Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 review: the professional MacBook Pro

Starting at $ 1,652.56

In the age of sleek and powerful laptops, Lenovo has rolled out its 2021 competitor in the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 laptop.

As a fourth gen version, there isn’t much in the design that changed this ride, but the X1 makes a few noticeable changes that keep it competitive against its bigger rival in the Dell XPS15 as well as the Onslaught. of the M1 powered MacBook Pro unsubscribe journalism.

ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 (Intel 16 ‘)
Processor Up to 11th Generation Intel® Core ™ i9-11950H Processor with vPro ™ (2.60GHz, up to 5.00GHz with Turbo Boost, 8 Cores, 16 Threads, 24MB Cache)
Graphic NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX ™ 3080 with Max-Q 16 GB

NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX ™ 3070 with Max-Q 8 GB

NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX ™ 3060 6 GB

NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX ™ 3050 Ti with Max-Q 4 GB

Integrated Intel® UHD Graphics

Operating system Windows 10 Professional

Windows 11 Home

Windows 11 Pro – Lenovo recommends Windows 11 Pro for business.

Display 16.0 “WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS, anti-glare, 400 nits

16.0 “WQUXGA (3840 x 2400) IPS, anti-glare with Dolby Vision ™, HDR 400, 600 nits

16.0 “WQUXGA (3840 x 2400) IPS, anti-glare, anti-smudge, touchscreen with Dolby Vision ™, HDR 400, 600 nits

16:10 aspect ratio; Support up to 4 independent screens or 3 screens with laptop screen.

Storage Up to 2TB M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 4 Performance SSD
Camera 1080p FHD with ThinkPad Webcam Privacy Shutter

Optional: FHD 1080p Hybrid Infrared (IR) with webcam privacy shutter

Memory Up to 64 GB DDR4 3200MHz

Up to 2 SO-DIMM slots

Dimensions Starting at: 17.7mm x 359.5mm x 253.8mm / 0.70 “x 14.13″ x 9.99 ”

H x W x D

audio Dolby Atmos® Up Trigger Speaker System

Two far-field microphones

Drums Up to 10 hours * 90Wh (MM18)

Fast charging technology available with included power supply

All claims about battery life are approximate and based on the results of the MobileMark® 2018 Battery Life Benchmark Test. Actual battery life varies and is dependent on many factors such as product setup and use, software usage, wireless functionality, power management settings, and screen brightness. The maximum battery capacity will decrease with time and use.

Color Deep black

Black with carbon fiber weave on the top cover (WQUXGA + models only)

Ports / Slots 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 (1 powered)

2 x USB-C Thunderbolt ™ 4 (power, display port, data transfer)

4-in-1 SD card reader

Optional: SIM slot

Headphone / microphone combo

HDMI 2.1 *

* Intel® UHD graphics only support up to HDMI 2.0

USB port transfer speeds are approximate and depend on many factors, such as the processing capacity of host devices / peripherals, file attributes, system configuration, and operating environments; actual speeds will vary and may be lower than expected.

Keyboard Spill resistant

Backlit with white LED lighting

Redesigned 115mm x 61mm / 4.53 “x 2.40” touchpad

Call control keys (F9-F11)

Look and feel

As I mentioned, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 looks a lot like the Gen 3 model with the only notable change being the overall screen size which has been set at 16 inches rather than the more traditional 14 and 17 inch solutions. .

Speaking of screens, buyers will be greeted with a 16-inch WQXGA anti-glare panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 (2K) or 3840 x 2400 (4K) depending on configurations. The panels of the high-end models are equipped with touch screens covered with anti-smudge technology as well as Dolby Vision, HDR with up to 600 nits of brightness.

In addition, Lenovo is finally taking into account user requests for 16:10 cut screens from all three configurations.

Aside from the display, the rest of the laptop is standard Lenovo fare with combined matte black aluminum and carbon fiber builds, twelve-point mil-spec certification, down-ventilation, 2 Thunderbolts. 4, a 4-in-1, 2USB -A, Full HDMI SD card reader with 2.1 support and headphone / mic combo.

Thinkpad extreme gen 4 vs macbook port

The load on the X1 Extreme Gen 4 uses a proprietary power connector, luckily Lenovo has been pushing this connector and port combo on customers for the past four years, so there should be a level of familiarity with previous Lenovo customers and this semi-USB A similar solution.

Lenovo is forgiven for going for this odd charging solution over a USB-C type charging connection, as the Gen 4 model comes with a bigger battery than previous models and powers a much more powerful GPU than before.

Users can choose from 130W, 170W, and 230W charger options, with the latter capable of quickly charging up to 80% in an hour.

Other changes made by Gen 4 include a new placement of speakers that now work from above, like the cousin models of the base X1s and MacBooks.

Speaking of speakers, Gen 4 sounds better, but lags behind the fidelity of a MacBook or Surface.

Thinkpad Extreme gen 4 speaker

As for other intangibles like the webcam and bio-authentication, they all stay the same, stuck at 720p resolution for the camera and fingerprint reader built into the power button.

Overall, the X1 Gen 4 retains a sleek feel at under 4 pounds, and it looks as minimalist as most other ThinkPads. While the Dell XPS host has a very distinct look and feel, the Xtreme Gen 4 is a subtle black box that focuses quite well on balancing power and warmth.

Performance

This is where I think Lenovo has devoted the right amount of attention to Gen 4 and its calibration between the integrated Intel H-series processors and the beefier RTX 3060 Ti.

The TLDR of Gen 4’s approach to graphics performance is that the unit makes better use of the vapor chamber than in previous models, keeping it much better cooled while still beating the TGP at 88W.

Comparing this model with the previous ones, the addition of the RTX 3060 Ti turns out to give users a noticeable 45% increase in graphics performance when plugged in, but only 15% when on battery.

As far as the processor goes, Gen 4 switches between boost modes quite easily while still maintaining a decent peak power consumption of 55W, allowing for longer high-performance tasks and calculations and overall performance. processor.

Unfortunately, these gains are only visible on the power supply, when on battery, the device obtains slightly lower performance while being capped at 55W.

For more raw performance, customers can configure their Gen 4s with up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory through the two fairly easy-to-access SO-DIMM slots.

Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 4 review: the enterprise macbook pro - onmsft.  Com - December 22, 2021

With all of the synthetic testing out of the way, my real world experience with Gen 4 was mixed. My glee at more GPU performance was tempered by a constant reminder to stay close to a power source.

The Gen 4 outperformed other laptops in a wide range of workloads and tasks, but was ultimately limited by limited performance when on battery power.

Extreme performance of the 4th generation Thinkpad

Tasks like editing multi-layered polylines in AutoCAD were a cinch when the device was plugged in and I didn’t mind running the fans but to keep the device semi-cooled when it was on. battery, the task became a little more choppy.

For relatively less strenuous tasks like rendering multiple layers of 1080p video and playing back, the Gen 4 and its RTX 3060 Ti were fine, both turned on and powered.

Navigating apps like NetSuite, Google Ads Editor Multi-Account, Photoshop, Premier, Da Vinci Resolve, and Alteryx Designer with Power BI plugins was pretty smooth most of the time.

In terms of non-work performance, the Gen 4 does a surprisingly good gaming job, maintaining 70FPS on games such as Far Cry 6 and GTA 5 while dipping a bit for first-person shooters such as Battlefield and Halo. Infinite.

Generation 4 extreme games

Keep in mind that Lenovo’s preset customization will hamper gaming performance from the start due to the way the memory is preconfigured. With a quick change of dual channel locations, you will get the most out of the device.

UPDATE: When adjusting memory, frame rates for games like Call of Duty Warzone drop from 50-60 FPS to almost 80 without dropping frames.

Summary

So I think with a few quick manual tweaks from a base 16GB to 32 or 64GB or memory model, the Gen 4 goes beyond the XPS15 at this point and allows the device to go beyond the XPS15 at this point. ‘go hand in hand with Apple’s ARM wonder in the M1 powered MacBook. in terms of overall performance.

Understanding that this is a Windows machine with an Intel processor at its core should prepare any buyer with the right mindset to make the most of the occasional fan noise, heat, and power drain. battery by really pushing this device.

While much of the Lenovo PC lineup can be a puzzle with overlapping product categories, the Gen 4 is a clear buy for anyone who prefers a truly portable workstation.

Yes, there’s the P series and its thicker cousins ​​in the T and L lines, but when it comes to moving around the relatively compact PC equivalent of the MacBook Pro right now, the options are the. Gen 4 and XPS 15 and Gen 4 offer better overall CPU and GPU performance.

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