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

Specs at a glance: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 (as reviewed)
Pin it up 16-inch 3840×2400 (283 PPI) IPS touchscreen
SE Windows 11 Pro
CPU Intel Core i7-12800H (six P-cores, eight E-cores)
RAM 16 GB of DDR5 memory at 4800 MHz (2 DIMMs)
GPUs Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti (8GB, 100W), Intel Iris Xe
Storage 1TB NVMe SSD
Networking Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3
Drums 90Wh
Ports 2x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB-A 5Gbps, SD card reader, HDMI 2.1, headphones
cut off 13.57 × 9.06 × 0.17 inches (344.7 × 230.1 × 18.0 mm)
Weight Starting at 4.14 lbs (1.88 kg)
guarantee 1 year
Price as reviewed $3,280 from Lenovo

Our take on the fifth-gen version of Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme is – spoiler – pretty much the same as what we said about the fourth-gen version. It’s hot and expensive, but it’s powerful and it’s probably a better choice than Dell’s XPS 15 for people whose laptop is their main computer rather than a sidecar for an office workstation or a gaming PC , thanks to an expanded port selection and better GPU options. .

It also changes less than usual for a year-over-year laptop refresh, adding Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake processors, but keeping the same RTX 3000-series GPUs. from Nvidia and similar memory and storage configurations. We’ll refer you to last year’s review for detailed comments on the keyboard, ports, and overall appearance, which hasn’t changed much from year to year. It uses a typical comfortable Lenovo laptop keyboard as well as a pointing stick and touchpad, all of which are among the best you can get on a laptop from Lenovo, Dell, Apple or any other company.

The X1 Extreme is relatively easy to upgrade and repair compared to thinner and lighter laptops, with easily accessible DDR5 RAM slots and a pair of M.2 SSD slots. In our review model, one contained a 1TB SSD and the other was open for upgrades. Lenovo always releases a Hardware Maintenance Manual (PDF) to help people perform these and other upgrades and repairs.

We’re given a version with a different screen and GPU than what we got last year, giving us a better idea of ​​how high-end setups will perform but less of an idea of ​​year-over-year changes battery life or other improvements (the move from 11th to 12th gen Intel processors is bad for battery life in general, although laptops like ThinkPads that use H- series chips were able to be damaged or slightly improved).

One notable change from last year’s X1 Extreme: Lenovo offers a variety of configuration options for its 16-inch screen. There’s a new 1920×1200 display on the base model, down from the 2560×1600 display that was the low-end option last generation. If you opt for the 2560×1600 display, however, you get a big refresh rate upgrade, from the standard 60Hz to 165Hz. In general, you should stick to 60Hz most of the time for battery life, but higher refresh rates can make animations and scrolling smoother and games more fluid. and responsive. games on X1 Extreme regularly.

The high-end options are 4K IPS displays, one with touch and one without (unlike the XPS 15, no OLED option is available). We tested the top-end 3840×2400 IPS touchscreen; the panel is bright and crisp, with a respectable contrast ratio of 1,397:1 and a peak brightness of 557 nits (measured by our colorimeter). But its color gamut coverage is a bit disappointing for something so expensive, with 98.3% sRGB gamut coverage (which is good) and 85.1% DCI-P3 coverage (which is pretty poor). Apple’s MacBook Pros and Dell’s OLED display for the XPS 15 cover the full DCI-P3 range, and while it shouldn’t be a feature for everyone, Lenovo falls short of its competitors here.

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