ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 3 Assessment: Energy, Magnificence, and Brains

ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 3 Assessment: Energy, Magnificence, and Brains


Score:
9/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Sizzling Rubbish
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Rubbish
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Professionals, Heaps Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Sufficient to Purchase On Sale
  • 7 – Nice, However Not Greatest-In-Class
  • 8 – Incredible, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Cash
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Worth: $2182.95
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 on white desktop
Kevin Bonnett

Over time, I’ve labored on all kinds of computer systems. From top-of-the-line MacBook Professionals and customized gaming PCs to my present (albeit modest) Microsoft Floor Professional 6, I’ve bounced round manufacturers and working techniques alike exploring what’s on the market. However after testing the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3, I not care about different computer systems. Solely this one.

Here is What We Like

  • Beautiful 4K OLED touchscreen
  • Handles simultaneous demanding packages with ease
  • Full-size SD card reader
  • Nice ThinkPad aesthetics

And What We Do not

  • Blurry webcam
  • Underwhelming battery life
  • Actual costly

It’s lightning quick, has a wise and sturdy design, and oh child, that wondrous 15.6-inch 4K UHD OLED HDR show. Speak about eye sweet! The laptop computer’s 32 GB of RAM and highly effective Core i7 processor effortlessly stored up with every thing I threw at it day after day. And after spending two weeks with the X1 Excessive, I can definitively say that its solely actual drawbacks are the disappointing 720p webcam, the lackluster battery life, and the steep price ticket.

The laptop computer is genuinely superior and a pleasure to make use of. It has all of the options I may ask for, and it by no means will get in my means. It’s excellent for anybody in search of a reliable, hardworking, and straightforward to make use of laptop computer.

Specs as Reviewed:

  • CPU: tenth Era Intel Core i7 10850H vPro (2.70 GHz, as much as 5.10 GHz with Turbo Increase, 6 cores, 12 threads, 12 MB cache)
  • RAM: 32 GB DDR4 (2933 MHz)
  • Show: 15.6″ 4K UHD OLED Touchscreen with HDR 400 and Dolby Imaginative and prescient, 400 nits
  • Storage: 1 TB PCIe SSD
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q 4 GB
  • Cameras: Hybrid IR & 720p HD
  • Ports: 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-C with Intel Thunderbolt 3 (PD, DP, DT), DisplayPort, 4-in-1 SD card reader, Headphone/mic combo, HDMI 2.0, Kensington lock slot
  • Connectivity: Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802.11AX, Bluetooth 5.1
  • Audio: Dolby Atmos Speaker
  • Dimensions: 14.24 x 9.67 x 0.74 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs.
  • Worth: $2,182.95

After seeing these specs, it’s comprehensible why the laptop computer prices a lot; however after utilizing it for 2 weeks, I don’t even care as a result of I like it. After all, that’s simple for me to say because it was simply shipped to me for testing and I didn’t really need to pay for it, however I’m now contemplating saving as much as purchase certainly one of my very own, for what it’s price.

The Design

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 carbon fiber lid
Lenovo

The X1 Excessive is a giant laptop computer, however that’s not a foul factor. It means there’s loads of room for all of its {hardware}, ports, and its giant display. Regardless of measuring 14.24 x 9.67 x 0.74 inches and weighing 4 kilos, the laptop computer nonetheless doesn’t really feel gigantic. It has loads of highly effective options, however can nonetheless be stowed away in your backpack or messenger bag if you must apply it to the go.

It boasts an array of ports which are really helpful. It has two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports (at all times on), and two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports with Intel Thunderbolt 3 for Energy Supply, Information Switch, and DisplayPort. It additionally has a full measurement 4-in-1 SD card reader, a lot to the delight of photographers in every single place, an HDMI 2.0 port, a headphone/microphone combo, and assist for an RJ45 by way of Kind-C Ethernet adapter that’s bought individually, which is nice because it lacks any on-board Ethernet.

Opening up the again of the laptop computer reveals it has two M.2 SSD drive slots—one empty and one full—so there’s room so that you can improve or add extra storage, must you wish to. Each RAM DIMM slots are accessible from the again as nicely, and you’ll swap them out simply with out a screwdriver. It’ll even be a cinch to restore or exchange the battery if wanted.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 inside bottom panel
Kevin Bonnett

The X1 Excessive additionally has a number of good extras like a backlit keyboard, a self-healing BIOS, and a Kensington lock slot. It additionally makes use of an IR digital camera and a fingerprint scanner for Home windows Whats up, for individuals who are involved about safety. Plus the laptop computer’s sturdy, high-quality construct is strong from each angle. It doesn’t flex or distort, and it’ll stand as much as put on and tear over time.

The laptop computer follows the lead of its predecessors, retaining the muted ThinkPad aesthetic. The carbon fiber design on the lid has a pleasant delicate look and it provides some structural integrity, which is at all times a great factor. And though not everyone seems to be a fan of the best way ThinkPads look, I’m personally an enormous fan. I don’t desire a laptop computer that’s filled with flash, I desire a laptop computer that’s highly effective and sturdy. And in addition to, it’s laborious to even take into consideration how the laptop computer seems when you open the lid and see that stunning, lovely display….

The Display

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 screen
Kevin Bonnett

The X1 Excessive’s 15.6-inch 4K OLED HDR touchscreen show is nothing wanting pleasant. If I didn’t have a giant flatscreen in my front room, I’d be completely content material watching my reveals on it as a result of it’s simply that good. The intense OLED reaches 400 nits in SDR and 540 nits in HDR. It seems colourful, wealthy, and gloriously detailed it doesn’t matter what I’m watching or enjoying. Actually, I discovered that each Netflix’s Dolby content material and 4K content material from The Slow Mo Guys, appeared particularly exceptional on its Dolby Visible show.

The display is manufactured from anti-reflective glass and appears vibrant and crisp in all lighting situations. It additionally has an anti-smudge coating, which is de facto nice contemplating it’s a touchscreen. Colour accuracy is stellar, and coloration gamut can be first rate for essentially the most half. It covers 100% of sRGB, however simply 96% of AdobeRGB. This can be a negligible element for many customers, however it’s noteworthy for inventive varieties.

The display’s solely draw back is its 60 Hz refresh price. This gained’t have an effect on most customers, but it surely does imply that the pc isn’t the only option for critical avid gamers. Although it handles gameplay simply superb, it isn’t the only option for these wanting a show with a excessive refresh price.

The Keyboard and Trackpad

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 keyboard and trackpad
Kevin Bonnett

The laptop computer’s backlit keyboard has a improbable journey distance and a pleasant tactile really feel. The keys are just a little too spaced out for my consolation, at the least in comparison with what I’m used to (Logitech’s MX Keys). However that apart, the Lenovo keyboard feels good to make use of. It’s pleasantly quiet and completely responsive.

It’s additionally spill resistant, which is nice for clumsy varieties (or these with youngsters or pets). I really like that it options three tremendous handy Unified Communication keys (F9-F11), as they permit me to entry the notification middle and begin or cease a name with the press of a button. My solely gripe is that the Fn key and Ctrl keys are switched, although you possibly can simply swap them within the BIOS or with a Lenovo driver program.

Staying on model, the Lenovo X1 Excessive Gen 3 maintains its notorious TrackPoint “nipple mouse” within the middle of the keyboard. It’s good to have for individuals who prefer it, and it beats carrying round an precise mouse in your bag.

The glass trackpad can be nice. The floor has a pleasant really feel to it, however a lot of its actual property is taken up by the devoted buttons, which I don’t suppose are completely vital since you possibly can nonetheless click on or faucet on the trackpad. It’s additionally off-center (to the left), which could bug some, but it surely’s not thus far off middle that it’s unusable. It really works simply superb.

The Digicam, Microphone, and Audio system

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 fully extended laid flat
Lenovo

The X1 Excessive’s unenthusiastic 720p digital camera barely qualifies to be known as high-definition and simply appears misplaced for the laptop computer, given how nicely it delivers on just about every thing else. Throughout the video calls I made on the laptop computer, everybody I talked with stated it seems blurry. For those who’ll be on video calls on a regular basis on this system, you must think about using a separate webcam.

Nonetheless, the hybrid infrared digital camera works with Home windows Whats up biometrics if you wish to have some login-based safety in your laptop computer. There’s additionally the ThinkShutter webcam privateness cowl, which is small and by no means will get in the best way. It provides you some peace of thoughts anytime you’re utilizing the laptop computer and saves you from having to purchase a separate webcam cover.

My coworkers and associates stated the laptop computer’s twin far-field microphones sounded good when utilized in video calls. You gained’t want to purchase a separate microphone to make use of with this laptop computer, except you’ll be recording studio-grade audio. The included Lenovo Vantage app additionally helps you to optimize your microphone for (Cortana) voice recognition, and for a number of voices.

The X1’s Dolby Atmos Speaker System is fairly dang good as nicely. I spent weeks listening to tunes, enjoying video video games, and watching films with the downward-firing audio system and was by no means disenchanted. Vocals at all times sound clear and crisp, as do most genres of music (particularly EDM and steel). That stated, it may stand to have a heartier bass response and extra balanced treble, however general the audio sounds nice for a laptop computer.

The Efficiency and Energy

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 on white desk next to mouse and coasters
Kevin Bonnett

Permit me to chop to the chase: I really like how highly effective this laptop computer is. It dealt with every thing I threw at it with out a lot as breaking a sweat. At one level, I had Slack, Spotify, Netflix, YouTube, and Adobe Photoshop all open and operating, together with a whopping 32 tabs open in Chrome. It by no means stuttered for a second, and the fan by no means kicked on. The Core i7 simply stored up with my ridiculous antics with out complaints.

The X1 Excessive’s tenth Era Intel Core i7 10850H vPro processor is terrific each on paper and in precise use. And paired with 32 GB of reminiscence, it’s up for any process, even these which are pretty processor-intensive. I ran it by the gamut of processor-heavy actions, like enhancing photographs in photoshop, enjoying a sandbox explosion simulator online game, and enjoying a number of 4K movies on the identical time with out a single situation. It was very nice.

And for those who don’t thoughts its restricted 60 Hz refresh price, the laptop computer can be lots adequate to be used as a gaming laptop computer. In any other case, it handles gaming and different comparable duties with ease. Actually the one singular factor that made the fan kick on in all of my checks was resizing photographs and doing extra intense stuff in Photoshop. At no level did the laptop computer ever really feel prefer it was overheating or struggling.

The Battery

Side of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 to see ports
Lenovo

Oh how I want the X1 Excessive’s battery was higher. On days the place I had two or three tabs open in Google Chrome together with a chat consumer, I received a mean of simply 5 hours out of it. However its underwhelming battery efficiency isn’t unusual for this line of laptops. It appeared to have fared solely barely higher than its Gen 2 predecessor, they usually each have the identical battery.

Beneath my normal pass-out check—which consisted of operating a chat consumer, a looping YouTube video, 15-20 open Chrome tabs, and Spotify and Adobe Photoshop open—it simply barely handed three and a half hours. I stored the display at medium brightness and the amount in a low to medium vary.

Battery life for much less demanding customers will doubtless enhance by an hour or two, however I’d prefer to see it be capable of sustain with heavier workloads for individuals who don’t wish to be tethered to an outlet all day. However as it’s, it’s barely sufficient to get me by half a piece day or a brief flight. With all of its excessive powered elements, this shortcoming isn’t surprising, however dangerous battery life is at all times disappointing to see on any system.

The included 135-watt slim AC adapter can recharge the battery to 80% capability in 60 minutes and totally in 90 minutes, which is appreciated. However its proprietary port means you possibly can’t simply plug in any previous battery financial institution—you’ll have to make use of the charger that comes with the laptop computer. I tried to cost it with my quickest USB-C battery financial institution, however the X1 by no means acknowledged it.

I Don’t Wish to Ship This Laptop computer Again!

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 closed and sitting on white desk
Kevin Bonnett

After spending two weeks working off of the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 3, my sentiments echo these of my coworker Michael when he examined the 2nd technology model of this laptop computer: Please Don’t Make Me Say Goodbye! The laptop computer’s stellar {hardware} dealt with each process (or fleet of duties) I threw at it, and I really like that it by no means received in my means at any level.

Certain, the laptop computer lacks the flashiness present in different fashions, and the webcam high quality and weak battery life are off-putting, however the Excessive Gen 3 is the excellent selection for common residence workplace use, in addition to for informal gaming and watching movies. Plus it’s not too heavy or cumbersome, and can simply slot in your bag if you must take it on the go. I’m gonna have a tough time going again to my Floor Professional 6 after this.

Score: 9/10
Worth: $2182.95

Right here’s What We Like

  • Beautiful 4K OLED touchscreen
  • Handles simultaneous demanding packages with ease
  • Full-size SD card reader
  • Nice ThinkPad aesthetics

And What We Do not

  • Blurry webcam
  • Underwhelming battery life
  • Actual costly



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