB-C to Ethernet adapter within the field; Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth deal with wi-fi hyperlinks. 

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 right ports

(Picture: Molly Flores)

Above-Common 1080p Digicam

The workstation’s IR webcam is approach above common, providing 1080p as a substitute of the same old, minimal 720p decision and capturing sharp, colourful photographs with virtually no static—you will look slightly darkish in a lower than brightly lit room, however your colleagues will know when you skipped shaving this morning. 

The upward-firing audio system pump out sound that is loud and clear; there is a shocking quantity of bass and it is simple to listen to overlapping tracks. Dolby Atmos software program gives dynamic, sport, film, and music presets, and an equalizer. One other preinstalled utility, Lenovo Vantage, centralizes system updates and data, Wi-Fi safety, and settings starting from cooling fan velocity (and noise degree) to keyboard defaults. 

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 keyboard

(Picture: Molly Flores)

Talking of the keyboard, it has a vibrant backlight and Lenovo’s trademark first-class typing really feel. There are devoted Residence, Finish, Web page Up, and Web page Down keys, and the top-row Escape and Delete keys aren’t too tiny. The F10 and F11 keys place and finish calls in Microsoft Groups; the Fn and Management keys are in one another’s locations at backside left, however if you cannot modify you possibly can swap them with Lenovo Vantage. Each Lenovo’s TrackPoint keyboard pointing stick (with three buttons together with the center one beloved of ISV apps) and a good-sized touchpad can be found for cursor management; the pad takes simply the correct quantity of stress for a quiet click on. 

Not like the Gen 2 mannequin we reviewed in March 2020, the ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 would not provide an OLED show, so it would not have extremely excessive distinction and totally black blacks. However the 3,840-by-2,400-pixel display is nearly nearly as good as an IPS panel will get, with exceptional brightness and ultra-fine particulars; you possibly can’t see any pixelation even when you attempt. 

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 right angle

(Picture: Molly Flores)

White backgrounds are as pure because the pushed snow, helped by a display hinge that tilts approach again. Colours are deep, wealthy, and properly saturated and viewing angles are broad. An X-Ceremony Coloration Assistant utility within the system tray helps you to change amongst default, sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3 cinema, Rec. 709 tv, and DICOM medical imaging colour palettes.

Efficiency Testing the ThinkPad P1: Workstations Vs. Artistic Laptops 

For our benchmark charts, I in contrast the P1 Gen 4 to 4 different high-performance desktop replacements whose fundamental specs seem under. The Dell Precision 5560 is a direct competitor as a light-weight workstation, whereas the HP ZBook Studio G8 straddles the workstation and content-creator worlds. The Acer ConceptD 5 and Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED belong to the content-creator camp—and value lots lower than the cellular workstations at about $2,000 and $2,400 respectively.

Productiveness Exams 

The principle benchmark of UL’s PCMark 10 simulates a wide range of real-world productiveness and content-creation workflows to measure general efficiency for office-centric duties reminiscent of phrase processing, spreadsheeting, net looking, and videoconferencing. We additionally run PCMark 10’s Full System Drive check to evaluate the load time and throughput of a laptop computer’s storage drive.

Three benchmarks deal with the CPU, utilizing all obtainable cores and threads, to fee a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 makes use of that firm’s Cinema 4D engine to render a posh scene, whereas Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Professional simulates widespread apps starting from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine studying. Lastly, we use the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4 to transform a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p decision (decrease instances are higher). 

Our last productiveness check is Puget Techniques’ PugetBench for Photoshop, which makes use of the Artistic Cloud model 22 of Adobe’s well-known picture editor to fee a PC’s efficiency for content material creation and multimedia functions. It is an automatic extension that executes a wide range of normal and GPU-accelerated Photoshop duties starting from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving a picture to making use of masks, gradient fills, and filters.

Clearly, that is an overachieving group. All 5 laptops pulverized the 4,000-point rating that signifies wonderful productiveness in PCMark 10 (utilizing them for Phrase or Excel is a waste). Contemplating it was going up in opposition to a Core i9 and a Ryzen 9 CPU, the Lenovo’s Core i7 aced our processor benchmarks, and it is a good Photoshop platform. 

Graphics Exams 

We check Home windows PCs’ graphics with two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL’s 3DMark, Night time Raid (extra modest, appropriate for laptops with built-in graphics) and Time Spy (extra demanding, appropriate for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs). 

We additionally run two exams from the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which stresses each low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like picture rendering. The 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Automotive Chase exams, rendered offscreen to accommodate totally different show resolutions, train graphics and compute shaders utilizing the OpenGL programming interface and {hardware} tessellation respectively. The extra frames per second (fps), the higher.

The ThinkPad did not win any gold medals however it’s clearly greater than able to dealing with medium-high after-hours gaming in addition to demanding visible apps, fulfilling the promise of its eye-pleasing display. 

Workstation-Particular Exams 

We run three further packages to simulate workstation functions. Since we do not have outcomes for them for each pocket book in our database, I swapped in three heavier laptop computer workstations, the MSI WS66, Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2, and HP ZBook Fury 15 G8. All have Core i9 processors and Nvidia’s skilled pinnacle RTX A5000 GPU. 

The primary check is PugetBench for Adobe Premiere Professional, a counterpart to our Photoshop benchmark that focuses on video reasonably than picture modifying. The second is Blender, an open-source 3D suite for modeling, animation, simulation, and compositing. We document the time it takes for its built-in Cycles path tracer to render two photo-realistic scenes of BMW automobiles, one utilizing the system’s CPU and one the GPU (decrease instances are higher). BMW artist Mike Pan has stated he considers the scenes too quick for rigorous testing, however they seem to be a widespread benchmark. 

Maybe our most vital workstation check, SPECviewperf 2020, renders, rotates, and zooms out and in of stable and wireframe fashions utilizing viewsets from widespread ISV apps. We run the 1080p decision exams primarily based on PTC’s Creo CAD platform; Autodesk’s Maya modeling and simulation software program for movie, TV, and video games; and Dassault Systemes’ SolidWorks 3D rendering bundle. The extra frames per second, the higher.

You may wish to maintain out for a Core i9 chip when you’re a full-time 4K video editor, however in any other case the P1 Gen 4 was wonderful, coming inside an eyelash of matching the a lot bulkier and heavier ThinkPad P15 and thrashing the Precision 5560 in Blender and two of three SPECviewperf exams. In case you want a top-performing cellular workstation that will not bust via the underside of your briefcase, look no additional. 

Battery and Show Exams 

We check laptops’ battery life by enjoying a regionally saved 720p video file (the open-source Blender film Tears of Metal) with show brightness at 50% and audio quantity at 100%. We ensure the battery is absolutely charged earlier than the check, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting turned off. 

We additionally use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its Home windows software program to measure a laptop computer display’s colour saturation—what proportion of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 colour gamuts or palettes the show can present—and its 50% and peak brightness in nits (candelas per sq. meter).

I do not assume we have ever seen a finer set of laptop computer shows in a comparability. The Asus ProArt and HP ZBook Studio boast OLED panels, however all 5 screens are excellent, with the ThinkPad P1 truly wanting dangerous for protecting solely 90% of the DCI-P3 gamut (used for cinema reasonably than design packages) and falling 1% shy of its marketed 100% of Adobe RGB. The P1 compensated by delivering the best brightness you will discover except for rugged laptops meant for use in outside daylight.

Its seven-hour battery life is unimpressive however cellular workstations spend most of their time plugged in for prolonged periods of 3D rendering or dataset crunching, so it is forgivable.

A New Light-weight Champion 

The ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 has the USB-A and HDMI ports that the Dell Precision 5560 restricts to a dongle, and it beats up the Dell and takes its lunch cash in most of our efficiency benchmarks. Until you crave an OLED reasonably than IPS show, it is a simple decide as our new Editors’ Selection winner amongst really transportable workstations.


  • Costly

  • No OLED display possibility

The Backside Line

Its show solely covers 90% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, however in any other case it is exhausting to gripe concerning the svelte, speedy Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 workstation.

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