Recently, I had the opportunity to examine the Dell Precision 7670, an impressive mobile workstation that garnered considerable attention. However, in this article, I have another contender in the market—the Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1. Released in 2022 but making waves in 2023, this workstation boasts an all-new form factor, promising an enhanced user experience.
Over the past week, I have thoroughly tested and analyzed the ThinkPad P16, pushing its limits to gauge its performance, reliability, and overall. Equipped with a powerful Core i9 12950HX processor, a substantial 64 gigabytes of DDR5 RAM, and a capacious two terabytes of PCIe Gen4 SSD storage, this workstation presents an enticing package.
Notably, its 16-inch 600 nit IPS display, which can also be configured as an OLED panel, captivates with its stunning visuals. In this review, we will delve into the various aspects of the Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 and compare it to its formidable competitor, the Dell Precision 7670, to determine how it stacks up in the realm of mobile workstations.
Read Also: Lenovo Yoga Book 9i Dual Screen Review
Inside the box, we have some documentation. Let’s see what they gave us. We have warranty information and recovery media entitlement, which means we can obtain physical disks and such. That’s basically standard documentation.
We also have a 230-watt power adapter that uses Lenovo’s proprietary connection. It’s not the lightest thing when traveling, but considering it already weighs six and a half pounds, it’s understandable. You’ll find the power cord there.
Design and Build Quality
The laptop has a storm gray finish, which is slightly different from what we usually see. Additionally, there’s some red piping, which gives it a modern look, something uncommon for workstations. It’s a nice classy touch that adds a bit of pizzazz.
Now, when holding the unit for the first time, the build quality is really good, and it does have some weight to it, which is expected for a mobile workstation. It weighs 2.95 kilograms or 6.5 pounds, so it’s not the lightest option out there. However, it’s not meant to be carried everywhere all the time. It’s portable enough to be taken occasionally. Essentially, it serves as a desktop replacement.
Specs & Pricing
Hinges, Keyboard and Track Pad
So, just keep that in mind. For those wondering, let’s see if we can open it with one finger. Certainly, we can, and I really like this gray finish on it. It has a ThinkPad keyboard, although I have to tell you, it feels a little shallow for a ThinkPad keyboard. I’m not sure why because it’s quite sturdy. It may not be the thinnest option available, but it feels good. It feels really good.
Lenovo ThinkPad P16 gen 1 Ports
On the left side, we have a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, a headphone-microphone combo jack, and the nano SIM card slot for the optional 4G LTE. Moving over to the right side, there’s the optional smart card reader, a full-size SD card slot, and the cards sit flush with the unit, which is always good. Additionally, there’s a USB-A port, a Kensington Lock port.
On the back, you’ll find the power port, two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports that have full function supporting data charge and display output, and finally, an HDMI 2.1 port. This rounds out the ports on this mobile workstation. All in all, it has an excellent port selection. However, notably missing are a LAN port or RJ45 Ethernet port.
Internals And User Upgradeability
When it comes to user upgradeability, it is pretty easy to get inside because they provide a nice little door on the bottom to access the RAM and the SSD. If you want to expand it even further, I think you have to remove the bottom and move the keyboard to access the other slots. It should be pretty straightforward, just unscrew this. I’m not sure if it’s captive, but it probably is. There you go.
You can configure this with up to 128 gigabytes of DDR5 4800 megahertz RAM. My review unit has 64 gigabytes of that RAM, running in dual-channel mode. Additionally, my review unit has two terabytes of PCIe Gen 4 SSD storage. Looking at these excellent read and write speeds, they are definitely some of the best you can find, especially in 2023. Good job on that front.
When it comes to wireless connectivity, you have Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and the optional mobile broadband, which is LTE in this case. It uses a Cat 16 modem, specifically the Fibacom L860 GL, and it also supports eSIM. As for 5G, I’m not sure if or when it will be available on this model. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.
Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 Display
Now, the big deal when it comes to the display is the move to a 16-inch display from the prior years’ 15-inch. This is Gen 1 of the P16, and there are actually four options when it comes to the display. There’s an OLED option with a UHD Plus resolution, which is a glossy display. There’s also an IPS display that’s also UHD Plus but non-touch. Additionally, there’s a 2.5K display and a Full HD Plus display.
I have the IPS display with the UHD Plus resolution of 3840 by 2400. They claim it gets as bright as 600 nits, while I measured 645 nits. Yes, people, it is extremely bright. The fact that it has a matte display with an anti-glare coating is even better. It’s also a Dolby Vision HDR 400 display and x-rite Factory calibrated right out of the box.
If you’re a content creator, you’re going to love this display. It has deep blacks, great contrast, and a good white point. It has a low Delta E score of 0.73, meaning it is very color accurate. Its coverage of the color gamut is excellent, with 100% sRGB, 98% Adobe RGB, 88% of the DCI P3 wide color gamut, and 94% NTSC. This display is an excellent choice for color grading, video editing, content creation, Photoshop, and Lightroom. It works well for all of these tasks.
As mentioned earlier, this is an HDR400 display and a Dolby Vision display. Watching HDR content on platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube has been excellent on this panel.
Webcam, Mics and Fingerprint Scanner
The camera on the Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1, released in 2023 (though it actually came out last year), is equipped with some notable features. First, it has an IR webcam, which enables you to log in using face recognition. Additionally, there is a physical shutter switch on the camera that provides added security and privacy. The power button also functions as a fingerprint scanner, offering further privacy and security features.
Moreover, the camera offers various additional features, such as background blurring and a range of effects. It includes auto-framing and all the bells and whistles you would expect from a camera in 2023.
Performance, Benchmarks and Gaming
|Estimated Game Performance
|1440p Ultra, 100+ FPS
|GEEKBENCH 5 (Single Core)
|GEEKBENCH 5 (Multi-Core)
|Lenovo ThinkPad P16
|2664 cb | 320fps
|Dell Precision 7670
|2,473 cb | 310fps
As mentioned earlier, the ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 is powered by Intel’s Core i9-12950HX, which is an excellent CPU in terms of both single-thread and multi-thread performance. Whether you’re an architect, a program developer, or involved in medical imaging and high-end video editing, you can expect impressive results with this CPU. While it is capable of running many games smoothly, its primary focus is on the tasks I mentioned earlier, and the ISV certifications it possesses make it ideal for those specific requirements. However, you can certainly enjoy gaming during your downtime. Overall, this machine is designed for serious work and productivity.
Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 Comparison
|Lenovo ThinkPad P16
|2TB SSD M.2 PCie Gen 4
|16″ IPS UHD+
|Dell Precision 7670
|32Gb CAMM Memory
|2x 512GB RAID 0
|16″ OLED UHD+
Now, let’s talk about the competition. I have reviewed the Dell Precision 7670, in fact, I examined two different models they offer: the performance model and the thin model. As you can see, it was slightly more expensive than the P16, but it did have some favorable comparisons in certain aspects while not performing as well in others. In terms of performance, they are very comparable. When you analyze the benchmarks and the numbers, both of these mobile workstations are highly capable and powerful.
Thermals And Fan Noise
When it comes to thermals, they have done a relatively good job in keeping the surface temperatures cool. This model utilizes vapor chamber cooling, which certainly helps in maintaining lower temperatures. Even under maximum load, it never became excessively hot or too hot to touch. That’s been pretty impressive.
Regarding fan noise, you will definitely notice it under maximum load, reaching around 53-54 decibels. It is definitely noticeable at that point. However, during everyday tasks in other modes, you won’t really notice the fan noise that much. They have managed to keep it relatively quiet in those scenarios. But under full load, you will definitely notice the fans operating.
Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 Battery
When it comes to battery life, this model features a 94 watt-hour battery. It achieved a decent result of 7 hours and 25 minutes on the PC Mark 10 modern office battery life test. Considering the power consumption of both the CPU and GPU, as well as the necessary cooling system to keep everything running smoothly, this is actually quite impressive. A battery life of 7 hours and 25 minutes is quite respectable.
In terms of charging, when you need to plug in, the supplied 230-watt power charger can provide 80 percent charge in one hour, and a full charge takes approximately an hour and 45 minutes.
When it comes to audio, this model features two two-watt speakers that are Dolby Atmos speakers. This helps in providing spatial audio, enhancing the overall listening experience. The speakers can get quite loud and offer decent mids and bass, resulting in pretty good sound quality. Additionally, the speakers are top-firing, which is a feature I appreciate. Overall, I found the sound to be quite good for a mobile workstation. However, if you prefer, you can always use wired headphones thanks to the 3.5-millimeter microphone headphone combo jack. Alternatively, you can also use Bluetooth headphones if needed.
Pros And Cons
When I think about the Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 in 2023, I have to say that it is an excellent mobile workstation, especially for creative professionals who need to perform high-end video work, medical imaging, or architectural tasks. It comes with ISV certification for many applications, making it a reliable choice. The performance is impressive, thanks to the powerful CPU and GPU, delivering excellent single-core and multi-core performance, as evident from the benchmark numbers.
I particularly appreciate the 16-inch UHD Plus IPS display, which offers exceptional brightness. In my measurements, it reached 645 nits. The matte display is a great feature as it minimizes unnecessary glare and reflections. While you have the option to choose a QHD Plus resolution, full HD Plus, or even an OLED display, which is glossy but undoubtedly gorgeous, the color accuracy and coverage of the color gamut on this display are spot-on. You can’t go wrong with it.
I also like the availability of optional Wireless WAN, the inclusion of a 1080p webcam for excellent video conferencing, and the modern look, especially with the red piping on the back. However, there are a few negatives to consider. The absence of an RJ45 Ethernet port on this mobile workstation is a bit disappointing, although the overall port selection is still pretty good and extensive. Additionally, the ThinkPad keyboard has slightly shallow key travel for a 16-inch mobile workstation. It is still an excellent keyboard, but the key travel could have been a bit deeper, especially for this size.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the price can get quite high, particularly when the device is fully equipped, as seen with my review unit. However, companies purchasing these in bulk may receive discounts, so that should be taken into account. Additionally, Lenovo often runs sales, periodically reducing the prices significantly.
So, what are your thoughts on the ThinkPad P16 Gen 1? There’s a lot to like here. I particularly love the styling of this device. It features a unique and interesting design, breaking away from the traditional and often boring designs we’ve seen in the past, especially for mobile workstations. The addition of the red striping on the back gives it a touch of pizzazz. I found it to be quite appealing. Additionally, the storm gray color adds a refreshing change from the typical black color we’ve been accustomed to. It’s essentially a 17-inch mobile workstation packed into a 16-inch form factor. They managed to reduce the size without compromising on performance, as evidenced by the impressive numbers from the CPU and GPU. It’s well-suited for mobile professionals who require substantial power.
Now, I’m curious to know what you think. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
When I think about the Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 in 2023, I have to say that it is an excellent mobile workstation, especially for creative professionals who need to perform high-end video work, medical imaging, or architectural tasks.
Thermals/ Fan Noise7
Webcam / Mics9