The Lenovo ThinkPad P15v Gen 3 (AMD) is a workhorse of a mobile workstation targeted squarely at professional creators. It serves up performance-oriented AMD Ryzen™ PRO processors and NVIDIA RTX™ enterprise-oriented GPU solutions, making for a product offering that should handle heavy workloads with aplomb, all while ensuring a seamless computing experience thanks to the laptop’s ISV certifications that maximize software compatibility for your business-critical applications.
Mention the term “business laptop” and chances are, a mental image of a ThinkPad laptop would come to mind. Lenovo is no stranger to the world of enterprise-oriented laptop offerings, where its ThinkPad products have served countless businesses worldwide. Tracing its origins to the early nineties when IBM unveiled the first ever ThinkPad laptop, the ThinkPad brand has since gone on to become synonymous with reliability and performance in an all-in-one package.
In this article, we will be taking a look at a ThinkPad offering from Lenovo’s P-series of mobile workstations – specifically, the P15v Gen 3 (AMD). Powered by business-class AMD Ryzen™ PRO 6000 series processors built atop the Zen 3+ architecture, and sporting a choice of NVIDIA RTX™ enterprise-oriented mobile GPUs such as the NVIDIA RTX™ A2000 Mobile, the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) shapes up to be a mid-range enterprise laptop perfect for the likes of professional creators, designers and educators on the go.
For the purposes of this review, a loan unit of the ThinkPad P15v Gen 3 (AMD) with the following specifications was tested:
Summary of Specs (Part Number 21EM-S00600)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen™ 7 PRO 6850H
- Memory: 32GB DDR5 4800
- GPU: NVIDIA RTX™ A2000 Mobile GPU with 4GB GDDR6 VRAM
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD (Micron 3400)
- Display: 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080), 300 nits max brightness
- Audio: Realtek ALC3287 audio codec with 2x 2W stereo speakers
- Ethernet: Realtek RTL8111EPV Gigabit Ethernet
- Wireless: Qualcomm NFA725A WIFI 6E (802.11ax 2x2) with Bluetooth 5.1
- Webcam: 720p HD with physical privacy shutter switch
- Battery: Integrated LiPo 68Wh
- Power Adapter: 135W AC adapter
- Weight: Starting at 2.26kg
- Dimensions: 366.5mm x 250mm x 22.7 mm
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro
Aesthetics, Build Quality & Connectivity
The P15v Gen 3 (AMD) sports the classic ThinkPad silhouette – a boxy, no-nonsense aesthetic, where the laptop is constructed entirely of matte black plastic.
On the laptop’s lid, we get the ThinkPad logo in the corner pictured above, with the iconic illuminated red dot for the alphabet “i” when the laptop is switched on.
While still on the topic of the laptop’s lid, the hinge action of the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) feels rather sturdy, where given the weight of the laptop, one would have no issue lifting the lid with just one finger.
Given the popularity of video conferencing in the modern workplace of today, Lenovo has equipped this laptop with a 720p webcam that comes with a physical privacy shutter – the said shutter can be operated by a slider switch situated right above the webcam opening.
In terms of the laptop’s keyboard and palm rest area, we get the iconic red TrackPoint pointing stick, alongside a spacious spill-resistant keyboard that comes with a number pad. To round things off, we get a multi-touch touchpad, as well as a touch-style fingerprint reader situated beneath the keyboard’s arrow keys.
The base of the laptop is a matte plastic affair with ventilation openings, where gaining access to the motherboard is a simple matter of undoing nine Philips-head screws from their respective screw hole openings pictured above. Thereafter, you would then need to use a plastic pry tool to pop off the base.
On the whole, the ThinkPad P15v Gen 3 (AMD) feels well-constructed with no discernible squeaks and wobbles. Unsurprising really, seeing as the laptop has been tested by Lenovo to conform to the US Military’s MIL-STD-810H standard for durability and ruggedness.
On the left side of the laptop is a charging indicator LED, an AC adapter port as well as a USB4 port that supports DisplayPort 1.4-compliant video output, with a maximum supported display resolution of 5120x2880@60Hz. USB4 is the latest USB standard currently available on the market, supporting speedy transfer rates of up to 40 Gbps.
Eagle-eyed readers might have spotted the blank insert for a smart card reader on the right of the ventilation openings pictured above – Lenovo does offer an optional smart card reader that businesses can opt for when placing their orders for the P15v Gen 3 (AMD).
Moving over to the right side of the laptop, we get a 3.5mm audio jack, a SD card reader as well as a HDMI port that supports a maximum output resolution of 5120x2880@30Hz. Also included are two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as a Kensington security slot.
Service Access, Internals & Upgradability
The bottom cover of the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) is fairly easy to remove, affording easy access to the motherboard of the laptop for servicing out in the field. To keep the AMD Ryzen™ 7 PRO 6850H processor and NVIDIA RTX™ A2000 Mobile GPU cool, Lenovo has employed the use of a dual heat pipe cooling solution equipped with a single fan.
The motherboard comes with two DDR5 SODIMM slots, where the review unit of the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) featured in this article comes equipped with a single 32GB stick of DDR5 4800 RAM, leaving the second slot free for a future RAM upgrade.
Two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots are included with the P15v Gen 3 (AMD), where one slot is populated with the primary storage drive, in this case, a Micron 3400 512GB NVMe SSD. The second slot is unoccupied, and gives end-users the flexibility of installing an optional secondary M.2 NVMe drive. As can be seen, Lenovo has included copper heatsinks for both M.2 slots, which should go a long way in keeping drive thermals in check.
Powering the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) is a 68Wh/5887mAH battery made by LG Energy Solution Limited – the said battery is held in place by screws that are easily accessible. CMOS battery replacement is also a breeze with this laptop, where Lenovo utilises a CR2032-type battery that connects to the motherboard via a two-pin connector.
From the perspective of an enterprise’s IT support department, the ThinkPad P15v Gen 3 (AMD) would score highly in terms of ease-of-serviceability, where memory, storage and battery replacement jobs can be done with ease.
Focusing our attention on the specifications of the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) review unit on hand, the said mobile workstation is powered by the high-end AMD Ryzen™ 7 PRO 6850H processor. As an eight-core part with 16 threads sporting a base clock of 3.2 GHz and a maximum boost clock of up to 4.7 GHz, the AMD Ryzen™ 7 PRO 6850H touts AMD’s PRO Security, which is a multilayered set of security features at the hardware, OS, and system level. This combination of raw processing power and robust security features ensures that the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) is able to thrive in even the most demanding of business environments.
32GB of DDR5 4800 RAM comes included with the review unit as well; as mentioned earlier, the laptop comes with two DDR5 SODIMM slots, where Lenovo has populated one of these slots with a 32GB DDR5 4800 SODIMM memory module, leaving one SODIMM slot empty for future upgradability purposes.
No mobile workstation is complete without advanced graphics processing hardware, and in this regard, Lenovo has professional creators covered with the NVIDIA RTX™ A2000 Mobile GPU that comes equipped with 4GB of GDDR6 VRAM. Built atop the NVIDIA Ampere® architecture and featuring 2560 CUDA cores, 20 RT cores and 80 Tensor cores, the NVIDIA RTX™ A2000 Mobile GPU combines the latest advancements in real-time ray tracing, advanced shading, and AI-based capabilities to allow end-users to take on demanding design and visualisation workflows on the go.
Primary storage is courtesy of a 512GB Micron 3400 NVMe SSD with part number MTFDKBA512TFH, a productivity-oriented PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD offering that utilises Micron’s 176-layer TLC NAND flash, and supports the Opal 2.0 security standard. According to Micron’s marketing material, the 512GB variant of the 3400 touts sequential read speeds of up to 6600MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 3600MB/s, making this SSD plenty fast for productivity workloads.
Moving on to the P15v Gen 3 (AMD)’s display, Lenovo has equipped this review unit with a 15.6” full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS LCD panel in a 16:9 aspect ratio. The said panel supports a maximum refresh rate of 60 Hz and brightness levels of up to 300 nits. When testing the screen with an assortment of video footage, I found the output image to be pretty vivid, where viewing angles were good as well. For creators that require more out of their display for say, colour-sensitive work, Lenovo has the option of a 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS panel instead - the said 4K panel serves up 100% sRGB coverage alongside a maximum brightness of 600 nits.
Focusing our attention on the P15v Gen 3 (AMD)’s keyboard, the typing experience with this mobile workstation is great thanks to its spacious keyboard layout, where Lenovo has also included a number pad. The keyboard comes with white backlit keys with two brightness levels that can be selected from via the Lenovo Commercial Vantage app – naturally, the said backlight can be disabled as well.
The included touchpad is a multi-touch affair that allows end-users to scroll up and down, left to right and zoom in and out with ease. Not forgetting Lenovo’s iconic TrackPoint nub, which is a good alternative to using the trackpad. As an added layer of security to prevent unauthorized system usage, the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) comes with a fingerprint sensor that is located beneath the arrow keys of the keyboard.
Benchmarks & Test Setup
To get a sensing of the ThinkPad P15v Gen 3 (AMD)’s performance, the following synthetic benchmark tests were run:
- 7-Zip Compression & Decompression Benchmark
- Blender 3.4.0 Benchmark (CPU & GPU)
- Cinebench R23
- CrystalDiskMark 8.0.4
The stock Windows 11 Pro (22H2) installation was used for all tests, with the latest NVIDIA RTX™ Enterprise Production Branch Driver v528.49 installed as of the time of testing the laptop. In addition, the "Best Performance" Windows power profile was selected, and throughout the entirety of testing, the laptop was connected to the mains for power.
7-Zip Compression & Decompression
Kicking things off with the 7-Zip Compression & Decompression benchmark test, which tests a processor’s ability to process data compression and decompression instructions, the ThinkPad P15v Gen 3 (AMD) attains a compression score of 52.190 GIPS and a decompression score of 97.142 GIPS.
Blender 3.4.0 Benchmark
CPU Render Test
Blender is a free and open-source 3D graphics creation suite. Using the software’s benchmark tool to test the AMD Ryzen™ 7 PRO 6850H’s 3D graphics rendering capabilities, we see that the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) puts out a score of 83.795185 samples per minute with the Monster test, 50.857785 samples per minute with the Junk Shop test, and 41.248340 samples per minute with the Classroom test. This adds up to a total benchmark score of 175.90.
GPU Render Test
With the NVIDIA RTX™ A2000 Mobile GPU selected as the render device instead, the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) achieves a score of 669.582917 samples per minute with the Monster test, 344.404089 samples per minute with the Junk Shop test, and 369.903288 samples per minute with the Classroom test. This adds up to a total benchmark score of 1383.89.
Moving on to Cinebench R23, which measures a CPU’s ability to render 3D graphics, the AMD Ryzen™ 7 PRO 6850H processor achieved a multi-core score of 12282 points and a single core score of 1470 points.
The laptop comes equipped with a Micron 3400 512GB NVMe SSD that is advertised to have a sequential read and write speed of up to 6600MB/s and 3600MB/s respectively. With this in mind, with CrystalDiskMark 8.0.4 set to the “NVMe SSD” setting with the “Default, Read+Write[Mix]” test profile, the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) achieved sequential read and write scores that were very much in the range of Micron's advertised speeds, making for a snappy SSD that should perform as intended.
To get a quick sensing of battery life, I charged the P15v Gen 3 (AMD)’s battery to 100% charge levels, and played a 1080p movie on loop while the laptop was unplugged from the mains, with screen brightness levels set to 50% and earphones plugged in at 50% volume levels. After eight straight hours of continuous playback, the laptop’s battery level fell from 100% to 52%, which is indicative of the laptop’s battery life prowess - professional creators needing to work on the go without a power source for long stretches should find the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) more than satisfactory in this regard.
Given its build quality, performance and price, the Lenovo ThinkPad P15v Gen 3 (AMD) is a clear choice for businesses on the lookout for a mid-range mobile workstation that delivers a good mix of performance and value for professional content creation and visualization work.
For this review unit in particular, which is powered by the high-end AMD Ryzen™ 7 PRO 6850H processor and NVIDIA RTX™ A2000 enterprise-grade mobile GPU, the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) has the hardware to plough through heavy workloads as evidenced by its benchmark scores, and good battery life to boot. Coupled with Lenovo’s ThinkShield and AMD PRO technologies that provide layers of security features, seamless manageability and reliable longevity, on top of ISV certifications to ensure maximum software compatibility, enterprise end-users can be assured of a peace-of-mind when deploying the P15v Gen 3 (AMD) for their respective business needs. This is especially when one considers the mobile workstation's ease-of-serviceability out in the field as well.
Prices for the ThinkPad P15v Gen 3 (AMD) start from SGD$1990.30 as of March 2023 from Lenovo Singapore’s official website: https://www.lenovo.com/sg/en/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpad-p-series/ThinkPad-P15v-Gen-3-15-inch-AMD/p/LEN101T004