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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Andrei Girbea Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme review (Core i7-8850H, GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, UHD screen)

14 Comments

  1. Thrandine

    October 19, 2018 at 9:54 am

    I'm curious whether the X1E is really more durable than XPS 15 9570. After all, they're made of same materials – carbon fiber plastic and aluminum alloy, and the Extreme surely is the most consumer-oriented out of all the current Thinkpad X,T,P lineup. You've handled both laptops, what is your take on this?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 19, 2018 at 10:47 am

      Hard to say. Both are very well made, but the XPS actually feels a little bit more solid imo, as the outside is made from fairly thick sheets of metal and the interior barely bulges, while the keyboard deck of the X1E flexes a bit when pressed. Still, i don't think durability should be a concern or a decisive factor with any of these.

  2. Archuk

    October 25, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Would you pick it over XPS 15? There seem to be some quality control issues being reported with XPS?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 25, 2018 at 10:39 am

      It depends on the price, but the XPS is much cheaper in most regions, and as long as you're OK with its shortcomings, still a very competitive option. I'd also consider the ThinkPad P1 as a more affordable alternative.

      • Archuk

        October 25, 2018 at 12:25 pm

        Well, the prices I've seen are actually same for XPS and X1, while P1 is pricier… might be because of the preconfigured versions of P1 often sell them with Xeon CPUS (which, let's admit it are pretty useless for 99% of people). So, assuming that the prices are about the same (from what I've seen preconfigured XPS/X1 extreme 15 9570 32GB Ram + 1TB SSD with i7 8750/8850 cost about the same). So, if the price is the same – would you say that x1 extreme is better choice? What concerns me a bit is the battery life…

        Also, how does undervoloting affect the battery life in your case?

        • Andrei Girbea

          October 25, 2018 at 12:36 pm

          I'd get the X1 in that case. Yes, battery life is shorter. I haven't tested battery life on the undervolted profile, but it shouldn't have much impact in daily use, when the CPU already runs at pretty low frequencies and thus, Wattage.

          Performance is a little better though, the keyboard/touchpad nicer and the screen about on par (i'd reckon you're going to opt for the UHD panel?). The XPS gets louder speakers, but the ones on the X1 aren't as bad as on other Thinkpads.

  3. Batusi

    November 2, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    How would the X1 compare with the larger 15' workstations like the Lenovo P52 and Dell 7530 (same specs) in terms of CPU performance, throttling, cooling given you undervolt all, for heavy use? If not directly, from prior experience (i.e. Dell 9560 vs 7520). From this review as well as from Notebookcheck, it seems the Lenovo X1 and Dell 9570 perform better than their respective larger siblings – no?

    We know that larger SSDs are faster, but if you only use it for WIN 10 and programs, would opting for a 512GB drive over a smaller 256GB drive (on my PC, I have 100GB used, 138GB free) produce any tangible speed differences in performance?

    One more question, does the 8850h make a real difference over the 8750h on laptops like the X1 Extreme and 9570?

    Thanks for the detailed review!

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 2, 2018 at 6:48 pm

      I've never reviewed the P52 or the 7530 and can't comment on those. Theoretically the larger the laptop, the more space for the cooling and thus the better the performance.

      Notebookcheck's review of the P52 shows a little better performance in Cinebench out of the box, compared to the 9570, so with both undervolted, I'd expect slightly higher frequencies for the P52 in continuous demanding loads. They're within 5% of each other from what I can tell, but I'd reckon the P52 should run at lower temperatures, so yes, there's some benefit from choosing the larger laptop, but unless you'll mostly keep the device in one place, I don't think it compensates for the loss in portability.

      As for the other questions, a 512 Gb SSD should be perfectly fine for everyday use, and I'd even reckon a 256 GB drive should be enough. Yes, the 256 GB version is slower, but unless you're transferring a lot of content everyday, the difference in response times should be marginal. I'd go with the 512 GB SSD if possible, that's pretty much the sweet spot imo.

      As for the 8850h vs 8750h, I'd stick with the latter in such computers, simply because the 8850H is significantly more expensive and cannot run at its maximum Turbos in 100% loads (see the Cinebench test). Yuo might see some marginal performance benefits from the 8850H in demanding loads that won't put a 100% load on the CPU, but imo that's not significant enough to be worth the premium.

  4. Suburbazine

    November 3, 2018 at 11:00 am

    I've found USB-C charging to function with Apple adapters and cables. Also tossed together some stats for it:

    You're welcome to use any of it as you wish.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/comments/9tdtrb/x1e_really_does_support_that/e8xzi2n

  5. limo

    November 6, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Looks like a clone of Macbook Pro 2007/2008 layout :) Regarding LCD panel it is clear that companies like Lenovo cut the cost accepting LCD panels with high tolerance. This is unnaceptable for a professional machine for photo / video editing at this price. Regarding P1 model difference is no HDR support but Xeon, Quadro and ECC DRAM support. Theoretically P1 should support 10-bit color depth on GPU side (Quadro) and possibly LCD panel so this is real advantage over X1E. Unfortunately there is no review that go into details on this.

  6. Rachel Sweeney

    November 9, 2018 at 6:23 am

    It just tickles me that they still put that little red rubber mouse control thingy on ThinkPads. Takes me back to the first time I used a ThinkPad in my high school biology class – I remember actually using the red thing because the touch pads were so iffy.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 9, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      It's part of their branding. All ThinkPads still get the knob.

  7. David

    November 11, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Sorry, being autistic this is too long to read online. Is it pen compatible and does the screen flip around for use as a tablet/convertible?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 12, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      Yes, certain pens are compatible, but the screen doesn't flip to 360 degrees. You can look at the smaller ThinkPad X1 Yoga if a convertible screen is what you want.

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