December 4, 2021

Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 Evaluation: Refined Cellular Workstation

lenovo thinkpad p15 right three quarters

If there was a poster youngster for business-class laptops, it’s indisputably the Lenovo ThinkPad. ThinkPad notebooks are well-known for his or her matte-black, no-nonsense designs, however their utility in company and industrial settings is greater than skin-deep. Lenovo has properly developed an array of ThinkPad fashions to handle a variety of use instances, whereas nonetheless with the ability to hold that distinct ThinkPad really feel. This familiarity yields a reliable expertise which has cultivated a devoted following. Now we have just lately reviewed a number of svelte ThinkPad X Collection variations, however at this time’s providing is extra of a burly beast. The Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 is a cell workhorse with its sights set on peak efficiency in skilled purposes, design and content material creation.

Lenovo positions their P Collection of workstations as “highly effective sufficient to take with you, however with superior know-how to deal with probably the most intense computing duties.” The corporate goals to meet this in three foremost methods: construct a sturdy but nonetheless light-weight chassis, fill it to the brim with cutting-edge {hardware}, and safe ISV certifications to make sure it really works easily with probably the most demanding purposes. The ThinkPad P15 in for evaluation at this time appears nicely suited to strengthen this however let’s dig in a bit extra to see what it is made from and the way it measures as much as these objectives.

lenovo thinkpad p15 rear angle

The ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 begins with an Intel Core i5-11500H processor, however may be outfitted with as much as both an Intel Core i9-11950H or a Xeon W-11955M. These two CPUs are largely similar on-paper, however the Xeon consists of Error-Correcting Code (ECC) reminiscence for mission-critical duties, whereas the Core sequence CPUs don’t. Talking of reminiscence, the system can assist a wholesome 128GB of 3200MHz DDR4 RAM in both ECC or non-ECC flavors. Likewise, the bottom mannequin makes use of an NVIDIA T1200 (4GB) GPU, however can even ship with as much as NVIDIA’s strongest RTX A5000 Max-Q (16GB) GPU.

NVIDIA’s cell skilled graphics processors are constructed on the identical Ampere structure as their GeForce cousins. In truth, this RTX A5000 comes from the identical GA104 chip used within the GeForce RTX 3080. Each GPUs characteristic 6,144 CUDA cores, 48 RT cores, 192 Tensor cores, and 16GB of devoted GDDR6 reminiscence. Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply we could have a direct apples-to-apples comparability between techniques with these chips. Whereas formal Max-Q variants have been deserted by NVIDIA, they do enable producers to tune the TDP and optionally incorporate applied sciences like Whispermode 2.0 and Dynamic Enhance 2.0. Lenovo’s option to proceed advertising these laptops as “Max-Q” suggests a slant on the aspect of effectivity quite than efficiency.

In any case, our check system arrived with an Intel Core i9-11950H (8 Cores, 16 Threads) CPU, NVIDIA RTX A5000 GPU, 32GB of 3200MHz DDR4 reminiscence, and 1TB PCIe 4.0 KIOXIA XG7 SSD. Whereas RAM and storage capacities may very well be bumped additional, this configuration represents in regards to the highest stage of efficiency this method must be able to. For the remainder of its specs, try the desk under.

lenovo thinkpad p15 logo interior

Specification Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2
Processor Intel Core i7-11950H  (8C, 16T, 2.6GHz)
Show 15.6″ FHD (1920×1080) IPS, Anti-glare – 500 nits
Graphics NVIDIA Quadro RTX A5000 16GB GDDR6
Storage 1TB M.2 2280 SSD PCIe 4.0 (KIOXIA XG7)
Reminiscence 32 GB DDR4-3200, non-ECC
Audio Stereo Audio system, Dolby Atmos
Cameras HD Hybrid IR Digital camera with ThinkPad Webcam Privateness Shutter
Networking Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210 + Bluetooth 5.2
Ports: Left 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 (All the time On)
1x HDMI 2.1
1x nano-SIM tray
1x 3.5mm Headset Combo Jack
Ports: Proper 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x Full-Dimension SD Slot
1x (Non-compulsory) Good Card Reader
Ports: Rear 1x Gigabit Ethernet LAN Port (RJ45)
1x AC Energy Port
2x Thunderbolt 4 (Sort-C) Ports
1x USB-C Gen 2 Port
Keyboard 6-row, spill resistant, numeric keypad, optionally available backlit
Touchpad 3-button TrackPoint gadget and mylar floor multi-touch touchpad
Battery 94Wh battery, helps Speedy Cost with 230W AC Adapter
Weight Begins at 6.32 lb (2.87 kg)
Dimensions 14.24 x 9.67 x 0.96-1.24 inches (375.4 x 252.3 x 24.5-31.45 mm)
Guarantee 1-year guarantee
Working System Home windows 10 Professional 64
Worth Begins $1,246, $5,382 as examined

In contrast to most robust notebooks, the ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 doesn’t look half. Its design, like that of all ThinkPads, is timeless. Boxy stylings harken again to ThinkPad line’s roots, and but the ThinkPad P15 appears to be like simply as at dwelling in a boardroom because it does on an engineer’s desk. It’s constructed for operate and to operate.

Lenovo signifies the highest cowl is constructed of a mixture of polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) and glass-fiber materials. PPS is mostly tolerant of all kinds of situations, however may be brittle which the glass-fiber doubtless helps fight. The result’s a matte-finish with a comfortable contact really feel, but it surely does present oils from fingerprints fairly readily. The underside cowl substitutes out the PPS for a nylon and glass-fiber mix which has extra grip to its really feel.

lenovo thinkpad p15 bottom cover

Internally, the ThinkPad P15 makes use of a magnesium body. Magnesium is a well-liked selection for ruggedization as it’s lighter than aluminum, however retains very excessive tensile power. These supplies contribute to the ThinkPad P15’s MIL-STD 810G sturdiness score. In idea, this implies the system is “combat-ready” however in follow means it ought to stand an opportunity for those who splash your latte on it.

The ThinkPad P15 does have some affordable heft to it at simply over 6 kilos and 1.24″ thick. This isn’t a machine that can be inconspicuously slipped right into a bookbag, however is not so giant that you’d suppose twice about bringing it alongside both.

lenovo thinkpad p15 left ports

Port choice is ample for a workstation-class machine. The left aspect of the pocket book presents a single USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, HDMI 2.1 port, nano-SIM tray, and a headset combo jack. This USB-A port may be configured to be “at all times on” which may enable the ThinkPad P15 to cost your cellphone or different gadgets whereas stowed in a bag.

lenovo thinkpad p15 right ports

The best aspect of the pocket book is extra bereft of ports, however has an important inclusion. Along with a second USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port and Kensington lock slot, this aspect additionally has a full-size SD card slot. It looks like we regularly nitpick about Lenovo leaving out any form of SD card reader, or sticking it in an ungainly spot, so it is extremely welcome to search out it included right here. Lenovo additionally presents an optionally available Good Card reader which might slip in just below the palm relaxation.

lenovo thinkpad p15 rear ports

If this had been an ultrabook, we’d doubtless be achieved with ports, however the ThinkPad P15 is just not. Turning round to the bottom reveals an Ethernet (RJ45) jack, Lenovo’s AC Energy port, two Thunderbolt 4 (Sort-C) ports, and a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port. The Thunderbolt 4 ports are a really welcome inclusion for all the things from extending high-resolution exterior show choices to enabling high-speed information transfers from exterior storage.

The one extra I/O we might actually ask for could be a pair extra Sort-A ports within the rear, however realistically a pocket book like this is able to be tethered to a docking station. Docking stations are particularly nice for lowering cable-clutter and easing the transition between desk work and subject work.

lenovo thinkpad p15 left three quarters

Lenovo presents 4 show choices for the ThinkPad P15. The primary two are each 1920×1080 60Hz IPS panels. The bottom model is rated for 300 nits brightness and the opposite reaches 500 nits whereas incorporating Dolby Imaginative and prescient. Dolby Imaginative and prescient is a HDR format akin to HDR10 which presents sure benefits for shade accuracy, however requires a supported show. Our check unit makes use of the five hundred nit FHD panel. Whereas unassuming from a technical perspective, we’re impressed by the panel’s uniformity and viewing angles. We additionally couldn’t detect any flicker related to pulse-width modulation that may typically plague sure customers who’re delicate to it.

The remaining two display choices are each 3820×2160 60Hz with Dolby Imaginative and prescient, however provide extra differentiation than simply brightness. The primary of the 4K choices is a HDR400 licensed IPS panel which is rated to realize 600 nits of brightness. The second is an HDR500 True Black licensed OLED multitouch panel which is bound to draw content material creation professionals. It’s rated for 500 nits peak brightness, however the considerably higher distinction ratio of OLED permits for the higher HDR designation. Other than being the one contact panel of the bunch, this show can also be capable of cowl your complete DCI-P3 shade gamut and is X-Ceremony Pantone manufacturing unit shade calibrated proper off the bat. Manufacturing unit shade calibration does assume sure environmental lighting situations although, so severe customers will nonetheless be finest off operating their very own calibration on location.

lenovo thinkpad p15 keyboard

It virtually goes with out saying that the typing expertise on this laptop computer is beautiful. Lenovo’s pocket book keyboards are among the many finest available on the market. This keyboard options 1.8mm of key journey with a constantly crisp really feel. Even the spacebar presses evenly when depressed from the intense edges. The important thing caps are subtly curved which helps really feel out the place your fingers are on the plank. Essentially the most welcome a part of all of that is the inclusion of a 10-key with out having to noticeably downsize down the remainder of the keys.

lenovo thinkpad p15 g2 720p webcam quality
720p Webcam High quality Pattern

Conversely, the 720p webcam onboard is lavatory customary. It does incorporate Lenovo’s privateness shutter to bodily cowl the lens when not in use, however is in any other case unremarkable. Its picture is acceptably detailed sufficient to get via a Zoom assembly, but it surely seems quite blotchy and colours are washed out. It’s a laptop computer webcam, it does the job.

Lenovo’s ThinkPad Software program Bundle

The Lenovo ThinkPad P15 ships with a fairly clear construct of Home windows 10 Professional. The system has only a few Lenovo purposes pre-installed. In any other case, the one different pre-installed purposes are Dolby Entry, NVIDIA’s RTX Expertise and accompanying RTX Desktop Supervisor.

lenovo thinkpad p15 g2 commercial vantage
Lenovo Business Vantage

The primary Lenovo software is Vantage. Vantage serves because the hub for all of the details about the pocket book, from serial quantity and guarantee info to driver updates and customization settings. So far as OEM system purposes go, Vantage feels appropriately stripped down and to the purpose. Vantage gives management over the auto-installation of updates together with a distinction between beneficial and important updates.

lenovo thinkpad p15 g2 quick clean
Lenovo Fast Clear

The following is Lenovo’s Fast Clear utility. Whereas this appears like a file cleaner software, it isn’t. As a substitute, Fast Clear locks out the gadget’s controls for a size of time chosen by the person so the gadget may be bodily wiped down. This permits the gadget to be cleaned extra simply with out having to close it off which may be helpful in situations the place it must be cleaned after each buyer go to, for instance.

Lenovo’s VDM Useful Overview

Lastly, the Lenovo VDM software leverages optionally available AR glasses to render extra screens in digital area. With VDM, the glasses monitor the laptop computer’s display and tasks extra screens round it in customizable configurations. We do not need the ThinkReality A3 glasses readily available to do that for ourselves, however we might see this being helpful to increase display actual property in locations the place bodily area is restricted.

lenovo thinkpad p15 g2 rtx desktop manager
NVIDIA RTX Show Supervisor

For different display customization, customers can leverage the RTX Desktop Supervisor. This software from NVIDIA permits customers to intuitively slice up their show into areas and shortly organize purposes accordingly. As soon as a template is about, merely maintain Ctrl whereas shifting a window to view the template overlay and select the place to place the applying. Admittedly that is extra helpful on excessive decision shows, however even with a 1080p panel like ours, customers will doubtless be docking the gadget to reap the benefits of bigger shows when potential.

We like Lenovo’s method to bundled software program right here. The restricted software program bundle out of the field is all appropriately related to skilled customers. We might see most customers eradicating the VDM software, but it surely solely occupies 127 megabytes which isn’t precisely a burden. In any other case, customers can dig proper into putting in their very own purposes to make the gadget their very own.

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