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Lenovo"s ThinkPad X1 Extreme gene 2 is an excellent apple macbook pro alternative, but it has one major flaw.

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Pros+

Attractive, lightweight chassis

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Gorgeous 4K HDR anti-glare display

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World-class keyboard

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Blistering performance


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With the ThinkPad X1 Extreme, Lenovo has made a statement khổng lồ Dell & Apple: The company won"t let the XPS 15 và MacBook Pro own the 15-inch máy vi tính segment. Last year"s maiden X1 Extreme did a lot of things right, offering speedy performance và a gorgeous display in a lightweight package. But it was ultimately plagued by poor battery life.


Lenovo"s second bite at the táo bị cắn (pun intended) is more of the same. With a similarly attractive and portable design, blistering-fast performance & a gorgeous 4K HDR display option, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme gene 2 is a great choice for nội dung creators and business users alike. It"s also one of the best ThinkPads around. Unfortunately, poor battery life is, once again, the undoing of this otherwise-fantastic machine.


Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme price & configuration options

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With a starting price of $1,721, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme is one of Lenovo"s most expensive laptops. At that price, you get a 1080p, anti-glare display along with an Intel core i5-9300H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD và Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU graphics.


Upgrading lớn a 1080p configuration with a vi xử lý core i7-9850H CPU, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD và a GTX 1650 GPU runs the price up khổng lồ $2,659. Our $3,066 review unit is equipped with the same specs but flaunts a 4K HDR display.

I had some fun customizing the ThinkPad X1 Extreme on Lenovo"s website, getting the price up to $3,769 by opting for a core i9-9880H CPU, 64 GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD & a 4K OLED display. The XPS 15 with those same specs and 2TB of storage goes for less than $3,000.


Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme design

My first máy tính xách tay had a 15-inch display, và as much as I appreciated the screen real estate it offered, that thick brick of a device was too heavy lớn haul around. When it was time to upgrade, I, lượt thích so many, rode the wave of small-screened laptops that had become popular over the last decade.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

Now, my friends, it"s time khổng lồ return to the big screen, because 15-inch laptops like the ThinkPad X1 Extreme prove that a large display doesn"t mean a big chassis. Yes, the X1 Extreme has a much larger footprint than something like the XPS 13 or even the 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon, but at 0.7 inches thick, it"s thin enough to slip into a handbag or backpack. I"m even more impressed by its weight; a 15.6-inch máy tính weighing 3.8 pounds would have been unheard of just a few years ago.

Lenovo didn"t make any major changes to the thiết kế of this sophomore effort. This machine"s sleek, thin-and-lightweight chassis remains the best presentation (alongside the X1 Carbon) of Lenovo"s iconic ThinkPad aesthetic.

You"re probably familiar with the look by now, but we"ll go over the basics: On the X1 Extreme"s lid is a blackout ThinkPad biểu tượng logo illuminated by a glowing red "i" opposite some stylish X1 branding. Open the lid, và you"ll find the signature red ThinkPad trim on the touchpad buttons và pointing stick. There"s more branding on the deck & display bezels, but it"s all discreet and doesn"t take away from the X1 Extreme"s stealthy, minimalist appearance.

New to this year"s mã sản phẩm is a carbon-fiber weave on the X1 Extreme"s lid. This same pattern, introduced on the latest ThinkPad X1 Carbon, accentuates the X1 Extreme"s plush, carbon-fiber material & gives the laptop the same aggressive edge as those carbon-fiber decals on sports cars.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is an attractive laptop, but I have a few quibbles with the design. For one, the X1 Extreme hasn"t embraced thin display bezels lượt thích other premium laptops have done. The bottom bezel is especially chunky và detracts from an otherwise-streamlined design. I also wish the fingerprint sensor were more pronounced and the power nguồn button weren"t so recessed. Oh, & the matte-black, soft-touch surfaces attract fingerprints like no other.

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is larger than the XPS 15 (14.1 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches, 4.5 pounds) & even the 16-inch macbook pro (14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches, 4.3 pounds). The HP Spectre x360 15 (14.2 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches, 4.6 pounds) is about the same kích thước as the Lenovo, but that will change when HP releases the redesigned 2020 model. You should note, however, that despite being on the larger side of this category, the X1 Extreme is significantly lighter than its competitors.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme ports

Business users who keep the ThinkPad X1 Extreme docked at the office won"t have any problems connecting lớn monitors, smartphones or other peripherals at home.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

On the right side of the ThinkPad X1 Extreme are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI 2.0 input and an RJ45 Ethernet dongle (which requires an adapter).


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

Move over khổng lồ the left side of the laptop, & you"ll find two USB 3.1 ports, an SD card reader, a Kensington lock & an optional smart thẻ reader.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme durability & security

The X1 Extreme proves that a máy tính doesn"t need to feel lượt thích an anvil to survive a drop. Reinforced with four layers of carbon fiber and an aluminum-alloy bottom cover, the X1 Extreme is tested khổng lồ 12 military-grade durability standards, including high altitudes, excessive humidity và challenging temperatures.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

This is still a $3,000 laptop, so you should vị everything humanly possible lớn avoid dropping it, but it"s nice khổng lồ know that the X1 Extreme lives up to the name.

The X1 Extreme"s hardware protects not just what"s on the outside, but also the sensitive data contained within the machine. An IR camera on the đứng top display bezel allows for fast & secure login via Windows Hello. Worried about that camera getting hacked? The X1 Extreme has a webcam cover that shuts you out with a simple slide lớn the left. You can then use the fingerprint sensor as an alternative login method.

Other security measures are housed within the ThinkPad X1 Extreme, including a discrete TPM 2.0 chip và Intel vPro technology.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme display

The 15.6-inch, 4K HDR display on our ThinkPad X1 Extreme is colorful, bright and sharp. The anti-glare panel might not have the same picture quality as the new OLED display option, but it"s an excellent choice for business users or nội dung creators who get annoyed by reflections.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

The 3840 x 2160-pixel panel was so sharp that I could see the stitching in Harley Quinn"s hat when I paused a close-up scene in Birds of Prey. Vivid colors burst off the screen when the Ace Chemicals plant exploded & billows of turquoise, scarlet và lime erupted into the air. Those saturated tones didn"t pop quite as much as they did on the Razer Blade 15 Studio"s glossy OLED display that my colleague was viewing next to me, but at least the X1 Extreme"s anti-glare screen didn"t reflect my face back at me.

Our colorimeter measured an excellent 163% of sRGB coverage when we placed the device on the ThinkPad X1 Extreme"s display. That means the laptop"s panel is more saturated than those on the 16-inch apple macbook phiên bản pro (114%) & the HP Spectre x360 15 (157%). Only the XPS 15"s 4K panel is more colorful (210%). All of these laptops, except for the laptop macbook Pro, top the category average (122%).

Reaching 384 nits, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme"s display is very bright, although it was outshined by the XPS 15"s 4K screen (418 nits) and the apple macbook Pro"s 16-inch panel (429 nits). The Spectre x360 15"s display (247 nits) was disappointingly dim & well below the category average (367 nits).

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme performance

I threw everything I could at the ThinkPad X1 Extreme, but the Intel chip core i7-9850H CPU with 32GB of RAM inside this beastly machine didn"t break a sweat. I didn"t notice a hint of lag as I loaded 15 Google Chrome website pages, four of which played 4K videos in the background. Even when I streamed a Carabao Cup match between Aston Villa & Leicester City, the X1 Extreme was so unbothered by the workload that its fans didn"t even kick on.

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(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme did an excellent job on our benchmarks, crushing file-transfer, computing and graphics tests. This second-generation mã sản phẩm scored a 23,533 on the Geekbench 4.3 overall-performance test, falling just short of the XPS 15 (28,882) và MacBook Pro (31,178), both of which were configured with bộ vi xử lý core i9-9980HK processors. Last year"s Spectre x360 15 (21,889; bộ vi xử lý core i7-8750H) couldn"t keep up, although it beat the category average (21,889).

Content creators should take lưu ý of our video-transcoding test, which tasks a máy tính xách tay to convert a 4K video clip to 1080p resolution. The ThinkPad X1 Extreme finished that task in 10 minutes & 19 seconds, just edging out the Spectre x360 15 (10:45). The blazing-fast pace of the XPS 15 (8:00) và MacBook Pro (8:00) illustrate how much more power nguồn a chip core i9 CPU brings over the chip core i7 chip.

Finally, we have a Windows PC with a hard drive that rivals the tốc độ of a apple macbook Pro. The 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Opal2 SSD inside the ThinkPad X1 Extreme duplicated 4.97GB of multimedia files in 2.5 seconds, for a blistering rate of 2,035.7 megabytes per second. Competing laptops that get close or top the premium máy tính xách tay average (1,023.4 MBps) — including the Spectre x360 15 (565.5 MBps, 1TB SSD), macbook pro (2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD; 1,017.9 MBps) and XPS 15 (1TB PCIe SSD, 508 MBps) — don"t come close to lớn the Lenovo.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme graphics

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme wasn"t made for gaming, but this machine"s Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics cpu with 4GB of VRAM is a big nâng cấp over an integrated card.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

On our 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited test, the Thinkpad X1 Extreme landed a 175,005, falling just short of what the XPS 15 (177,158) netted. Both of those scores trounce the premium laptop average (99,248).

On our real-world gaming test, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme zoomed through Dirt 3 at 170 frames per second. That"s twice as smooth as the XPS 15 (80 fps, GTX 1650) & outraces the Spectre x360 15 (61 fps) và the premium laptop average (58 fps).

Our Hitman benchmark results weren"t quite as resounding a success, but the ThinkPad X1 Extreme did a good job nonetheless, hitting 47 fps. The Spectre x360 15 (46 fps) performed about the same, but neither máy tính xách tay reached the category average (63 fps).

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme audio

The four bottom-firing speakers on the ThinkPad X1 Extreme pump out decent sound. While they weren"t quite able lớn fill a medium-size lab, the quality of the audio produced was above average. There was a nice meatiness in the midrange of The Killers" "Run for Cover" that kept the up-tempo rock/alternative tuy nhiên from sounding thin. Don"t expect miracles in the lower range, but a nice bass kick gave Juice Wrld"s "Lucid Dreams" the depth it deserves.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme keyboard và touchpad

Lenovo"s ThinkPad keyboards are simply the best in the business, in the same way Apple"s iPads are the best tablets or Logitech"s C920 is the only webcam worth mentioning. The Extreme"s gently scalloped keys hug your fingertips, & their generous travel is seemingly deeper than the máy tính itself. It"s the combination of a strong tactile click that bounces your fingers from one key to the next & a plush landing when you actuate the keys that makes the X1 Extreme"s keyboard such a pleasure lớn type on.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

Lenovo deserves props for resisting the temptation to create a new low-travel key switch as so many other brands have done. These keys aren"t broken; please don"t try to lớn fix them.

I typed at 110 words per minute, with an accuracy rate of 97% on the 10FastFingers.com typing test. That result is slower than my typical 119-wpm tốc độ average but with fewer typos than my typical 5% error rate.

Under the keyboard is a 3.9 x 2.7-inch touchpad, which is smaller than those on most 15-inch laptops. I didn"t mind the smaller size, because the square-shaped surface has enough vertical & horizontal space khổng lồ execute Windows 10 gestures, lượt thích pinch khổng lồ zoom và three-finger swipe lớn change windows.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme battery life

Something had khổng lồ crash the party. The ThinkPad X1 Extreme lasted a meastly 5 hours và 28 minutes on our máy vi tính Mag battery test, which involves continuous website surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

We expect short runtimes from gaming laptops and workstations, not laptops made for creators & business users. In comparison, the XPS 15 with a 4K display lasted 8 hours & 48 minutes, a bit longer than the 4K Spectre x360 (8:09). If the apple macbook pro (10:55) had endured for 1 minute longer, it would have doubled the ThinkPad X1 Extreme"s runtime. The X1 Extreme also falls woefully short of the category average (8:38). So much for extreme.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme webcam

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme"s 720p IR webcam captures colorful photos and videos, but my face looked blurry in a selfie I snapped in our dimly lit office. I couldn"t make out much detail in my face, and there was an unpleasant haziness to the picture. The webcam is fine if it"s all you have, but you"ll need a proper external webcam if you want khổng lồ impress a new trùm cuối or long-distance girlfriend.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme heat

Poor cooling was one of the few complaints we had with the first-gen ThinkPad X1 Extreme. Fortunately, the new mã sản phẩm did much better in our heat test, topping out at 99 degrees Fahrenheit. That"s still above our 95-degree comfort threshold but nowhere near the 123 degrees the gene 1 version reached on the same kiểm tra (playing a 15-minute, 1080p video).

The 2nd ren ThinkPad X1 Extreme"s touchpad (82 degrees) and the center of the machine"s keyboard (92 degrees), two places you often rest your hands, were only warm khổng lồ the touch.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme software & warranty

Lenovo does a good job packaging utilities, tools and tư vấn into one clean, easy-to-use program called Vantage. There is all sorts of information khổng lồ rummage through in the app, from warranty information to tư vấn documents and system specs. It"s not a bad idea to lớn visit the Vantage tiện ích every now và then to lớn ensure your system has the latest updates.

The only other Lenovo-branded phầm mềm preinstalled on the X1 Extreme is Lenovo Display Optimizer, which you can use lớn quickly cycle display modes to get the picture that best suits your needs & preferences. Alongside the default Native setting are Photo, đoạn phim and xanh Light modes.

The X1 Extreme runs Windows 10 Pro, but even this business-focused OS comes with bloatware, including Candy Crush Friends & Farm Heroes Saga apps.

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme ships with a one-year warranty. See how Lenovo fared in our Best và worst brands và Tech tư vấn showdown special reports.

Bottom line

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme ren 2 is one misstep away from being the best 15-inch máy tính xách tay on the market. That fault, once again, lies with poor battery life as compared to lớn other 4K rivals. If a long runtime is important lớn you, then you can opt for a 1080p panel, but you"ll miss out on the gorgeous 4K HDR display option.

Apart from disappointing battery life, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme gene is almost a perfect laptop for nội dung creators & business users. Its sleek thiết kế looks great, & it"s surprisingly durable yet portable. Performance is also impressive thanks lớn a core i7 CPU and GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics. You can even equip the X1 Extreme with 64GB of RAM, although storage maxes out at only 1TB.

We recommend Dell"s XPS 15 over the ThinkPad X1 Extreme, because the Dell has a longer battery life and a lower price. You should also consider the Spectre x360 15, although we"d wait for the redesigned model with 9th gene processors. Apple"s 16-inch táo macbook pro is another good option if you"re not on a budget; it has long battery life và epic performance, but it"s considerably heavier than the X1 Extreme và has a less colorful display.

All things considered, the 2nd gene ThinkPad X1 Extreme is an excellent máy tính xách tay with one glaring flaw that many customers will find hard to overlook.


Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at máy tính xách tay Mag where he nhận xét laptops, phones và other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote review for a range of gadgets và covered everything from social truyền thông media trends khổng lồ cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G và IoT. When he"s not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing clip games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.

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