Living with a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3

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Excellent performance with different images in a slim but still manageable bundle creates the ThinkPad X1 Extreme stand outside.

Most corporate PC users do not worry about their machines that far –they operate office productivity software, surf sites, access databases, and do video conferencing–matters that pretty much any modern notebook will do without even breaking a sweat. Some men and women demand extra image power for programs like video or photo editing, 3D modeling, material production, or architectural or engineering drawings. Others want to have more energy for complex mathematical models. Usually, the reply of IT is to find these individuals’ workstations with the newest graphics. But in this age of prevalent distant working, the concept of a mobile workstation is making sense for more employees.

Within this marketplace measures the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Generation 3, which delivers a high powered Intel Core “H” (45 watts) chip, Nvidia Q-Max images, plus a 15.6-inch screen in a comparatively thin and light laptop that weighs only four pounds, yet still gets the enterprise management attributes that corporate IT departments need.

This is not a new thought. All three of those large US enterprise vendors have provided “cellular workstations” for a particular time, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad P15 series, HP’s Zbook series, and Zbook Firefly 15, along with the Dell Precision 5550. (Here is PCMag’s look in the market.) The ThinkPad X1 Extreme intends to be a little more portable, more designed for executives, even with great functionality. There are many other 15-inch enterprise laptops, including Lenovo’s ThinkPad T590 along with the Dell Latitude 9510, and indeed plenty of 15.6-inch laptops with as great or better images directed at the customer or gambling markets.

If you look at the X1 Extreme, it merely looks like a big brother to the ThinkPad laptops that many corporate customers are knowledgeable about, wearing the same black matte materials. Measuring 0.74 from 14.2 by 9.7 inches, it’s smaller than most portable workstations though more extensive than the tiniest 15-inch laptops such as the Dell Latitude 9510 (in 0.55 by 13.4 8.5 inches). That is due to the 15.6-inch screen, but in part, it is because the bezels around the ThinkPad are rather significant. The unit that I tested, which comprised an OLED screen and touch screen, weighed against 4.0 lbs. The non-touch version begins at 3.75 kg, and the added 135-watt power adapter and cable are more significant than the adapters for your smaller notebooks. Nonetheless, it’s little enough which you could take in most notebook bags.

Performance is a significant reason you would think about the X1 Extreme. The unit I tested had an Intel Core i7-10850H Comet Lake chip, which will be a 45-watt chip (instead of the 15-watt U-series chips commonly utilized in lightweight notebooks ), together with 6 cores and 12 threads, also a foundation rate of 2.7GHz and a maximum aperture of 5.1GHz, made on Intel’s 14nm procedure, together with 32GB of RAM plus a 1TB SSD. For images, it has an Nvidia GTX1650 TI using Max-Q, a lighter and thinner version of their popular images.

As you would expect, it is much faster than a typical enterprise notebook on many benchmarks and does exceptionally well on image tests. In real-world use, graphics programs like the Adobe Creative Suite functioned well, especially snappier in much more elaborate operations than machines using chips with integrated images. The 45-watt chip frees 15-watt ones on complicated real-world benchmarks. A MatLab version required just under 52 minutes to the HP EliteBook Pro 1040 G7 and 63 minutes to the 8th Generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon finished in under 37 minutes X1 Extreme, a considerable improvement. A complicated Excel version took 44 minutes to finish, the best I have seen on a notebook, although not that far better than EliteBook Pro 1040s 48 minutes. It is not a gaming notebook, but I was generally delighted with the functionality given the burden.
Battery life was somewhat disappointing. Having an 80-watt-hour battery, I just got just over 6 hours of PC Mark 10’s Modern Office test.

I utilized a unit using a 15.6-inch OLED screen with UHD (3840 by 2160) resolution with 400 nits of brightness and a touchscreen. It only looked great. Alternatives include an IPS UHD screen at 600 nits and standard FHD (1920 by 1080) screens at 300 nits or even 500 nits. You’d probably get a much better battery life using an FHD screen.

Other attributes are pretty much exactly what you would expect from a recent ThinkPad. This unit’s remaining side involves a charging interface like the ones that milder ThinkPads used to work with before shifting to USB-C; the X1 Extreme doesn’t encourage USB-C charging. It’s two USB-C/Thunderbolt three interfaces and an HDMI connector. The ideal side includes two conventional USB-A ports, which will always be on, along with a 4-in-1 SD card reader. As you’d expect, it comprises Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 support.

For video conferencing, it’s a 720p webcam, using a physical camera. I discovered the camera to be roughly the same as people around the ThinkPad X1, and that’s to state decent but not outstanding. It’s three speakers, and the sound quality was likewise lovely but not a standout.

The keyboard is also recognizable to ThinkPad users, using a red TrackPoint pointing stick in the middle and a touchpad with physical buttons beneath the keyboard. I thought the computer was rather good, with perhaps somewhat more traveling than on the recent ThinkPad X1 Carbon. This is a computer keyboard I could use for quite a while.

On the flip side, the trackpad, although perfectly decent, is smaller compared to several competitions. The keyboard has lots of dedicated keys for unified communications, permitting you to answer or hang up a call with the touch of a button. It’s a fingerprint reader into the right of the keyboard, also may encourage Windows Hello through the webcam, but doesn’t have the presence knowledge characteristics of some competitions.

The ThinkPad X1 Intense starts at $1,479 using a six-core Intel Core i7-10750H chip, 8GB of memory, a 256GB solid-state driveway, along with a 1080p 300-nit IPS display. The version I’ve tested using the faster processor, UHD OLED signature screen, 32GB, and 1TB SSD lists at $2,913.

Of course, a system such as the ThinkPad X1 Extreme isn’t for everybody; many folks would prefer a more compact notebook and do not require the additional performance. But should you run complicated models or complex graphics and want a thin and light laptop – and love that it might have the ideal monitor along with the best keyboard I have seen in a notebook this season – this is a persuasive machine.

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