The ThinkPad X1 have always been synonymous with the business PC par excellence; for this reason, when Lenovo introduced an ” Extreme ” variant a few months ago, we immediately chased it to understand how far the company had gone. With ThinkPad X1 Extreme, Lenovo goes beyond the wall of a portable business, and packs a product in the round as few.
Four layers of reinforced carbon fiber , with a very pleasant feel to the touch that resembles the fabric, form the top of the notebook. The lower side is instead in aluminum . All subjected to 12 tests of compliance with military specifications and over 200 quality checks. X1 Extreme can work anywhere: from the mountains to the desert, and even in the absence of gravity. We are facing a new ThinkPad, which respects the traditions, and this can only make us pleasure.
In the hand the feeling of robustness is tangible and at the same time pleasant, thanks to the aforementioned finish. Too bad that it really retains the fingerprints , so that to send them away is not always just the simple pass of a dry cloth.
Speaking of fingerprints, there is also a special reader for authentication, positioned a little lower than the power button. Do not miss the iconic Trackpoint , the “red ball” in the middle of the keyboard, which we have learned to appreciate with use. And then also observe the flexibility of the monitor , which bends up to 180 °, while not rotating on itself.
In short, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme is a solid machine , well built and even light , with only 1,715 grams of weight. Difficult to ask so much more for a product of this type.
Broad, “clichesy” but not annoying, with a wide 1.8mm stroke and keycaps that do not flex at all, not even from the edges. The typing experience on the ThinkPad X1 Extreme is really nice, just like tradition too. The backlight, adjustable on 2 levels, is just as effective: visible even during the day, valid in the dark.
The toggles on the F keys are in the first place, but you can pass them in second with the Fn + Esc combo, indicated by the lighting up of a small LED on the Esc key. The start and end buttons are instead present on Fn + left / right arrow respectively, even if not indicated.
The only thing that really bothered me is the placement of the Fn key on the bottom left. At the beginning you always press it instead of the ctrl button , and even once you are used to it, having the control key moved one position is inconvenient. Copy / cut / paste / select / move quickly: there are many functions related to it that you will have to “re-learn”. Nothing impossible, but certainly annoying.
To mitigate the whole there is the trackpoint . If you have never tried it, you will have to “force” it to use it at the beginning. Then you will find that you often use it. Maybe to move the cursor on the fly without raising your hands from the keyboard, maybe for a quick selection. He is always there, within an index / inch range as appropriate. If you become addicted, it will give you satisfaction; if you ignore it, it will not bother you. In any case it is an iconic element. Win-win, in short.
And it is clear that the touchpad experience is not neglected at all. Very pleasant to the touch , with a velvety feel reminiscent of the rest of the body. But it is not only a tactile fact, it is also precise and fast . The soft but decisive click is finally the icing of the cake on one of the best touchpad that we have tried in Windows. It could perhaps be a little wider, and the presence of the three right / middle / left click buttons at the top (useful in combo with the trackpoint) separate the touchpad from the keyboard a bit more than normal. Other than that, the experience is practically impeccable.
ThinkPad X1 Extreme has the advantage of being easily customizable, directly from the official website . There are two SKUs available, but in each of these you can change the processor, RAM, storage and more, so as to configure your ideal laptop. The model we tested, summarized below, represents a good mix between price and performance.
Screen : 15.6 “full HD
CPU : Intel Core i7-8850H
GPU : NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti Max-Q
RAM : 16 GB DDR4 2.666 MHz
Internal memory : 512 GB SSD PCIe M.2
Webcam : 720p
Wireless connectivity : Wi-Fi ac dual band, Bluetooth
Doors : 2x Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C 3.1, 2x USB Type-A 3.1, HDMI 2.0, SD player, audio jack, Ethernet (with adapter), smart card reader
Battery : 80 Wh
Weight : 1.7 Kg
OS : Windows 10 Pro
The hardware equipment is, as you can see, particularly complete, also from the point of view of the I / O. In fact, there are many ports available, among which stand out the two Thunderbolt 3 that together with HDMI allow you to connect up to 3 external monitors . There is also a smart card reader , very unusual these days. Too bad that Lenovo has not adopted the Type-C for charging, preferring instead a generic connector. Well instead for the presence of an Ethernet port, although it is necessary a dongle (included) to use it.
To underline then that, optional, there is also a version with 4K HDR touch screen with 100% of the Adobe RGB range. Intended for those who work in graphics, or want the best of visual quality. The price to be paid, as well as in terms of price, will be higher in weight (mainly due to the glass covering the screen) and lower autonomy .
Three pieces of the nineties challenge each other with benchmarks, and although ThinkPad comes out only in one field, we have to evaluate them as a whole. First of all they are not absolute scores, but they are subject to a certain variability. Just in light of this, it is worth pointing out that the distance that separates Lenovo’s notebook from the rivals that we have placed alongside it is in many cases negligible . Only in the GeekBench multi-core tests the i7-8850H processor looks a little subdued, especially when compared to the i7-8750H of Dell’s laptop (ASUS instead mounts an i9-8950HK). We gave an explanation for this, and we’ll see it soon.
On the contrary, the reading speed recorded on this ThinkPad is not negligible , which clearly detaches the trackers by almost 1 GB / sec. In writing, however, only the XPS 15 can do better, but it is not clear that you notice it, unless you often process large amounts of data at high speed.
Given the premise seen so far, it was virtually impossible for the ThinkPad X1 Extreme user experience to be disappointing, and in fact it is not. You will have in your hands a nice PC to use in any context, quiet, relatively light and portable, with a restful screen and a keyboard on which you can write for hours. The first impact was nothing less than fantastic .
Looking at it with a more critical eye, however, we can make some observations. In fact, the management of the temperatures is quite conservative by Lenovo, a choice perhaps wise, but partly questionable.
Even under intense stress (CPU and GPU combined), hardly the thermometer on the cores will exceed 90 °, and at the surface level there is no area in contact with the hands that goes beyond the 40 °. Well then, even if this happens a little at the expense of the performances, as highlighted in part by GeekBench above. There is in fact a little ‘ thermal throttling that intervenes even earlier than we would have thought, although without scaling too much the CPU frequencies, which remain in the orbit of 3.4 GHz (compared to a Turbo Boost maximum of 4, 3 GHz). This means perhaps greater longevity in the time of the CPU (Dell, on the contrary, let the CPU get to touch 100 ° on the XPS 15 before), but the fact remains that you could squeeze it even more.
Similar speech when only the CPU works. No thermal but power limit throttling always present, even here probably for design needs. In this case, the scaling can be made even more aggressive, and with temperatures always (too much) contained, so that you will hardly touch the 80 °.
Let’s be clear that we are not talking about disappointing performances at all. We are facing one of the most powerful CPUs that are in a notebook today, and it shows. The usual test on Premiere with export of a 4K @ 60fps movie is in fact completed in record time (about 19 minutes for a video of just over 10). Just know that the i7-8850H can do even better than that. And it does not take long to do it: just a little ‘ undervolting combined with a more aggressive scaling of the CPU. And just to complete the comparison started earlier, the ZenBook Pro is much worse, while Dell’s XPS is more or less in line with Lenovo, even if with higher temperatures.
Lenovo’s software is what makes the overall user experience even more enjoyable. Thanks to Vantage you will have a single application to update the system, regulate power, audio / video, customize the keyboard, disable the webcam (also possible with a hardware switch that disables the webcam itself), and also get support in case of problems. Very good also the sound experience, with Dolby Atmos that adjusts profiles based on film, music, games, voice or other.
The GTX 1050Ti Max-Q also ensures discreet gaming performance, making this ThinkPad X1 the first really exploitable even to play. Overwatch , with high details, runs quietly on 60 fps, while the new Shadow of the Tomb Raider trudges much more, settling for 30-40 fps also to low details, but it is a decidedly more demanding game. In short, it is not a gaming laptop properly, but we are pleased that Lenovo has finally decided that even the ThinkPad X1 can be more than a business laptop.
We would have liked to try the 4K HDR variant of this ThinkPad X1 Extreme , even for pure visual pleasure. But we must say that we were not disappointed by the full HD version, which is great for most uses.
The matte finish makes this panel very readable, and the excellent intensity of blacks is unusual for an IPS like this (and very welcome). In general, however, the calibration of the factory is not the most accurate, with the warm tones that are among the least faithful, and a delta E average of 3.9. Again: those looking for precision and a wider spectrum of colors will have to focus on 4K.
Discrete the brightness , declared in 300 nit (a little ‘lower according to our measurements). Definitely enough for any indoor use, while under strong sunlight could give you some problems. Also in this case, the glossy 4K variant should fill the gap, with its 400 nits of brightness.
As already noted above, however, 4K touch also means greater weight and less autonomy, so it is a good choice to ponder. In general we can say that in the working use the full HD panel has always been very pleasant. Readable without being tiring, thanks to the visual comfort mode that filters blue light. If you do not have particular work needs, it will be only the vision of a high resolution film or some particularly rewarding game that will make you feel the lack of a “superior” screen.
As with the other Coffe Lake H we have tried, even in the case of this ThinkPad the autonomy varies quite significantly depending on the workload. The battery used by Lenovo is large, but not a record, with its 80 Wh . With the full HD panel in particular, however, it is a good compromise between weight and autonomy. Here in fact what they say the usual tests we performed with a screen at 25% brightness and energy saving mode on “improved battery”.
PCMark 8 Home (browser, casual gaming, video chat, writing, photo editing): 5 hours and 40 minutes
PCMark 8 Creative (browser, video editing, multimedia, gaming, photo editing, video chat): 5 hours and 10 minutes
PCMark 8 Work (browser, videochat, writing, spreadsheets): 7 hours and 10 minutes
It must be said that 25% of brightness of this panel is not very much. Often, even indoors, you will use it at least 50%. However, this does not affect the autonomy too much, as the brightness is not applied linearly (50% of Windows is not really 50% of screen brightness). In any case, the value of just over 7 working hours is rather realistic. You can get to 8 with a lighter load, but to go further you will not have to work but to enjoy yourself, perhaps watching a movie locally. On the other hand, the recharge is very fast, and within an hour you will already be about 80%.
In the case of more intense loading, however, it is possible that you see the battery go down rather quickly. As already mentioned, the Lake H coffees have a rather constant “basic” consumption and even lower than you might think, but under load at the same time the gap widens a lot. Already in the tests above there is an hour and a half gap between the best and the worst case, but we assure you that with Premiere, Lightroom or other processing software, the gap could easily widen. This also raises some concerns about the autonomy of the variant with a touch screen 4K, even brighter, so carefully evaluate the purchase.
The moment we write to you, ThinkPad X1 Extreme starts from 101,707.98 Philippine Piso, for the full HD version with i5-8300H, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD.
With the ThinkPad X1 Extreme, Lenovo has achieved an excellent combination of productivity and leisure. It is not just a light, solid laptop with an “all day” keyboard and a satisfying autonomy, but it is also powerful, able to meet you both in the most demanding jobs and in games. Wanting to be picky, know that you can also squeeze a bit ‘more hardware than what is done by Lenovo, which is still enough for most users. But you will have to find the configuration that best suits your needs (and your wallet) among the many available, but it is practically impossible not to be conquered by the “cocktail” prepared by Lenovo."Review of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme - Php101,707.98 Philippine Price",