Here are key points about the Lenovo ThinkPad P51.
Mobile Xeon and Quadro: Lenovo's ThinkPads are all about getting the job done, and here the ThinkPad is about getting workstation-type tasks done on the go. With the Mobile Xeon, you get security, and the Quadro helps improve the performance when dealing with CAD and professional rendering software. Both the Quadro and Xeon also should provide increased durability and reliability. Some people require both of these in a relatively portable package, and for them, a mobile workstation such as this if the way to go.
LTE Connectivity: If you are in the field and need to access the internet, it's not always possible to find a trusted WIFI hotspot, and that's when an LTE modem makes sense. While you can easily buy these types of modems from your cell phone carrier, they are external devices, here you have it integrated, which has many advantages.
Thunderbolt 3 and USB: If you are in a professional editing environment and work with very large files, Thunderbolt 3 is the way to go for backup and transfers. It's much faster than most LAN setups, and the port is backward compatible with USB 3.1 and other type-C devices. The notebook also offers a good amount of USB ports, and I like their position at the rear of the device. One of the USB ports also stays on when the notebook is off.
Usability: Battery life rocks, it lasts pretty much all day. The notebook isn't that heavy either, so you will be able to carry it around with ease and even without a case or backpack. Lenovo also offers many options in regards to input control. You have a touchpad with two sets of buttons, TrackPoint, and even an active pen. If that wasn't enough, you also can customize many aspects of the keyboard.
Quiet Operation: Stressing the CPU and GPU with synthetics for a while will make the fans ramp up, but during normal use, we found the notebook noise to be quite bearable when it comes to fan noise. The cooling system is well optimized to provide a quieter than usual experience.
Speakers: The speakers aren't the best; if you want to play a game or watch Netflix with the built-in speakers you might not be super impressed with their loudness level.
Screen a bit dim: The screen isn't the brightest. While it offers great viewing, it's not bright enough to be easily viewable in a bright situation such as under the sun.
Construction quality of the ThinkPad P51 is excellent; the notebook feels solid, like a tool. It is well thought out and offers a wide variety of physical features we liked such as a spill-resistant keyboard, removable battery, and simple upgrade capabilities. It is great for business and enterprise where you need high security and manageability.
The performance was excellent as well, and the notebook cools itself down efficiently without crazy annoying fan noise. Battery life was also impressive, at least with the 1080P display. The notebook offers some of the latest modern features such as Thunderbolt 3 and an LTE modem.
If you want a notebook to double as a true mobile workstation with solid performance at a reasonable price, you should give the Lenovo P51 a close look.
The Bottom Line: Lenovo's ThinkPad P51 offers a high degree of manageability, excellent performance, and high-quality construction in a truly portable package with solid battery life.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Physical Overview]
- Page 3 [Physical Overview Continued]
- Page 4 [Software and BIOS]
- Page 5 [System Performance Benchmarks]
- Page 6 [System IO and Battery Performance]
- Page 7 [Thermal Performance and Noise]
- Page 8 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]