Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 Review: A Powerful Workstation

The Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1, It came out in 2022 but started getting noticed more in 2023 because of its new design that’s supposed to make it better to use.

I’ve been using the ThinkPad P16 a lot over the past week, testing it to see how well it works and how reliable it is. It comes with a powerful Core i9 12950HX processor, a big 64 gigabytes of DDR5 RAM, and a huge two terabytes of PCIe Gen4 SSD storage, which is really impressive.

One of the coolest things about it is the 16-inch display. It’s super bright with 600 nits and can even be changed to an OLED panel for even better visuals. In this review, I’ll talk about all the different parts of the Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 and compare it to the Dell Precision 7670 to see which one is better for mobile work.

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Design and Build Quality

In the box, we get some paperwork like warranty info and recovery media entitlement, which means we can get disks if we need them. It’s pretty standard stuff.

There’s also a 230-watt power adapter with Lenovo’s special connection. It’s not super light for travel, but since the laptop itself weighs 6.5 pounds, it makes sense. The power cord comes with it too.

The laptop has a storm gray finish, which is a bit different. It also has some red piping, which makes it look more modern, something you don’t see often in workstations. It’s a nice touch that makes it stand out.

When you pick up the laptop, you can feel that it’s well-built and a bit heavy, which is normal for a mobile workstation. It weighs about 6.5 pounds, so it’s not the lightest, but it’s meant to replace a desktop, not be carried around all the time. It’s portable enough for occasional travel

Keyboard

Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 Keyboard Trackpad

Now, you can open it with one finger, And I’m digging this gray finish. The keyboard is a ThinkPad one, but I gotta say, it feels a bit shallower than usual. Not sure why, ’cause it’s still pretty solid. It might not be the slimmest, but it feels nice. Really nice.

Ports and Connectivity

On the left side, there’s a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, a combo headphone-microphone jack, and a slot for the optional 4G LTE nano SIM card. On the right side, there’s an optional smart card reader, a full-size SD card slot that sits flush with the unit, a USB-A port, and a Kensington Lock port.

At the back, you’ll find the power port, two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports that support data transfer, charging, and display output, along with an HDMI 2.1 port. Overall, it offers a great selection of ports, but it’s missing a LAN or RJ45 Ethernet port.

Internals & Upgradeability

Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 Upgrade

When Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 comes to upgrading, it’s easy to access the RAM and SSD because there’s a door at the bottom. If you want to expand further, you might need to remove the bottom and keyboard. It’s likely straightforward – just unscrew and open it up.

You can customize it with up to 128GB of DDR5 RAM. My review unit has 64GB of RAM running in dual-channel mode. It also has a two terabyte PCIe Gen 4 SSD, offering excellent read and write speeds, among the best available in 2023.

For wireless connectivity, it has Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and optional LTE mobile broadband using a Cat 16 modem, specifically the Fibacom L860 GL, which also supports eSIM. As for 5G, it’s unclear if or when it will be available on this model.

Display

Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 Display

The big news about the display is that it’s now 16 inches compared to the previous 15-inch models. There are four display options for the ThinkPad P16 Gen 1. There’s an OLED version with UHD Plus resolution, which is glossy. There’s also an IPS display with UHD Plus but non-touch. Additionally, there’s a 2.5K display and a Full HD Plus display.

I have the IPS display with a UHD Plus resolution of 3840 by 2400. They say it can get as bright as 600 nits, but I measured it at 645 nits – very bright indeed. It’s a matte display with an anti-glare coating, which is great. It’s also Dolby Vision HDR 400 and x-rite Factory calibrated out of the box.

Content creators will love this display. It has deep blacks, good contrast, and accurate colors. The color gamut coverage is excellent, with 100% sRGB, 98% Adobe RGB, 88% DCI P3, and 94% NTSC. It’s perfect for tasks like color grading, video editing, Photoshop, and Lightroom.

This display supports HDR400 and Dolby Vision, making HDR content on platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube look fantastic.

Audio

Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 has two two-watt speakers with Dolby Atmos technology, which makes the audio sound more spatial, giving you a better listening experience. The speakers can get loud and have decent mid and bass tones, so the sound quality is pretty good. They’re positioned at the top, which is nice. If you want, you can also use wired headphones with the 3.5-millimeter jack, or you can use Bluetooth headphones instead.

Webcam & Fingerprint Scanner

The camera on the Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1, released in 2023 (though it actually came out last year), has some notable features. It includes an IR webcam, allowing you to log in using face recognition. There’s also a physical shutter switch on the camera for added security and privacy. Additionally, the power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner, offering extra privacy and security.

Furthermore, the camera comes with various features like background blurring and different effects. It also has auto-framing and all the modern features you’d expect from a camera in 2023.

Performance, Benchmarks & Gaming

3DMARK Score24961 Legendry
Graphic Score27884
Physics Score30796
Combined Score12058
Estimated Game Performance
Battlefield V1440p Ultra, 100+ FPS
3DMARK Score
LaptopPCMARK 10GEEKBENCH 5 (Single Core)GEEKBENCH 5 (Multi-Core)CINEBENCH R15
Lenovo ThinkPad P166,4471,76314,0342664 cb | 320fps
Dell Precision 76706,9651,82113,4562,473 cb | 310fps
BENCHMARKS

The ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 runs on Intel’s Core i9-12950HX CPU, which is great for both single-thread and multi-thread tasks. Whether you’re an architect, programmer, or work with high-end video editing or medical imaging, this CPU delivers impressive performance. While it can handle gaming well, its main focus is on professional tasks, backed by ISV certifications. It’s built for serious work and productivity, with gaming as a bonus feature.

LaptopCPUGPUMemoryStorageDisplayPrice
Lenovo ThinkPad P16Core i9-12950HXRTX A550064GB DDR5-4800MHz2TB SSD M.2 PCie Gen 416″ IPS UHD+$1,744
Dell Precision 7670Core i9-12950HXRTX A550032Gb CAMM Memory2x 512GB RAID 016″ OLED UHD+$5,650
Lenovo ThinkPad P16 vs Dell Precision 7670 Performance

I’ve looked at the Dell Precision 7670, checking out both the performance and thin models. It was a bit pricier than the P16, but each had its strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to performance, they’re pretty similar. Both laptops are powerful and can handle heavy tasks well.

Thermals And Fan Noise

Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 Thermal

When it comes to keeping cool, they’ve done a pretty good job with the thermals. This model uses vapor chamber cooling, which helps keep surface temperatures low. Even when it’s working hard, it never gets too hot to touch, which is impressive.

As for fan noise, it can get quite loud under heavy use, reaching around 53-54 decibels. You’ll definitely notice it then. But during regular tasks, the fan noise isn’t very noticeable. They’ve made it relatively quiet for everyday use. However, when it’s working hard, you’ll hear the fans running.

Battery Performance

It has a 94 watt-hour battery. It lasted for about 7 hours and 25 minutes on the PC Mark 10 modern office battery life test, which is pretty good considering how much power the CPU and GPU use.

When you need to charge it, the included 230-watt power charger can give you 80 percent charge in one hour, and it takes around an hour and 45 minutes to fully charge.

Final Thoughts

The Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 is a top-notch mobile workstation, perfect for professionals working in video editing, medical imaging, or architecture. It’s certified for many applications, ensuring reliability. Powered by a strong CPU and GPU, it excels in both single-core and multi-core tasks, as shown in benchmarks.

The 16-inch UHD Plus IPS display is a standout feature, reaching 645 nits of brightness and offering accurate colors. While there are other display options like QHD Plus or OLED, this one hits the mark. It’s matte, reducing glare, and the color accuracy is spot-on.

There are some nice extras like optional Wireless WAN and a good quality webcam. The design, with red piping and a modern look, is appealing. However, it lacks an RJ45 Ethernet port, and the keyboard could offer more depth for a 16-inch workstation.

Price-wise, it can be steep, especially with all the upgrades. But bulk buyers might get discounts, and Lenovo often has sales.

Overall, the ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 stands out for its unique design, strong performance, and compact size. It’s a great choice for professionals who need power on the go.

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