They do not have cellular workstations’ independent software vendor (ISV) certificates for technical computer-aided layout, rendering, and scientific programs. Still, elite systems for digital content creators are a few of our favorite laptops. The Dell XPS 15 and the Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch, are most probably the best-known. However, everybody from Acer and Asus into Gigabyte, Razer, and MSI compete in this area –as does Lenovo, which has only unveiled the third production of its 15.6-inch ThinkPad X1 Extreme (begins at $1,479; $2,913 as analyzed ). The brand new Extreme combines tasteful design and robust functionality with attractive features directed by a stunning OLED screen. Its battery life is somewhat disappointing, and it can not double as a gamer since a few competitions may, but it is a first-class creative and productivity associate.
Four Screens, Six or Eight Cores
The 1,479 base version includes a six-core Intel Core i7-10750H chip, 8GB of memory, a 256GB solid-state driveway, and also a 1080p IPS display rated at 300 nits of brightness. You will find three better screen options: 500-nit complete HD, 600-nit 4K (3,840-by-2,160-pixel) IPS using Dolby Vision, along with my evaluation unit’s 400-nit 4K touch display with OLED technologies and Dolby Vision Authentic Black. All of the X1 Intense models include a 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU, which slots in only under the XPS 15’s unthrottled GeForce GTX 1650 Ti and well below a few competitions’ GeForce RTX silicon.
Apart from the OLED panel, my 2,913 inspection unit boasted a six-core, 2.7GHz (5.1GHz turbo) Core i7-10850H processor, 32GB of RAM with a 1TB NVMe SSD. The best CPU option is the eight-core Core i9-10885H; storage and memory maximum out at 64GB and 4TB, respectively. (The final is a welcome switch in the 1TB ceiling we all whined about with this past year’s Gen 2 version ) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are regular; LTE portable broadband is discretionary.
The Extreme has precisely the same matte-black-slab styling which has defined ThinkPads eternally. However, components with 4K displays possess a subtle carbon-fiber weave pattern on the lid. Like most ThinkPads, it is passed MIL-STD 810G torture tests from vibration, shock, and environmental issues; there is no flex if you grasp the display corners or press on the keyboard. In 0.74 by 14.2 by 9.7 inches, it is a little milder than the Dell XPS 15 (0.71 by 13.6 by 9.1 inches), although half a pound lighter in 4.0 pounds together with the touch display. The Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED is all about precisely the same size, at 0.78 by 14 by 9.8 inches.
The Dell has just USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 vents (with USB Type-A and HDMI dongles from the box). The Lenovo includes only two USB 3.2 Type-A interfaces (one always on) and an SD card along with Kensington lock slots onto its right side. On the left have been an HDMI jack, two Thunderbolt 3 interfaces, an audio jack, and the connector to your coat-pocket AC adapter.
The display bezels are medium-thin although not vanishingly; therefore, a face-recognition mic and webcam reader provides you two methods to bypass typing passwords with Windows Hello.
Another Terrific ThinkPad Keyboard
You can not find a better notebook computer keyboard compared to those of high-end ThinkPads. The extremes follow the recognizable company design (Home and End keys on the top row, Page Up and Page Down at lower right by the cursor arrows). Even the Fn and Control keys are arguably in one another’s areas in the bottom left. However, if you can not adjust to this, you can swap them using the provided Lenovo Vantage utility, which unites various system configurations with Wi-Fi safety.
Two degrees of computer keyboard backlighting can be found; top-row keys function to set and end calls from Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. The typing texture is silent but eloquent, with company tactile feedback. Pointing-device fans can select between the midsize touchpad and the TrackPoint miniature joystick embedded into the keyboard, together with three mouse buttons found beneath the space bar. Both operate efficiently and correctly.
What is Far Better compared to Extreme’s computer keyboard? Its OLED screen, which unites inky blacks with vibrant colors. Brightness is spacious, with white wallpapers, and the comparison is as extensive as the viewing angles are broad. Excellent information and the advantages of letters are as eloquent as 4K resolution may make them.
The 720p webcam captures vivid and vibrant graphics without sound or static, although they’re quite soft-focus. Bottom-firing speakers create not-too-loud sound, brief on bass but with clear highs and mid-tones; it’s easy to hear overlapping paths. Dolby software enables you to tinker with songs, film, game, voice, lively presets, and an equalizer.
Assessing the X1 Extreme Gen 3: Deadly Stars Reach the Test Bench
The ThinkPad X1 Extreme did not feel as blazingly fast as some Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 7 notebooks I have tried, but quite snappy as it erupts through multitasking and regular programs. (See more about how we test notebooks.)
For our goal benchmarks, I pitted it against the Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch, the Dell XPS 15, along with the Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED. That left one slot machine, which I stuffed with all the Asus ProArt StudioBook 15 to provide the ThinkPad a six-core firm. (The other notebooks have eight-core CPUs.) It’s possible to observe the contenders’ fundamental specs in the table below.
Productivity and Media Tests
PCMark 10 and 8 have been holistic operation suites developed from the PC benchmark experts at UL (previously Futuremark). The PCMark ten evaluation we run simulates distinct real-world growth and content-creation workflows. We use it to evaluate system functionality for office-centric tasks like word processing, spreadsheet function, internet surfing, and videoconferencing. PCMark 8, meanwhile, has a Storage subtest that people utilize to appraise the rate of this machine’s boot drive. The two yields a proprietary numerical score; more significant numbers are better.
3DMark steps comparative graphics muscle by producing sequences of exceptionally detailed, gaming-style 3D images highlighting lighting and particles. We conduct two distinct 3DMark subtests, Sky Diver and Fire Strike. These two are DirectX 11 benchmarks, but Sky Diver is much more suited to notebooks and midsize PCs, while Fire Strike is tougher and allows luxury PCs and gaming heaters to strut their stuff.
Battery Rundown Evaluation
After completely recharging the laptop, put up the device in the power-save manner (rather than balanced or high-performance mode) where available and make a couple of additional battery-conserving tweaks in prep for our unplugged video rundown test. (We also turn off Wi-Fi, putting the notebook into the plane mode.) In this evaluation, we loop a movie –a locally saved 720p record of the Blender Foundation brief film Tears of Steel — with screen brightness set at 50 percent and quantity at 100 percent before the machine stops.
Only Missing the Brass Ring
It is not entirely fair to criticize the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 for failure to be eligible for a gaming rig. Still, it is reasonable to desire a couple more hours of battery life. That is the one thing keeping it out of an Editors’ Choice nod because its screen and keyboard are equally faultless. It weighs significantly less than its XPS 15 rival (which necessitates knobs or dongles for outside monitors or USB-A apparatus ). Nevertheless, the Extreme is an extremely desirable notebook that deserves a look from anyone shopping from the premium creative section.