ThinkPad P53 packs in Mobile Xeon CPU and a more powerful, VR-ready GPU

Lenovo's desktop-replacement ThinkPad P53 is substantively beefier than previous iterations of the P-series, with more advanced GPU options.

Beyond the PC: Lenovo's ambitious plan for the future of computing Lenovo is a leading PC manufacturer, a top-five player in the server market and has recently returned its smartphone group to profit. Here's where the company is going next.

Lenovo's P-series ThinkPad models preserve the expandability and user serviceability that the ThinkPad brand is known for, even as other ThinkPad models such as the X-series have adopted soldered-down RAM as part of a wider industry trend toward thinner and lighter notebooks. Specs for the P53—the 2019 model of Lenovo's 15-inch P-series notebook—were published this week, outlining all of the potential factory configurations and future upgrade options available to the P53.

The P53 receives a bump to 9th generation Intel Core (Coffee Lake) processors—the P53 was announced with the Xeon E-2276M, a six-core / twelve-thread CPU running at 2.8 GHz base / 4.7 GHz turbo. Mobile Xeon processors are a relatively new—and still relatively niche—option for desktop replacements, with users likely to opt for the quad-core i5-9400H (2.5 GHz / 4.3 GHz), six-core i7-9750H (2.6 GHz / 4.5 GHz), i7-9850H (2.6 GHz / 4.6 GHz), or eight-core i9-9880H (2.3 GHz/4.8 GHz) CPUs.

SEE: Beyond the PC: Lenovo's ambitious plan for the future of computing (cover story PDF) (TechRepublic)

These CPUs are equipped with Intel UHD Graphics 630 (or P630, for the Xeon) and are paired with NVIDIA GPUs, including either the NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (4GB GDDR5), T2000 (4GB GDDR5), or the VR-ready RTX 3000 (6GB GDDR6), RTX 4000 Max-Q (6GB GDDR6), or RTX 5000 Max-Q (6GB GDDR6), supporting five independent displays via HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, or Thunderbolt, with resolutions up to 5K/60Hz on Thunderbolt and 4K/60Hz on HDMI.

More powerful GPUs are a welcome addition, though resulted in an extra 3.5mm height to the system chassis. The previous-generation P52 is limited to the weaker Quadro P3200. 

Display options start at a 1080p IPS panel, with 300 nits brightness and 700:1 contrast ratio. (Happily, Lenovo is not attempting to sell a TN panel on the P-series, despite their continued inclusion on T-series models.) An upgraded 1080p IPS display with 500 nits brightness, as well as HDR 400 and Dolby Vision certification, and a 1200:1 contrast ratio is also available. Options for 4K displays start with the same specs as the upgraded 1080p panel, though increase the color gamut from 72% to 100%. A 4K OLED multi-touch display is also available.

Memory and storage options are likewise quite generous—being a desktop replacement system, a significantly higher than average number of options are offered. The P53 includes four DDR4 SO-DIMM sockets, for up to 128 GB RAM, at 2666 MHz speeds. ECC RAM is supported only on Xeon E-2276M equipped systems. The P53 also retains a 7mm 2.5" drive for SATA hard drives or SSDs, as well as two M.2 2280 PCIe x4 / NVMe slots, supporting a total of 6 TB between the three (though Samsung's 4TB SSDs, as an aftermarket option, can increase it to 8 TB.)

For connectivity, the P53 is equipped with the Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 chipset, providing 2x2 802.11ax and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, with an optional LTE-Advanced mobile broadband card.

The P53 removes swappable batteries, though the 90Wh battery supports rapid charge, allowing for 80% charge in one hour. The non-touch model weighs in starting at 5.51 lb (2.5 kg) with the OLED multi-touch model at 6.4 lb (2.9 kg).

For more on ThinkPads, check out "Lenovo shipping Ubuntu Linux on 2019 ThinkPad P-series models" and "Meditations on First ThinkPad: How Lenovo adapts to changes in the PC industry" on TechRepublic.

Also see

ezgif-5-1546c77cf219.jpg

Image: Lenovo