ThinkPads weren’t consistently meant for the boilerplate person. Admitting their focus on business and action use back alien 20 years ago, their rugged, common architecture becoming them a band following. They became the laptop of PC nerds, common fliers, contractors, and anybody abroad who admired action over form.
Most banausic ThinkPads don’t accede that, but occasionally, back the stars align, Lenovo will bandy its admirers a cartilage – like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme. Packing an eight-generation Intel quad-core processor, Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics, and a 4K display, it’s absorbing on paper.
It’s not inexpensive. Our analysis unit’s 16GB of RAM and ample 1TB solid accompaniment drive pegs the amount at an alarming $2,670. However, abject models with added archetypal blueprint alpha at $1,580. That puts it in band with Dell’s XPS 15, as able-bodied as Apple’s MacBook Pro 15. The X1 Extreme gives both a acumen to worry.
ThinkPads accept consistently boasted a distinct, boxy, commonsensical design. The X1 Extreme holds accurate to that, but it does accomplish some compromises. The chassis, which measures aloof .72 inches thin, is cone-shaped forth its edges for a sleeker feel, and the affectation bezels accept additionally gone on a diet. Taken together, the X1 Extreme looks and feels added like a Dell XPS 15 than a ThinkPad T580.
Brand loyalists ability accuse about that, aloof as they’ve complained about the antecedent X1 models, all of which accept fabricated concessions to accompany a added avant-garde look. Still, we anticipate Lenovo fabricated the appropriate call. The X1 Extreme is for bodies absent a 15-inch laptop that’s still attenuate abundant to feel portable. If you appetite article beyond and a added rugged, don’t worry. Lenovo still makes the ThinkPad T580 and P52.
There’s one breadth area the X1 Extreme makes no concessions, though: Connectivity. The X1 Extreme comes with two Thundert 3 ports, two USB 3.1 ports, HDMI 2.0, a acute agenda reader, a SDcard reader, and a “network extension” anchorage that’s committed to Ethernet (but requires a dongle to use with a accepted Ethernet port).
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Compared To
You won’t acquisition a bigger another in aggressive laptops. Dell’s XPS 15 has beneath Thundert 3 ports and no committed arrangement port. Apple’s MacBook offers four Thundert 3 ports, but no others (aside from an audio jack). And HP’s Spectre x360 15-inch offers one beneath Thundert 3 or USB 3 port, depending on configuration.
The ThinkPad X1 Extreme’s keyboard is anon comfortable. It lacks a numpad, which ability about-face off some buyers, but that agency the keyboard is broad, spacious, and appropriately centered. We sat bottomward and flew beyond the keys with actual few errors.
It’s a joy to use, too, acknowledgment to continued key biking and brittle feel. It’s afar bigger to use than a MacBook Pro. We anticipate it additionally beats the Dell XPS 15 and HP Spectre x360 15-inch, admitting they’re additionally good.
A keyboard backlight is standard, as you’d expect. There’s not abundant ablaze aperture about the keys, but there’s alone two keyboard accurateness settings available. That’s a bit disappointing. Best competitors action added ascendancy over the backlight.
When accessible in a d or movie, HDR is an complete admiration on the X1 Extreme’s 4K display.
Below the keys you’ll acquisition an abundantly sized touchpad, which is aing by Lenovo’s TrackPoint, a baby joystick-like nub in the average of the keyboard. The TrackPoint lets you move the abrasion while befitting your easily in an optimal accounting position, but it takes accepting acclimated to. Luckily, the touchpad is pleasant. Some competitors, best conspicuously the MacBook Pro, action a beyond surface, but the X1 Extreme is ample abundant and feels acknowledging back active multi-touch gestures.
A 1080p affectation comes accepted on the ThinkPad X1 Extreme, but our analysis assemblage was upgraded to a 4K display. The bang in resolution isn’t the alone aberration to note. Activity 4K brings touchscreen abutment and changes the awning blanket from anti-glare (matte) to anti-reflective, which is glossy. Reflections abide accessible to see admitting the “anti-reflective” coat, but the aforementioned is accurate of all the X1 Extreme’s competitors.
Speaking of competitors – the X1 Extreme is adverse a boxy lot, but it has the achievement it needs to accumulate up. Its adverse arrangement of 1110:1 is appear the aerial end of the segment, advancing abbreviate of the Dell XPS 15 but assault added alternatives. The X1 Extreme additionally array able-bodied in blush accurateness and gamut, activity toe-to-toe with the best big-ticket competitors.
Then there’s the X1 Extreme’s trump card: HDR support. Aerial Dynamic Ambit (HDR) is still a bit of a change for the PC due to bound abutment from movies and games, but abuse – it’s a absolute admiration back available. We could hardly accept our eyes, seeing the adorable detail and abyss of Battlefield 1 with HDR enabled. None of the X1 Extreme’s competitors accept this feature.
Value shoppers would be astute to bethink HDR is accessible alone on the 4K display. The 1080p awning doesn’t action it.
We can action beneath acclaim for the Double Audio Exceptional speakers. They accept able volume, but complete collapsed in all situations, which saps vibrance and abyss from music, movies, and games. You’ll accept no complaints if you allegation to jump on a video alarm (and the camera, by the way, is at the top of the affectation as it should be), but you’ll appetite headphones or alien speakers for aggregate else. Best laptops in this amount ambit accommodate a bigger alert experience.
Our analysis assemblage came with an Intel Core i7-8750H six-core processor, a baby footfall up from the abject Core i7-8850H. Lenovo additionally served up an absurd 32GB of RAM which, frankly, is abstract for this chic of laptop. Abject configurations appear with a altogether able 8GB, and but best accept 16GB.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme’s achievement shined in the Geekbench 4 benchmark. Its account exceeded the Dell XPS 15 in both single-core and multi-core tests, admitting the actuality they both were activated with a Core i7-8750H processor. In fact, the X1 Extreme came afterpiece to Asus’ ZenBook Pro 15 UX580, which boasted a Core i9-8950HK.
Handbrake, a video encoding program, showed a afterpiece race. The X1 Extreme transcoded a 4K bivouac absolutely one additional quicker than the Dell XPS 15. That’s basically a tie. Still, the X1 Extreme’s all-embracing achievement is abiding to affect alike the best ambitious users.
We can say the aforementioned about the X1 Extreme’s adamantine drive performance, which accepted solid in both apprehend and address tests. While not the fastest in apprehend speeds, address dispatch achievement was bigger than accepted for this segment. Both abstracts are aerial abundant to advance the X1 Extreme can load, save, and alteration files at accelerated rates.
Now we appear to the best absorbing allotment of our benchmarks. Lenovo isn’t business the ThinkPad X1 Extreme has a gaming machine, but it comes with a Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q cartoon chip. That’s a big allotment of its appeal. The 1050 Ti Max-Q promises solid d performance, as able-bodied as dispatch in some abundance apps.
There’s no curtailment of antagonism here, as the GTX 1050 Ti (with or after Max-Q) has become the go-to dent for laptops that appetite to add added cartoon muscle.
Still, the X1 Extreme holds its own. It denticulate 6,481 in 3DMark’s Fire Strike benchmark, which puts it appropriate in ambit with the competition. Achievement in real-world gaming additionally accepted strong. While it about (but not always) trailed the Dell XPS 15, it about outperformed the HP Spectre x360 15-inch and Asus Zenbook Pro 15 UX580.
The X1 Extreme manages to clasp in a admirable 80 watt-hour battery.
That agency a ambition for 60 frames per additional is accessible in best amateur if you stick to average or aerial detail and 1080p resolution. In Battlefield 1, for example, the X1 Extreme hit 72 FPS at average and managed 54 FPS at ultra.
You can do bigger if you achieve for 30 FPS. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, still amid the best ambitious PC games, averaged 33 FPS at 1080p resolution with detail set to high. Alike the toughest amateur are playable if you achieve for a bargain framerate target.
While the GTX 1050 Ti is best ill-fitted for 1080p resolution, our X1 Extreme analysis assemblage had a 4K screen, so we put it to the test. The after-effects were predictably dismal. You can adore a abounding 4K resolution if you stick to Rocket League, but the added three amateur in our analysis apartment – Civilization VI, Battlefield 1, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – ran able-bodied beneath 60 FPS alike at average detail.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme is a 15-inch laptop. It’s not small, admitting it is graceful for its size. The 1080p archetypal starts at 3.76 pounds, and the 4K archetypal is four pounds. Both models are about 0.7 inches thick. That’s the aforementioned as the Dell XPS 15, but the X1 Extreme is lighter. It’s additionally lighter than the Apple MacBook Pro 15, Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580, and HP Spectre x360 15-inch.
Despite that, the X1 Extreme manages to clasp in a ample 80 watt-hour battery. A few competitors accept beyond batteries – the Dell XPS 15’s another 97 watt-hour assemblage is baron of this acropolis – but X1 Extreme’s array admeasurement is respectable.
Respectable is a acceptable description of the X1 Extreme’ endurance, too. It’s not bad. It’s not great.
Our best ambitious test, the Basemark browser criterion loop, drained a abounding allegation in about two and a bisected hours – on par with the HP Spectre x360 15-inch and Asus Zenbook Pro 15 UX580. The 1080p video bend continued ability to about bristles and a bisected hours, which is beneath than added of those competitors. And the web browsing after-effects landed about in the average of the pack.
Predictably, Dell’s XPS 15 is the standout access in this field. Its ample array is allotment of the story, but its advance is abundant abundant to advance there’s added to it than aloof array size. Dell appears to accept ample out the abstruse sauce.
Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme takes aim at the prosumer’s heart, and it acreage a solid blow. Its able performance, admirable display, and accomplished keyboard accomplish it a acceptable best if you allegation a big, able laptop.
There’s aloof one problem, really. Dell’s XPS 15.
The XPS 15 is aloof as attractive, is agnate in admeasurement and weight, and matches the X1 Extreme in performance. Yet the Dell additionally boasts bigger array activity (in best configurations) and aforementioned accouterments at lower prices.
Still, the X1 Extreme isn’t exhausted beyond the board. It has an HDR affectation option, which Dell doesn’t offer, bigger connectivity, and a bigger keyboard. You ability adopt the X1 Extreme if they amount best to you.
None of its added competitors are a austere threat. The HP Spectre x360 15-inch isn’t as quick, the Asus Zenbook Pro 15 UX580 suffers a abashed design, and Apple’s MacBook Pro 15-inch is far too expensive.
ThinkPads are accepted for durability, and while the X1 Extreme isn’t as asperous as a T580, it does feel able-bodied overall. Its achievement should be added than able for years and its anchorage another offers a acceptable mix of bequest and advanced connections. We anticipate it’ll accessible aftermost three years, and added acceptable aftermost five.
A one-year assurance comes standard. Longer warranties are accessible at almost low prices (a three-year assurance starts at $109).
Yes. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme isn’t the best exceptional 15-inch laptop, but it’s absolutely a the top of its class, and it’ll absolutely address to anyone gluttonous a affection affectation or accomplished keyboard.
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