Lenovo’s new ThinkPad docks and ThinkVision displays use USB-C as it was intended

Lenovo decided to make a few big waves just before CES 2017 begins; along with the announcement of nine new ThinkPad laptops, Lenovo also announced a couple of new docks and a couple of new displays.

These new docks and displays are also pushing the boundaries of what is possible – just like the laptops. USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 play a big part in these products; the monitors can be powered, and fed data along with the video via a single USB-C cable, for example.

The Displays

Lenovo announced two new desktop ThinkVision displays: the P27h and P24h. The former is – as the name suggests – 27-inches, while the latter is 23.8 inches.

The two new displays are both IPS, and share the same resolution – QHD (2560×1440). The response time is 6ms for both, and they also support (almost) 100% of the sRGB color gamut.

These two also – awesomely – have a very thin bezel, with the bottom chin being quite minimalistic as well.

The ports are similar, for input, there’s HDMI, DisplayPort, and a USB-C port. Additionally, both displays have four USB ports on the side.

The USB-C port is where things get interesting; the latest standard is capable of providing an extraordinary amount of power and bandwidth over one cable, and Lenovo is maximizing its utility.

The single USB-C port on these displays – once connected – can carry power, data, and video over a single cable; especially useful for use with the new laptops Lenovo announced today.

In fact, there’s so much bandwidth that these displays have a DisplayPort out port, to run a secondary display. One cable, two displays.

The Docks

The ThinkPad Docks announced today – much like the displays – can connect with a single USB-C cable. Lenovo has announced two docks; the first is a USB-C one with 10 Gbps of bandwidth; second, however, is a Thunderbolt 3 one with 40 Gbps of bandwidth.

There are trade-offs to be made, though, as the Thunderbolt 3 connection cannot carry as much power as USB-C can; Thunderbolt 3, however, provides four times the bandwidth of USB-C.

Here’s a table comparing the two docks.


USB-C Thunderbolt 3

Data expansion

One USB-C port

Three USB 3.0 ports

Two USB 2.0 ports

One Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port

Five USB 3.0 ports

Video output

Two DisplayPort connectors

One VGA connector

Two DisplayPort connectors

One HDMI connector

One VGA connector


135W total, 65W to charge laptop, 70W for devices connected to the dock 90W total, 60W to charge laptop, 30W for devices connected to the dock

The USB-C dock can output to a single 4K display at 60 Hz or a couple of 1080p displays at 30 Hz.

The Thunderbolt 3 dock, on the other hand, can output to two 4K displays at 60 Hz, or three 4K displays at 30 Hz.

The difference in bandwidth really shows when you compare the display output capabilities of these two docks.

Something noteworthy: while the docks are made by Lenovo and are intended to go along with the nine laptops announced today – they are universal docks. These docks are using industry standards and therefore can be used with any device that supports these standards.


The two new displays – ThinkVision P27h and P24h – are expected to hit the markets by March 2017. The P27h will cost $329, while the P24h will cost $259.

The two docks will launch separately; the USB-C dock is expected to hit the stores in January 2017 and cost $199. The Thunderbolt 3 dock is expected in February 2017 and will cost $279.

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