Lenovo P14 Gen 2 – Small but mighty

July 4, 2022
3 mins read
Start
8/10

Summary

Lenovo P14 Gen 2 Laptop  REVIEW

It may be small but this new ThinkPad is built like the proverbial ****house writes PAT PILCHER, who is well impressed.

$4,499

Lenovo makes a massive range of ThinkPads. Their latest, the ThinkPad P14 Gen 2, is a zippy business laptop aimed that packs plenty of power and is built to last. All told, it ticks many different boxes. So, is it all that and a bag of (silicon) chips?

The P14 Gen 2 is a 14-inch slim and slinky beastie. Being a ThinkPad, it has a great keyboard, and it is built like a brick-you-know-what house thanks to Lenovo’s MIL-STD 810H build spec. Out of the box, I noticed that while there are plenty of ports, there’s only one USB-C port, and it’s occupied by the power adapter.

 

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The supplied review unit packed an Intel Core i5-1250P CPU with 16GB DDR4 memory and a roomy 512GB NVMe SSD. The P14 comes with an IPS UHD display and Windows 10 Pro. You get Wi-Fi 6 and a gigabit Ethernet port on the connectivity front. Speaking of the screen, Lenovo has kept the side bezels slim with a chunkier top and bottom bezel with the top being home to a 720p webcam.

If (like me) you find Windows Hello to be a total pain in the ass, you’ll also be pleased to note that Lenovo has baked a fingerprint reader into the P14’s chassis. It makes logging in both quick and seamless. I wish other notepad makers would follow suit and add these as they make a huge difference to the overall usability of Windows.

Looks-wise, the P14’s matte-black-slab design means it couldn’t be anything but a ThinkPad. The P14 is the laptop Darth Vader would have in his crib. As you’d expect from Lenovo gear, it’s also solid, with next to no flex on the chassis. A solid build also means that at 1.5Kg it’s not an ultra-portable notebook PC. It is, however, built to last through thermonuclear war (and whatever else 2022 has left to throw at us).

There are plenty of ports too. You get a USB 4 port (with Thunderbolt 4). Frustratingly, USB-C and/or Thunderbolt peripherals can only be used when the P14 is unplugged. Lenovo’s engineers bizarrely decided to give the power adapter a USB-C connector. There are also USB Type-A ports, HDMI and audio outputs and an Ethernet jack. The only thing missing is a dedicated power adaptor socket to free up that wasted USB C port.

A standout feature of the P14 is its backlit keyboard. Bashing out some QWERTY on it felt great. Its trackpad is accurate and is also massive. Oddly its left and right buttons are at its top rather than its bottom, although it is also a click-pad. Thinkpad fans will be pleased to note that the distinctive red TrackPoint nub is also there.

If the keyboard impressed, the P14’s display stunned. Pumping out a crisp UHD (3840 by 2160 pixel) resolution. It both super bright (500 nits!) and vivid. Contrast levels were good, which, coupled with decent viewing angles, made for a superb user experience – even in direct sunlight. A feature that stood out was the inclusion of a Privacy Guard mode. Hitting FN-D fires it up, rendering its display black to anyone viewing off-angle. This is ideal for anyone doing sensitive work that requires privacy or catching up on work on public transport.

Performance-wise, the P14 is a powerhouse. With Photoshop and multiple apps running (not to mention a bazillion browser tabs open), it felt snappy. Windows 11 ran smoothly. That said, Nvidia Quadro T500 coped well with most demanding chores, but sometiumes struggled a little with demanding games.

Switching Windows 11 into power-saving mode, turning off Wi-Fi and dropping screen brightness to 50%, I unplugged the P14 and did a video rundown test. I played a looped 1080p video and let it run until the P14 demanded time with the power adaptor and powered itself off. The run time was just over 10-and-a-half hours. That isn’t too shabby and is more than ample for a full day’s use away from a power socket.

The P14 Gen 2 Thinkpad is a superbly engineered and solid piece of gear. For small business owners or anyone wanting a reliable and durable workhorse PC, it’s a great choice. That said, I’d love to see a second USB-C port added.

Since the review was written, the Gen 2 has been replaced with the Gen 3 which retails for $4,499

www.lenovo.com/nz

  • 14.0″ WUXGA (1920 x 1200) IPS Anti-Glare 300N
  • Intel Core i5-1250P Processor (12 Cores, 12M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz)
  • Total Ram 16GB (8GB soldered + 8GB) DDR4 3200MHz
  • 512GB SSD PCIe-NVMe OPAL
  • NVIDIA T550 4GB GDDR6
  • Integrated IR & 1080p Hybrid Camera w/privacy shutter
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2×2, 802.11ax)
  • WWAN Ready
  • Integrated 52.5Wh Battery
  • Windows® 10 Professional preinstalled via downgrade rights from Windows® 11 Professional
  • 100W USB-C AC adapter
  • ThinkPad Backlit Keyboard
  • 3-Year OnSite and Premier Support

Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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