I wanted at least 15inch display processor i7-8750H, reasonable graphics P1000, at least max 64GB RAM, RJ45, trackpoint, physical resilience. I first decided to buy ZBook 15 G5 over Thinkpad P52 and Precision 7530, but ended up using Thinkpad P52.
I also shortly considered a wild card 14inch Latitude 5491 as it had attractive price, but it missed too many of the requirements (poor cooling, low max ram, poor physical resilience, low graphics). With P52 Quardro P1000 4GB VRAM graphics card I can train neural networks like DistilBERT on my local machine.
ZBook 15 G5
- max RAM only 64GB
- medium trackpoint
- very good cooling but after repaste
- replaceable battery (tooless access also to RAM, HDD)
- best physical resilience (aluminium)
- simpler disassembly than P52
- dedicated graphics card (can train small neural networks like DistilBERT)
I bought ZBook 15 G5, but ended up replacing it with Thinkpad P52.
- Charging port is too thin and probably will be damaged soon
- Page Up, Page Down keys are not as conveniently placed as on Thinkpads
- Home, End, Insert keys were replaced by useless keys Desktop, Call, Hang Up contrary to Thinkpad
- Home, End moved to the top right
- Insert key completely removed!
- Up and Down keys are stupidly thin!
- While the notebook should have passed MIL tests it doesnt really seem resilient as Thinkpad
- Without repaste the performance on Cinebench R15 drops to 1030 the same as on Thinkpad P52
- Linux (Ubuntu) runs ok, except for trackpoint which doesn’t work on Ubuntu 18.04
- Overall, I think I will be replacing the notebook with P52
- max RAM 128GB
- best trackpoint
- worst cooling (single heatpipe, prolonged cinebench performance dropoff)
- replaceable battery
- medium physical resilience
- slightly more complicated disassembly.
Thinkpad P52 is my main machine now.
So far minor issues with P52
- Refuses to charge sometimes even with 170W charger. Seems to be getting worse.
- Battery issues were resolved during on-site support from Lenovo. Most probable cause was faulty power source, but the mainboard was fully removed during inspection (for no reason), so I cannot confirm the issue wasn’t incorrectly attached connector or needed hard reset.
- Display cover seems too easy to bend
- LTE modem supported but not yet installed in my version
- I will be ordering LTE modem and will attempt to install it either with on-site support or manually.
- Linux dmesg messages about “temperature above threshold” are gone after repaste. The service guy haven’t returned some of the screws.
- I had to disassemble the whole notebook due to pouring almond butter all over it - faulty jar in my backpack.
- I posted about thermals P52 vs P53 here.
- Message “temperature above threshold” returned into dmesg log, so it seem that the improvement after repaste is only temporary.
- I posted a video comparison of P52 vs G5.
Retain your memory of basic characteristics of Thinkpad P52 by taking following auto-generated quiz.
Thinkpad P52 Quiz
I only evaluated precision, but haven’t bought it.
- max RAM 128GB
- worst trackpoint
- medium cooling
- no replaceable battery
- less physical resilience
- extra M.2 drive slot