Around a year ago, we showed you a mobile workstation that houses a lot of power, in what seems like an average ThinkPad on the outside. Today, we have the more portable version of the next generation of this laptop – it is called the ThinkPad P53s and has a 15-inch IPS Full HD panel or you can pick the 4K IPS display, which supposedly has 100% Adobe RGB coverage.

As a mobile workstation, it ditches the H-series processors of its bigger brother, for a Core i7-8565U (and Core i7-8665U), which is obviously a low-voltage CPU. However, we are not going to go through rushed conclusions before we test it. In addition to the ULV Core i7, this laptop comes with an energy-efficient professional graphics card – the Quadro P520.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-p53s/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Lenovo ThinkPad P53s – Specs


Dimensions


356.8 x 248 x 19.1 mm (14.05″ x 9.76″ x 0.75″)

Ports and connectivity

  • 2x USB Type-A 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1)
  • 1x USB Type-C 3.1 (3.1 Gen 2), Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort
  • 1x USB Type-C 3.1 (3.1 Gen 2), Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort
  • HDMI 1.4b
  • Card reader SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Ethernet LAN
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Audio jack Headphone/ Microphone combo

Features

  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera 720p HD
  • Backlit keyboard optional
  • Microphone
  • Speakers Stereo Speakers with Dolby Audio
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot
  • Fast Identity Online authentication capabilities (FIDO)
  • Discrete Trusted Platform Module 2.0
  • ThinkShutter on Camera
  • Backlit with white LED lighting

What’s in the box?

Inside the box, you will find a 65Wh power brick with Type-C connector, the laptop itself, as well as some paper manuals – nothing extraordinary.

Design and construction

Traditionally, the higher tier ThinkPads have run through MIL-STD-810 testing. Its quality is toughened by the extremely robust plastic, combined with glass-fiber. This combination is one of the main reasons for the overall weight of this laptop not exceeding 1.75 kg. Additionally, it is 19 mm thick, which is rather thin for a mobile workstation. On the other side, the ThinkPad P53s is not utilizing a fancy outfit, but rather the classic ThinkPad style – unlike the likes of Dell’s XPS and HP’s ZBook line-up.

What is great about it, however, is that it has the modern thin-bezel design, while its lid is comfortably opened with a single hand (at least on our unit). On top of the display, you are going to find the optional IR face recognition system.

Then at the bottom, there is another feature, symbolizing this family of laptops – the keyboard. Its keycaps have well-known U-shape and are decent in size. In addition to that, we find the travel to be sufficient, while the feedback is clicky enough. Obviously, you can notice the red nipple, which we are confident that there are still some people using it – no more than a two-digit number, across the entire world, but nevertheless.

However, we find the touchpad to be far more usable than the nipple. At least for the type of job we do on the laptop. As we are talking about the touchpad, perhaps it is a great time to note the fingerprint reader, which is placed just right of it.

So, on the bottom plate, there are only the ventilation grills, as the hot air is coming out of the right side of the machine, while the speakers are placed on the base – above the keyboard.

Ports

Starting from the left, the laptop charges with a USB Type-C plug, then there is a Thunderbolt port and a docking connector, followed by a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1), an HDMI 1.4b, a headphone jack, and a MicroSD card reader. Then, on the right, you will see the RJ-45 connector, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) port and a Smart card reader.

Display quality

We are going to update this review, as soon as we are ready with testing the display of the Lenovo ThinkPad P53s.

Drivers

You can find all of the drivers and utilities for the ThinkPad P53s here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-p-series-laptops/thinkpad-p53s-type-20n6-20n7/downloads/automatic-driver-update

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This device is equipped with a 57Wh battery pack, which was able to last for around 13 hours and a half of Web browsing and 10 hours and a half of video playback.

CPU options

Lenovo gives you the option of picking either the “regular” Intel Core i7-8565U or the vPro version – Core i7-8665U.


Lenovo ThinkPad P53s CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Lenovo ThinkPad P53s models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Lenovo ThinkPad P53s model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.


GPU options

There are two options in this department as well. If you don’t need any graphical power, whatsoever, you can go for the integrated UHD Graphics 620. Otherwise, your option is the NVIDIA Quadro P520 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. It looks like it is a professional version of the widespread GeForce MX150.


Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i7-8665U (15W TDP): 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Lenovo ThinkPad P53s 2.74 GHz (B+44%) @ 76°C 1.97 GHz (B+4%) @ 65°C 2.01 GHz (B+6%) @ 64°C
Dell Latitude 5300 2.94 GHz (B+55%) @ 98°C 2.59 GHz (B+36%) @ 99°C 2.31 GHz (B+22%) @ 88°C
Fujitsu Lifebook U939X 2.65 GHz (B+39%) @ 97°C 2.29 GHz (B+21%) @ 98°C 1.88 GHz @ 86°C

Lenovo ThinkPad P53s was pretty quiet throughout the stress testing of its CPU. Moreover, the temperatures it achieved were never exceeding 76C, and at the end, we measured 64C on the package, whereas the clock speed was tipping over 2.01 GHz.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA Quadro P520 GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)
Lenovo ThinkPad P53s 1531 MHz @ 73°C 1531 MHz @ 68°C

The chart above explains what happened with the thermals of this laptop pretty straightforwardly. It never had to thermal throttle, but the temperature at the end was drastically lower than that at the beginning. The reason? Well, ThinkPad 53s’ fans ramped up only after around three minutes after we started stressing the GPU.

Verdict

Okay guys, what happens if you want to take your extremely powerful computer, and do some pretty sick 3D models at your hotel room or even showcase it in real-time to your customer? Well, nothing, because you have a computer. You can’t really pick everything – your case, your monitor, mouse, keyboard, peripherals, stick it in your backpack and just go to your meeting place, can you? We are sure, that there are some of you that have tried it, but let’s face it – it is not convenient.

This is why people buy expensive enterprise laptops, isn’t it? What about if you are not that deep into the extremely hardware-dependent workload, but rather in need of something ultra-portable? Well, as our tests kind of proved to us – the Lenovo ThinkPad P53s is a great option for you.

While its price is not what one would describe as affordable, and the performance from its vPro Core i7-8665U is not exactly mind-blowing, we are still confident, that the ThinkPad P53s is going to give you some good run for your money. Plus, the cooling on this laptop is pretty good.

Take the battery life for example – we were able to get 13 hours and a half of Web browsing and exactly 10 hours and a half of video playback. Keep in mind this is with the 1080 IPS panel (which we are still yet to test), so expect lower results from the 4K model, as naturally – more pixels mean less battery life.

Then, there is the build quality of this laptop – it is made of glass-fiber and plastic combination, which results in a very robust design, which passes MIL-STD-810G tests. Combine this with a versatile I/O connectivity (with LTE and Thunderbolt support) and your mix of spices results in one of the greatest soups for the people who need mobile workstations in any form.

Pros

  • Light and robust design
  • Wide I/O connectivity options
  • Great battery life
  • Flourishing with security features
  • It has optional Thunderbolt support and LTE connectivity
  • Sufficient cooling

Cons

  • Its price is a little on the high side
  • Not exactly a powerhouse of a hardware

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-p53s/





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