Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad P52s (i7-8550U, Full HD) Workstation Review

Benjamin Herzig, 👁 Andreas Osthoff, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Katherine Bodner), 06/28/2018

Weak Quadro. You might get the feeling of experiencing déjà vu when first looking at the ThinkPad P52s. The mobile workstation looks exactly like the ThinkPad T580. Is combining the case of an office laptop with a Quadro GPU a good idea? Find out in our detailed review.

Lenovo’s mobile workstations used to be known as the ThinkPad W series – although they were never completely independent and could be considered versions of the 15-inch T series with ISV-certified graphics. The ThinkPad W550s, for example, was based on the ThinkPad T550. In 2015, the introduction of the new ThinkPad P series mixed things up a little, as the devices in this series, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad P51, had their own individual design. However, all rules have exceptions: While the more powerful models had individual designs, the P5Xs series continued in the tradition of the W series. Since 2015, Lenovo has launched three ThinkPad P models with a design based on the current T series: The ThinkPad P50s was based on the ThinkPad T560, the ThinkPad P51s on the ThinkPad T570 and the case of today’s test unit, the Lenovo ThinkPad P52s, is identical to that of the ThinkPad T580

In the rather particular category of "ultrabook workstations," the HP ZBook 15u G5 is the only real competitor to the ThinkPad P52s. Other comparison devices we have chosen are the Lenovo ThinkPad T580, the Lenovo ThinkPad P51 and the predecessor ThinkPad P51s.

The model number of our particular test unit is 20LB000HGE. It is the entry-level device for the German market and is equipped with 8 GB of RAM, a 256-GB SSD and an Intel Core i7-8550U. Graphics are taken care of by an Nvidia GeForce P500, as is the case for all ThinkPad P52s variants.

CUKUSA has also provided a similar ThinkPad P52s North American SKU to verify our measurements presented here.

Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE (ThinkPad P52s Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA Quadro P500 - 2048 MB, Core: 1519 MHz, Memory: 1253 MHz, GDDR5, 388.16, Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2400, Single-Channel, max. 32 GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, NV156FHM-N47, IPS LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 256 GB 
, M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe
Soundcard
Realtek ALC3287
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: combined audio, Card Reader: 4-in-1 SD card reader, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 20.2 x 365.8 x 252.8 ( = 0.8 x 14.4 x 9.95 in)
Battery
104 Wh Lithium-Ion, removeable, internal 32-Wh battery, external 72-Wh battery
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: 2-watt stereo speakers, Keyboard: 6-row chiclet with numpad, Keyboard Light: yes, Lenovo Vantage, Microsoft Office trial, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
2.222 kg ( = 78.38 oz / 4.9 pounds), Power Supply: 356 g ( = 12.56 oz / 0.78 pounds)
Price
1865 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Changes compared to the ThinkPad P51s

This review can be considered an update as Lenovo has made no important changes to the design of our test unit compared to the ThinkPad P51s or the ThinkPad T570. You can find out more about the case, maintenance and input devices in our review of the ThinkPad T570

Like for the T580, there have been some changes to the port selection. Lenovo has chosen a new path for its docking ports: Instead of placing a connector on the bottom of the base unit, we now have a docking port on the side. This consists of two USB C ports, one of which supports Thunderbolt 3, and a proprietary mini Ethernet connector. The additional USB C comes at the cost of one USB A port.

Like all other ThinkPads from 2018 – or at least the models without an infrared camera – the ThinkPad P52s has a mechanical camera cover which Lenovo has named “ThinkShutter”.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

Right: combined audio jack, SD card reader, 2x USB 3.0 Type A, HDMI, RJ45 Ethernet, Kensington lock
Right: combined audio jack, SD card reader, 2x USB 3.0 Type A, HDMI, RJ45 Ethernet, Kensington lock
Left: USB 3.1 Type-C, Thunderbolt/docking port, mini Ethernet, smartcard reader
Left: USB 3.1 Type-C, Thunderbolt/docking port, mini Ethernet, smartcard reader

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SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
155 MB/s ∼100% +95%
Average of class Workstation
  (17.2 - 213, n=43)
126 MB/s ∼81% +58%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
79.6 MB/s ∼51%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
77.8 MB/s ∼50% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
76.8 MB/s ∼50% -4%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
215 MB/s ∼100% +146%
Average of class Workstation
  (18.4 - 255, n=43)
165 MB/s ∼77% +89%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
89 MB/s ∼41% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87.4 MB/s ∼41%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
85.4 MB/s ∼40% -2%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
672 MBit/s ∼100% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
643 MBit/s ∼96% +2%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
639 MBit/s ∼95% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
638 MBit/s ∼95% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
630 MBit/s ∼94%
Average of class Workstation
  (292 - 705, n=27)
595 MBit/s ∼89% -6%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
528 MBit/s ∼100% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
508 MBit/s ∼96% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
508 MBit/s ∼96% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
505 MBit/s ∼96%
Average of class Workstation
  (158 - 690, n=27)
502 MBit/s ∼95% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
162 MBit/s ∼31% -68%

Display

Pixel array NV156FHM-N47
Pixel array NV156FHM-N47

Lenovo has made the ThinkPad P52s available with the exact same LCD options as its predecessor the ThinkPad P51s: A high-end option in the shape of an Ultra HD display (3840x2160p) and a Full HD screen (1920x1080p) as a cheaper option. Both LCD options have a matte surface and are based on IPS technology. 

Unlike the P51s, which we tested with the Ultra HD/4K display, today’s test unit is equipped with the Full HD version. Its most important features according to Lenovo’s specification sheet: 250 cd/m² and a contrast ratio of 700:1. Luckily, our test unit topped both these values. The average brightness is about 284 cd/m² according to our measurements and the contrast ratio is even better at 2645:1. While the display brightness is still not as good as those of most competitors, the contrast is significantly higher. Even the 4K display in the ThinkPad T580, which has an almost identical build, only manages half the contrast ratio. 

The screen has a very even brightness distribution. We did not measure any PWM, but there was some flickering at a very high frequency that did not fit to the traditional PWM pattern. As this occurs at a frequency of over 21 kHz, which is not noticeable to the human eye, users should not have any problems with it. There is no backlight bleeding on this display.

278
cd/m²
291
cd/m²
283
cd/m²
273
cd/m²
291
cd/m²
289
cd/m²
266
cd/m²
292
cd/m²
291
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 292 cd/m² Average: 283.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 291 cd/m²
Contrast: 2645:1 (Black: 0.11 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.7 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3, calibrated: 4.5
ΔE Greyscale 4.5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
61.7% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 39.6% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.28
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NV156FHM-N47, , 1920x1080, 15.6
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
CMN15E7, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
LEN40BD, B156ZAN02.1, , 3840x2160, 15.6
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
SHP1476, , 3840x2160, 15.6
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
SHP1445, , 3840x2160, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
BOE NV156QUM-N44, , 3840x2160, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
NV156QUM-N44, , 3840x2160, 15.6
Response Times
19%
24%
-17%
-22%
-14%
-27%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
47.2 (25.2, 22)
41.6 (22, 19.6)
12%
40.8 (20.8, 20)
14%
59.2 (27.6, 31.6)
-25%
44.8 (22, 22.8)
5%
38.4 (20.4, 18)
19%
51.2 (24.4, 26.8)
-8%
Response Time Black / White *
38.4 (22.8, 15.6)
28.8 (15.6, 13.2)
25%
25.2 (14, 11.2)
34%
41.6 (26.8, 14.8)
-8%
30 (17.2, 12.8)
22%
24.8 (13.6, 11.2)
35%
29.6 (17.2, 12.4)
23%
PWM Frequency
21550 (91)
25770 (40)
20%
1497 (50)
-93%
980.4 (90)
-95%
952.4 (99)
-96%
Screen
-9%
8%
-8%
16%
-3%
13%
Brightness middle
291
229
-21%
317
9%
372.4
28%
324
11%
317
9%
310
7%
Brightness
284
212
-25%
309
9%
368
30%
338
19%
290
2%
283
0%
Brightness Distribution
91
88
-3%
89
-2%
90
-1%
78
-14%
85
-7%
87
-4%
Black Level *
0.11
0.23
-109%
0.36
-227%
0.48
-336%
0.3
-173%
0.32
-191%
0.24
-118%
Contrast
2645
996
-62%
881
-67%
776
-71%
1080
-59%
991
-63%
1292
-51%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.7
4.2
37%
2.7
60%
2.6
61%
1.6
76%
3.6
46%
3.1
54%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
20.2
18
11%
4.1
80%
5.6
72%
4.6
77%
6.6
67%
7.6
62%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.5
4.2
7%
2.2
51%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.5
2
56%
3
33%
3.7
18%
2.5
44%
4.2
7%
2.3
49%
Gamma
2.28 96%
2.23 99%
2.27 97%
2.14 103%
2.21 100%
2.24 98%
2.21 100%
CCT
7503 87%
6292 103%
6077 107%
7096 92%
6273 104%
6740 96%
6876 95%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
39.6
41
4%
87.6
121%
63
59%
85.7
116%
59.5
50%
59.1
49%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
61.7
64.5
5%
99.5
61%
99
60%
98.9
60%
91.1
48%
90.1
46%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
5% / -3%
16% / 10%
-13% / -9%
-3% / 7%
-9% / -6%
-7% / 5%

* ... smaller is better

ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Saturation
Saturation
Grayscales
Grayscales
ColorChecker (after calibration)
ColorChecker (after calibration)
Saturation (after calibration)
Saturation (after calibration)
Grayscales (after calibration)
Grayscales (after calibration)

We noticed that the LCD has a significant blue cast out of the box, which is rather unusual for IPS displays. Our calibration dealt with the issue very effectively, however, and you can download the corresponding color profile from above, free of charge, as usual. 

It has almost become tradition for the Full HD IPS displays that Lenovo uses for its ThinkPads to have bad color-space coverage – apart from a few exceptions, of course. The ThinkPad P52s keeps up this disappointing tradition, which does not have a good influence on its rating as a workstation. It can only manage 61% coverage of the sRGB color space, which is a very bad result that makes any kind of image-processing impossible on this display. Luckily for Lenovo, HP has not done a better job with its ZBook 15u G5, either.

sRGB: 61.7%
sRGB: 61.7%
AdobeRGB: 39.6%
AdobeRGB: 39.6%
Outdoors (cloudy, indirect light)
Outdoors (cloudy, indirect light)
Outdoors (cloudy, direct light)
Outdoors (cloudy, direct light)

The P52s can be used outdoors, as long as you avoid the sun. The matte surface and display brightness of over 250 cd/m² enable (limited) outdoor use.

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
38.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22.8 ms rise
↘ 15.6 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 240 (maximum) ms. » 95 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
47.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 25.2 ms rise
↘ 22 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 77 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41.1 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 21550 Hz ≤ 91 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 21550 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 91 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 21550 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8735 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Typically for IPS displays, we cannot criticize its viewing angles. Unlike on TN panels, the colors remain the same from every angle. However, we did notice a slight IPS glow effect when looking down at the screen from above. This effect should not affect your day-to-day experience – we just wanted to mention it, as this does not occur on every IPS display.

Viewing angles NV156FHM-N47
Viewing angles NV156FHM-N47

Performance

The P52s is currently available in five different configurations in Germany, while there is only one pre-configured version available in the US. You can also configure the Lenovo P52s yourself via the Lenovo Shop. 

There is one thing that all versions of the Lenovo ThinkPad P52s have in common: The dedicated Nvidia Quadro P500. There are two processors available: The Intel Core i7-8550U and the fastest “Kaby Lake Refresh” processor, the Core i7-8650U. There is a little more choice when it comes to storage devices. The fixed configurations are available with PCIe NVMe SSDs with 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB capacity. You can also have 2, 16 or 32 GB of DDR4-2400 RAM. This is officially the maximum capacity due to the two RAM slots (although 32 GB DDR4-SODIMM modules should soon be available on the market, so 64 GB might be possible then).

HWiNFO
HWiNFO
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z SPD
CPU-Z SPD
GPU-Z Intel UHD Graphics 620
GPU-Z Intel UHD Graphics 620
LatencyMon
LatencyMon
 
 

Processor

The Intel Core i7-8550U is an Ultra-Low-Voltage processor with four CPU cores. It has a standard TDP of 15 watts, which makes it ideal for ultrabooks. Its four cores clock at 1.8 GHz (base clock rate) or 4 GHz (turbo clock rate). You can find out more information on the general performance of this processor in our CPU comparison list.

Workstations are usually equipped with processors that have a TDP of 45 watts – which are marketed as “Core i H series” by Intel. After all, high performance is more important than long battery runtimes in this kind of device. “Ultrabook workstations” such as the P52s and its predecessors are an exception. The CPU performance of these affordable workstations was always quite weak – but then the ULV CPUs in these devices only ever had two cores up until now. The ThinkPad P52s actually comes quite close to the performance of the Intel Core i7-7700HQ, the most-used H processor of the last generation of workstations, with its quad-core ULV processor. We measured 719 points in the Cinebench Multicore test, which is an excellent result for this CPU. 

However, this performance is short-lived as the good results are due to the maximum turbo boost. This is only available as long as the processor is allowed to consume 44 watts, which is for the first 30 seconds of the test. After that, the TDP power limit, which Lenovo has set to 25 watts, is activated and the performance drops significantly after the first round of our Cinebench loop. But the P52s cannot keep up this performance in the long run either – the cooling system is not strong enough. After several rounds, the CPU performance suddenly drops again. While it does recover somewhat, it never reaches the same level as before and continues to fluctuate.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

However, we must mention that the results of the P52s are still above-average for this processor. The HP ZBook 15u G6 is significantly slower and the ThinkPad P51s is only half as fast. The P52s can definitely be used for demanding tasks, but you should be aware that it still cannot compare with the performance of the “real” workstations with H CPUs when it comes to multi-core performance – particularly if you compare it to the current H processors that are equipped with six CPU cores. The Intel Core i7-8750H in the Schenker Key 15, for example, is over 50% faster than the Core i7-8550U in the P52s.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker Key 15 Coffee Lake
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼100% +2%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Intel Core i7-8550U
172 Points ∼98% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
171 Points ∼98% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Intel Core i7-8550U
171 Points ∼98%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
170 Points ∼97% -1%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
170 Points ∼97% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
Intel Core i7-8550U
163 Points ∼93% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Core i7-7600U
162 Points ∼93% -5%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (108 - 172, n=61)
160 Points ∼91% -6%
Average of class Workstation
  (117 - 189, n=74)
153 Points ∼87% -11%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker Key 15 Coffee Lake
Intel Core i7-8750H
1103 Points ∼100% +53%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
792 Points ∼72% +10%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
737 Points ∼67% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Intel Core i7-8550U
719 Points ∼65%
Average of class Workstation
  (260 - 1217, n=75)
669 Points ∼61% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
Intel Core i7-8550U
660 Points ∼60% -8%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
654 Points ∼59% -9%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (301 - 761, n=63)
570 Points ∼52% -21%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Intel Core i7-8550U
552 Points ∼50% -23%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Core i7-7600U
379 Points ∼34% -47%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
171 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
719 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
92.97 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help

System Performance

The everyday system performance is normal – the P52s runs smoothly and works quickly. The PCMark 8 benchmark results confirm our personal impression and we noticed that the ThinkPad P51s and the ThinkPad T580 scored significantly lower results. They are both equipped with an Ultra HD display while our P52s only has a Full HD screen, which improves the system speed significantly.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
5137 Points ∼100% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Quadro P500, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4980 Points ∼97%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA Quadro P500
 
4980 Points ∼97% 0%
Average of class Workstation
  (3311 - 5655, n=58)
4731 Points ∼92% -5%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4408 Points ∼86% -11%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4291 Points ∼84% -14%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4256 Points ∼83% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
4193 Points ∼82% -16%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4063 Points ∼79% -18%
Home Score Accelerated v2
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4093 Points ∼100% +10%
Average of class Workstation
  (2320 - 5505, n=58)
3906 Points ∼95% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Quadro P500, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3728 Points ∼91%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA Quadro P500
 
3728 Points ∼91% 0%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3721 Points ∼91% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3641 Points ∼89% -2%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
3504 Points ∼86% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
3232 Points ∼79% -13%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3145 Points ∼77% -16%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3728 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4851 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4980 points
Help

Storage Device

The ThinkPad P52s comes with a single PCIe NVMe SSD ex-works – in this case with a Samsung PM961 with a capacity of 256 GB. Due to the particular build of the P52s, the M.2 2280 SSD is placed in a 2.5-inch slot via an adapter, which limits the speed to PCIe 3.0 x2. A comparison with the ThinkPad P51, which is equipped with the same SSD with 512 GB, shows this limitation clearly. This should not have an impact on everyday use but copying large amounts of data (which is a likely scenario for a workstation) might take a little longer due to this limitation.

The P52s can also be equipped with a second PCIe NVMe SSD, but this is limited to the smaller M.2 2242 form factor. It can be inserted into the M.2 slot for the WWAN card – so you would have to forego WWAN.

Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Average Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
 
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
3%
51%
54%
46%
24%
-11%
17%
Write 4k QD32
470.67
351.5
-25%
559.5
19%
506.1
8%
595.1
26%
548.6
17%
264.9
-44%
389 (94.9 - 621, n=40)
-17%
Read 4k QD32
562.94
276.7
-51%
664.2
18%
633.1
12%
645.3
15%
641.7
14%
336.2
-40%
426 (132 - 650, n=40)
-24%
Write 4k
164.77
99.1
-40%
176
7%
169.4
3%
182
10%
161.4
-2%
135.3
-18%
129 (46.6 - 177, n=40)
-22%
Read 4k
61.63
35.5
-42%
61.27
-1%
56.08
-9%
56.54
-8%
54.8
-11%
63.93
4%
53.3 (29.8 - 62.6, n=40)
-14%
Write 512
557.75
488.9
-12%
1157
107%
1611
189%
1279
129%
959.4
72%
564.8
1%
781 (338 - 890, n=40)
40%
Read 512
557.38
912.4
64%
1038
86%
459.1
-18%
391.4
-30%
782.1
40%
555.3
0%
892 (406 - 1295, n=40)
60%
Write Seq
862.2
916.7
6%
1541
79%
1662
93%
1562
81%
1138
32%
924
7%
1127 (341 - 1409, n=40)
31%
Read Seq
897.9
2040
127%
1705
90%
2253
151%
2229
148%
1189
32%
943.5
5%
1626 (800 - 2196, n=40)
81%
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Sequential Read: 897.9 MB/s
Sequential Write: 862.2 MB/s
512K Read: 557.38 MB/s
512K Write: 557.75 MB/s
4K Read: 61.63 MB/s
4K Write: 164.77 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 562.94 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 470.67 MB/s

Graphics

GPU-Z Nvidia Quadro P500
GPU-Z Nvidia Quadro P500

The Nvidia Quadro P500 is the slowest version of Nvidia's current Quadro lineup. As you can see from its first letter, it is based on Pascal GPU architecture and is the Quadro version of the Nvidia GeForce MX150. It is not identical, however, as the Device ID of the Quadro P500 in our P52s is "10DE 1D33" while the MX150 in the ThinkPad T580 is called "10DE 1D10". We also noticed that the Quadro P500 only has 256 shader units while the MX150 has 384. 

The benchmark results of the 3DMark test are accordingly disappointing for the P52s. The ThinkPad T580 is about 45% faster. Even compared to the Nvidia Quadro M520 in last year's model ThinkPad P51s, the comparison does not look good. The Quadro P500 is faster in 3DMark 11, but the processor also plays an important role in this test. The older Maxwell GPU is actually slightly faster than its successor in the 3DMark Fire Strike. The Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile in the ZBook 15u G5 is clearly faster in the 3DMark tests.  

In addition to the 3DMark tests, we also use other benchmarks to test workstations. The SPECviewperf 12 test, for instance, simulates professional applications. At least here the Quadro P500 is quite convincing. While it cannot keep up with older high-performance Quadro GPUs such as the Quadro M1200 and the Quadro M2200, it does beat both the ZBook 15u G5 and the ThinkPad P51s in every test of this set of benchmarks.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
7425 Points ∼100% +146%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
5515 Points ∼74% +82%
Average of class Workstation
  (841 - 20623, n=89)
5129 Points ∼69% +70%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
5105 Points ∼69% +69%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
4392 Points ∼59% +45%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
3632 Points ∼49% +20%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
3022 Points ∼41%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P500
 
3022 Points ∼41% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
2658 Points ∼36% -12%
3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
5850 Points ∼100% +158%
Average of class Workstation
  (752 - 14990, n=81)
4178 Points ∼71% +84%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
4165 Points ∼71% +83%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
4118 Points ∼70% +81%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
3291 Points ∼56% +45%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
2644 Points ∼45% +16%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
2342 Points ∼40% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
2270 Points ∼39%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P500
  (2239 - 2270, n=2)
2255 Points ∼39% -1%
SPECviewperf 12
1900x1060 Solidworks (sw-03)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
86.23 fps ∼100% +61%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
78.37 fps ∼91% +47%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
69.01 fps ∼80% +29%
Average of class Workstation
  (15.6 - 166, n=66)
68 fps ∼79% +27%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
53.48 fps ∼62%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
45.9 fps ∼53% -14%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P500
  (15.6 - 53.5, n=2)
34.6 fps ∼40% -35%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
31.31 fps ∼36% -41%
1900x1060 Siemens NX (snx-02)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
57.74 fps ∼100% +104%
Average of class Workstation
  (4.87 - 184, n=66)
48.7 fps ∼84% +72%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
34.66 fps ∼60% +22%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
34.18 fps ∼59% +21%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
28.31 fps ∼49%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P500
  (24.2 - 28.3, n=2)
26.2 fps ∼45% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
24.13 fps ∼42% -15%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
18.74 fps ∼32% -34%
1900x1060 Showcase (showcase-01)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
32.8 fps ∼100% +170%
Average of class Workstation
  (3.93 - 68.8, n=65)
26.7 fps ∼81% +120%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
26.2 fps ∼80% +116%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
22.17 fps ∼68% +83%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P500
  (12.1 - 12.6, n=2)
12.4 fps ∼38% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
12.13 fps ∼37%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
11.8 fps ∼36% -3%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
7.28 fps ∼22% -40%
1900x1060 Medical (medical-01)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
25.66 fps ∼100% +175%
Average of class Workstation
  (0.99 - 71.5, n=65)
18.5 fps ∼72% +98%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
17.77 fps ∼69% +90%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
17.49 fps ∼68% +87%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
9.33 fps ∼36%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P500
 
9.33 fps ∼36% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
8.29 fps ∼32% -11%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
3.99 fps ∼16% -57%
1900x1060 Maya (maya-04)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
46.93 fps ∼100% +117%
Average of class Workstation
  (5.4 - 102, n=66)
39 fps ∼83% +80%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
37.29 fps ∼79% +73%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
32.07 fps ∼68% +48%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
21.61 fps ∼46%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
19.51 fps ∼42% -10%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P500
  (6.73 - 21.6, n=2)
14.2 fps ∼30% -34%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
11.75 fps ∼25% -46%
1900x1060 Energy (energy-01)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
5.26 fps ∼100% +856%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
3.85 fps ∼73% +600%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
3.78 fps ∼72% +587%
Average of class Workstation
  (0.06 - 15, n=66)
3.56 fps ∼68% +547%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
0.55 fps ∼10%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
0.53 fps ∼10% -4%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P500
  (0.28 - 0.55, n=2)
0.415 fps ∼8% -25%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
0.26 fps ∼5% -53%
1900x1060 Creo (creo-01)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
68.15 fps ∼100% +90%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
46.97 fps ∼69% +31%
Average of class Workstation
  (14 - 132, n=66)
46.7 fps ∼69% +30%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
46.12 fps ∼68% +28%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
35.91 fps ∼53%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
27.98 fps ∼41% -22%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P500
  (16.2 - 35.9, n=2)
26.1 fps ∼38% -27%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
18.82 fps ∼28% -48%
1900x1060 Catia (catia-04)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
72.03 fps ∼100% +158%
Average of class Workstation
  (13.4 - 156, n=66)
52.4 fps ∼73% +87%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
45.86 fps ∼64% +64%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
45.75 fps ∼64% +64%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
27.97 fps ∼39%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P500
  (26.8 - 28, n=2)
27.4 fps ∼38% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
26.22 fps ∼36% -6%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
17.1 fps ∼24% -39%
1900x1060 3ds Max (3dsmax-05)
Average of class Workstation
  (11.4 - 93.6, n=9)
38.3 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
31.28 fps ∼82%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
19.73 fps ∼52%
3DMark 11 Performance
3338 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2144 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
921 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Quadro GPUs are not optimized for gaming, but of course you should be able to play PC games with CAD-optimized graphics chips. However, our gaming benchmarks show that the Nvidia Quadro P500 is anything but ideal for this scenario: Newer games can only be played at very low details while older titles can be displayed in higher details and at higher resolutions. But even occasional gamers will be happier with the ThinkPad T580, as its Nvidia GeForce MX150 is clearly more suited to gaming. It was 21% faster in The Witcher 3 and 32% faster in BioShock Infinite.

BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
47 fps ∼100% +90%
Average of class Workstation
  (6 - 129, n=58)
45.7 fps ∼97% +85%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
42.61 fps ∼91% +73%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
32.5 fps ∼69% +32%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Quadro P500, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
24.7 fps ∼53%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P500
 
24.7 fps ∼53% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
24.2 fps ∼51% -2%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
23.4 fps ∼50% -5%
The Witcher 3 - 1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
66.6 fps ∼100% +153%
Average of class Workstation
  (16.7 - 123, n=39)
52.3 fps ∼79% +99%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
45.9 fps ∼69% +75%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
31.7 fps ∼48% +21%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
29 fps ∼44% +10%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Quadro P500, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
26.3 fps ∼39%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P500
  (23 - 26.3, n=2)
24.7 fps ∼37% -6%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 134.977.866.424.7fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 35.826.314.58.2fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 92.985.34944.8fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 47.827.714.5fps
The Division (2016) 47.72912.9fps
For Honor (2017) 63.421.42116fps
Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017) 36.914.7fps
Assassin´s Creed Origins (2017) 3314fps
Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) 55.617.3fps
Far Cry 5 (2018) 321513fps

Emissions

System Noise

The cooling fan of the Lenovo ThinkPad P52s is usually turned off while idling, but not always. It does occasionally make an appearance under very low load. When the ThinkPad is under heavier load, the fan turns up and can reach a maximum noise level of 37.5 dB(A). This is not extremely loud but can be quite bothersome as the sound has a relatively high frequency.

Noise Level

Idle
29 / 29 / 31.2 dB(A)
Load
32.5 / 37.5 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 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2028.531.433.831.132.52528.330.330.729.330.43131.334.932.131.129.54028.630.529.631.1275028.127.227.529.727.66326.827.127.22627.88025.524.926.626.62610025.12627.425.727.412524.125.225.323.923.816024.625.426.623.824.320022.922.524.822.623.525022.522.32522.422.43152120.821.820.420.640020.619.620.218.920.750020.319.419.218.121.563021.219.519.317.722.680021.419.619.516.723.5100022.321.519.116.723.212502319.818.916.124.5160024.321.919.315.724.3200023.220.318.415.925250025.221.519.615.927.1315027.522.919.915.931.340002420.118.116.326.850002118.317.416.623.7630020.418.317.416.922.8800018.818.217.617.219.21000018.818.417.717.218.31250018.918.517.717.3181600020.221.217.917.418SPL35.332.531.22937.5N2.21.71.61.22.5median 22.3median 20.3median 19.3median 17.2median 23.5Delta1.71.51.91.71.533.129.631.933.329.526.52929.732.730.430.634.730.527.328.130.32927.528.727.526.827.426.327.725.725.425.631.726.626.225.827.224.424.525252423.623.224.223.122.422.223.421.420.921.621.920.119.520.421.119.418.71920.719.118.218.521.519.417.717.421.418.517.517.222.519.117.217.422.320.116.716.924.120.716.516.826.220.716.717.427.722.617.417.427.919171727.418.217.117.322.917.917.417.220.717.818.417.52018.919.217.918.518.719.417.917.92020.918.317.719.220.41817.531.93029.836.51.61.31.32.3median 19.4median 18.4median 17.9median 22.31.21.81.72.3hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseLenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGEHP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

There are no noticeable hotspots while idling or working under low load. The surface temperature remains very even and is only a few degrees above room temperature. Things look different under load, however, as particularly the bottom of the base unit heats up to over 50 °C, which is very warm. A look at the pictures taken with our thermal camera show the placement of the heat pipes quite clearly. It might not be ideal to use this device on your lap under load - we would recommend placing it on a hard surface. You will notice the heat while typing on the center and the left side of the keyboard.

When evaluating our stress test, it becomes quite clear why the cooling system is kept so very busy. While the processor loses some performance after a while and clocks at 4x 1.8 GHz (~14 W TDP) at the end of the test, the graphics card runs at its maximum turbo clock rate of around 1520 MHz throughout the test. A run of 3DMark 11 after the stress test had the same result as before.

Max. Load
 39.6 °C
103 F
40.3 °C
105 F
36.8 °C
98 F
 
 40.9 °C
106 F
41.8 °C
107 F
37 °C
99 F
 
 36.9 °C
98 F
31.3 °C
88 F
32 °C
90 F
 
Maximum: 41.8 °C = 107 F
Average: 37.4 °C = 99 F
44.2 °C
112 F
51.2 °C
124 F
55.9 °C
133 F
46.4 °C
116 F
50.6 °C
123 F
55 °C
131 F
28.4 °C
83 F
32 °C
90 F
33.1 °C
92 F
Maximum: 55.9 °C = 133 F
Average: 44.1 °C = 111 F
Power Supply (max.)  40.3 °C = 105 F | Room Temperature 21.2 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-900
Stress top
Stress top
Stress bottom
Stress bottom

Speakers

The current models of the ThinkPad T series all have stereo speakers placed on the bottom of the base unit. As the P52s is based on the T580, this is also the case in our test unit. This positioning is not ideal for sound quality, particularly if the laptop is placed on a soft surface. However, the speakers do not offer very good quality anyway and you will have to connect to external speakers or headphones to get a nice sound.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.130.72529.330.13131.131.84031.130.45029.730.6632630.98026.630.510025.732.512523.934.916023.841.520022.654.725022.462.731520.462.940018.962.750018.164.563017.766.380016.775.3100016.773.5125016.170.4160015.769.7200015.967.2250015.968.4315015.966.1400016.364.3500016.665.3630016.963.2800017.262.61000017.253.21250017.353.61600017.457.6SPL2980.6N1.248median 17.2median 63.2Delta1.76.231.935.32931.230.634.428.131.228.729.126.330.425.627.725.829.62531.423.240.222.251.421.654.320.457.61965.718.568.917.46917.265.817.469.316.969.916.869.817.472.217.472.51772.617.374.317.273.417.573.717.97117.972.618.367.61854.329.883.61.359.2median 17.9median 691.78.7hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGEHP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 15% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.6% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 28% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 64% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 19%, worst was 31%
Compared to all devices tested
» 21% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 73% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.5% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.9% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (2.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 40% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 48% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 19%, worst was 31%
Compared to all devices tested
» 27% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 66% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The average power consumption of the ThinkPad P52s is on par with that of its direct competitor, the HP ZBook 15u G5. However, this average value is deceiving, as these two devices have very different patterns of power consumption. While the ZBook consumes less while idling, the ThinkPad is more energy-efficient when working under load. The idle value is more important for everyday use, but the power consumption of both devices is a lot lower than those of workstations with 45-Wh processors anyway. This is probably the biggest advantage of "ultrabook workstations".

The included USB C power supply offers 65 watts - precisely the maximum consumption of the P52s.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.36 / 0.58 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.1 / 7.7 / 10.7 Watt
Load midlight 52 / 65 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
8550U, Quadro P500, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
8550U, Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
E3-1505M v6, Quadro M2200, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
E3-1505M v6, Quadro M1200, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
E3-1505M v6, Quadro M1200, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
7600U, Quadro M520, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0), IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
8550U, GeForce MX150, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS LED, 3840x2160, 15.6
Power Consumption
0%
-97%
-95%
-117%
-27%
-21%
Idle Minimum *
4.1
3.2
22%
8.6
-110%
8.9
-117%
12.6
-207%
5.8
-41%
5.3
-29%
Idle Average *
7.7
6.1
21%
15.9
-106%
13.6
-77%
17.1
-122%
10.4
-35%
10.2
-32%
Idle Maximum *
10.7
9.7
9%
22.1
-107%
14.1
-32%
19.3
-80%
13.5
-26%
13.6
-27%
Load Average *
52
62
-19%
84.4
-62%
100.3
-93%
88.3
-70%
62.4
-20%
58.3
-12%
Load Maximum *
65
71
-9%
130.6
-101%
126.3
-94%
147.3
-127%
73.1
-12%
65.3
-0%
Witcher 3 ultra *
38.8
48
-24%
100.2
-158%
74.8
-93%
47.8
-23%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtimes

charging time: 309 minutes
charging time: 309 minutes

Like all its predecessors, the P52s has a "PowerBridge" - this is the name Lenovo has given the feature that combines an internal battery with an external hot-swap battery. The internal battery always has a capacity of 32 Wh, but the external battery is available in different sizes. Our test unit is equipped with the largest lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 72 Wh. The total battery capacity, therefore, is 104 Wh.

This gigantic battery capacity pushes the P52s to the top of our comparison of battery runtimes. It manages 16 hours in our Wi-Fi test, which is almost unbeatable for laptops of this size. Interestingly enough, the battery runtime results of the ThinkPad T580 are only half as good in many areas, which is probably due to the worse power consumption. The ZBook 15u G5 can also reach a respectable result, but its battery is significantly smaller - only half as big. The ThinkPad P52s can therefore clearly be considered a true runtime champion. 

The long battery runtimes come at a price: The charging time of the P52s is very long at 309 minutes as two batteries have to be recharged at the same time.

SPECviewperf runtime: 250 minutes
SPECviewperf runtime: 250 minutes
Idle runtime: 2360 minutes
Idle runtime: 2360 minutes
Load runtime: 221 minutes
Load runtime: 221 minutes
Wi-Fi runtime: 974 minutes
Wi-Fi runtime: 974 minutes
Big Buck Bunny runtime: 1131 minutes
Big Buck Bunny runtime: 1131 minutes
 
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
39h 20min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 41.16299.402.0)
16h 14min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
18h 51min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 41min
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
8550U, Quadro P500, 104 Wh
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
8550U, Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, 56 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
E3-1505M v6, Quadro M2200, 90 Wh
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
E3-1505M v6, Quadro M1200, 97 Wh
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
E3-1505M v6, Quadro M1200, 64 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
7600U, Quadro M520, 104 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20LAS01H00
8550U, GeForce MX150, 105 Wh
Average of class Workstation
 
Battery Runtime
-37%
-58%
-72%
-80%
-13%
-44%
-66%
Reader / Idle
2360
1301
-45%
981
-58%
724
-69%
410
-83%
1581
-33%
1181
-50%
564 (63 - 2360, n=107)
-76%
H.264
1131
623
-45%
455
-60%
700
-38%
565
-50%
370 (123 - 1131, n=49)
-67%
WiFi v1.3
974
514
-47%
413
-58%
254
-74%
201
-79%
712
-27%
522
-46%
383 (106 - 974, n=51)
-61%
Load
221
200
-10%
95
-57%
61
-72%
50
-77%
323
46%
158
-29%
88.4 (22 - 323, n=100)
-60%

Verdict

Pros

+ very good ThinkPad input devices
+ very long battery runtimes
+ robust case with maintenance options
+ wide selection of modern ports
+ above-average CPU performance
+ three-year warranty
+ a lot of security features incl. ThinkShutter
+ flexible Power Bridge battery system

Cons

- Quadro P500 weaker than the MX150 in the ThinkPad T580 with the same build
- low color-space coverage
- high heat development under load
- long charging times
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s. Test unit provided by Computer Upgrade King. Use code NBC20 for $20 off
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s. Test unit provided by Computer Upgrade King. Use code NBC20 for $20 off

Up until now, the idea of a workstation laptop with energy-efficient processors has never really worked out. The Lenovo ThinkPad P52s is the first laptop where this concept is finally starting to take off.

This is mainly due to the fact that the Ultra-Low-Voltage processors of the Kaby Lake Refresh generation have made a great leap when it comes to performance. Although the CPU performance is still far off from competing with that of the 45-Watt Coffee Lake CPUs, it still fulfills the minimum requirements for a mobile workstation. On top of this, the processor's performance is above-average in the P52s and significantly better than in the ZBook 15u G5, which is equipped with the same processor. The P52s has also carried over a number of positive features from the ThinkPad T580, such as the robust case with good maintenance options, the popular ThinkPad input devices, the great selection of ports and security features and the long standard warranty. Unlike the T580, our test unit has good battery runtimes and PowerBridge, which offers great advantages.

Ironically, the Quadro P500, the only real difference between the P52s and the ThinkPad T580, is also the device's biggest weakness. The performance of the Quadro GPU cannot keep up with that of the GeForce MX150 in the T580 due to the limited number of shaders. Of course, there are also some disadvantages of the T580 that have been carried over to the P52s, such as the long charging times and the high heat development under load. The display of our P52s only has a Full HD resolution. Some of the measurements are significantly above Lenovo's specifications - for example, the high contrast ratio. However, color-space coverage is as bad as always, which is quite a black mark for a mobile workstation.

We can basically recommend the Lenovo ThinkPad P52s, but it will only be really interesting for a small group of potential buyers as the Quadro P500 is simply too weak.

Can we give a purchase recommendation for the ThinkPad P52s? Basically, yes. It beats its direct competitor, the HP ZBook 15u in many areas - only temperature management and the feel of the case are better in the ZBook. But still, the P52s will only really be suitable for a small group of users since the ThinkPad T580 offers all the qualities of the P52s and has a stronger GPU. Only users of CAD software might prefer the P52s - but again the question is whether these users might prefer to purchase a thicker, heavier workstation with a stronger CPU and GPU. This limits the target market to a few users who need long battery runtimes and a GPU optimized for CAD.

Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE - 06/25/2018 v6
Benjamin Herzig

Chassis
86 / 98 → 87%
Keyboard
94%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
71 / 81 → 87%
Weight
62 / 10-66 → 92%
Battery
99%
Display
85%
Games Performance
69%
Application Performance
91%
Temperature
87 / 95 → 91%
Noise
95 / 90 → 100%
Audio
36%
Camera
39 / 85 → 46%
Average
76%
83%
Workstation - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad P52s (i7-8550U, Full HD) Workstation Review
Benjamin Herzig, 2018-06-28 (Update: 2018-07-11)