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Lenovo Packs Nvidia Graphics Into ThinkPad P53s and P43s for Students

Lenovo is revamping its ThinkPad Ps lineup, targeting the workstations toward students who need the power to run rigorous programs and the durability to handle the casual wear and tear caused by booking it from class to class.

Lenovo introduces the ThinkPad P43s (14-inch) and ThinkPad P53s (15.6-inch), which both start at $1,499 and will be available sometime in June and July, respectively.

Lenovo ThinkPad P43s and P53s: Price and Specs

Lenovo ThinkPad P43sLenovo ThinkPad P53s
Starting Price$1,499$1,499
Display14-inch: Up to 2560 x 144015.6-inch: Up to 3840 x 2160
CPU8th Gen Intel Core processor
RAMUp to 48GB
GraphicsNvidia Quadro P520
StorageUp to 2TB NVMe SSD
PortsOne Thunderbolt 3, two USB 3.1, one USB Type-C, HDMI 1.4, microSD card reader, RJ45 Ethernet, headphone jack
Size12.95 x 8.94 x 0.7 inches14.4 x 9.76 x 0.75 inches
Weight3.24 pounds3.87 pounds


Despite the size difference, the starting configurations of the ThinkPad P43s and P53s are exactly the same for the same starting price. For $1,499, you’ll get an Intel Core i7-8565U processor, an Nvidia Quadro P520 GPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a 1920 x 1080 display and even a three-year limited warranty.

It’s unclear what the highest available processor will be, but we do know that it’s 8th Gen Intel Core CPU. As for the other specs, you can configure the systems with up to 48GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD.

Design

To no one’s surprise, the ThinkPad P43s and P53s look like — well, ThinkPads. They have the same recognizable black design on the hood accompanied by a simple steel ThinkPad logo. The interior is more of the same, with a standard black deck that features a red accented pointing stick, another steel ThinkPad logo and some relatively thick bezels. The bezels aren’t as bad as Lenovo’s non-S versions, but they could use a trim.

Lenovo is marketing the laptops as light and thin, specifically for students who basically live out of their backpack, and that rings true, as the ThinkPad P43s comes in at 3.2 pounds and 13 x 8.9 x 0.7 inches, while the P53s measures 3.9 pounds and 14.4 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches. In contrast, Lenovo’s standard ThinkPad P53 workstation, also announced today (June 11), tips the scales at 5.4 pounds. 

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The ThinkPad P43s and P53s have a decent amount of ports as well, including one Thunderbolt 3 port, two USB 3.1 ports, one USB Type-C port, an HDMI 1.4 port, a microSD card reader, an RJ45 Ethernet port and a headphone jack.

And of course, these ThinkPads are Mil-Spec tested for 12 standards, including the ability to withstand extreme temperatures, vibration, shock, altitudes, radiation, fungus and dust, among other things.

Display

The ThinkPad P43s features a 14-inch display that is configurable up to a WQHD resolution (2560 x 1440). The panel that features Dolby Vision HDR and can emit 500 nits of brightness. Meanwhile, the P53s is configurable with a 4K panel (3840 x 2160) along with the same features. While achieving 500 nits is not impossible, we’re curious to see if the panels will live up to that number, especially since the previous ThinkPad P52s’ 4K panel only hit 293 nits of brightness.

Keyboard

There aren’t any specific details on the keyboard, but from what we can gather, Lenovo is using its standard ThinkPad keyboard, which features a pointing stick. The difference between the keyboard is that the ThinkPad P53s has a full-sized numpad, while the P43s does not. 

If the P53s is anything like its predecessor, its keyboard will be pleasantly clicky and feature key travel of 1.7 millimeters, which is within our 1.5 to 2.0 mm preferred range.

Battery life

We didn’t get exact numbers for battery life, but Lenovo promised that both the ThinkPad P43s and the P53s will last “all day,” presumably meaning at least 8 hours. What we do know for sure is that the P53s has a 57Whr battery, while the P43s has a 50Whr battery, which makes sense because of the size difference. The power supply will be a Type-C input, similar to the previous generation, so the charger will remain portable as well.

Considering that the previous ThinkPad P52s nailed 8 hours and 24 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, I’d say the odds of the revamped versions achieving a similar battery life are pretty good.

Outlook

We’re excited to get the ThinkPad P43s and the P53s through our lab to see how they stack up against the P52s. Ideally, the display will be brighter and the graphics performance will be much stronger with its new GPU. Stay tuned for the full review and benchmarks.

Credit: Lenovo

As soon as Rami Tabari sprung out of the College of Staten Island, he hit the ground running as a Staff Writer for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline in Tom’s Guide, taking on the latest Souls-like challenge.