Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen 5 Notebookcheck
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme notebook is intriguing. Longtime ThinkPad enthusiasts (not me) adore its iconic style, but it packs a lot of power for a gaming setup rather than a business laptop. Of course, this is a laptop for creative professions, but I wonder if designers and other creatives wouldn’t want something more modern than the ThinkPad chassis.
Still, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is a great notebook. Its 45W Intel processors, Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics (up to 3080 Ti), upgradeable RAM and storage, and 5G compatibility make it fast. It has great display options, including a creative Ultra HD+ panel. Even with its specifications, it’s a pricey laptop. Most ThinkPads have bizarre design choices, so you need this combination of performance, classic design, and business functions to justify the price.
Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen 5 Notebookcheck Specs
|Dimensions||14.13 inches by 9.99 inches by 0.78 inches|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-12700H|
|RAM||16GB to 64GB DDR5|
|Storage||512GB PCIe 4.0 to 8TB PCIe 4.0 SSD|
|Ports||2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2|
Cost and Availability
At the end of February, Lenovo introduced the ThinkPad X1 Extreme at MWX 2022 and released it in June. Lenovo’s website is the best place to buy it, but reseller partners may have it. Not many third-party stores like Amazon or Best Buy sell pricey business laptops. Lenovo usually has a sale on their website, so you may get the ThinkPad X1 Extreme for much less than $2,049. This review’s configuration costs $2,609.57 at the time of writing, but it may change by the time you read it.
Dislike for the ThinkPad design language has always been vociferous, but largely for the keyboard and touchpad. The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 looks similar to its predecessor, which isn’t a terrible thing. The black surfaces give it a sleek, muted style, and while I don’t like the red accents, they’re not distracting (the bright red dot on the ThinkPad emblem on the lid may draw attention if you use the laptop in public). All the laptop’s surfaces are smooth, making it comfortable to operate. My wrists feel comfortable on the keyboard base, which I rarely consider. Despite being constructed of magnesium and carbon fibre, the chassis doesn’t feel like the LG Grame 17 I reviewed lately. This chassis is luxurious and comfortable.
Instead of small bumpers around the display or keyboard for closing the lid, the entire display frame is rubber-like to absorb impact. It works well, but your hands will smudge it, making it tougher to clean. This mix of materials makes the ThinkPad X1 Extreme light despite its formidable features. Its 4.14 pounds are light for a laptop with 45W CPUs and discrete graphics. Lenovo uses carbon fibre and magnesium in its premium ThinkPads because they are lightweight and durable like aluminium.
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A keyboard and trackpad
Let’s clarify before discussing the downsides: This keyboard is fantastic for typing. Like other Lenovo laptops, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme offers pleasant keys with a good travel distance and actuation force without being harsh when they bottom out. The key doesn’t feel like I’m striking the keyboard base’s bottom. I also enjoy that the arrow keys are all the same height, something many laptops forgo to save space. The left-side Fn and Ctrl keys are my main issue with this keyboard. The ThinkPad’s Fn buttons are on the far left, unlike other keyboards I’ve used. Even Lenovo’s ThinkBook series has a suitable arrangement for these keys. This causes several keyboard shortcuts, text selection errors, and other errors. Unless you solely use ThinkPads, this is horrible. They’re a ThinkPad classic kept around to please old-school aficionados, but I think they’re ugly and unnecessary when we have wonderful touchpads. You can disregard it and use the touchpad. Having massive mouse buttons at the top makes the touchpad smaller than it could be (another reason to criticise this decision), but the chassis is large enough that it doesn’t seem claustrophobic. The touchpad’s smooth surface is pleasant to touch without much to complain about.
The base model has a Full HD+ display, but this year’s Quad HD+ variant with a 165Hz refresh rate is great for gaming in your free time. The Ultra HD+ model features optional touch support; however, my unit doesn’t. As expected, the 4K display is stunning. Great colours and sharpness (possibly more than most people require). It’s also useful for work because the high pixel density boosts screen visibility. The display has X-Rite Pantone calibration, and the X-Rite Assistant app helps you set colour profiles based on your project’s colour space. Rec. 709, Adobe RGB, Display P3, and more The panel supports DisplayHDR 400, so Windows 11 can enable HDR for movies and games. Lenovo’s laptop display has 100% Adobe RGB coverage, which is outstanding for a laptop and ideal for colour-sensitive work. This was accurate, with 99% coverage of this colour space, 100% of sRGB, 91% of P3, and 96% of NTSC.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme has 12th-generation Intel Core H-series processors, up to a Core i9-12950H with vPro, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU for all the power you need. The Intel Core i7-12700H and GeForce RTX 3060 GPU in my review device were closer to the base configuration. It has 16GB and 512GB SSDs. I evaluated game performance on a Full HD 144Hz monitor because this laptop with an Nvidia RTX 3060 doesn’t have a 4K display. Even this lesser model has good gaming performance. I played several games, and everything worked perfectly. This isn’t a gaming laptop, but that’s one of the greatest and easiest ways to measure GPU performance in real life.