Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 3 review: nice, but not enough

Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 3 review: nice, but not enough

MSRP $2,359.00

“For a laptop of this price, the Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 3 still lacks the standout features it needs.”


  • Strong productivity performance
  • Good productivity display
  • Solid 1080p gaming
  • Comfortable keyboard


  • Inferior construct quality
  • Touchpad is small
  • Expensive

When you will have an incredibly wide lineup of laptops, like Lenovo, it’s worthwhile to segment them by some means. The ThinkBook, for instance, is aimed narrowly at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), seeking to offer the sort of aesthetics and costs that customers search for with a number of the enhanced security and services that companies demand. Presumably, that’s differentiated from the ThinkPad line that’s all-business in its looks and features.

Indeed, the ThinkBook 16p Gen 3 is an interesting member of the lineup, being a 16-inch machine with high-end components and a smattering of features that SMB buyers will appreciate. It’s a powerful performer, if not class-leading, but its construct quality is suspect, and it’s quite expensive. That makes it hard to face out from the remainder of the lineup.


  Lenovo ThinkPad 16p Gen 3
Dimensions 13.96 inches x 9.92 inches x 0.73 inches
Weight 4.38 kilos
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 6600HX
AMD Ryzen 7 6800HX
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
Display 16.0-inch 16:10 WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) IPS 165Hz
Storage 512GB PCIe Gen4 SSD
Touch No
Ports 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
1 x USB-C 4.0
2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
1 x HDMI 2.1
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x SD card reader
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam 1080p with infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello
Operating system Windows 11
Battery 71 watt-hour
Price $2.359+

The ThinkBook 16p Gen 3 starts at $2,359 for an AMD Ryzen 5 6600H CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU. Increase to a Ryzen 7 5800H, and also you’ll spend $2,619. My review unit with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD hasn’t been released or priced yet, but will likely approach $3,000.

That makes this a surprisingly expensive 16-inch laptop. Yes, it has nice components, nevertheless it’s dearer than other premium machines just like the Dell XPS 15 and XPS 17.

A fresh design that type of works

Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 3 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The ThinkBook 16p Gen 3 enjoys what’s grow to be an identifiable ThinkBook aesthetic, particularly on the is two-toned lid that has a daring ThinkBook logo. That differentiates it from the remainder of Lenovo’s lineup and provides the laptop a little bit of panache. Otherwise, the look is a typical business laptop with a dark grey colorway and a typical Lenovo chassis. The lid does connect at a spot that’s set in about half an inch from the rear, which is different, and the keyboard is darker as well. The result’s a laptop that appears good and stands out simply enough, without being unnecessarily glitzy for a business skilled.

It’s also an all-metal construct, even though it’s not as solid because the Dell XPS 15 or MacBook Pro 16. The lid feels bendable, and there’s some noticeable flex within the keyboard deck. At a price of well over $2,000, it’s hard to overlook the dearth of rigidity. The hinge opens with one hand, but there’s a little bit of wobble during hardcore typing sessions. Overall, I used to be a bit disenchanted with the ThinkBook 16p’s construct quality, and that’s a knock against the machine’s suitability for its goal user.

The ThinkPad 16p has reasonably small bezels, with only a bigger lower chin making it about an inch deeper than the XPS 15 (which has a rather smaller display). The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is sort of the identical size and identically thick at 0.78 inches, versus the XPS 15’s 0.73 inches. The ThinkPad 16p weighs 4.4 kilos, which makes it barely heavier than the ThinkPad X1 Extreme and barely lighter than the 4.62-pound XPS 15. It’s a big laptop obviously, but you get a 16-inch screen in exchange.

Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 3 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

By way of other creature comforts, the ThinkPad 16p has plenty to draw. The keyboard is light and snappy, with less travel than the ThinkPad’s keyboard but in addition more comfortable switches overall. The XPS 15 has a rather higher keyboard, but many users probably wouldn’t notice it. The touchpad is smaller than it may very well be given the available space, nevertheless it works well with a smooth, responsive surface and fairly quiet button clicks. There’s no touch display option, which I prefer to see on a premium laptop.

The webcam is 1080p and provides a high quality image that can please business users who need videoconferencing to get their work done. An infrared camera provides Windows 11 Hello passwordless login support, and there’s a fingerprint reader embedded within the offset power button for individuals who prefer that method for logging in. Lenovo has included Glance software with user presence detection that may put the laptop to sleep when the user steps away and provides digital wellness functionality, even though it was disabled on my review unit.

Lenovo’s ThinkShutter privacy screen is there to shut off the webcam. In probably the most pertinent nod to business users, the ThinkPad 16p Gen 3 also incorporates Microsoft’s Secure BIOS.

Finally, connectivity is powerful, albeit with a port configuration that you simply don’t often see outside of larger gaming machines. You don’t get Thunderbolt 4 because of the AMD chipset, but all the things else is there including USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, and a full-size SD card reader. A number of the ports are arranged along the back, which we don’t typically see, and it’s convenient when you get used to it. There’s a proprietary power connector matched with a large 230-watt power brick, vital to maintain the high-end components running.

Faster at fun than it’s at work

Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 3 rear view showing lid and logo.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Simply because you’re a businessperson doesn’t mean you don’t need to play some games. The ThinkPad 16p, with its Ryzen CPU and RTX 3060 GPU, is more proficient at play than at work. I’ll start with its productivity and artistic performance, because after all, that’s what you’re paying for, but I’ll make sure to cover gaming as well. The ThinkPad’s thermal design was superb, with limited throttling but quite a little bit of fan noise when the CPU and GPU spun up. Lenovo’s thermal utility didn’t make an enormous difference in any of our usual benchmarks, but I’ve reported those scores where appropriate.

My review unit packed in an eight-core/16-thread 45-watt AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU. That’s top-of-the-line until AMD’s 7000 series comes out, and it’s a quick CPU obviously. Even so, it fell behind our comparison group in Geekbench 5, including machines running Intel’s 45-watt Twelfth-gen CPUs. As usual, AMD’s single-core scores lagged probably the most. The ThinkPad 16 was fast in Cinebench R23 multi-core, though, and it did well in our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video as H.265.

The ThinkPad 16p was a solid performer, nevertheless it didn’t quite sustain with some newer Intel-based laptops. Within the Pugetbench Premiere Pro benchmark that runs in a live version of Adobe’s Premiere Pro, the ThinkPad 16p was behind laptops just like the HP Envy 16 that utilized the RTX 3060 CPU. This benchmark advantages from some Intel optimizations in Adobe apps which will or may not apply to a given workflow.

Overall, the ThinkPad 16p meets the performance needs of probably the most demanding professionals regardless of the business size, and it could possibly meet the needs of creators as well. You’ll recover performance out of Intel’s latest 45-watt Twelfth-gen CPUs, at the least in most of our benchmarks, and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 continues to dominate.

(single / multi)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
Premiere Pro
Lenovo ThinkPad 16p Gen 3
(Ryzen 9 6900HX)
Bal: 1,486 / 9,041
Perf: 1,487 / 9,206
Bal: 91
Perf: 81
Bal: 1,549 / 12,736
Perf: 1,457 / 13,342
Bal: 624
Perf: N/A
Asus Slim 7 Pro X
(Ryzen 9 6900HS)
Bal: 1,493 / 8,941
Perf: 1,493 / 9,288
Bal: 99
Perf: 86
Bal: 1,552 / 12,139
Perf: 1,548 / 13,164
Bal: 548
Perf: N/A
HP Envy 16
(Core i9-12900H)
Bal: 1,839 / 11,187
Perf: 1,811 / 11,387
Bal: 83
Perf: 84
Bal: 1,919 / 12,538
Perf: 1922 / 12,525
Bal: 814
Perf: 932
MSI Creator Z16P
(Core i9-12900H)
Bal: 1,769 / 14,034
Perf: 1,835 / 14,051
Bal: 71
Perf: 69
Bal: 1,844 / 15,047
Perf: 1,837 / 16,084
Bal: 717
Perf: 1,042
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,470 / 9,952
Perf: 1,714 / 11,053
Bal: 100
Perf: 77
Bal: 1,509 / 11,578
Perf: 1,806 / 13,313
Bal: 760
Perf: 729
Apple MacBook Pro 16
(Apple M1 Pro)
Bal: 1,773 / 12,605
Perf: N/A
Bal: 95
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,531 / 12,343
Perf: N/A
Bal: 977
Perf: N/A

The ThinkPad 16p Gen 3 ships with Nvidia Studio drivers, meaning it’s optimized for performance and reliability in certain demanding applications (e.g. Adobe Creative Suite) versus gaming. Even so, the laptop performed well in all our benchmarks and was faster than another creator-focused laptops we’ve reviewed. It was particularly fast in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and it tied for first in Cyberpunk 2077.

You’ll find gaming laptops which are faster, but for a non-gaming machine, the outcomes were pretty impressive. Keep on with 1080p gaming, and also you’ll get 60+ frames per second (fps) in lots of modern titles with graphics turned up, and also you won’t must turn them down much to play at 1440p.

Assassin’s Creed
Ultra High)
Civilization VI
(1080p Ultra)
1200p Epic)
Time Spy
Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 3
(RTX 3060)
85 fps 51 fps 99 fps 75 fps Bal: 7,010
Perf: 7,636
HP Envy 16
(RTX 3060)
70 fps 40 fps 125 fps 45 fps Bal: 7,645
Perf: 8,040
Asus ZenBook Pro 16X
(RTX 3060)
24 fps 51 fps N/A 65 fps Bal: 7,047
Perf: 8,221
MSI Creator Z16P
(RTX 3080 Ti)
55 fps 30 fps 60 fps 60 fps Bal: 9,251
Perf: 10,054
MSI Creator Z16
(RTX 3060)
50 fps N/A 92 fps 56 fps Bal: 6,322
Perf: N/A
Dell XPS 17 9720
(RTX 3060)
23 fps 45 fps 111 fps 77 fps Bal: 6,757
Perf: 6,958

Wrapping up

Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 3 front view showing display.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

It’s strange to ding a laptop display that’s so vivid at 525 nits and enjoys a contrast ratio of 1,160:1 — each are solid scores for a contemporary IPS display. An accuracy of DeltaE 1.21 can be strong. Nevertheless, the ThinkPad 16p’s display could only muster 98% of sRGB and 75% of AdobeRGB. Those are superb scores for productivity tasks, but demanding creators want wider colours. On condition that that is the laptop’s only available display, it limits this laptop’s appeal to that group.

I’ll note that this can be a 165Hz display, which provides for a smoother Windows 11 and gaming experience, although you’ll must turn graphics right down to hit those sorts of frame rates. The upper refresh rate is definitely a perk, though, and it elevates all the things you do with the system. The speakers were loud but sounded a bit tinny on account of an absence of bass, making them a step below those on another larger machines.

Battery life is decent, not that tremendous longevity should ever be expected from a laptop with a 16.0-inch 16:10 WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) display and power-hungry components. The ThinkPad 16p hit about 6.75 hours in our web browsing test and nine hours in our video test. Each scores are lower than average in comparison with most laptops I’ve reviewed in 2022, although that’s solid enough for the category.

If you wish to take the laptop on the road, then you definitely’ll need to carry that giant and heavy power brick with you if you happen to need a full workday’s longevity.

Not a nasty laptop, but not special either

Some laptops are harder than others to categorize and rate. The ThinkBook 16p Gen 3 is such a machine. While Lenovo stresses its suitability for small and medium-sized businesses, I didn’t find much that makes the laptop truly stand out for this crowd. Things like webcam privacy features and user presence sensing exist on mainstream consumer laptops, as do attractive aesthetics and solid performance. The ThinkPad 16p even comes with a one-year warranty, which is industry standard and lower than many true business machines offer.

At the identical time, while performance was solid and battery life was higher than you’ll find in another 16-inch laptops, construct quality wasn’t as much as par given the high starting price of $2,359. Spend this much money, and you possibly can get a Dell XPS 15 that’s roughly as fast, built significantly better, and has a significantly higher display.

In evaluating the ThinkPad 16p as an acceptable machine for SMB users, I find yourself being unconvinced this has any serious benefits. There really isn’t that much there that you simply won’t find on another mainstream laptops aimed toward consumers, and the construct doesn’t live as much as the value tag.

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