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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 https://www.ultrabookreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/thinkpad-x1-extreme-2nd-gen-main.jpg Douglas Black 4.5 5

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

237 Comments

  1. bittricks

    November 11, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    So here is a screenshot of running Cinebench R15 immediately after wakeup from overnight sleep.

    There is no undervolting and neither Throttlestop or XTU are on the system. This is what happens to PL1 and PL2 AFTER undervolting with either Throttlestop and XTU and doing a clean install of Windows. The TDP is completely unstable as shown in the image. PL1 and PL2 should NEVER change. They should NEVER become dynamic. That either one changes proves there is a major problem with the X1E G2.

    You can see in the image that PL1 dipped below 45 W and PL2 was at 45 W during the first 8 Cinebench R15 runs. On the 9 th run, PL1 and Pl2 jumped back up to their correct values.

    https://imgur.com/a/fNag5Or

    Just look at the Core 0 frequency during all of this ! Eventually, PL1 will plummet all the way down to the 12.5 to 15 W range. I posted images of it when I reported this with the first X1E G2 I received.

    The Cinebench R15 results go from 1040 down to the 900 to 600 range.

    I have been able to replicate this on two separate X1E G2s – both manufactured months apart. So what is happening is not a system-specific issue. Nor is it a user-error as all I did was do a simple 125mV undervolt on the CPU core and cache and a 75mV undervolt on the integrated graphics. Just like I've done hundreds of times.

    After any undervolting on the new X1E G2, the PL1\PL2 settings become dynamic and wreck performance. Plus, the cooling solution can be borked.

    I've replicated it twice at-will on two separate systems. This is proof-positive that there is some systemic issue with the X1E G2. And it is unfortunate that to get something like this diagnosed and fixed by an OEM requires a ton of frustrating effort over a long period of time.

    Caveat Emptor

  2. Antonio

    November 14, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Dear Douglas, quick question on the screen. In general, have 4K screens still the problems in terms of rescaling of the apps in windows that used to have? Thank you.

    • Douglas Black

      November 14, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      That's down to the windows apps I think. It's still an issue if you run a lot of different kinds of software from different eras. What apps are you using mostly?

      • Antonio

        November 14, 2019 at 6:48 pm

        Word, Powerpoint, excel, Matlab, Jupiter notebooks, R, Eviews (econometric package), Bloomberg. Doing financial forecasts: so econometric/statistical models/ charts with daily weekly monthly data.

        On anothe note: I believe that given what I do (mainly CPU intensive tasks, but not really very heavy), processors like Intel Core i7-10710U or i7-1065G7 can perform almost as good as Intel Coffee Lake-H Core i7-9750H CPU. Makes sense? Thks.

        • Douglas Black

          November 14, 2019 at 6:52 pm

          I haven't used that stuff on high DPI displays, but I know that a fair bit of stuff still had issues on 4k displays to the point where I ran my 4k touch display on my XPS 15 at 1080p just to avoid BS — especially when running a 1080p external monitor as well.

          i7-10710U – I believe this runs pretty well for CPU tasks in the short-term, but beyond 30 seconds or so you're going to see far lower performance.

          i7-1065G7 – performance on this one seems just not a big improvement based on the reviews and benches I've seen. It's better at lower wattages and the performance increase with more power seems minimal.

          • Antonio

            November 14, 2019 at 7:03 pm

            Thanks vm.

            on the CPU: makes sense what you wrote. I just tried to run a spreadsheet that computes some montecarlo simulations in a dell xps 15 2019 (FHD with i7) of my colleague and it took 1 minute 28 seconds. In my elitebook x360 1030 G3 with i7 8650U (so 2 generations old i think) it took 1 minute 52 seconds. The difference beyond the 30 seconds / 1 minute starts to be material.

  3. David

    November 14, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    I am struggling to make a decision for a new laptop and looking for advice. I currently have a Surface Book 1 with performance base. It has served me well, but it is definitely at the end of its life. I have gone through some painful periods where the entire system was lagging, including typing in word and gmail, that basically drove me nuts. Because of that experience, I have decided that I really want to go for performance overkill. For work I am generally running large excel files that currently destroy my computer's performance. If I scroll, I have to wait for the data to load, etc – I am not doing any photo or video editing. I would love to be able game, but I would consider that a happy accident and not necessary.

    I have been looking at the Thinkpad Extreme Gen 2 for a few reasons. I love the keyboard – and value the typing experience a lot on any computer. The overkill performance I think should be able to handle my spreadsheets. I am definitely committed to a 15 inch laptop, as the 13.5 inch screen makes spreadsheet productivity on the road very difficult. My concerns are the following: 4k vs. 1080p screen. Currently on a 2k 13.5in display with the Surface book, and am worried about going to a bigger display and doing a downgrade on resolution, but am worried about battery life on the 4k screen. For work, I dock into a topre keyboard and dell ultrawide, and that is how I do 75% of my work. The rest of the time is traveling for work – so I am not sure I need the 4k display and feel like the battery life is more important for those days away from the desk. However, for productivity, the screen real estate is super important to me for the large spreadsheets and multitasking, and I am not sure if the 1080p screen makes sacrifices in that department. I recently went to B&H photo and they had a 4k P1 gen 2 out and a T590 in 1080p, and it was a stark difference to me. I did play with a few of the gaming PCs, and found the responsiveness very attractive. Lastly, I saw a Surface Book 2 15 and the screen was perfect, the the 15 inch 3:2 is very attractive. But given my experience with SB1, I am gun shy about buying dated super expensive Microsoft products.

    I feel like I really want 6 core CPU, no GPU, thinkpad inputs, and a 4k display that can last 6-8 hours in non-gpu related work. Reviews have said 3.5 – 6 hours of battery life, which just feels short and risky for a road trip. The only place I have ever seen this is customizing a P1 Gen2, you can just the integrated graphics there. Will battery life be better? Do you have any idea what I should expect for battery life? What screen option would be best here? Will 4k with no GPU get me 6-8 hours? Is OLED plus no dgpu a good combo?

    Lastly, it looks like the X1E gen 1 had better battery life. Is that a better option in 4k? I am weirdly not finding it to be much cheaper than the gen 2? Is it stupid not consider an XPS 15 for my case? Am I just wrong about 4k? When I looked in person at B&H, the 4k seemed much better than a 1080p screen on T590.

    Any help would be appreciated!

    • Douglas Black

      November 15, 2019 at 8:59 am

      If you want battery life, the G2 should be the same or better than the g1. Unless gaming, the GPU should not be active anyway, basically. That shouldn't factor in to battery life unless the test involves gaming or other software requiring the GPU.

      You won't scrape much over 6 hours with the 80whr battery, 6-core CPU and 4k oled, I'm afraid. Maybe consider an XPS 15 or precision? If you want a 4k screen and decent battery life that is a better bet, though it will come with caveats.

      • Gioby

        November 15, 2019 at 10:38 am

        Do you think that Dell XPS 7590 is too risky to buy due to all the quality issues problems ?
        I'm deciding between Lenovo Thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2 and Dell XPS 15. I can buy the Dell at 1450€ (8gb ram, 512 gb ssd ,i7, full HD) and upgrade it to 32gb or the Lenovo Thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2 at 1977€ with 32gb of ram , 512 ssd , i7, full HD . The 300€ difference is worth it ? Only reason i would buy Dell XPS is battery life. Do you have some benchmarks about the difference in battery life between Dell and Lenovo (both with full HD version ) ? Lenovo is better but I don't know if 300€ more is worth it ( I know that both of them have heating issue ) . Thanks

    • Rainer

      December 3, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      I am a Little late to chime in, but just discovered this comment and had a Surface book myself (first Version maxed out – 16 GB + 1TB SSD). It's still running smoothly, and even the battery lasts 7-8 Hours after 3.5 years (from 8-9 initially, I always let it charge to almost full, then disconnect the power until it's down to 5% and about to turn off, I think that really helped) – I just need something faster for Video editing right now and had some similar thoughts about size and Resolution, so to answer your Question:
      DEFINITELY SKIP THE 4k Display, get a full HD one. Read the other comments above about 4k… It might be helpfull for a Video or Picture editing where you Need to see every Pixel. Otherwise, IMHO it's Marketing crap that apple started and most people now fall for it and want thoose Displays – in fact, they only cause trouble. You and I had this with the Surface book… For "normal" apps like Excel, we have to set scaling to blow up text. In the end we can't display more text in menues then on a full HD screen without scaling – menus, icons and some other stuff would be too small. In theory excel (Outlook, Word and any other non photo/Video app) could display more stuff on a 4k screen because off more Pixels, BUT it would be way too small. So the apps have to scale it up. In the end, you will see just as much data (or even slightly more) on a full HD screen. But the scaling crap is gone with full HD. And the battery will last longer. And you will save some money / can invest in other parts of the Hardware… see Douglas comment above about setting his 4k Display to FHD because of the scaling… In ended up doing the same on my Surface book this year. I just couldn't stand it any more so I got a P1 FHD. And I am so happy with it, FHD was a great decision. Ont he P1, the FHD screen has 500 nits + HDR and is just awesome. Lost some Hours because I couldn'T stop watching movie trailers….

      For Performance in Excel: Make sure to get enough RAM. I remember in 2015 I had a very complex Excel file from a client, that only two of their Excel specialists and I could open – because I already had 16 GB of RAM back then. So you might want to go for 16 or 24 GB of RAM AND install the 64 bit Version of Excel (if you don't need any 32 bit macros / add ins).

      And you might want to have a look at the P53s (almost same size as X1 extreme / P1, but with a seperate number pad included, screen has only 250 nits which should be perfect indoors) or maybe T590 with one of the better FHD Options (there are several FHD screens to choose from) if you don't need a GPU (although if you get it included for a great Price as with the 53s, it won't hurt to have one :-) ).

  4. Jorge

    November 17, 2019 at 4:35 am

    Hi to all! My name is Jorge and I live in Santiago, Chile. Sorry my english!

    By the way, we are having since a month ago in our country a political and social crisis with the same public disorders and street violence like HK. This world is apparently changing and people are empowering themselves because they are tired of political corruption and inequaty, but at a very high cost for the peace of the common citizen. Some doesn't respect democratic rules and violence is the only solution for them.

    Back to our topic, a couple of days ago Lenovo Chile released the Gen 2 here. But, sadly, we have only ONE ready configuration to buy. No more options:

    – Intel Core i7 9750
    – 32 GB RAM
    – NVMe 1 TB
    – 3 year on-site warranty
    – Most important, only choice: 15.6" UHD (3840×2160), HDR, IPS, anti-glare, LED backlight, 16:9, 500 nits, with Dolby Vision

    The launch price is US$ 2.150. You can add a damage insurance for app USD$ 80.

    I think this display doesn't sell in other markets. What do you think? I don't care being touchscreen or OLED. I just want the best future-proof display quality possible. I am planning to keep this notebook for at least 3 or even 4 years.

    Thank you and regards.

    • Jorge

      November 17, 2019 at 4:47 am

      By the way, I always try to plug my notebook. I use battery sometimes when I have to go out but only for a couple of hours max., so, short battery life isn't a real problem for me. In fact, I would buy a more portable notebook or even a tablet for this.

      My concern is really display-quality. I want to have the best possible quality! (and I am relief that OLED isn't the only choice because I read comments about problems with a 'mesh' under the screen)

    • Douglas Black

      November 17, 2019 at 4:58 am

      I've been seeing news about Chile. It inspires many in Hong Kong. Congratulations on owning your future!

      Only reason not to get 4k is if you are using multiple displays at different reasons or apps that don't scale well at high DPIs, since you already said battery isn't an issue for you. I think as long as the price isn't prohibitively higher, go for it. Personally though I do like the FHD 500 but I just don't really like resolutions above QHD.

      • Jorge

        November 17, 2019 at 5:53 am

        Thank you very much for your quick response!

        One more question: listed on the Notebook specifications, this is apparently included on the package (I mean, is not optional):

        – X-Rite Pantone factory color calibration

        Do you know what this could be?

        I couldn't find any information about this on other international Lenovo store pages.

        • Douglas Black

          November 17, 2019 at 6:08 am

          That's just for the panel itself if it's the 4k one. I think they are calibrated for better colour accuracy to some degree, but whether it's good enough to be 100% accurate is very doubtful. Notebookcheck uploads their calibrated profiles to their laptop reviews so you could try those if you don't want to buy a Spyder or pre-calibrated screen

  5. David

    November 17, 2019 at 6:50 am

    Hi Douglas,

    Thanks for the great review! I am a Thinkpad and Latitude fan, but treasure the excellent Thinkpad keyboard and LACK of number pad, which I find useless anyways. The various XPS 15 models often don't have discrete PGUP, PGDN, HOME and END keys which drives me bonkers, as I actually type a lot on my laptop.

    Also, I'm with you on the screen resolution – 1920×1080 works great for most things, and saves battery life. I'm super excited about the 500nits display on this new Gen 2, as I use my laptop outside (or TRY to) and you really need the brightest possible display for that. Sounds like this one is pretty good.

    Again, thanks for the good review! Lenovo should pay you for these!

    • Douglas Black

      November 17, 2019 at 7:04 am

      Thank you for reading! If it's a good product, it's a good product! If I asked for money for a good X1E G2 review, I'm afraid what they'd do to us for our recent P53 review… D:

  6. bittricks

    November 17, 2019 at 10:13 am

    I've had my replacement X1E G2 for about two weeks. At first the CPU core temps were +/- 5 to 6 C under benchmark loads, but now look at how the core temp differences have progressed over a two week period of benchmarking:

    https://imgur.com/a/CzbKjza

    The above images are from consecutive Cinebench R15 runs. I've seen as much as a 20 C temp difference between core 4 and cores 1, 3 and 5. Actually, cores 1, 3 and 5 are consistently much higher on average than cores 0, 2 and 4.

    • Douglas Black

      November 17, 2019 at 3:24 pm

      Your heatsink may be warped or it was not screwed-in in the right order or maybe tight enough. Make sure you keep pressure on the plate while tightening the screws and tighten them evenly like lug nuts on a tire, see if that helps

  7. Gioby

    November 20, 2019 at 12:05 am

    Do you think that Dell XPS 7590 is too risky to buy due to all the quality issues problems ?
    I'm deciding between Lenovo Thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2 and Dell XPS 15. I can buy the Dell at 1450€ (8gb ram, 512 gb ssd ,i7, full HD) and upgrade it to 32gb or the Lenovo Thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2 at 1977€ with 32gb of ram , 512 ssd , i7, full HD . The 300€ difference is worth it ? Only reason i would buy Dell XPS is battery life. Do you have some benchmarks about the difference in battery life between Dell and Lenovo (both with full HD version ) ? Lenovo is better but I don't know if 300€ more is worth it ( I know that both of them have heating issue ) . Thanks

    • Douglas Black

      November 20, 2019 at 12:16 am

      If you avoid the oled panel in both I think you shouldn't have anything show stopping in either laptop at this point.

      With the fhd display in the XPS I believe you can check out the 9570 review I did last year on this site, and then add just a little bit more efficiency. I would guess 11 hours is realistic with fhd XPS 97 whr (no wear) and 8 hours for the x1e.

      I'm actually in the process of selling my x1e and buying an XPS 15 for my own ethical reasons

      • Cip

        November 20, 2019 at 12:24 am

        Can you elaborate the ethical part? :)

        • Douglas Black

          November 20, 2019 at 12:29 am

          I have my own reservations about supporting Chinese companies given the inexorable connections they are required to have with the Chinese state and Communist party. These are my personal views only and not those of UBR, nor does it mean you should not buy a Lenovo if it's the best laptop for you.

          ZTE and Huawei, on the other hand, I would put on a "never" list, regardless.

      • Gioby

        November 20, 2019 at 5:14 pm

        thank you! At the moment on Lenovo website there are some discounts. Thinkpad x1 extreme gen2 at 1760euro with 8 gb of ram.

        I understand your ethical reason. Only people who life there can really understand the situation

      • bittricks

        November 23, 2019 at 3:23 am

        It is a well-known fact that most any Chinese digital part or equipment supplier can be compelled by the Chinese government to insert surveillance capabilities into either software or hardware during the development or manufacture process.

        All Chinese companies are required by law to cooperate with the government as the government sees fit.

        Lenovo has been blasted before due to BlowFish (Man in the Middle) and evidence of surveillance embeds.

  8. KT

    November 21, 2019 at 5:52 am

    Any thoughts on the MSI Prestige 15 as an alternative? Thinking in terms of better battery life and lower weight. Thanks!

    • Douglas Black

      November 22, 2019 at 11:21 pm

      If you want a light 15" notebook first and foremost, I think it's a good option. In terms of power, though, it's not going to match with the X1E. The CPU just can't quite feed the GPU consistently and enough compared to coffee lake in the XPS 15 or X1E. Build quality is also not very nice with MSI; they always feel flimsy to me. No easy repairs on-site like Dell or Lenovo, either. The main thing is that it's lighter and cheaper.

  9. Jorge

    November 23, 2019 at 5:26 am

    Well, finally I ordered it! Core i7, 32 GB, 1 TB, 4K UHD HDR IPS Anti-glare 500 nits, Windows 10 Pro, Pantone calibrated.

    Cost me around 2,250.

    Only choice in Chile. Not XPS 15 here.

  10. cagri

    November 26, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Dug,
    Thank you for the detailed review!
    I have several questions:
    1) did you install win 10 from microsoft website or did you order the lenovo recovery ( factory image )

    2) Did you install all of the drivers from Lenovo product website manually?
    Thanks!

    • Douglas Black

      November 26, 2019 at 4:59 pm

      I never use recovery images :). Drivers from Lenovo

      • cagri

        November 26, 2019 at 5:13 pm

        So after installing win 10 from microsoft, do you still install and use lenovo vantage?

        And after installing the drivers, do you use GFE to update the nvidia drivers or do you wait for lenovo to put the latest graphics driver to their website?
        Thanks again :)

        • Douglas Black

          November 26, 2019 at 5:17 pm

          I don't let gfe anywhere near my computer. Download from Nvidia. Use vantage because I have no other way of setting battery charge threshold

          • cagri

            November 26, 2019 at 5:53 pm

            I read issues about installing the drivers from nvidia. Some users wrote that when they are trying to install the driver, it says this driver is not compatible with this device etc. So, do you download the dch drivers from intel and nvidia?
            Because on the other hand, people say download and install the driver that you find on your laptop's manufacturer website. That's why my mind is a bit complicated about this..
            Thanks again!

  11. cagri

    November 26, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Hi again,

    I read issues about installing the drivers from nvidia. Some users wrote that when they are trying to install the driver, it says this driver is not compatible with this device etc. So, do you download the dch drivers from intel and nvidia?
    Because on the other hand, people say download and install the driver that you find on your laptop's manufacturer website. That's why my mind is a bit complicated about this.. I hope you can give a little explanation regarding to that.
    Thanks again!

  12. Simon Jordan

    November 27, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Hello Douglas,

    thank you for your detailed reviews.
    I was wondering if you have any information on the srgb and argb coverage for the FHD Version of the 2019 Lenovo Extreme? Would be nice to know.

    Cheers and keep it up!

  13. bittricks

    November 28, 2019 at 12:04 am

    The X1E G2 build quality is good, but I'm just not digging the funky polymer paint overlay on the magnesium frame. It feels like plastic and it sounds like plastic. My guess is that the lid is carbon fiber with the awful polymer applied to it. The main frame is magnesium alloy and the underside panel is aluminum allow.

    Despite what some people are calling it, it isn't a true carbon fiber. The XPS 15 has true carbon fiber as its palm deck. There is no comparison between the two.

    Plus, the Lenovo finish is easily scratched\marred. It isn't a really robust finish. Definitely not like the XPS 15 which is built like a tank. Lenovo chose this polymer-over-underlay system for the lightest possible weight.

    Like Doug mentioned somewhere, you kinda worry that you might scratch it with your fingernail. I will tell you this… a careless graze with a sharp metal object like a mechanical pencil tip or pen is gonna leave a mark. Most likely a permanent one.

  14. bittricks

    November 29, 2019 at 4:51 am

    Today is Black Friday in the U.S. On the Lenovo U.S. website, they raised the prices by 30 % yesterday only to drop them today. The baseline i5 model was priced at $1450 or so a few days ago, then the next day it went to $1800 or so, and today it is down to $1350 or so.

    Just to give you an idea of how much profit OEMs have built-into their product, I got an X1E G2 direct from Lenovo, brand-new, 50% off the price of the custom-build wizard price of $2077.

    If you use the customize option, Lenovo immediately adds-on a $400+ customization fee. Then it charges huge premiums for very easy upgrades such as more RAM and an additional drives.

    What I got into the laptop is basically $1225. To purchase the identical system from Lenovo at its current holiday pricing would cost $2100. Yesterday, the same system was $2500.

    If you ask me, the X1E G2 is, at worst, overpriced. At best, it just isn't a good value. The fully-featured version at $3,000 at holiday prices is just absurd.

    The trend for laptops like the X1E G2 and XPS 15 are just crazy. The value is inversely proportional to the number of CPU cores for a given power level (modified desktop CPUs) thrown into the unit due to the thermal constraints.

    Sorry for the rant, but I just hate seeing people spend large amounts of money and really not getting their money's-worth. I know because I've been there and done the same thing a number of times. Just had to have the techno-wonder-gizmo, forked-over a big greasy wad of cash… only to be dissatisfied and disgruntled over time with my choice.

    Just an end note, high price does not equate to better user experience and satisfaction. My best user experience and satisfaction was with a $750 Toshiba laptop. I really do regret that I didn't buy a second one.

    • Douglas Black

      November 29, 2019 at 5:03 am

      I'm with you 100% there. Lenovo definitely does some shady stuff with their pricing, indeed. I enjoy my XPS 15 7590 right now, but my favourite user experience is my X330 for sure. Just a few hundred dollars laptop from 6 years ago with some modifications for the screen. It's a joy to use from the user experience perspective.

  15. Renato Datoc

    November 30, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Nǐ hǎo nǐ hǎo ma, Doug

    Just wanted to get some practice in ;-) as my granddaughter is probably going to end up bilingual, as she'll have to speak to her Taiwanese grandparents.

    Been a while. I drank the Kool-Aid, so now I'm running Ubuntu 19.10 on the XPS 15. It's been an adventure as I planned doing a double boot (Windows/Linux) which kind of morphed into a soon-to-be multi-boot setup, as I couldn't settle on which distribution to load. Dithering between easy to use (Pop OS), cutting edge (Arch/Manjaro), "official" (Ubuntu) and low-resource (Cinnamon/Mint) so I thought, what the heck, let's load them all ;-).

    So Ubuntu 19.10 to start with. How's Pop OS! working for you?

    • Douglas Black

      November 30, 2019 at 10:03 pm

      你好,謝謝為你的信息 :)

      I actually have been running Manjaro on my XPS 15 and loving it. It works really well (better than POP! on my X1E) and the battery life is something like 9 hours after tweaking with TPL et al. I really like XFCE as a DM over Gnome, I think!

  16. bittricks

    December 1, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Well, just when I got to the point where I was OK with the issues with my 2nd replacement X1E G2, tonight I attempted to install a second Lenovo OEM SSD – and guess what ? – there's a big unremovable gob of epoxy in the slot preventing the SSD from being inserted.

    At this point this one is going back for a refund. It doesn't matter that Lenovo gave me 50 % discount because of all the problems. I have so much time tied up in resolving X1E G2 QA\QC problems that now it is just one huge distraction. The thing is supposed to be a tool, but the whole experience has turned out to be nothing but a litany of problems and a whole lot of dissatisfaction. I've spent very little time actually using the thing because of most of the past two months have been spent filing RMAs and then shipping back-and-forth.

    Sorry, but my experience with the X1E G2 has been a bad one. And I refuse to pay an extra few hundred dollars for on-site support\repairs when I know all too well Lenovo will subcontract with someone who will show up, they won't know what they're doing, and as a result do a hack job.

    I have Lenovo OEM 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD if anyone is interested. I am going to sell at my cost. So huge savings over Lenovo's absurd mark-ups.

    • Douglas Black

      December 1, 2019 at 7:17 am

      I understand the lengthy struggle. But, expoxy? Seriously? I believe you, but could you put up a picture of that? Lenovo would like to know.

  17. bittricks

    December 1, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Photo from under the stereoscope.

    https://imgur.com/a/PcLoECF

    We took pictures before we even tried to pick and scrape it away.

    And, yes. We tried getting it off. But I didn't feel like risking scratching and picking too hard on it then something goes awry, something gets damaged, and then I'm stuck with the thing.

    Looking at it again, it might even be solder. But the technician said it is epoxy. There is an open area at the back of the plastic housing of the PCIe port, that he pointed to and said "during manufacture they put too much epoxy on back here, some flowed through this opening and then you have this big glob. Return it."

  18. Jorge

    December 1, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Hi

    I have the Lenovo X1E Gen 2 since friday.

    Unfortunately, I am having problems too, but all are at a Software level I think and could be repaired with updates. All are documented in the Lenovo forums and other users are having it too.

    – Keystrokes missing (it's not all the time, it's annoying but I can live with this until Lenovo fix this)
    https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-X-Series-Laptops/X1-Extreme-Gen-2-missing-keystrokes/td-p/4569936

    – An annoying and random 0.5 second micro freeze while you are at desktop, that I had on my former Notebook too. I think it's NVIDIA-Intel VGA and their real time switch related (Optimus?). Currently I have an App called TrayPwrD3 that apparently fixes this, but it's not an optimal solution. This does not happen when you have a second screen via HDMI connected.
    https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-X-Series-Laptops/X1E-Gen-2-0-5-sec-freeze-problem/td-p/4587960

    – Slow operation when you are at 'Second display only' mode. Workaround: work with extended desktop (and also resolves the last problem xD)
    https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-X-Series-Laptops/X1-extreme-screen-lag-on-quot-second-screen-only-quot/td-p/4475674

    – And the battery life, that it's not good, but it's normal for me considering a 4K display
    https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-X-Series-Laptops/X1-Extreme-Gen2-Battery-life-is-ridicolous-Please-share-yours/td-p/4588130

    Funny thing is that even with this problems this Notebook is less annoying that my old Asus ZenBook Pro. So I will wait for updates. I have faith in all this will be resolved. This is a high-end machine and Lenovo should fix all.

    I hope…

    • Douglas Black

      December 2, 2019 at 9:37 pm

      That bug with external displays is really annoying. You need to disable/reenable the intel GPU every time!

      • Jorge

        December 2, 2019 at 9:54 pm

        Fortunately, an updated driver just released appears to resolve this issue. Many users have confirmed this.

        We are waiting for the fix for the missing keystrokes issue. It is starting to bother me.

  19. Robert

    December 4, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    Thank you for this great review. One quick question. At the end you stated that "there’s no reason to go with a CPU more powerful than an i7-9750H in a chassis this thin." Right now, one of the best deals on this X1 extreme comes pre-built with the i7-9850. Basically, I can get that CPU for the same price as the i7-9750. Is there any reason to NOT get the 9850? Anything related to thermals, fan noise, etc.? If so, I'll just build one on the Lenovo site with the i7-9750. I think you'll say that the two chips are so close in specs that there won't be any difference, but on a machine this expensive I wanted to ask. I plan on keeping this laptop for more than 3 years. Thanks a ton.

    • Douglas Black

      December 4, 2019 at 11:04 pm

      I had a P1 with an 8850H, and it was fine. It will have very similar performance to the 9750, so just go for it. But don't expect it to keep those higher turbos!

    • bittricks

      December 4, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      Higher Intel model does not always translate into higher performance.

      The i7 9750 does not perform any better than the i7 8750. And the 9850 could performs less than the 9750 in the Lenovo's chassis. This is what Notebookcheck has determined in several instances. But, like a 2 or 3 % difference is meaningless unless you were doing intensive computing full-time over a long period of time – such as cryptomining where a 3 % difference would make a difference. Looking at the Notebookcheck results, the differences between the 9750 and 9850 come out as a "wash" where there are certain instances where the 9750 has a slight edge while there are other cases where the 9850 is the leader. The differences are statistically meaningless just by looking at the very small differences.

      That being said, if you do a custom build using Lenovo's website, they will immediately add a $400 customization fee to the price. I went with the pre-built option to save as much money as possible as there was no real advantage to a custom system costing $400 more.

      • Robert

        December 5, 2019 at 3:07 am

        Thanks. The custom build with the i7-9750 is about the same price as the pre-built option with the i7-9850. Additionally, the pre-built will arrive sooner. For these reasons, I was leaning toward the pre-built. Even the i7-9750 is likely overkill for my needs. So I don't need extra power, and for that reason, I wanted to make sure that I wasn't unknowingly making a mistake if I went with the i7-9850 given things like heat, fan noise, or anything else. Sounds like there should be no practical difference in the machine whether equipped with the 9750 or 9850 CPU, correct?

        • Douglas Black

          December 5, 2019 at 3:28 am

          Yeah, essentially no difference

        • bittricks

          December 5, 2019 at 10:34 am

          Before you commit to a purchase, you should research Lenovo's TicketsatWork.

          https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/comments/dk1mi3/why_is_x1_extreme_gen_2_so_much_more_expensive/

          https://www.reddit.com/r/Lenovo/comments/ctanxd/is_tickets_at_work_legit/

          https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/ticketsatwork/gatekeeper/showpage?toggle=PasscodeGatekeeper

          Just a FYI… if Lenovo messes up badly, then if you complain skillfully you can get them to "comp" you with a 30, 40 or 50 % discount. You have to complain until they just want you to go away. And they'll give you an offer you can' refuse.

          • Robert

            December 5, 2019 at 7:37 pm

            Doug, despite the X1 extreme seems like a great machine but, admittedly, i share your ethical concerns about supporting Lenovo. I also wonder about the possible personal security risks of using a Lenovo machine. Like many, it's come down to X1 vs XPS 15" for me. I love the build quality and keyboard on Thinkpads and was scared away from the XPS based on what I've read about bugginess, general reliability, etc. of the Dell. Are you completely satisfied with the XPS as your daily machine? Any other advice on weighing the X1 vs XPS? Thank you.

          • Douglas Black

            December 5, 2019 at 7:54 pm

            I'll tell you what makes me happy about the XPS 15 every time I use it: the 4K UHD screen (that I run at 1080p due to software scaling, lol), the performance, the appearance, and the battery life.

            If it helps vs. the X1E… the keyboard in the X1E *feels* better to type on, but you need to type slower because of a key detection bug with the KB firmware. It just can't poll fast enough in certain key combinations to get all the keystrokes, so you need to keep it to 80 WPM or so. The XPS doesn't have that issue, at least. XPS 15 also plays much better with docks and eGPUs, though it lacks the second TB3 port.

            On the X1E, having that second SSD slot is nice — but I've found that 2TB works just fine for me, actually.

  20. Robert

    December 5, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Got it. I was going to get the X1 with 1080p display to avoid tiny fonts and scaling issues. This is primarily a work machine not a machine for consuming media. I use an iPad for that. Since you're running the XPS at 1080p, is there any reason, based on your experience with the machine, for me to even order the XPS with 4k?

    • Douglas Black

      December 5, 2019 at 8:43 pm

      I love the option to use touch. It's also one of the nicest screens you'll still ever see in a laptop. It really does make you go "wow" every time you use it. If you are not a "toucher" and have no plans to be, though, the matte will save you money, weight, and battery life

      • Robert

        December 5, 2019 at 10:51 pm

        At least back in the old days, decreasing the resolution below the native resolution led to blurry icons and text. I'm assuming you don't experience any of that running the 4k display at 1080? Taking the ethical issues out of the equation, is the XPS 15 as good as the X1 Extreme?

        • Douglas Black

          December 5, 2019 at 11:04 pm

          Performance wise, with UV and repasting, it's better than the x1e. The only part that reminds you that you aren't using a thinkpad is the lack of trackpoint and the feel of the keys. I'm happy with it and I don't feel bad about the switch

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