Review: The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is impressively fast, with the right settings

Zoom in / Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5.

Andrew Cunningham

Specs at a glance: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 (as per review)
Show 16-inch touch screen, 3840 x 2400 (283 ppi)
OS Windows 11 Pro operating system
CPU Intel Core i7-12800H (six P cores, eight E cores)
RAM 16 GB 4800MHz DDR5 (2 DIMM)
GPU Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti (8GB, 100W), Intel Iris Xe
storage 1 TB NVMe SSD
networks Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3
battery 90 hours
ports 2x Thunderbolt 4, 2 x 5Gbps USB-A, SD Card Reader, HDMI 2.1, Headphones
size 13.57 x 9.06 x 0.17 in (344.7 x 230.1 x 18.0 mm)
Weight Starting at 4.14 pounds (1.88 kg)
a guarantee One year
Price as reviewed $3,280 from Lenovo

Our take on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme’s fifth-generation version is — spoiler — pretty much the same as what we said about the fourth-generation version. It runs hot and is pricey, but it’s powerful and arguably a better option than the Dell XPS 15 for people for whom a laptop is their primary computer rather than a side device for a desktop workstation or gaming PC, thanks to an expanded port selection and more GPU options. power .

It also changes less than usual for a year-round laptop update, adding Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs, but sticking to the same Nvidia’s RTX 3000 GPUs and similar memory and storage configurations. We’ll point you back to last year’s review for extensive feedback on the keyboard, ports, and general look and feel, which haven’t changed much year over year. It uses Lenovo’s typical ergonomic laptop keyboard plus a pointing pad and trackpad, all of which are among the best you can get in a laptop from Lenovo, Dell, Apple, or any other company.

The X1 Extreme is reasonably easy to upgrade and repair compared to other thinner and lighter laptops, with two easily accessible DDR5 RAM slots and a pair of M.2 SSD slots. In our review sample, one had a 1TB SSD hard drive, and the other was open to upgrades. Lenovo still publishes the Hardware Maintenance Guide (PDF) to help people perform these upgrades, repairs, and more.

We got a different screen and GPU version than the one we got last year, which gives us a better idea of ​​how the high-end configurations will perform but less of a sense for battery life changes over the course of a year or otherwise. Improvements (the transition from 11th to 12th Gen Intel processors was generally bad for battery life, although laptops like the ThinkPad using H-series chips managed to equalize or improve slightly).

One noteworthy change compared to last year’s X1 Extreme: Lenovo offers different configuration options for its 16-inch screen. There’s a new 1920 x 1200 screen on the base model, down from the 2560 x 1600 screen that was the low-end option for the last generation. If you’re using a 2560 x 1600 screen, you’ll get a noticeable refresh rate upgrade, from the typical 60Hz all the way up to 165Hz. You should generally stick to 60Hz most of the time for the sake of battery life, but higher refresh rates can make animations and scrolling look smoother and make games more fluid and responsive — worth a look if you think you’ll be playing games on the X1 Extreme regularly.

There's no OLED screen option, but the 4K IPS screen offered by Lenovo has a nice, bright look.
Zoom in / There’s no OLED screen option, but the 4K IPS screen offered by Lenovo has a nice, bright look.

Andrew Cunningham

The high-end options are 4K IPS screens, one with touch and one without (unlike the XPS 15, there’s no OLED option). We tested the high-resolution 3840 x 2400 IPS touchscreen; The panel is bright and sharp, with a respectable 1,397:1 contrast ratio and a peak brightness of 557 nits (as measured by our colorimeter). But its color gamut coverage is somewhat disappointing for something this cost, with 98.3 percent coverage of the sRGB color gamut (which is good) and 85.1 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut (which is a bit low). Apple’s MacBook Pro and Dell’s OLED display for the XPS 15 cover every DCI-P3 range, and while it’s not a must-have feature for everyone, Lenovo doesn’t quite measure up to the competition here.

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