“That’s not a laptop…. that’s a laptop.”
This is the phrase that sits in my head when I think about what the Lenovo ThinkPad P50 is. If the Yoga 900 is a Ferrari, then the P50 is a Monster Truck.
I’m getting ahead of myself here, so I’ll take a deep breath and start again.
“High specc’d” doesn’t do these laptops justice either. Although they come in a wide range of configurations, here’s what I have:
- Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5 Processor (8MB Cache, up to 3.70GHz)
- Windows 7 Professional 64 preinstalled through downgrade rights in Windows 10 Pro
- 15.6″ FHD (1920×1080), anti-glare, IPS
- 16GB DDR4-2133MHz ECC SODIMM (8GBx2)
- NVIDIA Quadro M2000M 4GB
- 720p HD Camera with Microphone
- Backlit Keyboard with Number Pad – English
- 3-button TrackPoint pointing device and 3-button multi-touch touchpad
- Integrated Fingerprint Reader
- Hardware dTPM Enabled
- 1TB 5400rpm HDD
- 256GB SSD OPAL2.0
- 170W AC Adapter – ANZ (3pin)
- 6 Cell Li-Polymer Battery, 90Wh
- Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260, 2×2, Wi-Fi with Bluetooth 4.0
Let’s go over some of these settings.
OS – This one came with Windows 7, but a Windows 10 Pro license. It’s now running Windows 10, but good for those who need or want to run the older but reliable Windows 7, fully supported.
Screen – 15.6″ is a decent size for a laptop. The bezel around it is reasonably thin, and the actual image quality I am impressed with. There are options for a touch screen, or a higher res 3840×2160 screen – but 1920 x 1080 has less issues at the moment, especially when remote desktopping to other servers that won’t like the super high res.
RAM – 16GB came with this, but I’ll be adding in another 16GB for a total of 32GB. The laptop can go all the way up to 64GB(!!) and has 4 RAM slots, so you can put in 4 sticks of 16GB. I’ll *only* have 4 sticks of 8GB – but this amount of RAM is great for someone looking to run a bunch of virtual machines off their PC, or do some very high end artist work (images/video/3D rendering etc).
Video Card – The Intel Xeon CPU has an onboard Intel® HD Graphics P530, but beyond that, there’s also a dedicated NVIDIA Quadro card, with 4GB of RAM attached. Not designed for gaming, but will still do a decent job of it. The Quadro card gives the laptop the ability to support “four independent displays; Max resolution: 3840×2160@60Hz (DisplayPort via Mini DisplayPort cable); 3840×2160@60Hz (Thunderbolt); 3840×2160@30Hz (HDMI)” which is a big WOW!. You will need a few different cables to make this happen, but 3 extra screens at such a high res, straight off this laptop is very impressive.
Fingerprint Reader – A simple addition, but works really well. Check out my video here.
Primary Disk – Yes that’s right, just the primary for starters since you can have up to three. I *only* have two but that’s ample for what I need. The primary disk, running the OS is a 256gb SSD. There is an even faster SSD option, the 512GB SSD running over PCIe. If you want to know what that is, put on your reading glasses and check this article out – there’s a lot to learn.
Secondary Disk – Spinning disks still have their place, and I have a 1TB HDD in this. Still fast enough for most things that don’t need the crazy SSD type speeds of reading and writing. Perfect for storing things like movies, television, and virtual machines!
Weight – As I have the bigger 6 cell battery, this weighs in at 2.67kg. It’s not designed to discreetly fit into a small bag, you can’t contain a beast like this that way!
Other things like wireless, bluetooth, backlit keyboard are all standard (although you may have noticed this is big enough to have a full keypad too!).
Let’s see some more pictures!
Keyboard, trackpad, fingerprint reader – all great!
Thoughts – There’s a few similar laptops in this space, but not many. These are perfect for the heavy user, and personally as an IT Pro, I love it. It has enough grunt to run up a full test environment where I can muck around with different servers and software, but all be enclosed on a device that sits on my desk, and can be moved around with ease.
It seems to be very well built and incredibly responsive when mucking around on it. I forgot to mention the battery life – I’ve left it on my desk for days unplugged, and it still has over half its battery life. The claim is “6-cell Hybrid Graphics: up to 13.2 hours” which is really good!
These aren’t cheap, but you’re paying for the high end hardware. They’re very customisable on the web though, so you can pick and choose the bits you do and don’t want.
Got any questions for me about the P50? Feel free to ask below!
Update 24th May 2016
As requested in the comments, here’s the RAM latency from CPU-Z after mixing Lenovo and Kingston RAM