The new Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 is an impressive mobile workstation from multiple angles. Its 15” screen might be the smallest of the bunch, but it’s still quite versatile thanks to its UHD display.
And just because you can’t upgrade it with NVMe SSDs doesn’t mean that the storage options are bad at all. On top of that, powerful hardware and cooling will ensure long battery life during even stressful tasks. But does this machine have quirks? Let’s find out together in our review!
Specs sheet Check price
CPU Intel Core i9-9980HK GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q (8GB GDDR5) RAM 32 GB DDR4 (2x DIMMs, up to 64GB) SSD 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD HDD 1 TB FireCuda SSHD Display 15.6” UHD (3840×2160) IPS Anti-Glare Wi-Fi 802.11ac Ports 2x Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type C), 3.5mm headphone jack Battery 6 cell 74 Wh Dimensions 376 x 253 x 19 mm (14.81″ x 10.04″ x 0.75″)
Introduction – Made by Lenovo
The new Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 is an impressive mobile workstation from multiple angles. Its 15” screen might be the smallest of the bunch, but it’s still quite versatile thanks to its UHD display. And just because you can’t upgrade it with NVMe SSDs doesn’t mean that the storage options are bad at all. On top of that, powerful hardware and cooling will ensure long battery life during even stressful tasks. But does this machine have quirks? Let’s find out together in our review!
Lenovo ThinkPad P15 – Exterior & design
Is there any difference between the new 2018 model and last year’s iteration ? Without a doubt so! The new ThinkPad P15 maintains the same shape as in 2017 which in turn is similar to what you can find on the previous generation ThinkPad P-series. However, this laptop is slightly thinner and more compact than its predecessor.
That’s because the manufacturer has decided to use a smaller battery which has left us with an all-new design under the hood. The chassis is now roughly 2cm shorter which allowed Lenovo to reduce some of its dimensions as well (Lenovo claims that it’s 17% thinner than last year). Even if it doesn’t look like it’s any different from before, users will notice right away how much lighter this notebook feels in day-to-day use.
Weight distribution hasn’t changed compared to last year either, but that’s OK since there were no significant issues with our first P-series review. On the contrary, users loved the balanced weight distribution and overall ergonomics with no sharp edges or hinges protruding from the lower section where your wrists rest.
The key thing to note here is that this laptop is only 19mm thick which makes it feel like a premium product (and not like a bulky workstation). It’s still quite heavy though. With Lenovo ThinkPad P1 we mentioned that we would rather have more battery life than saving on weight and I want to repeat that opinion once again.
If anything, I’d sacrifice some of this machine’s mobility in favor of better performance and for sure add at least one USB Type-A port considering how many peripherals are out there . Let me also add here that Lenovo could have used the smaller battery to make this machine slimmer, but instead they’ve opted to do it in an even thinner manner.
Lenovo has redesigned the ventilation system
If there’s one thing I would like to see changed with this company’s mobile workstations is for them not to be so conservative when it comes to innovating their chassis design.
That’s why you won’t find any changes here either. The iconic “ThinkPad” logo has been moved from its usual spot on the palm rest and placed right above the keyboard. P15 Gen 2 looks particularly nice due to its silver keys which are backlit – something that was also included on last year’s model (but only on select SKUs). You can also notice a small Red LED on the Power key which will flash when battery is low .
Speaking of ports, Lenovo hasn’t made any significant changes here either. You get 4x USB Type-A 3.0 ports and one Thunderbolt 3 port on the left while HDMI 2.0 and a SIM card tray can be found on the right side together with a Kensington Lock slot.
I’m sure you will agree with me when I say that not having at least one more USB Type-A port is quite odd for a 15″ laptop in 2018 even if your budget doesn’t allow for faster NVMe storage (although pairing up two such drives might actually work). Not to mention that most people like to connect things like printers or even external GPUs to their mobile workstations. Do note that the device also comes with an Ethernet port for wired connections.
ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 is rather easy to open despite having a smaller batter
The Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 possesses a more angular design with an all black interior which is known for its premium look and feel (and it’s matte!)
The Thinkpad P15 Display
The display itself features narrow bezels which allows the company to pack in a 15.6″ panel into this device’s body.
It’s also very bright with good viewing angles , but that comes at the price of high luminance which might decrease battery life during tasks such as video editing . What I don’t like here is the lack of touch support, but I shouldn’t expect anything less from large-size business oriented devices anyway.
The screen’s color profile could be better though since both colors and contrast feel washed out. You do get a matte panel to prevent any annoying glare and thankfully this model doesn’t suffer from the terrible “graininess” that we got on last year’s ThinkPad P51 .
Lenovo has opted for a 4-cell / 56Wh battery which is pretty much standard for modern laptops. The good news here is that you can expect up to 15 hours of autonomy.
However, I’m really disappointed with Lenovo not including Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C ports, especially since it’s one of their own technologies (it was originally meant to be included in the Power Bridge module).
To sum up, ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 looks well built and once again I have no complaints in this regard .
The chassis itself feels solid though not as premium as what you can get on some other ThinkPads out there (but that’s expected). It’s just 8mm thick which makes it harder for Lenovo to incorporate good quality materials.
Nevertheless, hinges are firm without any weak spots when the lid is opened or closed . This laptop doesn’t flex much when pressed against its body either – at least not when compared to some other competitors.
I know this review is pretty harsh, but you can’t expect to get everything on a $2000 laptop. This device does come with some good features like the thin and light design , excellent speakers etc., but there are also some real flaws here which include high price (which often leads to more problems), lack of Thunderbolt 3 (why Lenovo why?), narrow bezels which cause uneven backlight bleeding on the sides of the screen, poor color profile which causes washed out colors etc.
Unfortunately, these won’t be changed even if Android apps start appearing on this machine anytime soon… at least not without upgrading certain components.