Lenovo ThinkPad P15 vs P53 Comparison

The Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 1is the latest in Lenovo’s ThinkPad P Series. It is very similar to it’s predecessor, the ThinkPad P53, but has a couple of changes. Visually both are very similar, the ThinkPad P15 has an upgraded cooling system, has a modular GPU (which enables more configuration flexibility).


The ThinkPad P15 is a more rectangular machine than the ThinkPad P53 with a taller display and thinner bezel. The machine visibility looks bigger and weighs in at around 2.75kg making it 10% heavier than the P53 at around 2.5kg. The privacy slider on the 720p webcam is helpful, though takes a bit getting used to (as the sliding action requires a firm nudge). The P15 shares many similarities to the P53 visually but the newer model has opted for a glass-fibre plastic build with the P53 having a more metallic feel. The overall performance and stability of the machine is not affected by the change, the difference can be felt, but ultimately, it is subjective as to how each user will feel about it. Whilst the newer model seems to attract less fingerprint, the casing material also has less grip (handle it with care, so it is secure). We have found that to an end user, most aspects of the unit are roughly the same with one exception, the keyboard.


The ThinkPad P15 presents a different keyboard experience to the previous ThinkPad P53, which is known for housing an excellent keyboard. The individual keys on the new model appear to have a marginally less predictable feedback, which contributes to an arguably less firm typing experience. There is also a slightly more flex on the bottom left corner.
If you’ll only aim to use the ThinkPad P15 everyday, you’ll find that the keyboard is still a cut above the HP / Dell laptops. Although, compared directly to the P53 - the keyboard brings up a distinctively different typing experience, it’s possible that the keyboard will just take some time to adjust to but there is still a noticeable difference between the two.


The P15 can support LCD IPS 600nit display, 100 nits higher than the P53. Whilst the 4k option of the display is stunning and versatile, the added battery use, and the app scaling issues - perhaps is something to consider. We find the 500 nits option much more suitable which would scale to most software more efficiently. The 300 nit option is still a perfectly passable entry range and still a reasonable improvement of the older 250 nit range.

  • 15.6" UHD (3840 x 2160) OLED Touch, HDR400, Dolby Vision HDR
    15.6" UHD (3840 x 2160) LCD IPS 600nit, HDR400, Dolby Vision HDR
    15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, 500nit, HDR400, Dolby Vision HDR
    15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, 300nit


Generally, the ports haven’t changed with both including 2x USB-A, 1x USB type C, 2x USB-C Thunderbolt, headphone/ mic combo, 4 in 1 card reader, ethernet port and a HDMI 2.0 port. The one difference is the ThinkPad P15 includes the upgraded USB-A 3.2 gen 1.


With the 10th gen, you are no longer able to undervolt the processor which could make it quite hot. To support the more powerful CPU, the heatsink is 30% bigger allowing for more efficient cooling making the ThinkPad P15 perfect to use with the RTX 4000/5000.
  • Up to Intel® Xeon® W-10885M with vPro™ (2.40GHz, up to 5.30GHz with Turbo Boost, 8 Cores, 16MB Cache)
  • Up to 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i9-10980HK with vPro™ (2.40GHz, up to 5.30GHz with Turbo Boost, 8 Cores, 16MB Cache)


The ThinkPad P15 only has 2 m.2 slots compared to the ThinkPad P53’s 3 but the P15 has a lot more customisation options. The GPU is not user serviceable and will void any warranty if messed and the battery is not replaceable. With the P53, if the graphic card fails, the entire motherboard would need to be replaced as they are soldered in place but the P15 has a removable graphics module.

  • NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000
  • NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000
  • NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000
  • NVIDIA Quadro T1000
  • NVIDIA Quadro T2000

The ThinkPad P53 was a lot more difficult to open up, this is something the ThinkPad P15 has greatly improved upon. The keyboard is fairly simple to remove and underneath you will find two of the four RAM Slots. To access the cooling system, only the bottom panel needs to be removed which is simple enough. A few screws will need to be removed and then a prying tool can be used to separate it from the rest of the laptop. Whilst this is a lot easier than the P53, it can be very easy to cause cosmetic damage to the frame if you are not careful.

Overall the ThinkPad P15 has some small adjustments since the ThinkPad P53. The generation improvement is a welcome upgrade with the entry range of i7, with 6 cores, which is plenty powerful for the average consumer with some more powerful options available to those who want the best option. The build across the two models is visually very similar, but the P15 has a modular GPU, enabling more flexibility. The keyboard on the P15 provides a different experience to the P53, but is something you would get used to after use.

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