Lenovo ThinkVision P32u monitor review

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  • Price When Reviewed: £1,004.40

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In our tests we found this 32-inch monitor to be among the most accurate we've seen, and capable of outputting 100% of Adobe RGB - and it can charge your MacBook Pro.

The ThinkVision P32u is the Bauhaus movement’s idea of the perfect computer monitor. It’s extremely capable at delivering what you need from a high-end, professional calibre display, with minimal fuss or embellishment. Everything about its design – both how it works and how it looks – has been crafted to make your work better and your life easier.

All of this comes at a cost, but it’s a price worth paying if you can afford it.

The P32u has a very thin bezel around its 32-inch, 4K screen. This minimal aesthetic follows down to the simple stem that attaches the screen to the unadorned base – and then to your laptop with just one cable if you have one that uses Thunderbolt 3 for both input/output and charging (such as the Apple MacBook Pro we tested the P32u with). This allows you to turn up at your desk and – with a single connection – both charge your laptop and turn it into what's essentially a desktop.

The P32u acts not only as your display, but also as a four-port USB hub for your keyboard, mouse and graphics tablet. There’s Thunderbolt 3 passthrough to other devices – such as another P32u monitor for a huge desktop, or a UI/fullscreen setup – and you can even plug your headphones directly into the monitor (though the audio quality isn’t as good as directly from the MBP). At the back of the stem is a red cable tidy, so that you can keep your cables tucked away in keeping with the monitor’s austere aesthetic.

The only port missing from this setup is ethernet, though you can just plug in a USB 3.0 to Ethernet adapter (thanks to reader Mat Griffin for that tip).

For owners of other laptops and desktops, there are DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 inputs.

Setting up the monitor for your working environment is particularly easy. The base is heavy and solid, while the screen is lighter than we’re used for a monitor of this size. This makes moving the screen around feel less strenuous than opening the MBP, and there’s a very good range of swivel and height adjustment to minimise neck strain.

All of this wonderfully practical design would be wasted if the P32u’s visual output wasn’t as good as you need – and here it delivers just as capably. When Lenovo first launched the P32u in January, it claimed it could output up to 99% of the Adobe RGB colour space. Now it’s available, Lenovo says it can produce the full 100% – and our tests with a DataColor Spyder5Elite back up that claim. The level of colour accuracy was also impressive.

The simple OSD menu system lets you choose from a series of ill-defined ’Scenario' modes from ‘Professional’ to ‘Vivid’. More useful are color-space modes that let you lock the output to Adobe RGB, DCI-P3 (for video or animation) or sRGB. The P3 mode also lets you colour match the P32u to your MacBook Pro’s screen, though practically a 32-inch 4K display and a 15-inch Retina display are hard to work on efficiently as dual displays. 

If you own a new MacBook Pro (or Dell XPS 15/Precision), this is the monitor you want on your desk. But at €1,999 (around £1,800), you’re aware you’re paying for a minimal desk aesthetic. If you want Thunderbolt 3 without the high-price – but still professional quality output – Apple sells the LG UltraFine 5K Display for £1,179. This has a higher resolution than the P32u – 5,120 x 2,880 vs 3,840 × 2,160 – but can only output 92% of Adobe RGB vs the P32u’s full 100%.

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