Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 Evaluate

We have referred to fifteen.6-inch flagship cellular workstations just like the HP ZBook Fury 15 G8 and Dell Precision 7560 as heavyweights, however they’re truly not on the high of the meals chain—there are 17.3-inch laptops on this section, too. The Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 (begins at $1,739; $5,596 as examined) is a whopping 8.1 kilos of energy for computer-aided design (CAD), CGI rendering, and crunching mammoth datasets. It flaunts a jumbo display screen with 4K decision for an unlimited view of visible apps, too. The P17 Gen 2 would not change the ZBook Fury 15 as our Editors’ Selection honoree amongst no-holds-barred cellular workstations as a result of it is simply too ponderous, however it’s a formidable weapon—make that an entire arsenal—for getting demanding jobs performed.

Massive as All Open air 

The ThinkPad P17 is the one Lenovo laptop computer that might overshadow the 15.6-inch, 6.3-pound ThinkPad P15 Gen 2. As 1.2 by 16.3 by 11 inches (HWD) of matte black fiber-reinforced plastic over a magnesium body, it will not slot in many briefcases and can snap an airline tray desk like a twig. It holds as much as 128GB of RAM, with error-correcting-code (ECC) reminiscence obtainable for Intel Xeon configurations, and three 2TB solid-state drives.

Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 right angle

(Picture: Molly Flores)

The $1,739 base mannequin has a six-core Intel Core i5 processor and a full HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) non-touch show backed by Nvidia’s T1200 skilled GPU. Choices vary as much as the eight-core Xeon W-11955M or Core i9-11950H. 

Our take a look at unit ($5,596 at Perception or $5,825 at CDW) is not that excessive, with a six-core, 3.2GHz Xeon W-11855M, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB NVMe SSD, however maxed out on visuals with a 16GB Nvidia RTX A5000 and a 3,840-by-2,160-pixel IPS display screen with manufacturing unit shade calibration and a rated 500 nits of brightness. The 2 talked about are the one shows obtainable; no contact display screen or OLED panel is obtainable.

Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 rear angle

(Picture: Molly Flores)

Its bulk means the P17 Gen 2 has room for all fashionable conveniences, starting from a numeric keypad beside the keyboard to a fingerprint reader and face recognition webcam with sliding privateness shutter. Like all ThinkPads, it is handed MIL-STD 810G torture checks for street hazards like shock, vibration, and temperature extremes. There isn’t any flex should you grasp the display screen corners—the bezels across the show are enormous, by the way in which—or press the keyboard deck.

Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 left ports

(Picture: Molly Flores)

Ports are plentiful. The laptop computer’s left edge holds an HDMI video output, always-on USB 3.2 Gen 1 Sort-A port, SIM slot for elective 4G LTE cellular broadband, and an audio jack.

Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 right ports

(Picture: Molly Flores)

On the appropriate, you will discover SmartCard and SD card slots, one other USB-A port, and a Kensington lock slot. Two Thunderbolt 4 ports be part of Ethernet and USB-C ports and the connector for the hefty AC adapter round again. Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth are normal.

Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 rear ports

(Picture: Molly Flores)

Calibrated Shade 

The 4K show would not fairly match the beautiful hues of our favourite cellular workstation screens, HP’s DreamColor panels, however is gorgeous simply the identical, with wealthy, vivid colours, ample brightness, and crisp distinction. Advantageous particulars are crystal-clear and viewing angles are broad. An X-Ceremony Shade Assistant utility within the taskbar tray permits you to swap amongst default, sRGB on-line, Adobe RGB picture and illustration, DCI-P3 cinema, Rec. 709 HDTV, and DICOM medical imaging shade profiles. It’s also possible to restore manufacturing unit profiles from the cloud. 

The webcam has the standard lackluster 720p decision, so its photographs are soft-focus at greatest, however they’re impressively well-lit and colourful even in not-very-bright environments, with minimal static. Sound from the speaker grille above the keyboard is slightly hole and never significantly loud even at high quantity. You may make out overlapping tracks, however bass is minimal. Dolby Entry software program provides an equalizer with Music, Film, Recreation, Voice, and Dynamic presets, a few of which sound harsh or tinny.

Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 front view

(Picture: Molly Flores)

As a Xeon mannequin, our P17 Gen 2 comes with Home windows 10 Professional for Workstations. There isn’t any bloatware—about the one bonus app is Look by Mirametrix, which makes use of the webcam to trace your gaze for switching window focus when utilizing an exterior monitor. Lenovo Fast Clear briefly disables the keyboard and touchpad when you wipe down the system, whereas the acquainted Lenovo Vantage (dubbed Industrial Vantage on ThinkPads) centralizes system updates, Wi-Fi safety, and battery, audio, microphone, and keyboard settings. 

The one keyboard setting we would contemplate is utilizing Vantage to swap the Fn and Management keys, that are in one another’s place at backside left. In any other case, the backlit keyboard delivers the anticipated ThinkPad excellence, with loads of journey, a quick typing really feel, and an admirable structure.

Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 keyboard

(Picture: Molly Flores)

The Escape and Delete keys aren’t too tiny and the F10 and F11 keys place and finish calls in Microsoft Groups. The buttons beneath the spacebar, together with the center button in style with CAD apps, technically belong to the TrackPoint pointing stick as an alternative of the touchpad. However you should use them with both; the pad is a bit smaller than we anticipated for such an enormous laptop computer however glides and faucets silkily.

Efficiency Testing: All-Out Workstations Go Head to Head 

For our benchmark charts, I in contrast the ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 to 4 15.6-inch premium cellular workstations—the abovementioned champions from Lenovo, HP, and Dell plus the MSI WS66. You possibly can see their primary specs within the desk beneath.

Productiveness Exams 

The principle benchmark of UL’s PCMark 10 simulates a wide range of real-world productiveness and content-creation workflows to measure general efficiency for office-centric duties reminiscent of phrase processing, spreadsheeting, internet searching, and videoconferencing. We additionally run PCMark 10’s Full System Drive take a look at to evaluate the load time and throughput of a laptop computer’s storage.

Three benchmarks deal with the CPU, utilizing all obtainable cores and threads, to charge a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 makes use of that firm’s Cinema 4D engine to render a posh scene, whereas Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Professional simulates in style apps starting from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine studying. Lastly, we use the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4 to transform a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p decision (decrease occasions are higher). 

Our closing productiveness take a look at is Puget Techniques’ PugetBench for Photoshop, which makes use of the Artistic Cloud model 22 of Adobe’s well-known picture editor to charge a PC’s efficiency for content material creation and multimedia purposes. It is an automatic extension that executes a wide range of basic and GPU-accelerated Photoshop duties starting from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving a picture to making use of masks, gradient fills, and filters.

All these workstations pulverized the 4,000 factors that point out glorious productiveness in PCMark 10; utilizing them for Phrase or PowerPoint is a waste. The ZBook Fury 15 received our HandBrake video enhancing train whereas all 5 techniques shone in Photoshop; the P17 Gen 2’s six-core processor predictably trailed the eight-core chips in our CPU checks, however confirmed greater than ample energy for difficult duties. 

Graphics Exams 

We take a look at Home windows PCs’ graphics with two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL’s 3DMark, Night time Raid (extra modest, appropriate for laptops with built-in graphics) and Time Spy (extra demanding, appropriate for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs). 

We additionally run two checks from the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which stresses each low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like picture rendering. The 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Automotive Chase checks, rendered offscreen to accommodate completely different show resolutions, train graphics and compute shaders utilizing the OpenGL programming interface and {hardware} tessellation respectively. The extra frames per second (fps), the higher.

We have seen a variety of outcomes from related GPUs in Nvidia’s RTX 30 sequence, and that held true right here, however the ThinkPad P17 got here out forward in most of those recreation simulations. It carries impartial software program vendor (ISV) certifications for specialised skilled applications, not video games, however can definitely fulfill your itch for slightly after-hours fragging, racing, or world-building. 

Workstation-Particular Exams 

We run three further applications to simulate workstation purposes. The primary is PugetBench for Adobe Premiere Professional, a counterpart to our Photoshop benchmark that focuses on video slightly than picture enhancing. Since we do not have outcomes for each system, I swapped in our Editors’ Selection amongst light-weight workstations, Lenovo’s 16-inch ThinkPad P1 Gen 4, and two content material creation desktop replacements, the MSI Creator 17 and the 15.6-inch HP ZBook Studio Gen 8. 

The second benchmark is Blender, an open-source 3D suite for modeling, animation, simulation, and compositing. We document the time it takes for its built-in Cycles path tracer to render two photo-realistic scenes of BMW vehicles, one utilizing the system’s CPU and one the GPU (decrease occasions are higher). BMW artist Mike Pan has stated he considers the scenes too quick for rigorous testing, however they seem to be a in style benchmark. 

Maybe our most necessary workstation take a look at, SPECviewperf 2020, renders, rotates, and zooms out and in of stable and wireframe fashions utilizing viewsets from in style ISV apps. We run the 1080p decision checks based mostly on PTC’s Creo CAD platform; Autodesk’s Maya modeling and simulation software program for movie, TV, and video games; and Dassault Systemes’ SolidWorks 3D rendering package deal. The extra frames per second, the higher.

The ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 is the second- or third-fastest cellular workstation we have examined, greater than capable of make mincemeat of formidable visible rendering or number-crunching duties. It is a bruiser, however its uncooked energy and good-looking show make it a mighty accomplice if you’re tackling powerful jobs. 

Battery and Show Exams 

We take a look at laptops’ battery life by taking part in a regionally saved 720p video file (the open-source Blender film Tears of Metal(Opens in a brand new window)) with show brightness at 50% and audio quantity at 100%. We be sure the battery is totally charged earlier than the take a look at, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting turned off. 

We additionally use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its Home windows software program to measure a laptop computer display screen’s shade saturation—what proportion of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 shade gamuts or palettes the show can present—and its 50% and peak brightness in nits (candelas per sq. meter).

The P17 posted the shortest battery life within the group, however laptop computer workstations are nearly all the time plugged in for lengthy workloads of 3D rendering or information evaluation and a 17.3-inch workstation is even much less more likely to be unplugged than a 15.6-inch one, so we cannot complain. Its splendid display screen brightness and shade depth was rivaled solely by the Fury’s DreamColor show.

ISV Apps Meet Mechagodzilla 

The one factor that retains the Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 from claiming an Editors’ Selection award is its colossal bulk; until you actually desire a plus-size display screen, there is not any have to punish your self by carrying this beefy workstation when equal or almost equal energy is offered in lighter packages. (The ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 is actually lower than half the burden.)

Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 left angle

(Picture: Molly Flores)

However the P17’s efficiency is faultless and its show tops the charts for high quality in addition to floor space. Received limitless work to do? Get a limiteless laptop computer.

Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2


  • Spectacular CPU and GPU efficiency

  • Beautifully vivid and colourful 17.3-inch show

  • First-class keyboard

  • Full complement of ports

  • Elective 4G LTE

  • Tons of configuration selections

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The Backside Line

Lenovo’s huge, burly ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 is barely transportable, however in any other case may very well be the last word cellular workstation.

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