Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2)Source: Windows Central

Lenovo’s attack on the 15-inch powerhouse Ultrabook market includes both the second-gen ThinkPad X1 Extreme and ThinkPad P1, two devices that are almost identical yet are geared for different usage scenarios. I recently reviewed the X1 Extreme (Gen 2), ultimately handing it a Best Award thanks to its balance of design, features, and performance.

While the X1 Extreme’s internal hardware is more geared toward the average user who likes extra power, the ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2) counterpart is a truer mobile workstation with internal hardware meant to work with specialized professional software. I made the switch to the P1 more than a week ago to test it out and decided that a standard full review would be redundant. Instead, I’ll highlight some of the configuration differences and performance levels to help highlight what the P1 does better than the X1 Extreme.

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This laptop doesn’t come cheap, and you might be able to find a great deal during Amazon Prime Day sales. Just be sure Lenovo isn’t also offering up some tasty deals of its own; deep coupon discounts are often applied at the official retailer. We’ve seen models with a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and NVIDIA Quadro T1000 dedicated GPU go for somewhere around $1,760 at Amazon, so be sure you’re getting a better deal than that during Prime Day.

Second-gen Tweaks



Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2)

Mobile workstation sibling to the X1 Extreme

Lenovo’s second-gen ThinkPad P1 has the option for specialized hardware meant to handle specific design and development hardware.

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2) at a glance

ThinkPad P1 and X1 Extreme

Source: Windows Central

Lenovo supplied Windows Central with a review unit of the second-gen ThinkPad P1. This exact model includes a 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9850H vPro processor (CPU), 32GB of DDR4-2666MHz RAM, a 2TB M.2 PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), NVIDIA Quadro T2000 dedicated graphics card (GPU) with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and a 4K non-touch IPS display. This exact model costs almost $4,000 before any discounts, coming down to about $2,824 with the usual Lenovo coupon add-ons. An Intel Xeon E-2276M CPU and ECC RAM can be added for those who need it, though you will understandably pay more.

To put the price into perspective, a similar X1 Extreme model with a NVIDIA GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU and 1TB M.2 SSD costs almost $600 more as configured, though Lenovo’s coupon add-ons bring it down to about $2,628. Considering these two laptops are almost physically identical, it’s good that Lenovo is attempting to keep prices almost the same for similar internal hardware. If you want specialized hardware you’ll pay more, but otherwise there’s not much difference.

Like the X1 Extreme, the P1 has upgradeable SSD and RAM to help keep it relevant longer into the future. You can purchase a high-end CPU and cut costs on supporting hardware, only to upgrade yourself when you find a good deal. If you’d rather just buy straight from the factory and not worry about any DIY upgrades, Lenovo offers a ton of customization options.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the specs found in our review units of both the ThinkPad P1 and ThinkPad X1 Extreme.

Category ThinkPad P1 ThinkPad X1 Extreme
OS Windows 10 Pro Windows 10 Pro
Processor 9th Gen
Intel Core i7-9850H vPro
Up to 4.6GHz
Six cores
9th Gen
Intel Core i7-9850H vPro
Six cores
Up to 4.6GHz
RAM 32GB DDR4-2666MHz
Dual channel
32GB DDR4-2666MHz
Dual channel
Graphics NVIDIA Quadro T2000
4GB GDDR5 VRAM
NVIDIA GTX 1650 Max-Q
4GB GDDR5 VRAM
Storage 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD
RAID 0/1 support for dual SSDs
1TB M.2 PCIe SSD
RAID 0/1 support for dual M.2 SSDs
Display 15.6 inches
3840×2160 (UHD)
IPS, non-touch, matte
Dolby Vision HDR
15.6 inches
3840×2160 (UHD)
OLED, Touch
Dolby Vision HDR
Ports Two USB-A 3.1
Two Thunderbolt 3
HDMI 2.0
Ethernet extension connector
3.5mm audio
UHS-II SD card reader
Two USB-A 3.1
Two Thunderbolt 3
HDMI 2.0
Ethernet extension connector
3.5mm audio
UHS-II SD card reader
Audio Dual 2W speakers
Dolby Atmos
Dual 2W speakers
Dolby Atmos
Wireless Intel Wireless-AX200 (2×2)
802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
Bluetooth 5.0
Intel Wireless-AX200 (2×2)
802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
Bluetooth 5.0
Camera Front-facing 720p Front-facing 720p
Security Smart Card reader (optional)
IR camera
ThinkShutter webcam cover
dTPM 2.0
Fingerprint reader
Smart Card reader (optional)
ThinkShutter webcam cover
IR camera
dTPM 2.0
Fingerprint reader
Touchpad Precision
TrackPoint system
Precision
TrackPoint system
Battery 80Wh
135W AC adapter
80Wh
135W AC adapter
Dimensions 14.24 x 9.67 x 0.74 inches
(361.8mm x 245.7mm x 18.7mm)
14.24 x 9.67 x 0.74 inches
(361.8mm x 245.7mm x 18.7mm)
Weight Non-touch: 3.75 pounds (1.7kg)
Touch: 4.0 pounds (1.81kg)
Non-touch: 3.75 pounds (1.7kg)
Touch: 4.0 pounds (1.81kg)
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Comparing Lenovo’s ThinkPad P1 and X1 Extreme

Sitting closed side by side, the X1 Extreme and P1 are physically identical save for the small X1 branding on the lid of the former device. I won’t go into too many details about the design since I already wrote about the X1 Extreme, but know that the P1 uses the same aluminum alloy for the main chassis, it has the same carbon fiber finish on the lid, and it has undergone the same MIL-STD 810G durability testing.

The ThinkPad P1 comes with the same perks as the formidable X1 Extreme, but it’s far better cut out for specialized work.

Ports are also exactly the same, offering up solid connectivity with dual Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, dual USB-A 3.1, and an SD card reader handling the brunt of peripherals. There’s still a speedy fingerprint reader to the right of the keyboard for extra security on top of the IR camera for facial recognition. Dimensions and weight are exactly the same between both laptops.

While the X1 Extreme review unit includes an OLED 4K touch display with edge-to-edge glass, the P1 review unit has a non-touch 4K IPS display with matte finish. Instead of the edge-to-edge glass that covers the bezel, there’s a fiber hybrid surround that’s slightly raised. There’s still a front-facing 720p camera and IR camera built into the top bezel, complete with a privacy ThinkShutter cover. This display can also be had on the X1 Extreme, as can the OLED display be configured into the P1. Lenovo simply sent me different builds for a bit of variety.

Whereas the OLED display option offers 100% DCI-P3, 100% sRGB, and 100% AdobeRGB, color gamut coverage, the 4K IPS option brings 100% sRGB, 100% AdobeRGB, and about 86% DCI-P3. If you need accurate DCI-P3 coverage for the work at hand you’ll no doubt want to shell out the extra money for the OLED model, but otherwise the 4K IPS display is still a great option. If you don’t need 4K at all, the P1 has two FHD display options, one with and one without Dolby Vision HDR 400.

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ThinkPad P1 (left) and X1 Extreme

Source: Windows Central P1 on the left and X1 Extreme on the right, both set to the same 40% brightness. Notice how much brighter the OLED option is at this setting.

One major benefit of the non-OLED, non-touch 4K display in the P1 is a boost to battery life. I ran PCMark’s video rundown test simultaneously on both laptops to get an idea of the power draw when not running any heavy programs. Unsurprisingly, the P1 managed to hit five hours and 51 minutes, while the X1 Extreme hit four hours and 29 minutes. Whether you choose the P1 or X1 Extreme, you’re going to get a significant boost to battery life by foregoing the OLED option.

Part of the second-gen improvements in the P1 is a move to NVIDIA Quadro T1000 or T2000 dedicated GPUs. Compared to the NVIDIA GTX 1650 in the X1 Extreme, the Quadro hardware is designed to handle specialized workloads in the professional sector. If you’re working with software like AutoCAD, Revit, and SolidWorks, you’re likely going to want to opt for the P1. It also comes with numerous ISV certifications that guarantee the system is going to perform optimally when handling this type of work.

Both laptops can be configured with up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9880H vPro CPU, but only the P1 has the additional option for an Intel Xeon E-2276M vPro CPU. Like the NVIDIA Quadro, Xeon hardware is designed specifically to handle specialized work. I ran some benchmarks to see how well the second-gen ThinkPad P1 compares to the X1 Extreme and some other laptops we’ve recently reviewed.






CPU

Geekbench 5.0 Benchmarks (Higher is better)

Device CPU Single core Multi core
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2) i7-9850H 1,233 5,216
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2) i7-9850H 1,160 4,168
Dynabook Portégé X30-F i7-8665U 1,236 3,473
Dynabook Tecra X50-F i7-8665U 1,241 3,043
Dell Inspiron 13 7390 2-in-1 i7-8565U 1,111 2,965
Lenovo ThinkPad P53 Xeon E-2276M 1,237 6,152
Surface Laptop 3 13.5 Core i5-1035G7 1,177 4,413
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 Core i7-1065G7 1,209 3,571
Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 769 2,720
Dell XPS 15 7590 Core i9-9980HK 1,176 7,624

Same CPU, better raw performance seen in single- and multi-core scores in the ThinkPad P1.

PCMark

PCMark 10 Express

Device Score
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2) 4,969
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2) 4,915
Dynabook Portégé X30-F 3,881
Dynabook Tecra X50-F 4,128
Dell Inspiron 13 7390 2-in-1 3,764
Lenovo ThinkPad P53 5,668
Surface Laptop 3 15 (AMD) 4,006
Dell XPS 15 7590 5,521
Dell Precision 3541 3,906

The PCMark 10 Express test measures how well the system performs with general tasks, while the Extended version adds in some heavier work. The P1 scored 4,980 in the extended test, while the X1 Extreme managed 4,850.

3DMark

Time Spy

Device GPU Score
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2) Quadro T2000 2,956
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2) GTX 1650 Max-Q 3,190
Lenovo ThinkPad P53 Quadro RTX 5000 6,760
Lenovo Legion Y740 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q 6,406
Lenovo Legion Y740 17 RTX 2080 Max-Q 7,128
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3DMark

Fire Strike

Device GPU Score
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2) Quadro T2000 6,632
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2) GTX 1650 Max-Q 7,198
Dell XPS 15 (7590) GTX 1650 Max-Q 7,763
Lenovo ThinkPad P53 Quadro RTX 5000 16,367
Lenovo Legion Y740 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q 14,669
Lenovo Legion Y740 17 RTX 2080 Max-Q 16,303
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1070 13,560

Cinebench

Cinebench (R20) (Higher is better)

Device CPU Range
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2) Core i7-9850H 1,783 to 2,201
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2) Core i7-9850H 1,730 to 2,495
Dynabook Portégé X30-F Core i7-8665U 1,242 to 1,313
Lenovo ThinkPad P53 Xeon E-2276M 2,686 to 2,701
Surface Laptop 3 13.5 Core i5-1035G4 1,584 to 1,606
Surface Laptop 3 15 Core i7-1065G7 1,703 to 1,745

Running Cinebench four times in a row, the scores show the following ranges. Typically, the results drop on successive runs due to thermal constraints on the processor.

SSD

CrystalDiskMark (Higher is better)

Device Read Write
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2) 3,508 MB/s 3,010 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2) 3,416 MB/s 3,016 MB/s
Dynabook Portégé X30-F 529 MB/s 348 MB/s
Dynabook Tecra X50-F 3,400 MB/s 1,952 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad P53 3,567.23 MB/s 2,813.25 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 3,120 MB/s 1,551.5 MB/s
Dell XPS 15 7590 3,000 MB/s 2,796 MB/s
MSI PS63 Modern 3,300 MB/s 1,875 MB/s

The Samsung PM981 found here delivers extremely quick read and write speeds, and hardware can be upgraded down the road. Testing with PCMark’s data drive benchmark, I saw a score of 2,119.

Should you buy Lenovo’s ThinkPad P1?

Lenovo ThinkPad P1

Source: Windows Central

There’s not a lot to dislike about the X1 Extreme or the P1. The same minor gripes about battery life and relatively thick bezel apply here, but they’re certainly not deal-breakers. If you don’t need Intel Xeon and NVIDIA Quadro hardware for your workload, there’s really no reason to opt for the P1 unless there’s some sort of sale that sets it at a cheaper price than the X1 Extreme. The NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU is better cut out for the average user, and you won’t be paying the extra bucks for ISV certifications that are no doubt tucked in somewhere.

4.5
out of 5






Both laptops have an outstanding keyboard, ports are identical, and the same display options are available. Both bring a combination of durability, security features, and performance in a thin body that’s just plain fun to use. Be sure to check out our full review of the X1 Extreme (Gen 2) for grittier details that apply to both laptops. If neither of these laptops is quite what you’re looking for, head over to our best Windows laptop roundup for far more options.

Second-gen Tweaks



Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2)

Mobile workstation version of the X1 Extreme

Lenovo’s second-gen ThinkPad P1 has the option for specialized hardware meant to handle specific design and development hardware.

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