The ThinkPad X1 Extreme isn’t the first Lenovo with discrete graphics or even the first mainstream ThinkPad with it: the 15-inch launched with an Nvidia GTX 1050 option and the T series has had an option for Nvidia’s mobile graphics solution, the MX150, for a little while. But the X1 Extreme is the first of its top-end ThinkPad X1 line of business laptops with the option to combine a GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q with the bright, wide-gamut 4K screen that .
That makes it a potentially high performer for creatives who don’t need, or want to spend the money on, Lenovo’s sibling lightweight mobile workstation the. Though the entry prices for both are close — that laptop starts at about $1,900, while the X1 Extreme starts at $1,860 — it isn’t nearly as svelte-looking and doesn’t offer the better, Dolby Vision HDR-supporting display.
Of course, the first thing people think of for discrete GPUs is gaming, and this will probably deliver decent performance for those days when you need to kill a few hours in an airport or hotel room. However, the ThinkPad’s keyboard feels a little mushy to me for gaming if you’re not using a controller.
Heat’s a big problem with the Max-Q designs, since their fans are supposed hit a lower sound volume than their high-test alternatives. Lenovo’s addressed that by adding a heat-dissipating aluminum alloy bottom cover to its veteran X1 carbon-fiber body. Otherwise, it’s the standard X1 clamshell design.
Other specs include:
- Up to 8th-generation Intel Core i7 with vPro (Core i9 starting in November)
- Windows 10 Pro
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Max-Q with 4GB GDDR5)
- Display: 15.6-inch IPS 300nits, 4K IPS touchscreen 400nits
- Up to 64GB DDR4 RAM 2,666MHz
- Storage: up to 2TB SSD, SD card slot
- Battery life: up to 15 hours
- Two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, two USB-C/Thunderbolt ports and one HDMI 2.0
- Weight: 3.8 to 4 pounds/1.7 to 1.8 kg depending upon display
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