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Lenovo X1 Extreme, analysis: robustness, nostalgia and an almost perfect keyboard complement the GTX 1050 Ti

Macbook Pro , Dell with its XPS or HP with its Specter x360 , all of them in their 15-inch versions and professional cut, have a new rival in front of them. The Lenovo X1 Extreme uses a legend brand as Thinkpad to, with the help of a promising technical sheet, convince those who do not want an ultrabook to use but a powerful machine to work with.

After years of being faithful to some screen sizes, design and classic configurations for its professional range, Lenovo has dared to go a little further and as a result of that courage the new X1 Extreme laptop leaves us on the market .

Classicism in the design but with a finish and technical sheet of the highest level
Its most characteristic feature is double but firmly associated with the screen. On the one hand we have a diagonal of 15.6 inches that leaves it out of the ultrabooks that hoard catalogs of all brands. As a complement, a dedicated graphic like the GTX 1050 Ti, in our opinion, more focused on making a nod to casual players than to creative ones.

SCREEN – 15.6 inches Full HD IPS LCD anti-reflective (1,920 x 1,080 dots) 300 nits and 72% color gamut
– 15.6 inches multitouch LCD IPS 4K UHD with anti-glare and anti-stain HDR, 400 nits, 8 color depth + 2 bits of Adobe 100% with Dolby Vision and external pencil support
PROCESSOR – Intel Core i5 / i7 vPro Series 8th generation H (with up to 6 cores)
– Intel Core i5 / i7 Series H of eighth generation (with up to 6 cores)
RAM Up to 64 GB DDR4 2,666 MHz
STORAGE Up to 2 drives (2 PCIe M.2 2280 TLC) for a maximum of 2 TB
SOUND Dolby Audio Premium and Dolby Atmos for headphones
OS Windows 10 Pro
CONNECTIVITY WiFi 802.11ac 2 x 2 and Bluetooth 5.0
2 x USB 3.1 1st gen, 2 x USB 3.1 Type C 2nd generation, 1 x HDMI 2.0, SD card reader 4 in 1, 1 x RJ-45 and 1 x microphone / headphone jack
DIMENSIONS Full HD: 361 x 245 x 18.4 mm
4K touch: 361 x 245 x 18.7 mm
WEIGHT Full HD: 1.7 Kg
4K touch: 1.8 Kg
DRUMS 4 cells, 80 Wh with fast charging technology

With very broad configuration possibilities, the version we have been able to test is one of the highest, with 16 GB of RAM, Core i7 Coffee Lake processor (with Intel vPro support on some models) and a screen with 4K resolution and also touch .

The most complete configuration of the Lenovo X1 Extreme, with 4K touch screen, can reach 4000 euros
The price of this laptop goes from the 1749 euros that costs the basic version with Core i5, FullHD screen, 8 GB of RAM and SSD of 256 GB, to the 4000 euros that would cost the most complete model with Core i7-8850H, 4K screen , 64 GB of RAM and 1 TB SSD.

No one can say it is not a ThinkPad

Having an innovative and somewhat disruptive range with respect to the classic design of laptops such as Yoga, Lenovo is able to maintain the essence and personality of the ThinkPad range year after year.

Some brands play with nostalgia to sell us a product very well and that is for us something more than a gadget
No one can say that this Lenovo X1 Extreme, even before opening its carbon fiber cover, in impeccable black, like the rest of the case of this laptop, deserves to be in the high-end of laptops.

That material used for the casing, in addition to resistance as few teams can boast in the market, gives the Lenovo X1 Xtreme licenses at the weight level but also tendency that the matt finish tends to get dirty with the grease of the fingers, costing a lot that the prints end up leaving completely .

Lenovo X1 Extreme Design

The unpolished finish of the carbon fiber matte shell does not stay that long
We are not facing a laptop to extreme diet or going to boast of thin lines, although we are below 2 kg (do not forget that it is a 15-inch model), with its weight distributed in a very balanced manner . That balance is noted in details that come into play when we go to open the lid of the laptop (up to 180 degrees admits), then charging more importance than we give it visually or in hand.

In exchange for that weight we can allow a powerful configuration and much more that we will be shelling throughout this review in Engadget.

Lenovo Principal

With straight and serious lines, the exterior of the Lenovo X1 Extreme has an unmistakable look to the ThinkPad range, with a large and clearly anachronistic logo, highlighting the illumination of the letter i when the device is turned on.

A professional that shows in the connectivity

The professional cut to which we must associate this Lenovo X1 Extreme does not disappoint in a key point: connectivity .

In this laptop we find a good arsenal of ports, both in variety and in number of them. We have two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports , headphone output / input and HDMI 2.0 connector, plus a port to place a Lenovo proprietary Ethernet adapter.


On the other side of its casing we found the slot for SD cards, two USB-A 3.1 ports and almost an anachronism as SmartCard if it were not for we are talking about an eminently professional cutting model.

At the ports level the only downside I would put is that to get a decent charging time you have to go through the serial charger and owner of Lenovo (135 W), while charging by USB-C would leave for home and little more, unless we do not want to take with us the Lenovo adapter, which is neither light nor small.

Thinkpad X1 Extreme With Charger

This Lenovo X1 Extreme must also talk about the fingerprint reader available on the right side of the keyboard but well separated from it. It allows us to identify ourselves easily in the system, and it works quite well. An extra that should not be said at this point.

Yes, that should be said curiously to a functionality that is also common for business laptops, such as the integrated mobile network. Here there is no such option but with the ease of tethering we have today, is a lesser evil but a detail after all.

Fingerprint Reader

15.6 inches panel with 4K resolution and a brightness of 400 nits are the basis of the visual experience with this Lenovo X1 Extreme notebook. It is also a Dolby Vision HDR panel , something curious in a more professional model, with 100% coverage of AdobeRGB space.

The panel, with contrast and liveliness of high level, is not matte type, so we can not avoid reflections according to the incidence of light. But the overall visual experience is quite satisfactory, with high clarity very grateful to work long periods of time or with much content on the screen.

The screen, colorful and bright, is a delight to use in the 4K and 400 nits configuration
Although this is not a convertible ( the screen is down to 180 degrees but not more), this Lenovo X1 Extreme has a touch screen that also supports the use of the company’s stylus to take notes or direct interaction with the interface.

As for the sound, Lenovo presumes in the spec sheet of having Dolby Audio Premium as well as Atmos, but the latter only for use with headphones. Both by power and precision, the sound of the speakers will serve you occasionally , but we are not facing a laptop that stands out in this field precisely.

Desktop power powered by a dedicated graphic

With a high starting price and clearly professional aspirations, the Lenovo X1 Extreme could not sin of lack of power. The equipment is available with configurations based on Coffee Lake processors, both Core i5 and Core i7 , with two RAM card slots in which we can hold up to 32 GB.

The interior is prepared to install up to two SSD NVMe units (M.2). And the graphic part is covered in series with the dedicated Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti . Its presence, something strange in this type of equipment, makes it possible to think of the game as a way to spend some time, but better near the power and not with battery.

As for the tests of more graphic packaging, the Lenovo X1 Extreme leaves us in 3DMark more 13000 points, while in TimeSpy and Fire Strike, the average data obtained were 1994 and 6855 points respectively.

Internal storage is one of the strengths of this Lenovo X1 Extreme: two NVMe slots accessible and that stands out especially in writing speeds

In the tests with CinBench R15 we obtained 1065 points, with more than 100 fps in the OpenGL test. As for the installed SSD , also very good news, with data in CrystaldiskMark of 2287 and 2312 MB / s in sequential writing and reading respectively.

These figures in test attached to the technical arguments left us a very promising starting point in terms of team behavior on a day-to-day basis. So it was. The Lenovo X1 Extreme supports office work and intense browsing with many tabs with full fluency , instant feeling of instantaneity and great work also in more demanding and creative tasks.

Lenovo Keyboard With Display

One aspect that did not convince us about working with the Lenovo X1 Extreme has to do with cooling and heat. The fans, not very noisy but whose presence one clearly sees working in quiet environments, were activated in a somewhat chaotic manner without any tasks or time of use of the equipment had much to do. Open a simple tab of the browser just start the computer (and in a non-hot environment) activated a few seconds the fans at full power to then stop.

The activation of the fans does not follow a logical pattern and is a defect that some users can mark the experience of use
In this test time we were unable to establish a clear operating rule, but we came to the conclusion that it was annoying and with a continuous sense of lack of control.

Regarding the use of this Lenovo X1 Extreme for games, good news. Although we have to forget to take advantage of all the resolution of its 4K screen, we are in front of a team prepared so that, with current and demanding titles, we can establish a fluid game at 1080p and with a high level of detail .

In the software part we find Windows 10 Pro with the Hello identification thanks to the integrated infrared camera, and an arsenal of security (dTPM) both at the operating system level and BIOS highly valued in the professional world. The configuration of several of these elements, as well as important updates, are found in the Vantage software included in this Lenovo X1 Extreme.

The best configuration is not recommended by autonomy

In a team that can be configured with many options, including many related to the screen (resolution, whether tactile or not …), autonomy is directly associated with which version we wanted to acquire in the store. And here we regret having to warn you that the most appetizing is not the recommended one if you plan to work a lot without food nearby.

Our experience is based on daily use and for a week with the Lenovo X1 Extreme with 4K touch screen with a Core i7-8750H , Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics card and a battery with capacity of 80 Wh.


With this premise and with a mixed use of entertainment and work, we have averaged about 3 / 3.5 hours of effective work , autonomy that we can stretch up to 5 / 5.5 hours if we opt for video playback at half brightness intensity of the screen .

That poor autonomy for a team of professional aspirations is somewhat nuanced by the load, which is completed in less than an hour and where we must highlight the Lenovo fast charge that leaves us 50% battery in just over 15 minutes .

The keyboard is your most powerful weapon

Screen, power and design, but my favorite part of the Lenovo X1 Extreme is its keyboard . Yes, it is quite personal, but in this Thinkpad model there are solid arguments.

The keyboard of the Lenovo X1 Extreme has a more than correct route to be very comfortable without getting tired at all. The size of the keys is large (although without numeric keypad) and transmits a feeling of robustness as no laptop keyboard currently offers. Once the period of transition and adaptation has been overcome to get the most out of it, you do not want to go back to another keyboard on a laptop.

Keyboard detail

Logically and speaking of this high range, the keyboard does not lack the backlight, which supports two levels of lighting but we must manually regulate us. It also comes protected against splashes.

Interestingly, in this eagerness to maintain the identity of the classic ThnkPad, this Lenovo X1 Extreme does not renounce trackpoint , which at this point and with the softness, size and precision of the touchpad, has little more role than the anecdote or touch it sentimental. In my case I would have preferred more size in the touchpad and eliminate the physical buttons.

Lenovo is not satisfied with being present in the professional range but wants to convince those who are looking for a safe, robust and powerful team that, as an extra, appeals to our nostalgia.

The Lenovo X1 Extreme enters fully into the fight for the market of laptops over 15 inches already outside the range of consumption and with a clientele that is able to stretch their budget above 2000 euros when buying a laptop. Whoever is encouraged, the Lenovo X1 Extreme gives you performance, design and a fabulous keyboard for your money.

Lenovo X1 Keyboard

As if those arguments were few, the Lenovo X1 Extreme reinforces its value as an entertainment laptop and gaming dabbling thanks to a bright 4K screen and a graphic like the GTX 1050 Ti, although precisely that screen is one of the culprits of its most loose: the limited autonomy in a professional environment.

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