I was fully set on getting a ThinkPad T14 AMD, but seeing no hint of the Gen 2 AMD version in sight and learning that the P14s is basically the same thing, I decided to go for that instead. This is a quick ramble with some first impressions of the ThinkPad P14s AMD Gen 2 (Ryzen 5)
I was originally intending on waiting for the Ryzen 7 version, but having already waited for months for the T14 and really needing a new laptop for my remote work and my writing, I decided the Ryzen 5 model would be good enough. After all, I don’t really plan on using it for anything but writing and coding.
The last time I bought a new laptop was in 2016. That was a ThinkPad X1 Carbon. It’s served me well over the years, but having gone everywhere with me it’s been…a bit beaten up. It now reboots on its own sporadically, doesn’t hold charge well, the keyboard is worn and broken, and the trackpoint has to be disabled or else it’ll persistently strafe the cursor to the left or right top corner of the screen.
I also found that while I enjoyed my X1 Carbon, it felt a bit too light and flimsy for my liking. I wanted something more solid.
Since then I’ve purchased a second hand T430, which I’ve loved. But…its age was showing. Despite a display upgrade and more RAM, it’s been struggling. It also doesn’t have a webcam.
So this time, I went for the P14s.
When it arrived, I was surprised at the weight. This thing is light. Its size is generally what I’d have expected from an ultrabook years ago. I can hold it open in front of me with one hand!
At the same time, it is thicker and more solid feeling than the X1 Carbon. I’m glad I didn’t go for a newer X1 Carbon or some other ultrabook.
The keyboard feels…as nice as one could expect from a laptop keyboard nowadays, I guess. That doesn’t do it justice. It is nice to type on. But as a mechanical keyboard enthusiast, no keyboard can come close to my mechanical board. But in a world of ever-worsening laptop typing experiences (for me), I feel like I picked the best option with the P14s.
The trackpoint is great as expected. Every laptop should have a trackpoint.
The 400nit anti-glare matte display is good. I’ve never had a matte screen before and sure, in super bright light it isn’t perfect, but I was able to work outside waiting for the bus in sunlight and see things for the first time. For writing or coding work, I don’t think I’ll go back to glossy again.
Unlike my X1 Carbon and the T430, I stuck with Windows on this one instead of immediately installing Fedora. I have loved using Fedora for many years, but many of the fiction writing applications (like Scrivener) which I’ve wanted to use did not have native Linux versions. You could kind of get around it with Wine in some cases, but I figured with WSL being so easy to use I may as well stick with native Windows and use WSL for Linux dev work. So far it’s worked out great.
Weird boot issue
I have had a suspicious seemingly power-related issue twice.
Once, after being in sleep overnight, the P14s would not power on. I plugged in the power adapter, and the charging light didn’t come on either. I don’t think the laptop was out of battery when I closed the lid the night before.
After removing the power adapter and plugging it back in twice, the power light came on and the laptop powered on.
Another time, I woke up to the laptop being off after being put to sleep the night before. It powered on immediately this time.
Both times, I didn’t really do any digging to try to find the root cause. But if it continues to happen I’ll have to really look into it.