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Lenovo ThinkPad P51

Introduction, Design, Features

The mobile workstation locus contains several pivotal players, who emanate uber-laptops privately to hoop resource-hungry applications such as video editing, 3D modeling, animation, visible effects, and high-end systematic analysis. HP and Dell have dedicated brands for their unstable workstations, a ZBook and Precision lines respectively. Lenovo’s entries are partial of a singly tangible ThinkPad family, though lift their possess suffix. If unchanging ThinkPads are powerful, a ThinkPad P array are in a class all their own.

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (Left Angled)

The instance seen here is a ThinkPad P51, a subsequent step in expansion from a 15.6-inch ThinkPad P50 that we tested in Apr 2016. Note that a array also includes a thinner and lighter P51s; a larger, 17.3-inch ThinkPad P71; and a 14-inch P40 Yoga, which features a 360-degree hinge and Wacom coop record for sketch and sketching.

Let’s get behind to a ThinkPad P51, that starts during $1,117 on Lenovo’s site. Our examination unit, however, with a high-end processor and graphics options and high-resolution IPS display, rings adult during $2,799 during CDW and other retailers. Let’s see what that investment buys we and how a P51’s opening compares to other heading mobile workstations in a class.


Right out of a box, a P51 touts a ThinkPad heritage, from a keyboard to a erratic ThinkPad heading emblazoned on a lid…

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (Back and Right)

This comes as no surprise; a character lends a complement a certain familiarity. The demeanour has worked for Lenovo so far, so because change it?

At a same time, there is a conspicuous disproportion between a P51 and municipal ThinkPads. While it’s frequency a usually one to wear matte black, nor a usually one to pass MIL-STD 810G tests opposite shock, vibration, impassioned temperatures, and other transport hazards, one can clarity a sturdier build and imperishable constitution, that are essential for a workstation that can withstand punishing workloads. For example, a vast 3D digest pursuit can taxation a CPU not usually for mins though for hours, even days. You need plain construction inside and out to hoop such a complicated load, and a dynamically built P51 is adult to a challenge.

In fact, with a industrial-strength opinion and style, we though find a ThinkPad P51 to have large good looks and a smart-looking profile…

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (Left Profile)

Its measure are 1.02 by 14.9 by 9.9 inches. Its lid has a soft-touch, rubber-like texture, that comes from glass-fiber-reinforced plastic…

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (Lid)

That ensures a secure reason though fingerprint smudges. The bottom is finished of aluminum and magnesium.

Overall, a Lenovo feels good in your hands. While it isn’t accurately a slimline with a weight of 5.6 pounds, we found it to be utterly docile to carry. A small additional heftiness to hoop a elements doesn’t worry us in a mobile workstation. Want an ultrabook? Look elsewhere, though don’t design a same muscle.


One of a initial things we beheld on powering adult a appurtenance was a 15.6-inch display, that in this box is a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) anti-glare in-plane switching (IPS) panel…

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (Front)

It’s around $200 some-more than a full HD (1,920×1,080) shade choice and about $100 some-more than a 1080p reason display, for those who cite a hands-on approach.

The P51’s shade looked good when observation photos, examination 4K video, and surfing a internet. The anti-glare, matte aspect of a shade minimized any distracting reflections, and a perspective from impassioned angles was utterly good. Although it doesn’t compare a 10-bit tone abyss of HP’s DreamColor panels, it’s though a really high-quality, appreciative arrangement with good contrariety and sharpness.

Speaking of a display, one of a many singular things about a ThinkPad P51 is a integrated X-Rite Pantone tone calibrator, whose sensor sits right underneath a keyboard, left of a reason pad…

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (Color Calibrator, Touchpad, and Fingerprint Reader)

To use it, we launch a tone calibration program that comes with a machine, select a white indicate and gamma response we desire, and tighten a lid (which fundamentally pushes a shade right opposite a sensor). At that point, a dimensions routine will start automatically. When a routine is finished, a beep will sound and a arrangement will be calibrated. That’s flattering neat, generally if you’re endangered with a visible humanities or filmmaking.

The reason pad is simply proportioned and has a smooth, nonetheless grippy anti-glare aspect (like a rest of a machine). There are left, right, and core buttons above and next a pad, a critical underline for CAD work.

The keyboard of a ThinkPad P51 is a cut above…

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (Keyboard and Touchpad)

The keys themselves are gentle to form on, and there’s a apart keypad for those who enter a lot of numeric data. The keyboard also facilities backlighting, that we can toggle by dual liughtness levels (plus off) by dire a Fn pivotal and space bar. Naturally, you’ll find Lenovo’s heading TrackPoint outgrowth embedded in a keyboard for relocating a cursor though holding your fingers off a home row.

There are also dedicated volume and tongue-tied keys located atop a numeric keypad. On a bottom right of a keyboard is a fingerprint reader for extended security.

Speaking of volume, there’s a slight orator grille above a keyboard. While a sound turn is decent, there is really small drum response. Therefore, song sounds rather tinny. Audiophiles or song producers will need to block in speakers, audio interfaces, or during slightest headphones.

Most of a ThinkPad P51’s ports can be found on a behind of a machine…

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (Back and Left)

Most other mobile workstations have ports on a left and right sides. Lenovo’s mangle from tradition here is excellent with us; because not put them on a back, identical to where a desktop PC’s would be?

Anyway, during a rear, you’ll find dual USB 3.0 (Type A) ports…

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (Back Ports)

The one with a battery pitch is always accessible to energy or recharge handheld devices, even if a P51 goes into nap mode. There’s also an Ethernet jack, a Thunderbolt 3 port, an HDMI video output, and a energy connector. Additionally, you’ll find a opening for a cooling fan exhaust.

On a system’s right side, there’s a headphone/microphone audio combo jack, dual some-more USB 3.0 ports, a mini DisplayPort, a Kensington close slot, and another empty vent…

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (Right Ports)

On a left side of a computer, you’ll find a full-size SD label reader (important for photographers) and an ExpressCard/34 container (important for, um, those who need one)…

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (SD Card and ExpressCard Slots)

On a bottom of a P51 is a connector for a exclusive Lenovo advancing station, if we don’t wish to insert one around Thunderbolt 3.

As with many mobile workstations, a P51 comes with a 720p HD webcam and a built-in microphone for videoconferencing or simple video recording.

Aside from a Pantone tone calibration focus we discussed earlier, program on a Lenovo ThinkPad P51 includes a Lenovo App Explorer, where we can crop by and implement several programs (some by Lenovo, some not; some useful, some not), and a Lenovo Companion, a comprehensive, well-designed focus that allows we to test, configure, upgrade, and get information about your P51.

For networking, a ThinkPad comes with an Intel dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi label and Bluetooth 4.1. Those who are on a highway a lot competence wish to supplement a Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A WWAN label for an additional $140.


The ThinkPad P51 is accessible with your choice of a 7th Generation Intel Core i7 processor or an Intel Xeon E3 chip. Our examination section came with a greatest Xeon available, a E3-1535v6, that has an 8MB cache and a time speed of 3.1GHz (turbo 4.2GHz). It also supports ECC memory for those who need incorruptible information storage. This quad-core Xeon screamer will get we by complicated media, animation, and CAD projects in stride.

For graphics, a Lenovo ThinkPad P51 we reviewed packaged a absolute Nvidia Quadro M2200 with 4GB of GDDR5 memory and 1,024 CUDA estimate cores. This absolute ISV-certified GPU offers lots of energy for 3D professionals and is able of GPU digest jobs with Octane and Redshift. Core i7 buyers can opt for a Quadro M1200 instead, that comes with a same 4GB of GDDR5 memory though usually has 640 CUDA cores, so opening will not be as great. It can also play games rather well, though that’s not what it’s optimized for. The Quadro cards are built for prolongation work, generally within applications from a likes of Adobe and Autodesk.

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (Underside)

Storage options on a ThinkPad P51 are considerable. In sequence to benefit entrance to a storage, you’ll need to mislay a bottom row of a workstation, that is finished simply adequate after relaxation a few screws. There are dual M.2 2280-type slots where we can implement NVMe solid-state drives (up to 1TB each), configurable in RAID 0 or 1. There is also a 2.5-inch tough expostulate brook that can also accommodate adult to 1TB. That means a workstation can hoop adult to 3TB of total storage. That’s impressive. Our examination section had a single, 512GB PCIe SSD.

As distant as memory is concerned, a Lenovo can reason 64GB of possibly ECC or non-ECC memory (expect to compensate a bit some-more for ECC). That is an plenty volume of memory, on standard with other mobile workstations out there, and is some-more than adequate to hoop many media and post-production hurdles these days. Access to a dual SoDIMM slots can be simply gained after stealing a bottom panel. The appurtenance we reviewed had 16GB of RAM installed.

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (Battery)

The ThinkPad P51 also has an simply removable six-cell lithium-polymer 90WHr battery, that slips out though stealing a bottom panel. That means we can receptacle around an additional battery in box we run out of power.

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