Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 3 Evaluate

They do not have cell workstations’ impartial instrument dealer (ISV) certifications for specialised computer-aided design, rendering, and clinical apps, however elite techniques for virtual content material creators are a few of our favourite laptops. The Dell XPS 15 and the Apple MacBook Professional 16-Inch are almost definitely the best-known, however everybody from Acer and Asus to Gigabyte, Razer, and MSI competes on this house—as does Lenovo, which has simply unveiled a 3rd era of its 15.6-inch ThinkPad X1 Excessive (begins at $1,479; $2,913 as examined). The brand new Excessive combines chic design and stable functionality with alluring options led by means of a lovely OLED show. Its battery lifestyles is just a little disappointing and it cannot double as a gamer as some competition can, however it is a firstclass ingenious and productiveness spouse. 

4 Monitors, Six or 8 Cores 

The $1,479 base type has a six-core Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 8GB of reminiscence, a 256GB solid-state power, and a 1080p IPS display rated at 300 nits of brightness. There are 3 higher show choices: 500-nit complete HD, 600-nit 4K (3,840-by-2,160-pixel) IPS with Dolby Imaginative and prescient, and my check unit’s 400-nit 4K contact display with OLED generation and Dolby Imaginative and prescient True Black. All X1 Excessive fashions include a 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU, which slots in slightly under the XPS 15’s unthrottled GeForce GTX 1650 Ti and neatly underneath some competitors’ GeForce RTX silicon.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 rear view

But even so the OLED panel, my $2,913 overview unit boasted a six-core, 2.7GHz (5.1GHz turbo) Core i7-10850H chip, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB NVMe SSD. The highest CPU selection is an eight-core Core i9-10885H; reminiscence and garage max out at 64GB and 4TB respectively. (The closing is a welcome trade from the 1TB ceiling we complained about with closing yr’s Gen 2 type.) Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth are same old; LTE cell broadband is non-compulsory. 

The Excessive has the similar matte-black-slab styling that has outlined ThinkPads perpetually, even though devices with 4K monitors have a delicate carbon-fiber weave development at the lid. Like any ThinkPads, it is handed MIL-STD 810G torture checks in opposition to surprise, vibration, and environmental extremes; there is not any flex for those who clutch the display corners or press the keyboard deck. At 0.74 by means of 14.2 by means of 9.7 inches, it’s kind of bulkier than the Dell XPS 15 (0.71 by means of 13.6 by means of 9.1 inches), even though part a pound lighter at 4.0 kilos with the contact display. The Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED is set the similar measurement, at 0.78 by means of 14 by means of 9.8 inches.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 left angle

The place the Dell has solely USB Sort-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports (with USB Sort-A and HDMI dongles within the field), the Lenovo has two USB 3.2 Sort-A ports (one all the time on) together with SD card and Kensington lock slots on its proper aspect. At the left are an HDMI port, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an audio jack, and the connector for the coat-pocket AC adapter.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 right ports

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 left ports

The display bezels are medium-thin however now not vanishingly so; a face-recognition webcam and fingerprint reader come up with two tactics to skip typing passwords with Home windows Hi.

Every other Terrific ThinkPad Keyboard

You merely cannot discover a higher pc keyboard than the ones of top of the range ThinkPads. The Excessive’s follows the acquainted corporate structure (House and Finish keys at the peak row, Web page Up and Web page Down at decrease proper by means of the cursor arrows). The Fn and Keep watch over keys are arguably in each and every different’s puts at backside left, but when you’ll be able to’t regulate to that, you’ll be able to change them with the provided Lenovo Vantage software, which mixes diverse gadget settings with Wi-Fi safety.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 keyboard

Two ranges of keyboard backlighting are to be had; top-row keys serve to put and finish calls in Microsoft Groups and Skype for Industry. The typing really feel is quiet however snappy, with company tactile comments. Pointing-device enthusiasts can choose from the midsize touchpad and the TrackPoint mini joystick embedded within the keyboard, with 3 mouse buttons situated underneath the gap bar. Each paintings easily and correctly.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 touchpad

What is higher than the Excessive’s keyboard? Its OLED show, which mixes inky blacks with colourful colours. Brightness is abundant, with snowy white backgrounds, and the distinction is as excessive because the viewing angles are large. Ins and outs and the sides of letters are as sharp as 4K answer can lead them to. 

The 720p webcam captures brilliant and colourful photographs with out noise or static, even though they are moderately soft-focus. Backside-firing audio system produce not-too-loud sound, quick on bass however with transparent highs and midtones; it is simple to listen to overlapping tracks. Dolby instrument means that you can tinker with song, film, recreation, voice, and dynamic presets and an equalizer.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 front view

Checking out the X1 Excessive Gen 3: Inventive Stars Hit the Check Bench 

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive did not really feel as blazingly rapid as some Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 7 laptops I have attempted, however very snappy because it sped thru multitasking and on a regular basis apps. (See extra about how we check laptops.) 

For our function benchmarks, I pitted it in opposition to the Apple MacBook Professional 16-Inch, the Dell XPS 15, and the Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED. That left one slot, which I stuffed with the Asus ProArt StudioBook 15 to offer the ThinkPad some six-core corporate. (The opposite laptops have eight-core CPUs.) You’ll see the contenders’ elementary specifications within the desk underneath. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Config Chart)

Productiveness and Media Checks 

PCMark 10 and eight are holistic functionality suites advanced by means of the PC benchmark experts at UL (previously Futuremark). The PCMark 10 check we run simulates other real-world productiveness and content-creation workflows. We use it to evaluate general gadget functionality for office-centric duties reminiscent of phrase processing, spreadsheet paintings, internet surfing, and videoconferencing. PCMark 8, in the meantime, has a garage subtest that we use to evaluate the rate of the gadget’s boot power. Each yield a proprietary numeric ranking; upper numbers are higher.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (PCMark)


The Excessive simply hurdled the 4,000-point mark that we imagine very good productiveness in PCMark 10, and all 4 Home windows laptops’ PCI Specific solid-state drives sailed thru PCMark 8’s garage size. (The MacBook Professional, naturally, skipped our Home windows-only benchmarks.) 

Subsequent is Maxon’s CPU-crunching Cinebench R15 check, which is totally threaded to use all to be had processor cores and threads. Cinebench stresses the CPU moderately than the GPU to render a fancy picture. The result’s a proprietary ranking indicating a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Cinebench)

Cinebench is ceaselessly a excellent predictor of our Handbrake video enhancing benchmark, by which we put a stopwatch on techniques as they transcode a temporary film from 4K answer right down to 1080p. It, too, is a difficult check for multi-core, multi-threaded CPUs; decrease occasions are higher. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Handbrake)

The six-core processors saved unusually on the subject of their eight-core opposite numbers in Cinebench, even though uncooked continual received out in Handbrake. 

We additionally run a customized Adobe Photoshop image-editing benchmark. The usage of an early 2018 unlock of the Inventive Cloud model of Photoshop, we practice a chain of 10 complicated filters and results to a regular JPEG check picture. We time each and every operation and upload up the whole (decrease occasions are higher). The Photoshop check stresses the CPU, garage subsystem, and RAM, however it might probably additionally benefit from maximum GPUs to hurry up the method of making use of filters. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Photoshop)

The Lenovo’s display makes it a super platform for picture enhancing, but it surely disappointingly trailed the sphere on this workout, taking a couple of further seconds to finish each and every operation. 

Graphics Checks 

3DMark measures relative graphics muscle by means of rendering sequences of extremely detailed, gaming-style 3-D graphics that emphasize debris and lighting fixtures. We run two other 3DMark subtests, Sky Diver and Hearth Strike. Each are DirectX 11 benchmarks, however Sky Diver is extra suited for laptops and midrange PCs, whilst Hearth Strike is extra hard and shall we high-end PCs and gaming rigs strut their stuff. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (3DMark)

The Asus’ and Gigabyte’s GeForce RTX silicon set the tempo on this gaming simulation, with the ThinkPad’s Max-Q GPU mentioning the rear within the difficult Hearth Strike check. 

Subsequent up is some other artificial graphics check, this time from Unigine Corp. Like 3DMark, the Superposition check renders and pans thru an in depth 3-D scene, this one rendered within the eponymous Unigine engine for a 2nd opinion at the system’s graphical prowess.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Superposition)

The Dell balked at this check, leaving the Lenovo puttering within the wake of the Aero 15 and StudioBook 15. The Excessive can maintain some gentle or informal gaming, however critical avid gamers don’t need to practice. 

Battery Rundown Check 

After totally recharging the pc, we arrange the system in power-save mode (versus balanced or high-performance mode) the place to be had and make a couple of different battery-conserving tweaks in preparation for our unplugged video rundown check. (We additionally flip Wi-Fi off, hanging the pc into aircraft mode.) On this check, we loop a video—a in the community saved 720p report of the Blender Basis quick movie Tears of Metal(Opens in a brand new window)—with display brightness set at 50 % and quantity at 100% till the gadget quits. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Battery Test)

Falling simply in need of an eight-hour workday (and about 55 mins in need of the opposite 4K OLED display on this contest, the Gigabyte), the ThinkPad’s stamina is not unhealthy however is not up to we adore to peer from a desktop substitute. The Dell and Apple did significantly better.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 fingerprint reader

Simply Lacking the Brass Ring 

It isn’t in point of fact truthful to criticize the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 3 for failure to qualify as a gaming rig, however it is truthful to hope for a couple of extra hours of battery lifestyles—certainly, that is the solely factor protecting it from an Editors’ Selection nod, since its show and keyboard are each faultless and it weighs not up to its XPS 15 rival (which calls for adapters or dongles for exterior screens or USB-A units). Even so, the Excessive is a extremely fascinating pc that merits a glance from someone buying groceries within the top rate ingenious section.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 3


  • Gorgeous 4K OLED contact display

  • Global-class keyboard

  • HDMI and USB Sort-A ports, in addition to Thunderbolt 3

The Backside Line

The standard you are expecting from the ThinkPad emblem and a blinding 4K OLED show make Lenovo’s newest ThinkPad X1 Excessive a worthy contender amongst deluxe ingenious laptops.

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