Real notebook reviews and analysis by real people
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 Lenovo Lenovo's X1 Extreme Gen 2 is a meaningful upgrade over the Gen 1 due to its GPU and many minor improvements. With excellent build quality, upgradability, and looks, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more compelling overall package in the ultraportable professional notebook space. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 Lenovo's X1 Extreme Gen 2 is a meaningful upgrade over the Gen 1 due to its GPU and many minor improvements. With excellent build quality, upgradability, and looks, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more compelling overall package in the ultraportable professional notebook space. Douglas Black 4.5 5 Douglas Black 4.5 5

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 Review (i7-9750H, Nvidia GTX 1650, 500-nit FHD screen)


  1. steve burridge

    August 26, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    Hi. I'd like to know how the oled screen is with the X1 gen 2

    • Douglas Black

      August 26, 2019 at 8:22 pm

      That's a good question, but I doubt I will have access to the OLED model at least for some time. I suspect it's going to be the same Samsung panel found in most laptops, such as the XPS 15, however. You can check out my review of that laptop here or in the news article on notebookcheck for my thoughts on it.

    • James

      August 26, 2019 at 10:13 pm

      Does the carbon fibre weave on the 4K options scratch as easily as on the X1 Carbon

  2. Mike

    August 27, 2019 at 5:08 am

    Any improvement in the speakers?

    • Douglas Black

      August 27, 2019 at 5:35 am

      Good question. Will give a good listen today

      • alex

        August 27, 2019 at 7:55 pm

        Any thoughts on audio?

        • Douglas Black

          August 28, 2019 at 7:20 pm

          Hi alex,

          please see updated notes at the bottom! seems like they switched from realtek to synaptics

    • Douglas Black

      August 28, 2019 at 7:19 pm

      Hi mike,

      I've updated the article with a few notes. The speakers are actually worse sounding than before (subjectively). They are now synaptics instead of realtek.

      • Hans Intakt

        September 1, 2019 at 11:46 am

        a bit off topic: but can one exchange the speakers for better ones? is that something to do?

        • Douglas Black

          September 1, 2019 at 11:48 am

          In theory, you should be able to do that as long as they are a similar wattage and they can physically be secured/connected. I've heard of people doing that with X220/x230's and iPad speakers.

  3. Ken

    August 27, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    How is the thermal throttling and management compare to previous generation? I do lots of 4k video editing.

    • Pooya

      August 30, 2019 at 1:20 am

      Hi! I've ordered the P1 Gen2 (haven't recieved it yet) and I'm kind of worried about the T2000 termals since it is not Max-Q. I would also like to know more about the CPU termals and if it trottles since I got the 9750h. May I ask why you didn't go with the P1 again and ordered the X1E?
      Thanks a lot!

  4. DD

    August 29, 2019 at 2:03 am

    Lots of P1 reviews complained about temperature management and how it causes cpu to throttle down. Do you still see this to be an issue?

    Many (in comments to your P1 review) talked about doing repaste, under-volting, etc. A power/techie user may find this fun, but this is scary for a user of a multimedia laptop. Is this necessary?

    Also there were issues with fan noise and coil whining. Do you still see this?

    Battery life on P1 was not good. Do you see that improving?

    • Douglas Black

      August 29, 2019 at 5:55 am

      Temperatures seem better with the i7/1650. I have only done around 15 minutes of gaming (lack of time) but the GPU and CPU were both between 65-69C. I did repaste and undervolt, however. When I have time I will remove UV and run CB loops.

      Battery life (I have FHD) seems marginally better. 7-8 hours, maybe? will take it for a spin today.

      • DD

        August 29, 2019 at 6:50 am

        Thanks! My use case will be mostly engineering|scientific work: large excel files, Tabeleau data exploration/visualization, GIS vidualization, "may be" some 3D exploration (for2D GIS integrated Intel graphics suffices), engineering models and simulations (not real-time), statistical analysic, economic models, data science/analytics, etc. Lot of interactive work rather than sustained stress on cpu/gpu.

        For my use case which does not include 3D games, processing audio/video files, or sustained cpu stressing workload would I encounter any of the termal/fan-noise/coil whining/cpu throttling type problems?

        It seems P53s may suffice though it has relatively entry level GPU (P520). P53s cpu's are 15W and don't seem to have any of the thermal issues.

        But I am feeling tempted by X1 Extreme. The price point of a P53s (16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) is quite close to X1 Extreme (8GB RAM, 256 SSD).

        However, changing BIOS, repaste, under-volting is beyond my comfort level. Given my use case, is it OK for me to yield to my temptations or better be wise and stay with P53s/T590? (Price point is too close to be a rational discriminator).

        Thanks much!

        • Douglas Black

          August 29, 2019 at 8:09 am

          I don't think you will have much issues with fan noise of CPU throttling, especially with an undervolt. I would get the X1 Extreme over the P53 now that the P53 has no external battery. I got my X1 E for just 1500 USD or so with a perk code I got off r/thinkpads. You might check that out, because you can get a pretty damn good deal from it!

          • K

            August 29, 2019 at 5:15 pm

            I'm from Hong Kong too – curious about how you went about with your purchase. Did you order it off the US website and have it shipped here or did you buy it from the Lenovo HK store? Thanks!

          • Douglas Black

            August 29, 2019 at 5:30 pm

            Had it shipped by family in the States. Last year I bought my p1 from HID evolution for 3000+ usd. This time I used perks and bought from Lenovo and saved myself 1600 usd.!

          • DD

            August 29, 2019 at 8:02 pm

            Thanks again!!

            Given my use case (and anything even 8th gen would be a vast improvement)

            (i) would 9th gen i5-9300H be a better choice so far as temp/fan/throttling is concerned? (i7-9750H is 41% better on PassMark score, and i5-9300H is already 2X over my current but struggling 6th gen cpu). Additional $ for i7 is not an issue .. it is more why take a headache is not needed.

            (ii) For a personal/home/student .. does Win10Pro makes sense? I doubt I will spin-up Hyper-V. Dockers/Containers … no sure, a lot of complex application builds sometimes come packaged as dockers install … seems docker does need hardware virtualization turned on, so answer would be yes.

          • LHPSU

            August 30, 2019 at 3:02 pm

            If you're in HK, find a friend who works at a university and see if the academic discount program is still running.

          • Douglas Black

            August 30, 2019 at 3:05 pm

            Haha I am a full-time lecturer at HKUST! The discount programme is decent but it's usually for a limited # of models and it only runs for a few months of the year IIRC. Prices in HK are probably 2x what they are in the US, as well.

          • LHPSU

            August 30, 2019 at 3:39 pm

            Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen 2 from HKUSU Notebook Ownership programme: $12,999
            (i7-9750H, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, FHD screen)

            The same notebook with the same specs is $16,900 from Lenovo's HK site. The US site is running a sale which brings the price down to $1758 USD (without the sale the listed price is $2930), which is about $13,700 HKD.

            It's the start of the school year so the promotions should be running.

  5. WS

    August 29, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    Ear to keyboard do you hear any coil whine or other electrical noise? My Gen 1 X1E had bad coil whine

    • Douglas Black

      August 29, 2019 at 11:26 pm

      I could not hear any, but I do not live in a silent environment (hong kong) and I don't think I'm sensitive to coil whine. I should have fairly good ears, though…

      • WS

        August 29, 2019 at 11:57 pm

        Great thanks. I was so disappointed with the Gen 1 coil whine but Lenovo was great and accepted a return and refund and then I purchased an X1 Gen 2 and am waiting for it to arrive. After disappointment of the coil whine I did some research I noted that across similar competing laptops, from Thinkpad to Dell to HP, major coil whine problems like mine seemed to be far, far more prevalent in laptops with the i7-8750 and GTX 1050 combination. Perhaps there was something about that combination that increased the probability of problems. So I'm very hopeful the new combination of the 9750 and 1650 deliver a better result.

  6. J

    August 29, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Do you have an opinion on which one is a better value now? I'm assuming Gen 1 will be much cheaper…I also thought Gen 2 would have 8core option, but since it doesn't, might not be worth it.

    • Douglas Black

      August 29, 2019 at 11:24 pm

      Lenovo always has these weird deals going on so it's hard to compare prices. I would go with the Gen 2 over the Gen 1 unless you're able to get the Gen 1 at a relative bargain.

  7. Mike

    August 31, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks for the updated impressions! Would you be open to posting a video guide on how to repaste the X1E

    • Douglas Black

      August 31, 2019 at 11:27 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Is there anything is particular you are concerned about with repasting the x1e? I ask because I'm sure there are lots of repaste videos online already better than I could make. The only thing the x1e requires out of the ordinary is unplugging the fan cables and getting the wiring back in place.

      Unfortunately I don't have the equipment or time at the moment to make a good video of that, though

  8. Arak

    September 1, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Could you try booting from a Kubuntu live usb stick and check how well suspend / resume works?
    (Just need to boot into Kubuntu, not install it (

    Also, does the fan go continuously full speed, which was a common bug with some older X1 Extreme models, related ot their BIOS?

    Thank you!

  9. Hans Intakt

    September 3, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    my X1 arrived today. In normal settings and no reduction of brightness, the battery life is given by 2+ hours with regular FHD display and th battery % is pretty much decreasing before my eyes. Is that normal?

    My Samsung Series 7 did about 4-5 hours!

    • Hans Intakt

      September 3, 2019 at 6:46 pm

      sry! it readjusted after some time, so: given maximal brightness, it says now: 5:51h. That's what I expected. greetings!

      • Douglas Black

        September 4, 2019 at 2:54 am

        Yeah, it will always be a bit finicky with life on a new machine that's downloading updates and running background tasks! I'm getting around 8 hours with an undervolt.

    • abgersaurus

      September 4, 2019 at 8:14 pm

      you have to keep using it for a while and do some battery cycles 0-100% I had 2-3 hours when I got it, now I have 8-15 hours! :O

  10. Thomas

    September 4, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Thanks for the insight! I would love to know how this generation is doing in terms of DPC latency (with NVIDIA graphics on and off). Would you mind taking a look at that?

    • F. Frank

      September 18, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Yes please do some DPC latency test with this tool:

      • Douglas Black

        September 18, 2019 at 10:37 am

        Will try and do ASAP! Sorry I've been very busy with life stuff the past few weeks and haven't been able to update this article much.

        • F. Frank

          September 18, 2019 at 7:46 pm

          Thanks for the response.
          Looking forward to the result.

          • Tolga

            September 20, 2019 at 10:20 pm

            Yes, that’d be great. Your reviews and insight has been very helpful. Dpc latency the last of the checklist for me as well.

        • F. Frank

          September 30, 2019 at 10:30 am

          Thanks for the update…hm… I work with lenovo for DAW use over 12 years now…never a problem.

          I think I will try myself and hope there is room for optimisation.

          F. Frank

  11. Jorge

    September 10, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Have you had a chance to compare the X1E Gen 2 to the XPS 15 New? I'd think the build quality on the X1E would be superior to the XPS, but the price point of the XPS seems to be significantly cheaper for similarly spec'ed builds

    • Douglas Black

      September 10, 2019 at 1:50 pm

      The build quality is better on the X1E Gen 2, mainly in the display QC, keyboard, and touchpad. The XPS 15 feels more solid, but the keyboard is just low quality.

  12. Marcos

    September 14, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Douglas. What can you say about the battery life so far? Have you ever reached more tan 8/10 hours? And also, what about portability. Is it heavy to carry around or the weight is fine for an 15.6 inch laptop?
    Thank you.

    • Douglas Black

      September 14, 2019 at 7:18 pm

      Yup, been hitting 8 hours reliably! For a 15.6 inch laptop, it's the lightest Hexacore out there I think because of the carbon fiber construction instead of aluminium. Very light and manageable

  13. Lwi Htoo Paw

    September 15, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Hi, looking to order X1E (Gen2) here in Canada.

    Still waiting for the OLED 4K option for the display to become available. I was thinking about reducing the RAM to 8GB DDR4 2666 Mhz and storage to the standard 256 GB NVME option and elect to upgrade those components myself.

    Just would like to know:
    (1) There are two SODIMM slots for me to do my own upgrade, right? Even thought I am picking 8 GB as the standard, or is the 8GB "build-in" into the moterboard? I am going to remove 8GB RAM module, and install two of these: Samsung 32GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM Memory Module for Laptop Computers (260 Pin SODIMM, 1.2V) Model: M471A4G43MB1, that should give me 64 GB DD4 right? Any other memory modules you would recommend?

    (2) for NVME storage, I am planning on removing the factory 256 GB and installing this one: Samsung 970 EVO Plus Series – 1TB PCIe NVMe – M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V7S1T0B/AM), again, no issues right?

    • Douglas Black

      September 15, 2019 at 7:24 pm

      Hi there,

      You will have 2 SO-DIMM slots no matter what configuration you order. Nothing is soldered! As for those memory modules, I believe Samsung has quite good (or uses a quite good supplier) of a reputation.

      Regarding the NVMe drives, I wrote recently about some good SSD buys I found here:

      I personally bought 2 of the Intel 2TB drives, as 1.6 gb/s r/w is really good enough for me. The 970 evo plus is a great drive either way.

  14. Nick Allo

    September 19, 2019 at 1:46 am

    What is the weight of the new gen 2?

    • Douglas Black

      September 19, 2019 at 2:01 am

      Same weight for fhd. I'm not sure if the new 4k weave design has any difference, but I'd assume it's minor

  15. Adrain

    September 21, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Hello – thanks for such a detailed first look

    I have some questions and would appreciate your thoughts given your experience:

    The i9 is now available in the UK. Do you think it will be better than the hexacore (given the thermal constraints of such a light laptop) or just a waste of money. Is your i7 9750 the performance sweet-spot or is there thermal room for the upgrade (e.g. 9850 or i9)?

    Your latency test gets me worried as my primary use case is DAW. Were you using low latency ASIO drivers (e.g. the free ASIO4ALL) or the built-in sound-card drivers?

    FHD vs OLED – I'm unable to view the computers in any store near me. I hate glossy screens so I guess that I should go with the FHD? The thing holding me back is that I love deep blacks of my OLED TV and the OLED is touch so I could use a pen. However the 8hrs of battery you get on FHD appears to be great. This has probably got me stressing more than the 6 vs 8 core decision!

    • Douglas Black

      September 21, 2019 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Adrain!

      Don't waste your money on the i9. Lenovo isn't even letting the i7 run over 80C apparently, anyway. Even if they did, it would just spike heat and throttle. Not good for component longevity and consistent performance.

      I didn't use ASIO drivers because I don't mix with computers usually, but that's something interesting that perhaps I should look into. Could even write a guide on it.

      If you hate glossy screens, go with the FHD. But OLEDs are nice, and I have to say that I miss the OLED on my XPS 7590 when viewing media. When doing work though, I thank god it's an IPS, haha. So perhaps that will help you answer your question. Are you going to be viewing light-coloured backgrounds on it in dim environments frequently? FHD IPS it must be in that case. If you don't need the battery life and don't do work on it with light backgrounds for long periods, then go OLED!

      • Adrian

        September 26, 2019 at 8:37 pm

        Thanks for the reply…just waiting to see what MS release next week at their surface event before I pull the trigger!

        • Douglas Black

          September 27, 2019 at 6:54 am

          Knowing them, it won't have TB3 :o)

          • Adrian

            October 3, 2019 at 8:13 pm

            You were right! No TB3 – that means i can't plug in my audio interface.

            I'm going to put an order in for an X1E as soon as a code comes available (they are always rotating sales)

            Most probably base i7 + FHD. Figure the cost of i9 + OLED i can go out and get 4TB of SSD.


  16. bittricks

    September 22, 2019 at 9:57 am

    It is just crazy that the OEMs won't make 1920×1080 glossy, multi-touch, 400 nit displays available on this class of machine for those that don't want 4K. And they can't say there isn't a demand, because there certainly is. They do it to sucker people into spending an additional $300 to $450.

    Anyway, I got the XE2 FHD i7 9750H 16GB 512GB for $970 direct from Lenovo. It hasn't arrived yet. I'm hoping this years 300 nit FHD screen turns out to be as good as what has been described here and elsewhere. Planned on adding a second drive and upgrading the RAM to 32 GB myself for a total cost of about $1275. For whatever reason Lenovo greatly over-prices the upgrades for the Extreme.

    Not entirely sure as I can get the P1 with the 500 nit FHD and even better specs, at an lower cost per item upgrade. I'd be in it at around $1400. So only about $125 more to just buy the complete, new, upgrade package direct from Lenovo. Just have to wait and see how good that XE2 FHD 300 nits display is.

  17. Antonio

    September 22, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    Dear Douglas,
    when you push them a lot, are laptops like (ASUS ROG Strix, ASUS ROG Zephyrus, MSI GE75 Raider 9SG, Gigabyte Aero 15/17, Razer Blade 15 etc) materially more noisy/loud and hot than laptops like (Dell xps 15, Lenovo X1 extreme)?
    My preference would always go with the most powerful ones (whatever you do they are quick), but I need to make sure that in an office environmemnt they are not too hot/loud.
    What do you think?
    Thanks in advance for your opinion.

    Kind regards,

    • Douglas Black

      September 23, 2019 at 7:21 am

      They are generally more noisy when pushed for sure (particularly ones like the Razer Blade 15 and Aero 15 if you let the fans max out). Most laptops (gaming or Lenovo/dell) have different fan profile options, however. They should all be equally able to stay quiet in an office environment if you use ThrottleStop to set the EPP to 128-256 or run in "power saver" mode.

  18. bittricks

    September 25, 2019 at 4:05 am

    Does anyone know where to obtain a calibrated FHD display color profile for the X1E G2 ?


    FYI – The 300 nit FHD is a competent, solid display.

  19. Thomas

    October 3, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Hi Douglas (or other people that might help),
    here in Japan laptops are pretty expensive and I was wondering if the X1 Extreme Gen 2 was worth the price difference with the Gen 1.

    Here are the two options I'm considering :
    – Extreme Gen 1 with i7-8750H, 16GB ram, GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, 512GB SSD, FHD screen : 191 000 yen (€1630 / $1784)
    – Extreme Gen 2 with i5-9300H, 8GB ram, GTX1650, 256GB SSD, FHD screen : 214 000 yen (€1824 / $2000)

    Is the Gen 2 such a big difference (processsor and graphic card mostly it seems) for me to buy it ?
    I like having a japanese keyboard and anyway it doesn't seem that the warranty works internationally if I was getting it from a cheaper country (US).

    Sorry for the long question and thank you so much for the website and reviews.

    • Douglas Black

      October 3, 2019 at 3:57 pm

      Only if you want to game. The major difference between those two options is another 15% GPU performance. But honestly, don't buy an i5 if you're getting this. It's only a quad core CPU in a new generation of 6-8 core CPUs. You could save a lot buying an older ThinkPad with the same CPU performance

      • Thomas

        October 4, 2019 at 4:25 am

        Thank you very much for your help

        • Douglas Black

          October 4, 2019 at 4:35 am

          Very welcome!

          • Thomas

            October 4, 2019 at 4:52 am

            Sorry for bothering, do you know if the warranty (on site) would work if I order it from the US and then get it delivered to Japan by a friend ?

          • Douglas Black

            October 4, 2019 at 5:03 am

            It would, but you may need to run through a few hoops depending on the local Lenovo policy in your country of abode

  20. Thomas

    October 4, 2019 at 5:06 am

    Thank you, I will check the local policy. I think I will buy it in Japan, the japanese keyboard is very useful for me.

  21. j

    October 5, 2019 at 3:14 am

    No 8-core option?? I could've sworn i read somewhere that they were going to offer that…also no hi-res 500-nit screen? :( hopefully there are some real competitors this year.

  22. Ethan

    October 5, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Douglas! Nice & detailed review! I've been using my X1 Extreme Gen2 for the past month, and I can say I've also faced the same issue of battery at "100%" after waking up from sleep, even though its only at around 40-50%. Usually I solve it by resetting my laptop.

    I have a question though, what is a safe & stable voltage to undervolt to?

    • Douglas Black

      October 5, 2019 at 12:27 pm

      -125 is as far as I can UV. Interesting to hear about the battery as well. Hope Lenovo gives their BIOS team a bit more training :)

  23. flo

    October 7, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Doug,
    thx for your very deteailed reviews – theiy`re great.

    I like to purchase a x1E gen 2. I researched alot over the last 2 weeks but I`m still having a very hard time deciding which specific model to get.
    I like the semi-portable design of the X1 Extreme. I dont mind the little extra weigth over a truly portable 13.3 inch machine. I think the performance gains and a bigger screen make up for the weigth difference.
    I looked into the Dells XPS 15, the HP Spectre X360 and the ASUS Zenbook pro since they are all in this class.
    The Lenovo appaels to me the most because of the ports, the weight (although I`d rather have a larger battery at the expense of little more weight) and the keyboard, since I write alot and I really like the upgradeablity, to have 2 SSD slots is awesome! I still couldnt decide on which model I should get though.

    Im most unsure of which display would be best for me.
    I will use the machine primarly stationary at home. When Im working I will use it with a dual Eizo monitor- setup most of the time. But I will also use it on the go (For school) where battery runtimes of about 5h with light use would be desireable.
    I will also use it alot for content consumption. Since I dont have a TV, I will watch alot of movies on it.
    Thats why I really like to get the OLED-Version of the X1E.

    At first I opted for the FHD version because of battery life and the matte screen, since matte is are far superier on the go when you encounter varying light conditions. I went to a store to have a look at some different screen options. I have to say that this completely changed my mind.
    Firstly, I had to admit that glossy displays, while having a pretty hard time with direct reflections, look just gorgeus compared to their matte conterparts. Still if I would purchase a laptop with just work in mind I`d recommend a matte display – hands down but for content consumption – assuming you will use it mostly in dimmed rooms – the glossy displays look way better.
    Secondly, I found out that i definately want a 4k display. I thought it wouldn`t be all that noticeable but tere is just no denying for me that a 15 inch display with 1080p would not be sufficiant in terms of sharpness. Its really noticeable especially when reading text.

    So I guess I will just settle for a glossy 4k screen. I would like a 4k matte display even more but unfortunately there is no such option here for the lenovo nor the Dell XPS 15.

    My question now is, would it be a good option for me to go for the OLED-display on the lenovo?
    I read in your Dell XPS-review that you werent really satisfied with the OLED-panel on the Dell XPS, which is the same samsung panel I believe. What exacty did you mean with "its uncomfortable to look at a white background for longer periods of time"? Did you perceive flickering due to the panels PWM?
    I currently use a Lenovo Ideapad 710s with an IPS-panel and I have a phone withe an OLED-panel (LG V30) both of which use PWM with a frequency around 220Hz acording to
    That being said, I find reading on my phone way more comfortable than on my notebook. Idk exactly if its the PWM of the lenovo or the matte screen or the sharpness (its a 13.3 inch 1080p panel) but the OLED is somehow more comfortable to read on.
    Do you think I`ll find the OLED on the X1E similarly comfortable? Or should I be safe and go with the Gen 1 4k-panel?
    Problem is the Gen 1 is really hard to find and I currently get a good price for the Gen 2 with the OLED-display.

    My second question is regarding performance. I won`t be taxing my machine too hard. Just some light productivity with
    mostly writing, reading, browsing, some Photoshop and every now and then a little video editing for school.
    I could definately get away with a U-series processor but i want to purchase a 45w chip mainly because of longevity. The U-Series processors are just very quickly outdated, which Im experiencing right now with my Ideapad.

    So, would you recommand going for the i5-option instead of the i7-9750h since it will thermal throttle anyways?
    I will certainly try undervolting and repasting though.

    I find it very odd, that the new generation is more power-constrained than the old version even after repasting and undervolting, which you did in your test rigth?

    Anyhow, your recommandations would be very appreciated.


    • Douglas Black

      October 8, 2019 at 6:10 am

      Hi Flo,

      I've heard that there's a 4k matte option for the X1E G2 in some markets. Have you checked your region straight from lenovo to see if it's there?

      My issue with OLED displays are 1) black crush with dark media, 2) banding of greys, and 3) white searing my eyes. The way the technology works is that producing whites requires all 3 sub-pixels to be on, essentially upping the brightness of the display considerably. This makes light images not only use a lot more power, but it's physically much brighter on your eyes as well. It's compounded by the high contrast of blacks, and of course its much worse in darker environments. This will be an issue if you work with light content (text documents) at night or in dim lighting. Try and find one to try in person. They should all feel very similar to the eyes.

      For your second question, future-proofing is a very good reason to get a 6-core CPU. Whether that's comet lake 6-core or coffee lake is up to how much sustained power you'll need, but imo I think a 45w 6-core CPU is really what you want to ensure your machine can handle any non-GPU task for its lifespan. The i5 will run cooler, but you're going to be getting so much more performance with the 6-core i7 that it's worth the money. Even though the i7 will hit a thermal ceiling, it'll still be significantly faster than the 4-core i5.

  24. John Noonan

    October 8, 2019 at 5:31 am

    For normal work like coding or writing text do you think that there would be a noticeable difference in text sharpness between the 4K and FHD display?

    • Douglas Black

      October 8, 2019 at 5:39 am

      Personally I think text is best on fhd because of the less frequent DPI issues with some older or poorly written apps occasionally. Also it's an issue when using an external monitor of different resolution. I still think FHD is the way to go for 15" laptops

      • John Noonan

        October 8, 2019 at 5:42 am

        Thank you for your reply!

        • Douglas Black

          October 8, 2019 at 6:03 am

          very welcome!

          • John Noonan

            October 8, 2019 at 6:15 am

            I have ordered my machine and am quite excited.

  25. bittricks

    October 10, 2019 at 10:09 am

    I have the 300 nit display. It is not a bad screen by any means. The matte display is prone to reflections – especially when you are sitting with your back to large windows behind you that let in a lot of light. However, I've just adjusted the position of the laptop and it solves the problem. In short, the 300 nit display is solid for what it is. I'd like the option to increase brightness if need be, but the 300 nit display is adequate.

    Undervolt using Throttlestop = -133.6. Beyond this, the TS Stress generates errors for 64, 256 and 1024.

    When I first got the machine I could undervolt to -160. Then after a few days instability crept in. First I could undervolt o 150, then to 145, then to 140. Finally, from the Throttlestop TS Bench I determined that 133.6 was the undervolt limit without errors.

    The trackpad is the best trackpad that I've used. Ever. The trackpad drivers work really well. The inputs are all best in class.

  26. Matt

    October 18, 2019 at 12:09 pm


    I have just recently bought Lenovo X1 G2 – and its already on way back.

    I went for top specs – i9-9880, 64 gb ram, – 15.6" UHD (3840×2160), LED Backlight, OLED, Anti Reflection/Anti-Smudge, 350nits, Multi-touch – thats UK specs

    the screen was horrible. It looked like it was covered in some sort of mesh – grid of dots all across the screen – and it was visible at boot as well – so that was no graphics or software issue.

    but it windows it wost worst on the white backgrounds – so i asked for replacement – they never even question whats the problem – just took it back – but never for replacement just refund.

    And the battery life was 2h !!!

    So i guess i might try 4k screen with XPS 15 now.

    • Douglas Black

      October 18, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      Sounds like we know how they added touch to that Samsung oled panel – using an aftermarket digitiser. Good to know.

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