Lenovo ThinkPad P16 mobile workstation review

The Lenovo ThinkPad P16 is certainly not your average laptop. This massive mobile workstation isn’t designed for quick runs to the coffee shop or virtual meetings (although it’s more than capable of those), but for much more. The ThinkPad P16 was designed to be a high-end workstation that fits in a lap or on a table, but is also semi-portable while you run through whatever tests you throw at it.


Unboxing this laptop was pretty similar compared to other laptops, save for one main factor – weight. The ThinkPad P16 weighs 2.95 kg (6.5 lbs) and is 1.2 inches thick. That’s almost 2.5 times the weight of a MacBook Air M1, our primary hardware review workhorse at TechRadar Pro. Apart from the laptop, the box contained a relatively large computer loading brick and some important documents.

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(Credit: Future)(Credit: Future)(Credit: Future)First impressions

After booting up the ThinkPad P16, we were amazed at how fast it was. Everything started quickly, even navigating through settings to connect to WiFi, download updates, and install benchmark software. As mentioned, the sheer weight and size of this laptop is obvious, but we understand that this laptop isn’t designed for a quick run to the coffee shop or surfing from the couch.

(Image credit: Future)Design and build quality

In addition to its size, the Lenovo ThinkPad P16 is also a powerhouse under the hood. The chassis is sturdy and feels durable, although it’s a lighter hue than the standard matte black we’ve seen on other ThinkPad models.


*As tested*

CPU: 12th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i9 2.30GHz

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Graphics: Nvidia RTX A5500

Memory: 64GB

Screen: 16 inches

Storage: 2TB

Connectivity: USB-A (x2), USB-C, headphone/microphone combo, optional smart card reader, optional nano slim card slot, SD Express 7.0 card reader, power connector, Thunderbolt 4 (x2), HDMI 2.1

On the right is a full-size keyboard with a full numeric keypad. We also noticed a TrackPoint mini-joystick, a trackpad, and three physical mouse buttons above the trackpad. There are ports on the right, left, and back of the laptop that face away from the user. On the left is a USB-A port, a USB-C port, a headphone jack, and a nano SIM card slot. The right side houses an SD card reader, an optional smart card reader, and a USB-A port. On the back of the laptop are two Thunderbolt ports, an HDMI port, and a power connector.

The keyboard is incredibly comfortable to type on even during long typing sessions, and the numerous pointing tool options make interacting with this computer a breeze. After using it for a week for testing, we were able to comfortably use this laptop for a full workday without feeling like reaching for anything else.

(Image credit: Future)In use

Every time we booted up the ThinkPad P16, we were amazed at its performance. Obviously for spreadsheets, email and basic applications the P16 is absolutely over the top. However, for more complex creative or design projects and workflows, this portable workstation really comes into its own.

During our PCMark test, the P16 scored 7651 on the extended test, meaning it compares well to other portable workstations – not the absolute fastest, but it’s close. While the benchmark test drives the laptop, the internal fans keep the laptop relatively cool. And while we won’t have this on our laps often, it’s good to know that we can do it if we want without cooking our legs.

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(Image credit: Future)

The focus of this laptop is on the raw power under the hood. However, another great benefit of the ThinkPad P16p is the amount of security built into every aspect of the computer. We can log in with Windows Hello through the integrated fingerprint scanner, face recognition or the smart card reader.

(Image credit: Future)

Looking at the physical aspects of this laptop, we are struck by the beautiful matte finish. Opening the computer and booting it up, we were impressed by the brightness of the display, and even in the middle of the day we could easily see every area of ​​our screen. The keyboard made typing easy and comfortable, even for long periods of time, and we also loved how easy the trackpad was to use. We’re not used to having three trackpad buttons, although this can benefit certain applications and use cases. The Lenovo ThinkPad P16 also features a TrackPoint in the center of the keyboard for more input options.

(Image credit: Future)

For those who are looking for even more performance, the compartment for adding and changing RAM on the bottom of the laptop is easily accessible. In addition, Lenovo has integrated multiple performance modes to fine-tune the computer’s performance. These power mode ranges can extend battery life at the cost of some power, or increase performance by using extra power and more.

Final Verdict

This impressive portable workstation can handle almost any task that is thrown at it. The P16 was at or near the top in every test we ran, and while it might not be the laptop you grab for a quick meeting at a coffee shop, it may be the one you grab to go around intensive creative tasks, 3D modeling, and the like.

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