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Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 review: Made for pros

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 review: Made for pros

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4

The Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 is a modern workstation that is about as sleek as a consumer notebook. In fact, it has a similar chassis as Lenovo's premium ThinkPad X1 Extreme consumer model. The P1's innards, though, can be configured with professional-grade hardware for applications ranging from video editing to computer-aided design. These options don't come cheap, but it's worth the price for those who need that kind of processing power on the go.

Quick specs

  • 16-inch 2,560 x 1,600-pixel IPS display
  • Intel Xeon W-11855M processor with Nvidia RTX A2000 graphics
  • 2x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, HDMI, SD card reader, headphone jack
  • 1.8kg

At around 1.8kg, the P1 is certainly portable for a 16-inch notebook. For one, it's slightly lighter than Apple's latest MacBook Pro (M1 Pro), which is around 2.1kg. Design-wise, the P1 retains that classic ThinkPad look. No doubt, some may find it bland — I feel it's iconic. Its matte black surface is smooth to the touch, but seems to pick up grease stains easily. Build quality is excellent, though the keyboard does flex slightly under pressure. The bright and crisp IPS display has a 16:10 aspect ratio that offers more vertical screen space. Its bezels are not as narrow as some notebooks. However, this also means more space for an 1080p infrared camera with a privacy shutter at the top bezel. Alternatively, the power button also doubles as a fingerprint sensor. You should have no issues, no matter which biometric method you use.

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4
The P1's matte anti-reflective screen works pretty well. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Perhaps I'm used to edge-to-edge keyboards, but the P1's keyboard takes some getting used to. I often hit the Caps Lock key accidentally while trying to hit the A key. Lenovo also places the Fn key at the bottom left corner instead of the Ctrl key, which throws me off. But at least I can swap these two keys in the settings. I would also have liked slightly more key travel. However, Lenovo has not skimped on the ports. The P1 comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, HDMI and an SD card reader. While the Thunderbolt 4 ports support charging, you'll need a 90W power adapter. My 65W version did not work so I had to use the bundled Lenovo charger with its slim tip plug. In addition, the P1 supports Wi-Fi 6E, an improved version that supports the faster 6GHz spectrum.

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4
There are plenty of ports on this 16-inch notebook. You can also open the laptop lid to 180 degrees. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

My P1 review set comes with a six-core Intel Xeon CPU and Nvidia's latest RTX A2000 professional graphics chip. In the Cinebench R23 CPU rendering test, the Lenovo's multi-core score of 8,510 is just below that of an eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 1700X processor. The P1 also managed 6,252 in PCMark 10, which is higher than premium consumer notebooks like the ones in our top Intel Evo models. Meanwhile, the P1's A2000 GPU is in the mid-range category (around an RTX 3050 Ti) and can run games decently. However, its performance (4,740 in 3DMark Time Spy) is not as good as similar gaming notebooks like the Asus TUF Dash F15 because the A2000 runs on Quadro drivers optimised for enterprise applications. Overall, the P1 feels snappy and responsive.

The Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 has a 90 watt-hour battery that clocks in at 6hr 40min in our video-loop battery test. It's decent for a notebook with a dedicated graphics chip and bright 400 nit screen. Of course, this battery stamina probably pales in comparison with Apple's new M1-powered MacBook Pro models. But many industries are still reliant on Windows and legacy apps — there may not be native M1 support for some of these apps for a while, if ever. In short, Windows-based mobile workstations like the P1 are not going out of fashion anytime soon. My review set costs S$4,699, but the P1 starts at around S$3,000 for a Core i7 model with an entry-level Nvidia T1200 graphics chip from Lenovo Singapore.

See Also
DJI Osmo Action 4

Note: Review unit provided by Lenovo.

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Capable workstation for professionals.

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