Lenovo’s ThinkBook 15p G2 is a Windows 11 powerhouse with a beautiful 4K, 15.6-inch display. It’s not ultra-portable, but it is ultra-productive. The laptop is full of premium tech, USB ports, and features.
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 G2 Specs
Our Lenovo ThinkBook 15p G2 review focuses on the 21B1001LUS model which features an 11th Gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, Windows 11 Pro, 720P webcam, and a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card.
The Lenovo ThinkBook 15p is an attractive device, but it also looks and feels like a productivity machine. It’s not particularly ultra-thin or ultra-light, but still manageable at only 4.19lbs. That said, considering it packs in a 15.6” display, its body is actually impressively petite.
To that effect, Lenovo calls this device “Compact and Lightweight” but it depends on what you’re used to. For the large 15.6” display and all the features, Lenovo did well. That said, we’re used to a 13” MacBook and this felt dramatically bulkier.
The back stands just under an inch thick (with the rubber feet) and a bit lower at the front (which has shorter feet). It has a clean and sophisticated look to it with excellent ventilation.
The screen on the ThinkBook 15p is a beautiful high-resolution 15.6” IPS display with a UHD resolution of 3840×2160. But it is not a touchscreen.
Lenovo put a lot of emphasis on getting the colors right. It is “factory calibrated to cover 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut” and has a VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification.
The certification ensures there’s a minimum peak brightness of 400 nits available for high color accuracy and contrast. The brightness, clarity, and detail on this screen are very impressive and immediately noticeable.
The max brightness is 600 nits which is well above average for a laptop screen. It’s bright enough to even see in direct sunlight. The screen also has a beautiful matte finish which helps with fingerprints and glare. Finally, the screen opens the full 180 degrees back — we like this even if it has limited uses.
Trackpad and Keyboard
Lenovo was able to fit a full-size keyboard including the number pad on this laptop. The F-keys double as function/media keys. By default, they act as F-keys, but a quick toggle in the Lenovo Vantage app will turn them into single-press multimedia keys.
The keys are backlit (but turned off by default!) and full-sized with good spacing and respectable travel for a laptop. If you’re used to a laptop without a num pad, then it would feel strange to adjust to off-center QWERTY keys.
Most of your typing is off to the left which threw us off, especially when using the laptop on the couch or in bed. Lenovo also offset the large touchpad to the left so that it’s centered with the QWERTY keys.
The trackpad is silky smooth and spacious so it’s really easy to take advantage of multi-touch gestures like 4 fingers up to see all your running apps. We love that all the multi-touch gestures are customizable.
The right-click is any click on the bottom right half of the touchpad, which may result in way more right clicks than you intend. Apple’s right-click only registers on the far right, but if you right-click in the middle of the Lenovo trackpad you’re very likely to accidentally right-click. There seems to be no fix for this other than getting used to normally clicking on the left side of the trackpad.
We love the fingerprint unlock — it’s a terrific usability feature that allows you to effortlessly secure and unlocks the ThinkBook. If you’re looking for physical security, it also comes with a Kensington lock slot.
The off-center keyboard and trackpad was the toughest aspect to get used to as a righty and frequent couch laptop user. Even though the Numpad threw me off, it’s nice having one if you work with numbers.
We love USB ports so we were pleased with this ThinkBook 15p G2. There’s a full-sized USB port on each side of the laptop (USB 3.2 type A gen 1 and 2). On the left side is a USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port. This port has a throughput of 40 Gb/s and allows you to connect an 8k monitor or two 4k monitors.
We were even able to charge with this port using certain USB-C power adapters. For ease and compatibility, there’s a full-sized HDMI 2.0 port. Lenovo even squeezed in a full-sized gigabit ethernet port.
Finally, there’s a built-in memory card reader and a headphone jack. This is the anti-dongle laptop! The only thing we could ask for is an additional USB-C port on the right side of the laptop with reasonable power requirements so that we can charge the laptop from either side with any standard laptop charger.
The battery was the most disappointing aspect of this machine. With normal use like browsing the web with Chrome, we get about two hours of usage. This is with all default settings and a “balanced” power profile.
Lenovo advertises 6.5 hours of use for the 57Wh battery but we were unable to get much more than 3 hours in any of our tests. Scaling down from a 4k resolution of 3840×2160 to 1440p 2560×1440 adds some minutes of extra usage.
The battery lasted 3 hours and 10 minutes while watching a 1080p YouTube video in Chrome and it lasted for 2 hours and 50 minutes while watching a 4K video. With normal web browsing and just a handful of Google Chrome tabs, we had a tough time getting the battery to last more than 2 hours and 15 minutes.
The proprietary Lenovo charger included with the ThinkBook puts out an impressive 135 watts. It takes 2 hours to charge to the full 100% and it charges 77% in 1 hour. I was able to charge the device with a 61W USB-C MacBook charger but not with a 30W MacBook charger.
Camera, Microphone, and Speakers
The Camera, Microphone, and Speakers are a lot more important than they used to be. The Camera is 720p and the quality is pretty good. It’s perfectly fine for any sort of video call, and maybe slightly better than average for what you may expect.
The Vantage app has some configuration settings for the camera; I had to manually set the exposure as auto didn’t work great with my lighting. The speakers, though, were disappointing. During video calls, I had the volume on max and still wanted it to get a little louder.
The speaker quality was subpar. The voices sounded perfectly fine, but the music is muddy and somewhat distorted. The microphone was the best here — it’s clear, crisp, and loud.
We appreciate that the 720p webcam has a physical cover that you can slide over the camera while you’re not using it.
Usability, Performance, and Windows 11
Windows 11 is beautiful and this is a very well-powered computer so there aren’t too many surprises as far as usability goes. The visual and processing performance is top-notch for any non-professional use case.
We were disappointed by the amount of bloatware installed, and it’s not easy to tell what’s needed if you want to take advantage of the advertised features.
The bloatware made our experience buggy at times. We did like the Lenovo Vantage application for making it easy to learn about the laptop and configure key features, though it does keep trying to upsell us on services we don’t want.
This machine is plenty powerful and it was able to keep up with dozens of open tabs, video chats, external monitors, peripherals, and various running applications. Aside from gaming, we weren’t able to make the machine sweat.
The weirdest behavior though is that some of the Windows animations are choppy and not smooth. Video plays flawlessly and looks beautiful, but if you swipe up to multi-tasking view, all the windows will just glitch into view as opposed to smoothly animating from big to small. Bumping the resolution down from 4k to 1440p mostly fixed this but it shouldn’t be necessary with the dedicated GPU.
Having a dedicated graphics card can go a long way when it comes to gaming and editing. 1650 can handle some 4K games but for best results scaling down to 1440p still looked beautiful and felt plenty smooth. It also plays and outputs 4K content effortlessly.
We’ve been using this machine as a media center PC that outputs to our TV and it’s been flawless in this respect. With Windows 11 and the Xbox game bar you can make this laptop feel like a console connected to your TV — you can control everything from the couch with your game controller.
Lenovo ThinkBook 15p G2 review final thoughts
Buying a laptop comes down to your specific needs. This Lenovo ThinkBook 15p G2 is a very well-powered machine that can handle most consumer-level and even most professional-grade needs.
The dedicated graphics card makes it terrific for mid-range gaming. The large 4K 15.6” is our favorite quality — it’s stunning with excellent detail and brightness.
That said, its display is not a touchscreen device, it’s not especially ultra compact, and the battery is a noticeable weak point. But it makes for a very fine productivity machine for people who are not always on the go.
Our model of the Lenovo ThinkBook 15p G2 (21B1001LUS), as spec’d, is priced at $1,425. For the specs and especially 4k, this is a fair price but surely not a bargain. If 4K is not important, you can spend a lot less on a similarly spec’d laptop.
Where to buy it?
The Lenovo ThinkBook 15p G2 (15″ Intel) laptop is available on Lenovo’s official website, Lenovo.com starting from $877.03.