Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2 review – one of the best content creator laptops on the market

Honestly, making a purchase choice on a new laptop has never been more difficult. Now that gaming brands are becoming more lowkey than ever, while business machines are getting some of the most powerful hardware available. This makes content creators extremely happy but makes our job as reviewers even more difficult.

Today, we’re going to show you the ThinkBook 16p Gen 2. A laptop that can’t really be put into a single category. It looks stunning, bares the security of a business device, and packs the punch of a gaming machine. This means a huge amount of people can contribute from the notebook. This includes both developers and content creators.

Especially the latter, as the RTX 3060 that resides in the sleek chassis, works with NVIDIA’s studio drivers, enabling better support and compatibility with professional apps. This particular notebook is also paired with up to the Ryzen 9 5900HX, so the cooling will play a critical role.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkbook-16p-gen-2/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2 - Specs

  • MNG007DA1-4
  • Color accuracy  3.0  1.4
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 1000GB SSD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 2x 2280 M.2 NVMe slots  See photo
  • RAM
  • up to 32GB
  • OS
  • Windows 11 Pro, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home
  • Battery
  • 71Wh
  • Body material
  • Aluminum
  • Dimensions
  • 356 x 252 x 16.3 ~ 19.9 mm (14.02" x 9.92" x 0.64")
  • Weight
  • 1.99 kg (4.4 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 2x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 2x USB Type-C
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • Card reader
  • SD
  • Ethernet LAN
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.2
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • HD + FHD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Dual Array Microphone
  • Speakers
  • 2x 2W, Harman Speakers
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot
  • Kensington Lock Slot

All Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2 configurations

#CommissionsEarned

What’s in the box?

This laptop comes bundled with some paper manuals and a 230W power adapter.


Design and construction

As we said earlier, the ThinkBook 16p Gen 2 features a sleek design. It uses some notes from the Legion series while remaining between 16.3 and 19.9mm thick. The overall weight starts from 1.99 kilos. Lenovo uses anodized aluminum for the lid and the base, with the latter having supreme rigidity with almost no flex in its chassis.

Thanks to the smooth hinges, the lid opens easily with a single hand. This reveals a 16:10 display with thin bezels all around. Contrary to Apple, Lenovo relies on a large notch, which doesn’t interfere with the actual screen. Instead, it protrudes a bit over the top rim of the lid. The camera here can be either a 720p or a 1080p unit. Both of them are equipped with a privacy shutter, but weirdly, only the lower res version comes with an optional IR face recognition scanner.

Moving to the base, we see a large spill-resistant keyboard. It has good key travel, clicky feedback, and a NumPad section. Also, it features a backlight. Ultimately, we find it one of the good keyboards out there, and this statement is further enhanced by the lack of severe deck flex and the huge Arrow keys.

Beneath it, you will find a glass-surfaced touchpad of decent size. Its clicking mechanism is satisfying, while the gliding and tracking are on point.

Turn the laptop upside down to see the two speaker cutouts and the ventilation grill. Interestingly, there are four exhaust vents, which is a rarity in business-related products.

Ports

On the left side, there is an audio jack, and an SD card reader, while on the right, you will find two USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) ports and a Kensington slot. That’s not all, as the backside houses two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 2) ports and a power connector.


Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance

Eight Torx-head screws are holding this device’s bottom panel to the chassis. After you undo them, pry the panel with a plastic tool and lift it away.

Inside, you can see a 71Wh battery. You can take the battery out if you want to. To do that, undo four Phillips-head screws. One of them is hidden beneath the SSD located in the left slot. There is one more M.2 PCIe x4 slot on the right as well.

In terms of memory, you get one SODIMM slot for expansion. In addition to that, there are either 8 or 16GB of soldered DDR4 RAM.

When it comes to cooling, there are three heat pipes – one shared between the CPU and the GPU, and one for each of them. Additionally, there is a fourth heat pipe managing the temperature of the VRMs. Lastly, four heat sinks dissipate the heat thanks to two fans.


Display quality

Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2 in the configuration we tested has a 60Hz WQXGA IPS panel – MNG007DA1-4 (LEN8A97). Its diagonal is 16-inch (40.6 cm), and the resolution is 2560 х 1600 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:10, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 189 ppi, and a pitch of 0.13 х 0.13 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 46cm (18″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).

Viewing angles are excellent. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

Also, a video with locked focus and exposure.

We measured a maximum brightness of 370 nits in the middle of the screen and 359 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 6%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6580K – almost matching the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K.
In the illustration below you can see how the main display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.

Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work. The contrast ratio is very good – 1740:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 91% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

You can pick one of several presets through the x-Rite Color Assistant app.


Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2 with the default settings (and enabled sRGB profile from x-Rite Color Assistant – left, and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile – right.

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 23 ms.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.


PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2’s display doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness at any point. This means it is comfortable for long gaming sessions without harming your eyes in this aspect.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2 configurations with 16″ WQXGA IPS MNG007DA1-4 (LEN8A97).

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2’s Harman speakers produce a sound of good quality. There are no deviations across the entire frequency spectrum.


Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkbook-series/thinkbook-16p-g2-ach/downloads/driver-list

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 laptop’s 71Wh battery lasts for 11 hours and 7 minutes of Web browsing, or 6 hours and 34 minutes of video playback.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.


CPU options

The device can be found with a Ryzen 5 5600H, Ryzen 7 5800H, and Ryzen 9 5900HX.


GPU options

And for the graphics, you get the GeForce RTX 3060 with 6GB of GDDR6 memory and 75W TGP. Moreover, it comes with NVIDIA Studio drivers for better reliability and support in creativity apps.


Gaming tests

Metro Exodus Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Extreme (Check settings)
Average FPS 132 fps 64 fps 31 fps

Borderlands 3 Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Badass (Check settings)
Average fps 98 fps 79 fps 64 fps

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Very High (Check settings) Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
Average 100 fps 85 fps 55 fps

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Highest (Check settings)
Average 108 fps 103 fps 69 fps

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.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600H (45W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2 3.68 GHz (B+12%) @ 86°C 3.67 GHz (B+11%) @ 93°C 3.53 GHz (B+7%) @ 100°C
ASUS Vivobook Pro 15 OLED (M3500) 3.52 GHz (B+7%) @ 78°C 3.58 GHz (B+8%) @ 94°C 3.40 GHz (B+3%) @ 90°C
Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-45) 3.57 GHz (B+8%) @ 69°C 3.47 GHz (B+5%) @ 69°C 3.56 GHz (B+8%) @ 82°C
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Pro (14) 3.43 GHz (B+4%) @ 78°C 3.35 GHz (B+2%) @ 88°C 3.06 GHz @ 93°C
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (16″) 3.77 GHz (B+14%) @ 84°C 3.79 GHz (B+15%) @ 89°C 3.76 GHz (B+14%) @ 97°C

Lenovo’s Extreme Performance preset here definitely does its job, as the Ryzen 5 5600H is being pushed as hard as the cooling can cope. However, it’s a bit worrying that the temperature at the end of the test was 100°C.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (Max Fan)
Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2 1535 MHz @ 69°C @ 75W 1517 MHz @ 76°C @ 75W
Lenovo Legion 5i (17″ Intel, 2021) 1886 MHz @ 75°C @ 127W 1879 MHz @ 76°C @ 127W
Dell XPS 17 9710 1396 MHz @ 71°C @ 70W 1403 MHz @ 71°C @ 70W
Lenovo Legion 7 (16″, 2021) 1867 MHz @ 70°C @ 126W 1858 MHz @ 74°C @ 127W
Lenovo Legion 5 (15″ AMD, 2021) 1831 MHz @ 75°C @ 129W 1815 MHz @ 80°C @ 129W
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (16″) 1803 MHz @ 76°C @ 129W 1787 MHz @ 81°C @ 129W
MSI GP66 Leopard 1863 MHz @ 72°C @ 124W 1852 MHz @ 75°C @ 125W 1849 MHz @ 69°C @ 127W
MSI GP76 Leopard 1860 MHz @ 71°C @ 129W 1857 MHz @ 73°C @ 128W 1869 MHz @ 67°C @ 128W

On the other hand, the laptop performs really well in the graphics test, where it got up to 76°C with nearly no drop in performance after 30 minutes of gameplay. It’s worth mentioning that the device comes with a MUX switch, so you can extract every single drop of the 75W TGP.

Gaming comfort

It is interesting that the laptop was never too loud. No matter if we’re talking about gaming or computing. With that said, the warmest it got on the outside was 47°C in the middle of the keyboard.


Verdict

If this is how the future looks like, then we are really excited about it. Lenovo managed to combine the power of a gaming notebook, the style of a business device, and the versatility of a content creator machine into one sleek laptop. And it did it successfully. We saw a very good performance from the hardware we had on hand, with the only hiccup being the high temperature of the CPU after long periods of stress.

But arguably the best feature in this regard is the MUX switch. It allows you to toggle between switchable graphics, and direct connection to the dedicated GPU, ensuring you take advantage of the full horsepower this laptop provides.

Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 2’s IPS panel (MNG007DA1-4 (LEN8A97)) has a high resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio, wide viewing angles, and a very good contrast ratio. Thankfully, it doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment. What is even more appealing for professionals, is the fact that it has a color accuracy that matches the sRGB standard with the help of our Gaming and Web design profile.

Moreover, there is an SD card reader for quick access to your photos and videos, as well as two M.2 PCIe x4 slots so you can store them. And although there is no HDMI connector to be found, both USB Type-C ports can output a DisplayPort signal for screens of up to 5K resolution at 60Hz.

Thankfully, Lenovo provides you with some security features, including a camera privacy shutter, an optional IR face recognition scanner and a fingerprint reader embedded onto the power button.

The 71Wh battery here is good for 11 hours of Web browsing, or 6 hours and a half of video playback. The latter is not very exciting, but the 230W charging adapter allows you to fill 50% of the battery for only 30 minutes.

Not in the last place, there is the quality of the build and the comfort of the input devices. This results in a superb all-around laptop. And if you consider the NVIDIA Studio drivers support, the content creator in you should really be happy to go for the ThinkBook 16p Gen 2.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkbook-16p-gen-2/

Pros

  • Thin and light outfit
  • Strong aluminum chassis
  • Covers 91% of the sRGB color gamut and has accurate color representation with our Gaming and Web design profile (MNG007DA1-4 (LEN8A97))
  • High resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio (MNG007DA1-4 (LEN8A97))
  • No PWM (MNG007DA1-4 (LEN8A97))
  • SD card slot
  • Great performance for its class
  • IR face recognition + fingerprint reader
  • NVIDIA Studio drivers


Cons

  • CPU gets toasty during long loads
  • No HDMI connector

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Fran
Fran
1 year ago

Thanks for review!
Will you try the Inspiron 16 Plus?