Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad P43s laptop review: The mobile workstation's display and performance disappoint

Slowed-down ThinkPad. Lenovo's mobile workstation scores points with great input devices, good battery life and a Thunderbolt 3 port. But the laptop isn't able to reach its full performance potential.
Sascha Mölck, 👁 Andreas Osthoff (translated by Stephanie Chamberlain),

The Lenovo ThinkPad P43s belongs to the category of slim, 14-inch mobile workstations. The device is identical in construction to the ThinkPad T490 sister model. A Core i7-8565U processor and a Quadro P520 graphics core are on board. The laptop's rival is the recently reviewed HP ZBook 14u G6.

Since the T490 and P43s are built identically, we won't go into the case, the connectivity, the input devices and the speakers. The corresponding information can be found in our review of the ThinkPad T490

Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Processor
Intel Core i7-8565U 4 x 1.8 - 4.6 GHz (Intel Core i7)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA Quadro P520 - 2048 MB, Core: 1303-1493 MHz, Memory: 1500 MHz, GDDR5, 64-bit interface, Nvidia 431.94, Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4 2400, single-channel, one memory slot (free), 8 GB soldered
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, Lenovo N140HCA-EAC, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake-U PCH-LP Premium
Storage
WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-256G, 256 GB 
, 211 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC257 @ Intel Cannon Point PCH - cAVS
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: combo audio, Card Reader: microSD, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader, TPM 2.0
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 18.9 x 329 x 227 ( = 0.74 x 12.95 x 8.94 in)
Battery
51 Wh, 4372 mAh Lithium-Ion, 11.55 V
Charging
fast charging / Quickcharge
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
1.531 kg ( = 54 oz / 3.38 pounds), Power Supply: 355 g ( = 12.52 oz / 0.78 pounds)
Price
1249 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
80 %
10/2019
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
i7-8565U, Quadro P520
1.5 kg18.9 mm14"1920x1080
81 %
10/2019
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
i7-8565U, Radeon Pro WX 3200
1.5 kg17.9 mm14"1920x1080

Size comparison

354 mm / 13.9 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 16 mm / 0.63 inch 2 kg4.41 lbs329 mm / 13 inch 227 mm / 8.94 inch 18.9 mm / 0.744 inch 1.5 kg3.38 lbs329 mm / 13 inch 227 mm / 8.94 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 1.5 kg3.21 lbs326 mm / 12.8 inch 234.4 mm / 9.23 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 1.5 kg3.26 lbs
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Average of class Workstation
  (17.2 - 220, n=71)
139 MB/s ∼100% +76%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
128.6 MB/s ∼93% +63%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
78.8 MB/s ∼57%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
77.8 MB/s ∼56% -1%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
206.5 MB/s ∼100% +145%
Average of class Workstation
  (18.4 - 255, n=69)
174 MB/s ∼84% +106%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
84.3 MB/s ∼41% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
84.3 MB/s ∼41%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Workstation
  (292 - 1557, n=61)
729 MBit/s ∼100% +22%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
655 MBit/s ∼90% +9%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
644 MBit/s ∼88% +7%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
609 MBit/s ∼84% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
600 MBit/s ∼82%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
680 MBit/s ∼100% +4%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
676 MBit/s ∼99% +4%
Average of class Workstation
  (83 - 1642, n=61)
669 MBit/s ∼98% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
652 MBit/s ∼96%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
510 MBit/s ∼75% -22%

Display - P43s with dim IPS display

The 14-inch screen of the Lenovo P43s works at a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. While the display provides a good contrast (1365:1), the brightness (213.6 cd/m²) is far too low. We expect a value beyond 300 cd/m² here. This is particularly demanded by the laptop's price point.

Unfortunately, the display flickers at a frequency of 24,750 Hz at brightness levels of 40% and below. At this high frequency, even sensitive users shouldn't be troubled by headaches and/or eye problems.

Pixel array
Pixel array
206
cd/m²
216
cd/m²
208
cd/m²
214
cd/m²
232
cd/m²
212
cd/m²
207
cd/m²
219
cd/m²
208
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Lenovo N140HCA-EAC
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 232 cd/m² Average: 213.6 cd/m² Minimum: 2.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 232 cd/m²
Contrast: 1365:1 (Black: 0.17 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.9 | 0.6-29.43 Ø5.8, calibrated: 4.4
ΔE Greyscale 4.8 | 0.64-98 Ø6
62.8% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 40.2% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 1.98
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
IGZO IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Response Times
20%
-73%
-46%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
42.6 (22, 20.4)
40.4 (20.4, 20)
5%
74 (33.6, 40.4)
-74%
49.6 (25.2, 24.4)
-16%
Response Time Black / White *
29.6 (17.2, 12.4)
19.2 (8.4, 10.8)
35%
45.6 (22.8, 22.8)
-54%
37.6 (20.4, 17.2)
-27%
PWM Frequency
24750 (40)
2451 (50)
-90%
990.1 (25)
-96%
Screen
40%
32%
36%
Brightness middle
232
437
88%
418
80%
430.9
86%
Brightness
214
420
96%
400
87%
398
86%
Brightness Distribution
89
92
3%
88
-1%
79
-11%
Black Level *
0.17
0.31
-82%
0.24
-41%
0.35
-106%
Contrast
1365
1410
3%
1742
28%
1231
-10%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.9
2.6
56%
4.7
20%
3.29
44%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
20.3
6.5
68%
8.7
57%
7.46
63%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.4
0.8
82%
2.1
52%
3.58
19%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.8
4.5
6%
5.9
-23%
2.6
46%
Gamma
1.98 111%
2.2 100%
2.06 107%
2.19 100%
CCT
6226 104%
6809 95%
7350 88%
6870 95%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
40.2
65.4
63%
59.9
49%
87.2
117%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
62.8
99.6
59%
92.1
47%
100
59%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
30% / 37%
-21% / 10%
-5% / 18%

* ... smaller is better

Out of the box, the ThinkPad's display shows a very acceptable color reproduction. However, with a DeltaE 2000 color deviation of 5.9, the target (DeltaE less than 3) is missed. Calibration can be used to slightly improve color reproduction, making the color deviation drop to a value of 4.4 and the grayscales be displayed in a much more balanced way. The AdobeRGB and sRGB color spaces are not fully mapped. The coverage rates are 40.2% (AdobeRGB) and 62.8% (sRGB), respectively. 

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscales
CalMAN - Grayscales
CalMAN - Color saturation
CalMAN - Color saturation
CalMAN - ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN - ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN - Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN - Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN - Color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN - Color saturation (calibrated)
ThinkPad vs. AdobeRGB
ThinkPad vs. AdobeRGB
ThinkPad vs. sRGB
ThinkPad vs. sRGB

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
29.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17.2 ms rise
↘ 12.4 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 71 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.4 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
42.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 20.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 60 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (38.8 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 24750 Hz ≤ 40 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 24750 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 40 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 24750 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 17612 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

Lenovo has equipped the ThinkPad with an IPS panel that has stable viewing angles. In this way, the screen can be read from any position. Outdoors, the display can only be read when the sun isn't shining too brightly due to the low display brightness.

The ThinkPad outdoors
The ThinkPad outdoors
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance - The ThinkPad is unable to reach its full potential

With the ThinkPad P43s, Lenovo has a 14-inch workstation in its range. The review device provided to us is available for about 1,700 Euros (~$1,891). Other configuration variants are available, and prices start at around 1,350 Euros (~$1,502).

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
Intel XTU
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWInfo
LatencyMon
 

Processor

The ThinkPad comes with a Core i7-8565U (Whiskey Lake) quad-core processor. The CPU runs at a base speed of 1.8 GHz. Turbo can be used to increase it to 4.1 GHz (all four cores), 4.5 GHz (two cores) and 4.6 GHz (one core), respectively. 

The multithread tests of the Cinebench benchmarks are run for a few seconds at 3.1 to 3.3 GHz. The clock speed then drops to 1.8 to 2 GHz. The single-thread tests are processed for a short time at 3.8 to 4.2 GHz. Afterwards, the speed drops to 3.5 to 3.6 GHz. On battery power, the speeds are 1.9 GHz (multithread) and 1.5 to 1.9 GHz (single-thread), respectively. 

Multithread (plugged in)
Multithread (plugged in)
Single-thread (plugged in)
Single-thread (plugged in)
Multithread (on battery power)
Multithread (on battery power)
Single-thread (on battery power)
Single-thread (on battery power)

We test whether Turbo is also used consistently when plugged in by running Cinebench's R15 multithread test continuously in a loop for a minimum of 30 minutes. The results fall slightly from the first to the second run and then remain at a constant level. Turbo is used to a very small extent. Furthermore, the ThinkPad manages to undercut the already poor results of the HP ZBook 14 G6.

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Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø420 (415.34-452.98)
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø473 (469.58-493.18)
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00 Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø639 (632-673)
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1 Intel Core i7-8706G, Intel Core i7-8706G: Ø748 (717.21-781.39)
CPU clock speeds while running the CB15 loop
CPU clock speeds while running the CB15 loop
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6128
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
13806
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
4531
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
452 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
26.2 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
155 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U
180 Points ∼100% +16%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (138 - 193, n=51)
173 Points ∼96% +12%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8706G
172 Points ∼96% +11%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
169 Points ∼94% +9%
Average of class Workstation
  (117 - 214, n=110)
164 Points ∼91% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U
155 Points ∼86%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Average of class Workstation
  (260 - 1714, n=114)
833 Points ∼100% +84%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8706G
781 Points ∼94% +73%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U
680 (592.15min - 661.89max) Points ∼82% +50%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (452 - 815, n=52)
612 Points ∼73% +35%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
493 Points ∼59% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U
452 Points ∼54%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8706G
24130 Points ∼100% +75%
Average of class Workstation
  (8373 - 50439, n=97)
20996 Points ∼87% +52%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (13806 - 23118, n=16)
17608 Points ∼73% +28%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
14355 Points ∼59% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U
13806 Points ∼57%
Rendering Single 32Bit
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (2682 - 8906, n=16)
6571 Points ∼100% +7%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8706G
6549 Points ∼100% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U
6128 Points ∼93%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
5996 Points ∼91% -2%
Average of class Workstation
  (3094 - 9734, n=96)
5560 Points ∼85% -9%
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
Average of class Workstation
  (374 - 505, n=18)
455 Points ∼100% +22%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U
447 Points ∼98% +20%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (342 - 472, n=20)
409 Points ∼90% +9%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
393 Points ∼86% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U
374 Points ∼82%
CPU (Multi Core)
Average of class Workstation
  (988 - 4161, n=19)
2659 Points ∼100% +169%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U
1518 Points ∼57% +54%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (954 - 1645, n=20)
1257 Points ∼47% +27%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
1130 Points ∼42% +14%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U
988 Points ∼37%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
Average of class Workstation
  (5939 - 31724, n=15)
14342 Points ∼100% +25%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
12367 Points ∼86% +8%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (10521 - 13703, n=12)
12071 Points ∼84% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U
11469 Points ∼80%
32 Bit Single-Core Score
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (3340 - 4820, n=12)
3882 Points ∼100% +16%
Average of class Workstation
  (2964 - 4871, n=15)
3785 Points ∼98% +13%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
3578 Points ∼92% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U
3355 Points ∼86%
Geekbench 4.4
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Average of class Workstation
  (8278 - 32939, n=25)
21326 Points ∼100% +60%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8706G
16256 Points ∼76% +22%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
15301 Points ∼72% +15%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (8142 - 16968, n=30)
14179 Points ∼66% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U
13317 Points ∼62% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U
13297 Points ∼62%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Average of class Workstation
  (4077 - 6068, n=25)
5292 Points ∼100% +4%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
5171 Points ∼98% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U
5096 Points ∼96%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (2357 - 5547, n=30)
5053 Points ∼95% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U
5019 Points ∼95% -2%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8706G
5011 Points ∼95% -2%
Geekbench 5
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Average of class Workstation
  (3159 - 8541, n=13)
5545 Points ∼100% +65%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U
3357 Points ∼61%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (2643 - 3803, n=5)
3228 Points ∼58% -4%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
3176 Points ∼57% -5%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Average of class Workstation
  (1135 - 1362, n=13)
1231 Points ∼100% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U
1211 Points ∼98%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
1197 Points ∼97% -1%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (1103 - 1229, n=5)
1186 Points ∼96% -2%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge 44)
1281.7 ms * ∼100%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge 44)
1172.4 ms * ∼91% +9%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8706G (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
1096.8 ms * ∼86% +14%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (730 - 2622, n=43)
1096 ms * ∼86% +14%
Average of class Workstation
  (722 - 2263, n=60)
1034 ms * ∼81% +19%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge)
999.6 ms * ∼78% +22%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge)
37591 Points ∼100% +28%
Average of class Workstation
  (14774 - 44780, n=51)
35398 Points ∼94% +20%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (13935 - 49795, n=42)
34603 Points ∼92% +18%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge 44)
34031 Points ∼91% +16%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge 44)
29410 Points ∼78%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8706G (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
28486 Points ∼76% -3%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Workstation
  (176 - 316, n=51)
256 Points ∼100% +10%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8706G (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
248.86 Points ∼97% +7%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge 44)
246.2 Points ∼96% +6%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (108 - 277, n=37)
238 Points ∼93% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge 44)
231.75 Points ∼91%

* ... smaller is better

System performance

In everyday use, the deficiencies in performance aren't noticeable. The system runs well and smoothly. However, the unsatisfactory results of the PCMark benchmarks illustrate the problems of the P43s. In this way, the results lag behind those of comparable laptops. The workstation is clearly beaten by its sister model - the devices should be on par.

In addition, Lenovo has left some of the performance unused since it's done without the usage of dual-channel mode. The latter could be activated by installing an additional memory module.

Dual-channel mode can be enabled by installing a memory module.
Dual-channel mode can be enabled by installing a memory module.
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3313 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3501 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4918 points
Help
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Average of class Workstation
  (2329 - 10441, n=52)
5296 Points ∼100% +127%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
WX Vega M GL, i7-8706G, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
5020 Points ∼95% +116%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, i7-8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
3778 Points ∼71% +62%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Radeon Pro WX 3200, i7-8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3759 Points ∼71% +61%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (2329 - 3591, n=2)
2960 Points ∼56% +27%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Quadro P520, i7-8565U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-256G
2329 Points ∼44%
Productivity
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Radeon Pro WX 3200, i7-8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7429 Points ∼100% +38%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, i7-8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
7392 Points ∼100% +37%
Average of class Workstation
  (3998 - 8877, n=52)
7208 Points ∼97% +34%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
WX Vega M GL, i7-8706G, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
7009 Points ∼94% +30%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (5392 - 7345, n=2)
6369 Points ∼86% +18%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Quadro P520, i7-8565U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-256G
5392 Points ∼73%
Essentials
Average of class Workstation
  (5223 - 10829, n=52)
8749 Points ∼100% +37%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Radeon Pro WX 3200, i7-8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
8350 Points ∼95% +31%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
WX Vega M GL, i7-8706G, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
8317 Points ∼95% +30%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, i7-8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
7981 Points ∼91% +25%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (6389 - 8612, n=2)
7501 Points ∼86% +17%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Quadro P520, i7-8565U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-256G
6389 Points ∼73%
Score
Average of class Workstation
  (2817 - 6939, n=53)
4926 Points ∼100% +59%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
WX Vega M GL, i7-8706G, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
4760 Points ∼97% +54%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Radeon Pro WX 3200, i7-8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4413 Points ∼90% +43%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, i7-8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
4341 Points ∼88% +40%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (3092 - 4374, n=2)
3733 Points ∼76% +21%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Quadro P520, i7-8565U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-256G
3092 Points ∼63%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, i7-8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
5277 Points ∼100% +7%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (4918 - 5140, n=2)
5029 Points ∼95% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Quadro P520, i7-8565U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-256G
4918 Points ∼93%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Radeon Pro WX 3200, i7-8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4885 Points ∼93% -1%
Average of class Workstation
  (3311 - 5655, n=89)
4841 Points ∼92% -2%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
WX Vega M GL, i7-8706G, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
4146 Points ∼79% -16%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, i7-8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
4052 Points ∼100% +22%
Average of class Workstation
  (2320 - 5505, n=90)
3980 Points ∼98% +20%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Radeon Pro WX 3200, i7-8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3954 Points ∼98% +19%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (3313 - 3840, n=2)
3577 Points ∼88% +8%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
WX Vega M GL, i7-8706G, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
3480 Points ∼86% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Quadro P520, i7-8565U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-256G
3313 Points ∼82%

Storage

The system drive is an NVMe SSD from Western Digital. This M.2 2280 model has a total capacity of 256 GB. Out of the box, approximately 211 GB can be used. The remaining storage space is distributed between the Windows installation and the recovery partition. Moreover, the transfer speeds are good.

An SSD serves as system drive.
An SSD serves as system drive.
WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-256G
Sequential Read: 1639 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1586 MB/s
512K Read: 724.8 MB/s
512K Write: 544.1 MB/s
4K Read: 43.47 MB/s
4K Write: 168 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 490.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 418.2 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-256G
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG)
Average WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-256G
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
16%
4%
-12%
0%
Write 4K
135.3
173.7
28%
126.6
-6%
128.9
-5%
135
0%
Read 4K
45.09
50.6
12%
43.61
-3%
45.7
1%
45.1
0%
Write Seq
1576
1100
-30%
1342
-15%
635.2
-60%
1576
0%
Read Seq
1457
1072
-26%
1251
-14%
2065
42%
1457
0%
Write 4K Q32T1
356.3
555
56%
297.7
-16%
336.6
-6%
356
0%
Read 4K Q32T1
385.4
625
62%
376.4
-2%
393.6
2%
385
0%
Write Seq Q32T1
1613
1892
17%
2969
84%
661.9
-59%
1613
0%
Read Seq Q32T1
3017
3233
7%
3228
7%
2664
-12%
3017
0%

Graphics card

The ThinkPad is equipped with a Quadro P520 graphics core from Nvidia. The GPU is based on the Pascal architecture and is the professional version of the GeForce MX150/MX250 GPU. The P520 supports DirectX 12 and reaches speeds of up to 1,493 MHz. The GPU is able to access fast GDDR5 memory (2,048 MB). The UHD Graphics 620 GPU that's integrated into the processor is active and the laptop works with Nvidia's Optimus graphics-switching solution.

The results in the 3DMark benchmarks are disappointing. The P520 lags behind the results of MX150/MX250 laptops such as the identical ThinkPad T490 sister model. The distance is too large to blame the slightly lower speed level of the P520. It can't be because of the memory that's running in single-channel mode either. The T490's memory also works in single-channel mode. The results of the Quadro GPU are rather on par with those of the lower-performance power-saving versions of the MX150 and MX250 GPUs, respectively.

The solution to the puzzle is provided by the measurement data of the various benchmarks we perform: The GPU is throttled as soon as it reaches a temperature of 56 °C (~133 °F), which is an unusually low value for this Pascal graphics core. We can't say whether this is a decision made deliberately by Lenovo or a defect/error.

3DMark 06 Standard
15127 points
3DMark 11 Performance
3622 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
43462 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
7839 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2666 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
964 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL, Intel Core i7-8706G
10020 Points ∼100% +159%
Average of class Workstation
  (841 - 32999, n=123)
7968 Points ∼80% +106%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
4748 Points ∼47% +23%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
4419 Points ∼44% +14%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (3870 - 4273, n=2)
4072 Points ∼41% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
3870 Points ∼39%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FN-A6023T
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8565U
3560 Points ∼36% -8%
Asus ZenBook S13 UX392FN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8565U
3540 Points ∼35% -9%
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
3512 Points ∼35% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
3022 Points ∼30% -22%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
2658 Points ∼27% -31%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Average of class Workstation
  (566 - 9956, n=43)
3951 Points ∼100% +330%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL, Intel Core i7-8706G
2062 Points ∼52% +125%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
1134 Points ∼29% +24%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (918 - 1043, n=2)
981 Points ∼25% +7%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
973 Points ∼25% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
918 Points ∼23%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FN-A6023T
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8565U
862 Points ∼22% -6%
Asus ZenBook S13 UX392FN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8565U
858 Points ∼22% -7%
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
843 Points ∼21% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
614 Points ∼16% -33%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL, Intel Core i7-8706G
7333 Points ∼100% +142%
Average of class Workstation
  (752 - 24354, n=115)
6449 Points ∼88% +113%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
3863 Points ∼53% +27%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
3224 Points ∼44% +6%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (3030 - 3410, n=2)
3220 Points ∼44% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
3030 Points ∼41%
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
2874 Points ∼39% -5%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FN-A6023T
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8565U
2874 Points ∼39% -5%
Asus ZenBook S13 UX392FN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8565U
2851 Points ∼39% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
2342 Points ∼32% -23%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
2270 Points ∼31% -25%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL, Intel Core i7-8706G
38986 Points ∼100% +115%
Average of class Workstation
  (5836 - 133756, n=114)
37391 Points ∼96% +106%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
23354 Points ∼60% +29%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (18131 - 20665, n=2)
19398 Points ∼50% +7%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
18780 Points ∼48% +4%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FN-A6023T
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8565U
18633 Points ∼48% +3%
Asus ZenBook S13 UX392FN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8565U
18423 Points ∼47% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
18131 Points ∼47%
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
17325 Points ∼44% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
13394 Points ∼34% -26%
SPECviewperf 12
1900x1060 Solidworks (sw-03)
Average of class Workstation
  (15.6 - 230, n=97)
82.7 fps ∼100% +187%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL, Intel Core i7-8706G
75.15 fps ∼91% +161%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
53.48 fps ∼65% +86%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
45.9 fps ∼56% +59%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (28.8 - 54.2, n=2)
41.5 fps ∼50% +44%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
39.3 fps ∼48% +37%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
28.79 fps ∼35%
1900x1060 Siemens NX (snx-02)
Average of class Workstation
  (4.87 - 258, n=97)
68.1 fps ∼100% +247%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL, Intel Core i7-8706G
59.96 fps ∼88% +206%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
28.31 fps ∼42% +44%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
27.78 fps ∼41% +42%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
24.13 fps ∼35% +23%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (19.6 - 27, n=2)
23.3 fps ∼34% +19%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
19.6 fps ∼29%
1900x1060 Showcase (showcase-01)
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL, Intel Core i7-8706G
38.31 fps ∼100% +225%
Average of class Workstation
  (3.93 - 126, n=95)
37.7 fps ∼98% +220%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
16.24 fps ∼42% +38%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (11.8 - 14.6, n=2)
13.2 fps ∼34% +12%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
12.13 fps ∼32% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
11.8 fps ∼31% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
11.78 fps ∼31%
1900x1060 Medical (medical-01)
Average of class Workstation
  (0.99 - 109, n=97)
26.5 fps ∼100% +173%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL, Intel Core i7-8706G
19.94 fps ∼75% +106%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (9.7 - 13.5, n=2)
11.6 fps ∼44% +20%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
9.7 fps ∼37%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
9.33 fps ∼35% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
8.29 fps ∼31% -15%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
7.42 fps ∼28% -24%
1900x1060 Maya (maya-04)
Average of class Workstation
  (5.4 - 179, n=98)
50.1 fps ∼100% +195%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL, Intel Core i7-8706G
42.84 fps ∼86% +152%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
21.61 fps ∼43% +27%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (17 - 25, n=2)
21 fps ∼42% +24%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
19.51 fps ∼39% +15%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
19.07 fps ∼38% +12%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
16.98 fps ∼34%
1900x1060 Energy (energy-01)
Average of class Workstation
  (0.06 - 26, n=98)
5.55 fps ∼100% +810%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL, Intel Core i7-8706G
2.94 fps ∼53% +382%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
1.44 fps ∼26% +136%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (0.61 - 0.75, n=2)
0.68 fps ∼12% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
0.61 fps ∼11%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
0.55 fps ∼10% -10%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
0.53 fps ∼10% -13%
1900x1060 Creo (creo-01)
Average of class Workstation
  (14 - 172, n=98)
63.4 fps ∼100% +152%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL, Intel Core i7-8706G
57.43 fps ∼91% +128%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
35.91 fps ∼57% +43%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (25.2 - 36.6, n=2)
30.9 fps ∼49% +23%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
30.39 fps ∼48% +21%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
27.98 fps ∼44% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
25.16 fps ∼40%
1900x1060 Catia (catia-04)
Average of class Workstation
  (13.4 - 220, n=98)
69.2 fps ∼100% +220%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL, Intel Core i7-8706G
64.39 fps ∼93% +198%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
27.97 fps ∼40% +29%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (21.6 - 34.1, n=2)
27.9 fps ∼40% +29%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
26.22 fps ∼38% +21%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
23.13 fps ∼33% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
21.63 fps ∼31%
1900x1060 3ds Max (3dsmax-05)
Average of class Workstation
  (11.4 - 236, n=26)
81.9 fps ∼100% +247%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (23.6 - 26.1, n=2)
24.8 fps ∼30% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
23.63 fps ∼29%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
19.73 fps ∼24% -17%
SPECviewperf 13
Solidworks (sw-04)
Average of class Workstation
  (37.3 - 204, n=33)
109 fps ∼100% +192%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (37.3 - 56.4, n=2)
46.9 fps ∼43% +26%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
42.53 fps ∼39% +14%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
37.29 fps ∼34%
Siemens NX (snx-03)
Average of class Workstation
  (36.4 - 465, n=33)
193 fps ∼100% +430%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
49.48 fps ∼26% +36%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (36.4 - 49.4, n=2)
42.9 fps ∼22% +18%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
36.41 fps ∼19%
Showcase (showcase-02)
Average of class Workstation
  (12.6 - 127, n=33)
56.8 fps ∼100% +351%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
16.69 fps ∼29% +32%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (12.6 - 14.6, n=2)
13.6 fps ∼24% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
12.6 fps ∼22%
Medical (medical-02)
Average of class Workstation
  (6.8 - 133, n=33)
47.4 fps ∼100% +597%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
11.26 fps ∼24% +66%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (6.8 - 9.85, n=2)
8.33 fps ∼18% +23%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
6.8 fps ∼14%
Maya (maya-05)
Average of class Workstation
  (29.4 - 341, n=33)
142 fps ∼100% +361%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (30.8 - 40.7, n=2)
35.8 fps ∼25% +16%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
30.77 fps ∼22%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
29.43 fps ∼21% -4%
Energy (energy-02)
Average of class Workstation
  (0.72 - 57.3, n=33)
18.5 fps ∼100% +2469%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
1.88 fps ∼10% +161%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (0.72 - 0.83, n=2)
0.775 fps ∼4% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
0.72 fps ∼4%
Creo (creo-02)
Average of class Workstation
  (27.8 - 320, n=33)
143 fps ∼100% +415%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (27.8 - 36.3, n=2)
32 fps ∼22% +15%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
29.71 fps ∼21% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
27.76 fps ∼19%
Catia (catia-05)
Average of class Workstation
  (27.7 - 339, n=33)
159 fps ∼100% +474%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (27.7 - 47.8, n=2)
37.7 fps ∼24% +36%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
32.53 fps ∼20% +18%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
27.68 fps ∼17%
3ds Max (3dsmax-06)
Average of class Workstation
  (20 - 232, n=33)
110 fps ∼100% +451%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Intel Core i7-8565U
35.17 fps ∼32% +76%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (20 - 25.2, n=2)
22.6 fps ∼21% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
NVIDIA Quadro P520, Intel Core i7-8565U
19.98 fps ∼18%

Gaming performance

Although the built-in hardware would theoretically allow playing of computer games, this doesn't really work in practice. Since the GPU is throttled at a temperature of 56 °C (~133 °F), frame rates fluctuate strongly and spoil the gaming experience. The following The Witcher 3 test illustrates it. We conducted our various game tests with intervals in between so that the hardware could cool down.

BioShock Infinite - 1366x768 High Preset
Average of class Workstation
  (22.2 - 368, n=72)
130 fps ∼100% +66%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8706G, AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL
102.9 fps ∼79% +31%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
99.7 fps ∼77% +27%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (78.4 - 89.7, n=2)
84.1 fps ∼65% +7%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U, AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200
83.1 fps ∼64% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA Quadro P520
78.4 fps ∼60%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA Quadro P500
66.4 fps ∼51% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Core i7-7600U, NVIDIA Quadro M520
64.1 fps ∼49% -18%
The Witcher 3 - 1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing
Average of class Workstation
  (26.8 - 375, n=62)
140 fps ∼100% +197%
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-8706G, AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL
94.7 fps ∼68% +101%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
67.1 fps ∼48% +42%
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
Intel Core i7-8565U, AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200
58.1 fps ∼42% +23%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
  (47.2 - 59.4, n=2)
53.3 fps ∼38% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA Quadro P520
47.2 fps ∼34%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA Quadro P500
35.8 fps ∼26% -24%

In order to verify that the frame rates also remain largely constant over a prolonged period of time, we let the game The Witcher 3 run for about 60 minutes at HD resolution (1024x768 pixels) and minimum quality settings. The character embodied by the player isn't moved over this entire period. The frame rates fluctuate a lot.

051015202530354045Tooltip
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE Quadro P520, i7-8565U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-256G: Ø14.6 (5-39)
GPU measurements during The Witcher 3 test
GPU measurements during The Witcher 3 test
low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 154.2 112.8 76.8 35.3 fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 115.7 88.1 78.4 31.2 fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 47.2 32 18.9 8.4 fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 114 102 53.2 47.6 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 66 40.7 34.9 fps
Darksiders III (2018) 46.1 23 19.1 15.5 fps
Metro Exodus (2019) 26.4 7.3 6.3 5.3 fps
Total War: Three Kingdoms (2019) 50.4 16.9 7.2 3.6 fps
F1 2019 (2019) 30 16 14 9 fps
Control (2019) 38.2 11.9 5.5 fps
Borderlands 3 (2019) 24.2 10.1 4.9 fps

Emissions - The Lenovo workstation operates quietly

Noise emissions

The ThinkPad doesn't produce a lot of noise over the entire load range. When idle, the fan is often off and silence prevails. However, it turns up a bit under load. During the stress test, we measure a sound pressure level of only 33.3 dB(A).

Noise Level

Idle
29.2 / 29.2 / 29.2 dB(A)
Load
33.3 / 33.3 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29.2 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.634.732.829.12527.427.128.6263130.52930.828.24029.228.330.826.55025.323.426.424.7632522.62424.18023.9232423.710023.22426.523.712522.722.422.323.616023.522.522.722.320022.623.623.322.225023.223.323.221.831522.52221.123.240021.621.320.221.650021.820.819.621.663021.620.318.521.480022.121.118.321.7100022.620.617.922.5125021.920.817.222.216002320.416.822.4200022.720.616.222.6250021.819.816.221.6315020.518.715.720.4400021.92015.821.9500019.418.115.919.2630017.117.115.817800016.116.115.815.91000015.815.915.615.81250015.615.615.415.51600015.415.415.215.3SPL33.331.829.233.1N1.91.61.21.8median 21.9median 20.6median 17.2median 21.7Delta1.61.92.21.4hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseLenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
i7-8565U, Quadro P520
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
i7-8565U, Radeon Pro WX 3200
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
i7-8565U, GeForce MX250
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
i7-8706G, WX Vega M GL
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
 
Average of class Workstation
 
Noise
-3%
-3%
-9%
-1%
-10%
off / environment *
29.2
29.7
-2%
29.4
-1%
28.6
2%
29.2 (29.2 - 29.2, n=2)
-0%
29.1 (25.8 - 31.2, n=73)
-0%
Idle Minimum *
29.2
29.7
-2%
29.4
-1%
28.6
2%
29.2 (29.2 - 29.2, n=2)
-0%
30 (25.8 - 40.9, n=147)
-3%
Idle Average *
29.2
29.7
-2%
29.4
-1%
28.6
2%
29.2 (29.2 - 29.2, n=2)
-0%
30.4 (25.8 - 40.9, n=147)
-4%
Idle Maximum *
29.2
30.4
-4%
29.4
-1%
29.1
-0%
30 (29.2 - 30.8, n=2)
-3%
31.2 (25.9 - 44.6, n=147)
-7%
Load Average *
33.3
32.7
2%
34.7
-4%
39.8
-20%
33 (32.6 - 33.3, n=2)
1%
38.5 (29.8 - 51.3, n=147)
-16%
Load Maximum *
33.3
35.9
-8%
37.2
-12%
47
-41%
33.6 (33.3 - 33.8, n=2)
-1%
43.9 (31.6 - 64, n=147)
-32%
Witcher 3 ultra *
35.3
34.7
47

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The ThinkPad in the stress test
The ThinkPad in the stress test

The P43s completes our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark run for at least an hour) on battery power and plugged-in in the same way. Curiously, the graphics core can work at high speed (1,531 MHz) for a very long time. Only later in the test does it reach the limit temperature of 56 °C (~133 °F) and is throttled. As soon as the GPU is throttled, the processor's clock speed repeatedly goes up to 1.9 GHz. Otherwise, the CPU mainly runs at 400 to 900 MHz. The stress test represents an extreme scenario that doesn't occur in everyday life. With this test we verify that the system remains stable even under full load. 

The ThinkPad gets significantly warm. During the stress test, we register temperatures well above 50 °C (~122 °F) at several measuring points on the bottom. The device should not be placed on the lap then. In idle usage, the temperatures are in the green area.

Max. Load
 37.3 °C
99 F
43.7 °C
111 F
48.9 °C
120 F
 
 36.3 °C
97 F
41.5 °C
107 F
48.6 °C
119 F
 
 30 °C
86 F
33.4 °C
92 F
35.3 °C
96 F
 
Maximum: 48.9 °C = 120 F
Average: 39.4 °C = 103 F
58.9 °C
138 F
56.7 °C
134 F
39.5 °C
103 F
46.3 °C
115 F
51.4 °C
125 F
38.3 °C
101 F
28.6 °C
83 F
28.4 °C
83 F
26.8 °C
80 F
Maximum: 58.9 °C = 138 F
Average: 41.7 °C = 107 F
Power Supply (max.)  38.3 °C = 101 F | Room Temperature 20.4 °C = 69 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 39.4 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 31.4 °C / 89 F for the devices in the class Workstation.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 48.9 °C / 120 F, compared to the average of 37.5 °C / 100 F, ranging from 22.2 to 69.8 °C for the class Workstation.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 58.9 °C / 138 F, compared to the average of 40.6 °C / 105 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23.5 °C / 74 F, compared to the device average of 31.4 °C / 89 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (35.3 °C / 95.5 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 27.9 °C / 82.2 F (-7.4 °C / -13.3 F).
Heat development top (stress test)
Heat development top (stress test)
Heat development bottom (stress test)
Heat development bottom (stress test)
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
i7-8565U, Quadro P520
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
i7-8565U, Radeon Pro WX 3200
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
i7-8565U, GeForce MX250
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
i7-8706G, WX Vega M GL
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
 
Average of class Workstation
 
Heat
12%
8%
-9%
3%
-4%
Maximum Upper Side *
48.9
40.8
17%
45.2
8%
48.6
1%
45.8 (42.6 - 48.9, n=2)
6%
43.6 (31.2 - 69.8, n=144)
11%
Maximum Bottom *
58.9
43
27%
56.6
4%
42.2
28%
57.3 (55.6 - 58.9, n=2)
3%
48 (31.1 - 77.3, n=144)
19%
Idle Upper Side *
23.7
24.1
-2%
22.1
7%
31.6
-33%
23.4 (23.1 - 23.7, n=2)
1%
29.4 (22.2 - 43.9, n=143)
-24%
Idle Bottom *
25.6
24.4
5%
22.1
14%
33.2
-30%
25 (24.4 - 25.6, n=2)
2%
31.3 (21.8 - 43.9, n=143)
-22%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.834.22528.625.33130.829.64030.828.95026.424.6632424.6802424.710026.528.812522.329.816022.736.520023.343.825023.246.131521.149.840020.254.150019.656.963018.560.280018.361.9100017.958.8125017.264.3160016.865.9200016.261.7250016.261.1315015.760.4400015.859.1500015.954.7630015.853.7800015.849.51000015.648.91250015.443.61600015.238.1SPL29.272.7N1.228.6median 17.2median 54.1Delta2.28.2hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72.7 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 14.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 76% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 17% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 19%, worst was 31%
Compared to all devices tested
» 64% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 28% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Energy management - The ThinkPad doesn't lack stamina

Energy consumption

When idle, we register a maximum demand of 7.92 watts (6.36 watts when key lighting is deactivated). During our stress test, the value rises for a short time to up to 68.2 watts but decreases to 40 watts later in the test. The P43s is therefore on par with the ThinkPad T490 over the entire load range. The included USB Type-C power adapter has an output of 65 watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.26 / 0.47 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.9 / 4.94 / 7.92 Watt
Load midlight 60.8 / 68.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
i7-8565U, Quadro P520
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
i7-8565U, Radeon Pro WX 3200
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
i7-8565U, GeForce MX250
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
i7-8706G, WX Vega M GL
Average NVIDIA Quadro P520
 
Average of class Workstation
 
Power Consumption
-29%
2%
-89%
-4%
-192%
Idle Minimum *
2.9
4.2
-45%
2.16
26%
7.4
-155%
2.82 (2.74 - 2.9, n=2)
3%
13 (2.4 - 65.2, n=144)
-348%
Idle Average *
4.94
7.93
-61%
5.04
-2%
12.4
-151%
5.67 (4.94 - 6.4, n=2)
-15%
18.9 (4.94 - 69, n=143)
-283%
Idle Maximum *
7.92
10.9
-38%
8.64
-9%
13.3
-68%
8.81 (7.92 - 9.7, n=2)
-11%
22.5 (7.1 - 73.1, n=144)
-184%
Load Average *
60.8
59.1
3%
63.2
-4%
79.2
-30%
58 (55.2 - 60.8, n=2)
5%
89.3 (34.4 - 185, n=142)
-47%
Load Maximum *
68.2
70.5
-3%
67.5
1%
96.5
-41%
68.8 (68.2 - 69.4, n=2)
-1%
135 (43.5 - 336, n=142)
-98%
Witcher 3 ultra *
50.4
50
82.2

* ... smaller is better

Battery life

The Lenovo computer reaches a runtime of 8:30 h in our practical Wi-Fi test. We use a script to simulate the load caused by accessing websites. The "Balanced" profile is active, and the display brightness is adjusted to about 150 cd/m². At maximum display brightness, the device turns off almost an hour earlier (7:33 h).

The workstation completes our video test after 12:41 h. We let the short film Big Buck Bunny (H.264 encoding, 1920x1080 pixels) run in a continuous loop here. The radio module is deactivated, and the display brightness is reduced to 150 cd/m².

The battery has a capacity of 49 Wh.
The battery has a capacity of 49 Wh.
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 44)
8h 30min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 max Brightness (Edge 44)
7h 33min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
12h 41min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 10min
Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE
i7-8565U, Quadro P520, 51 Wh
HP ZBook 14u G6 6TP71EA
i7-8565U, Radeon Pro WX 3200, 50 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
i7-8565U, GeForce MX250, 50 Wh
Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1
i7-8706G, WX Vega M GL, 75 Wh
Average of class Workstation
 
Battery Runtime
-16%
-22%
-31%
-31%
Reader / Idle
1063
737
626 (63 - 2360, n=130)
H.264
761
660
-13%
523
-31%
415 (123 - 1131, n=68)
-45%
WiFi v1.3
510
512
0%
543
6%
435
-15%
420 (106 - 974, n=84)
-18%
Load
130
83
-36%
75
-42%
70
-46%
91.2 (22 - 323, n=130)
-30%

Pros

+ contrast-rich IPS display
+ stable case
+ excellent input devices
+ NVMe SSD
+ good battery life
+ operates quietly
+ docking port
+ Thunderbolt 3
+ three years' warranty

Cons

- dim display
- low multithread performance
- GPU throttling after a few minutes
- not WWAN-ready

Verdict

The Lenovo ThinkPad P43s (20RH001FGE), provided by:
The Lenovo ThinkPad P43s (20RH001FGE), provided by:

With the ThinkPad P43s, Lenovo has a compact 14-inch mobile workstation in its range. The device is powered by a Core i7-8565U processor and a Quadro P520 graphics core. However, both components can't reach their full performance potential.

The ThinkPad P43s can only develop its performance potential to a limited extent.

The processor achieves stable high working speeds only in single-thread operation; in multithread operation, Turbo is hardly used or not even used at all. The graphics core is throttled after a short time because the threshold responsible for it (GPU temperature > 56 °C (~133 °F)) was chosen unusually low. Therefore, the laptop is primarily suitable for applications that only put a brief strain on the graphics core.

Not only does the P43s inherit the great case from the identical ThinkPad T490 sister model, but it also has the excellent keyboard (backlit). Unfortunately, our test device doesn't come with the IGZO panel found in the ThinkPad T490 that we reviewed. However, the panel is available within the P43s series. The latter would have been the obvious better choice. The existing display is one of the weaknesses of the P43s. It only provides a low maximum brightness. In addition, the color-space coverage is no cause for enthusiasm. Both shortcomings shouldn't be found at the price level of the P43s.

Battery life is good, and an NVMe SSD makes for a fast system. This is complemented by a three-year warranty. The Thunderbolt 3 slot should be mentioned too, which allows the connection of an external GPU.

Lenovo ThinkPad P43s-20RH001FGE - 10/19/2019 v7
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
84 / 98 → 86%
Keyboard
93%