Lenovo ThinkPad P1 G4: Premium workstation gets larger 16:10 LCD, vapor chamber & Nvidia RTX A5000
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When the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 launched in 2018, the workstation version of the ThinkPad X1 Extreme was clearly aimed at the Dell Precision 5530. Since the original launch three years, every subsequent version of the ThinkPad P1 was built upon the first model, the basic design remained unchanged. The ThinkPad P1 Gen 2 added an OLED option, and the third model (ThinkPad P1 Gen 3 can be bought from Amazon) was available with WWAN for the first time - these are the biggest changes besides newer CPUs and GPUs.
In the meantime, competitor Dell has completely revamped their Precision 5000 series. Since last year, Dell has introduced a 17 inch model in form of the Dell Precision 5750 to compliment the Precision 5550. Also, Dell shifted the line from the 16:9 to the 16:10 format, introduced vapor chamber cooling in the 5750 and dropped all legacy ports in favor of USB C.
Another "change the CPU/GPU and nothing else" update would not do for the new ThinkPad P1. Clearly, Lenovo had to react - the result is the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4.
The first 16 inch ThinkPad: Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2021
The first important change: The ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 adopts the 16:10 format, just like the smaller X1 Carbon Gen 9. In this, the new model mirrors the Dell Precision 5000. Different from those however, Lenovo chose to forgo the 17 inch model. Instead, Lenovo opted to increase the screen size from 15.6 to 16 inch. The ThinkPad P1 G4 is the first ThinkPad to do this - maybe it is a sign for future models to come. In any case, the 16 inch 16:10 screen fits into a chassis of the same size as the old 15.6 inch 16:9 model, the new model simply has smaller bezels.
With new screens, the ThinkPad P1 2021 also features new resolutions. The base 400 cd/m² screen now has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 (WQXGA) instead of the basic FHD screen of the predecessor. OLED sadly is not an option anymore, though Lenovo still offers a 600 cd/m² 4K option (3,840 x 2,400). The base screen is matte, the 4K screen is either matte (non-touch) or glossy (touch).
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4: External & internal changes galore
The chassis around the screen is redesigned from scratch - though that can be hard to tell, the new version is very faithful to the original design. The biggest visual changes, beside the smaller bezel below the screen, are large top firing speakers to the side of the keyboard. The now flat TrackPoint buttons, slightly larger touchpad and lower travel 1.5 mm travel keyboard have been slightly revised, too. Also, the fingerprint reader is integrated with the power button. One area that has not changed: The ThinkPad P1 keeps all the legacy ports, including HDMI, 2x USB A and the SD card reader. An additional change: The webcam has been upgraded to 1080p and the new ThinkPad P1 will be offered with 5G.
On the inside, the obvious Tiger Lake H upgrade is happening, both Core- and Xeon-CPUs are available. Another obvious upgrade are the Nvidia Ampere GPUs, though in this case, Lenovo uses the opportunity to add more powerful models to the roster. Whereas the ThinkPad P1 Gen 2 only featured the Nvidia Quadro T2000, the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 will be available with the RTX A5000. Not only that, the GeForce RTX 3070 and 3080 are gonna be options, too. To realize these powerful components in a thin & light chassis, Lenovo has to completely revamp the cooling system, adding a vapor chamber and a new air-intake system, where air is taken in through the keyboard. Rounding up the package are the two RAM slots (up to 64 GB DDR4-3200, ECC for the Xeon models), two M.2 2280 SSD bays and the 90 Wh battery (up from 80 Wh).
Pricing and availability: ThinkPad P1 G4
Lenovo tells us the ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 will make it to the market in July. The base price will be quite steep, starting at $2,099.