RE­VIEW: Len­ovo Thinkpad P1

3D Artist - - CONTENTS -

Orestis Bastounis takes the su­per light­weight pow­er­house for a test drive

it’s not of­ten we cover two work­sta­tions from the same man­u­fac­turer in such a short space of time, as you might re­mem­ber we al­ready re­viewed the Len­ovo Thinkpad P52 in is­sue 122. But we think this up­date to the range war­rants an­other piece of cov­er­age.

That’s be­cause Len­ovo has taken much of the same pow­er­ful work­sta­tion in­ter­nals of the P52, which we found to be very well suited to 3d de­sign, and (re­ally this time) squeezed it down into an Ul­tra­book-like 15.6 inch form fac­tor, weigh­ing just 1.7kg and 18.4mm thick.

as far as mo­bile work­sta­tions go, the Thinkpad P1 might just take the award for the best-look­ing mo­bile work­sta­tion we’ve ever seen. The thin chas­sis works bril­liantly with the matte black Thinkpad-style fin­ish, mak­ing it look more like an ex­ec­u­tive folder than a lap­top. and the in­side looks and feels ex­actly like a Thinkpad too, with the same style of chi­clet Len­ovo keys, the but­tons above the track­pad and the red mouse track­ing but­ton.

But, as with the P52, the im­me­di­ate stand-out fea­ture of the P1 is the in­tensely vivid 10-bit 4k touch-sen­si­tive screen that sup­ports 100 per cent of the adobergb colour space. This is only an op­tion, the en­try-level P1 mod­els use a non-touch 1080p dis­play that lacks the vi­brant colours and has lower bright­ness. The screen is a £200 up­grade that we’d ab­so­lutely rec­om­mend ev­ery­one choos­ing – even if you opt for the cheaper model. our only dis­ap­point­ment with the dis­play is that it doesn’t run along the very bot­tom. There’s a black sec­tion over an inch high that wastes some of this space.

The thin de­sign is thanks to the choice of an nvidia Max-q Quadro P2000 4GB graph­ics card. This is one area that is a slight down­grade on the P52, which came with a beefier P3000. With a Max-q vari­ant of an nvidia graph­ics card, you get the same fea­tures of the desk­top vari­ant, but at slightly lower clock speeds giv­ing it a ther­mal en­ve­lope that re­quires less cool­ing and power con­sump­tion, and there­fore bet­ter suited to thin lap­tops. it’s prob­a­bly not pos­si­ble to re­ally fit any­thing more de­mand­ing than a P2000 into a chas­sis this size, but we found the P2000 is still a ca­pa­ble card, well-suited to mid-range ren­der­ing work.

The rest of the in­ter­nal spec­i­fi­ca­tion is cer­tainly worth talk­ing about as well, as much of what made the P52 great has tran­si­tioned across to the P1. There’s the op­tion of in­tel Core i7, Core i9 or Xeon pro­ces­sors, with four or six cores. You can squeeze in up to 64GB of me­mory and up to 4TB of stor­age spread be­tween two M.2 slots. Un­like with ap­ple’s com­pa­ra­ble Mac­book Pro de­sign, Len­ovo has been re­ally gen­er­ous with the ports as well. Two tra­di­tional USB Gen 1 ports are joined by two USB-C ports, hdmi, a 3.5mm head­phone jack and an Sd card reader. eth­er­net is served by a mini port, which re­quires an adapter.

There’s are a few wel­come bonuses too. Firstly, al­though the P1 isn’t de­scribed as rugged, Len­ovo goes to some length to say it’s at least durable thanks to a mag al­loy con­struc­tion ma­te­rial. We’d ex­pect it to sur­vive the odd small drop, some­thing that can’t be said of all lap­tops.

Then there’s the nifty power sup­ply, which is 35 per cent smaller than that of the P52, which is re­ally bril­liant news, con­sid­er­ing that the brick-like power sup­plies with many lap­tops make the prospect of car­ry­ing your work around far less at­trac­tive.

al­though the P1 is an ex­pen­sive prospect, with pric­ing in line with other mo­bile work­sta­tions of com­pa­ra­ble power, it’s not the prici­est lap­top around. The en­try level £1,549 sys­tem drops the P2000 to a P1000, has a quad core CPU and just 8GB of me­mory. Bump all the specs up and it crosses the £3,000 thresh­old.

it’s this high-end con­fig­u­ra­tion we tested, with a 2.7Ghz six core in­tel Xeon e-2167m pro­ces­sor, 32GB of me­mory and a Quadro P2000. We’re pleased to say the P1 lives up to its po­ten­tial.

Cinebench gave us an over­all score of 1,121, which places the chip above any quad-core pro­ces­sor, but be­hind Ryzen and slightly slower than in­tel’s desk­top Core i7 8700k. With­out the same ther­mal and power con­straints, desk­top chips can run at faster clock speeds, which does slightly hurt the P1’s per­for­mance by a small mar­gin. in Specview­perf 13, we recorded scores that were about 50 per cent slower than the Quadro P3000 in Len­ovo’s big­ger P52 lap­top, as ex­pected. But over­all, the Quadro P2000 still per­formed ad­mirably. opencl per­for­mance in Lux­mark’s Luxball test put in a score of 8,192, which is below desk­top cards, but in­dica­tive of be­ing use­ful in 3d tasks.

Cru­cially though, while this per­for­mance is not break­ing any records, the size of the P1 is. Given the choice be­tween a lap­top that you can sling in a bag and still use for all your 3d tasks, or one that can out­put more frames per se­cond but is go­ing to se­verely weigh you down, we’d have to choose lighter and more por­ta­ble ev­ery time.

Orestis Bastounis

Enough power for real 3D work in a slick, light­weight de­sign The stand-out fea­ture of the P1 is the in­tensely vivid 10-bit 4K touch-sen­si­tive screen

MAIN The dis­play is ab­so­lutely gor­geous, with high colour ac­cu­racy that pro­fes­sion­als needBOT­TOM LEFT The P1 de­liv­ers a no-com­pro­mise 3D de­sign en­vi­ron­ment with a svelte lookBOT­TOM MID­DLE It’s re­fresh­ing to see a good se­lec­tion of ports, even on a small lap­topBOT­TOM RIGHT Keep your work safe with the in­te­grated fin­ger­print scan­ner

BELOW Len­ovo is try­ing to be seen as a real player in 3D sys­tems, and the P1 is a great en­try

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