Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Review: Is this the best one in Lenovo’s X1 series?
Lenovo has come up with pretty great laptops during the past few years. Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 series has attracted a lot of consumers. It seems that Lenovo put together some serious combinations of features in each laptop in this ThinkPad X1 series to target specific groups. A few laptops appeared as 2-in-1s with touchscreen and stylus input. Some other laptops featured great battery and stunning displays. Lenovo also released ThinkPad X1 Extreme in the last quarter of 2020.
It is a 15.6-inch laptop equipped with an incredible display and a powerful processor. Lenovo has kept in mind the basic needs of consumers while creating this laptop. ThinkPad X1 Extreme certainly fulfills the expectation of consumers who like to own a premium laptop. With an Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB RAM, and up to 1TB of SSD storage, you will definitely want to own this laptop. An in-depth review will tell you more about this incredible machine. Let’s have a close look into its features and specifications.
When it comes to the design of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme, Lenovo has tried hard enough to create an eye-catching design and succeeded to do that. You will find no flaws in the design which might convince you to buy this laptop. Lenovo has been sticking with the carbon fiber as the main material for the chassis of the laptops for a long time now. Almost all the other laptops in the ThinkPad X1 line of Lenovo are manufactured with carbon fiber. Certainly, the matte-black color of ThinkPad X1 Extreme catches the attention.
You will not find yourself leaving fingerprints on the perfectly soft finish back of the lid. The traditional long hinge design is different than the hinges in other laptops in this category still you will find no unnecessary resistance in moving the lid. ThinkPad X1 Extreme is a 15.6-inch laptop with the dimensions of 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.7 inches. It is not absurdly large but just slightly bigger than some of its competitors. The signature logos of ThinkPad series are there on the backside of the lid. “ThinkPad” logo looks elegant on the top left side and “X1” logo is placed on the bottom right side on the backside of the lid. You will also find the “ThinkPad” logo below the keyboard.
The power button is placed on the top right side of the keyboard and you will find a fingerprint reader on the right bottom of the keyboard. Lenovo is adding fingerprint reader in almost all of its new laptops. The webcam is present in its usual place. You will also see a “ThinkShutter” to cover the webcam for added privacy. The video quality of webcam is good enough as it features a 720p lens. If you require more security for your laptop, you can buy this laptop with an optional IR camera for Windows Hello login through facial recognition.
However, option IR camera will cost you extra $25. One more thing about IR camera option is that it does not come with “ThinkShutter”. You will also see a “Lenovo” logo on the left side below the display. ThinkPad X1 Extreme does not weigh as much as you might expect considering its size. It weighs 3.8 pounds which are perfect for a 15.6-inch laptop as you can easily move around carrying this in your bag. It is lighter than almost all of its competitors.
You will find 2 USB Type-A 3.1 ports and an SD card reader on the right side. The right side of ThinkPad X1 Extreme features 2 Type-C ports, charging port, mini-Ethernet port, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack. It is a good thing that Lenovo is keeping both Type-A and Type-C ports because you will not require extra docks to connect your accessories to your laptop.
Even though the exterior of the laptop does not look sturdy enough but it is perfectly durable. ThinkPad X1 Extreme can easily withstand vibration, temperature, and humidity situations. It can even survive minor drops.
The display is one of the highlighted features of ThinkPad X1 Extreme. You will absolutely love the 4K display on this laptop. The 4K display has a 3840 x 2160 resolution. Lenovo also offers a simple 1080p display option but if you are really into stunning displays on a laptop, you will definitely want to try this one. You will be able to spot even the dull colors on this amazing display.
From color saturation to sharp image quality, everything about this display is perfect. The brightness of this display is good enough. Although its brightness is a little less than some of its competitors including Dell XPS 15 and ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The touchscreen is very responsive though. You will see no lag while using the touchscreen. You will not face any difficulty while using the drawing apps either.
Touchpad, Keyboard, and Pointing Stick
ThinkPad X1 Extreme features a touchpad with the dimensions of 3.9 x 2.3 inches. It is large enough to navigate easily while scrolling. Multi-touch commands work very well. You will easily spot left and right click buttons placed above the touchpad.
Keyboard of ThinkPad X1 Extreme is one of the best keyboards in this series. The keyboard is backlit and key travel is 1.7 mm. Key travel is good enough and you can easily get used to this keyboard. While typing for a long time you will find its dock comfortable enough. However, sweaty palms may leave smudges on the dock which you can remove so that is not actually a flaw. Even though it is a 15.6-inch laptop, there is no separate numeric keypad.
Lenovo’s pointing stick or “TrackPoint” sits among the G, H, and B keys. Lenovo has been including TrackPoint in all its ThinkPad laptop since the first one. Some people might find it useful. However, if you are not a fan of TrackPoint it is not a big deal unless it becomes a problem during typing.
Audio and Graphics
The speakers of ThinkPad X1 Extreme are loud enough to fill a normal size room. You can spot the speakers on the front side below the deck. That is why you can easily enjoy music on these speakers but to fill a large room you will feel the need for external speakers. You might feel the sound scattering through these speakers if an upbeat song is playing. I can tell you this much that speakers are not a strong point of this laptop.
ThinkPad X1 Extreme is equipped with NVidia GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q graphics card with 4GB VRAM. The laptop is designed to fulfill all the business and entertainment needs of consumers. You can easily rely on this dedicated graphics card for complex graphics work. You will also be able to enjoy moderate games.
Performance and Battery Life
This particular model is packed with Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 32GB RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. The performance of ThinkPad X1 Extreme is mind-blowing. You will see perfectly smooth performance even when complex software and apps are running. You can easily rely on its Core i7 processor while watching high-quality videos on YouTube, streaming music, and multiple tabs opened in the browser. As per the benchmark scores, ThinkPad X1 Extreme certainly outruns some of its competitors including Dell XPS 15 and Asus ZenBook Pro 15. The SSD of ThinkPad X1 Extreme is much faster than its competitors.
Battery life of ThinkPad X1 Extreme is certainly not good enough. If you are already using a laptop with a much longer battery timing, you will feel disappointed with the battery life of this particular laptop. You will get around 6 hours of battery timing on a single charge while using it for web surfing over Wi-Fi. It cannot compete with its competitors when it comes to battery life. However, you can get a little more battery life if you buy this laptop with a 1080p display instead of a 4K display.
No doubt, ThinkPad X1 Extreme is perfect when it comes to 4K display and smooth performance. You can rely on this laptop if you are going to use it mostly at home. Its battery life is not long enough to take you through a whole day. Watching movies and videos on 4K display will further reduce the battery timing so you cannot rely on it if you move around or travel a lot during the day. Still, it is not a bad choice at all if you can compromise on battery life.
However, ThinkPad X1 Extreme with all its extravagant features comes at a great price. You can get your hands on the base model with a 1080p display, Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD for $1580. You can upgrade to higher models with a significant increase in cost. This particular model with Core i7 processor, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and 4K display touches $3000 which is a lot of money.