Lenovo’s exceptional X-series has produced some of our admired laptops, and the newest accession to the calendar is no exception. The 15.6-inch ThinkPad X1 Acute (reviewed at $2,955) lives up to its name with a jaw-dropping 4K HDR affectation and accomplished all-embracing achievement offered by a Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti GPU. Starting at $1,580, this able business laptop additionally has a glassy anatomy and an awfully adequate keyboard. Array activity on the 4K adaptation is beneath than we’d like, but the ThinkPad X1 is still one of the best 15-inch laptops on the market, and a acute addition to the Dell XPS 15 and 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro.
The 15-inch Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Acute is a sleek, attenuate and failing business laptop fabricated of adequate materials.
The graceful clamshell laptop’s matte atramentous carbon-fiber anatomy sports a adult soft-touch finish. Embossed on the lid and accouter is a atramentous ThinkPad adumbration complete with a aglow red dot that lights up like Rudolph’s nose. Addition logo, a stylish, red-and-gray X1, is formed on the basal bend of the lid.
Lift the lid and you’ll acquisition the aforementioned smooth, costly actual on the atramentous deck. The bendable apparent is adequate to blow your wrists on back typing, and it isn’t algid like the automated aluminum we so generally see. Unfortunately, the blanket attracts fingerprints, and it’s not accessible to apple-pie clean, either.
There is no mistaking the X1 Acute for annihilation added than a ThinkPad. Its architecture has all the mainstays that appear with the moniker, including a red pointing stick, three red-trimmed clickers aloft the touchpad, and affably angled keyboard keys. There is a annular ability on in the upper-right bend of the accouter and (another) ellipsoidal Lenovo logo beneath the display.
The attenuate bezels about the affectation enabled Lenovo to abate the laptop’s all-embracing footprint. At 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.7 inches, the X1 Acute takes up added amplitude than the Dell XPS 15 (14.1 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches) and Apple MacBook Pro (13.8 x 9.5 x 0.6 inches), but the Lenovo is added bunched than the Asus ZenBook Pro 15 (14.4 x 9.9 x 0.7 inches). As expected, the 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches) is appreciably abate than its 15.6-inch sibling.
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The ThinkPad X1 Acute weighs beneath than the competition, and is appealing carriageable for a 15-inch laptop. At 3.8 pounds, the Lenovo is lighter than the MacBook Pro (4 pounds), ZenBook Pro 15 (4.2 pounds) and the XPS 15 (4.2 pounds). That’s no surprise, because the X1 Acute is fabricated from the aforementioned cast as the ultraportable ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2.5 pounds).
Who said abbreviate laptops accept to skimp on ports?
The X1 Acute has a advanced ambit of connections. On the adapted ancillary are two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, an SD agenda reader, an alternative Smart Agenda clairvoyant and a Kensington lock.
The larboard ancillary has alike added inputs, including two Thundert 3 ports, an HDMI, a headphone/mic jack and Lenovo’s proprietary AC ability input. There’s additionally a proprietary arrangement addendum anchorage that allows for an Ethernet affiliation with a dongle.
Don’t be bamboozled by its attenuate and failing architecture — the X1 Acute is one abiding laptop. The apparatus has been activated to 12 MIL-STD-810G standards, which agency it can survive aerial humidity, acknowledgment to beach and dust, acute temperatures and again drops.
Regarding security, the ThinkPad X1 Acute is certified by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) and supports dTPM encryption and Intel vPro technology.
Don’t be bamboozled by its attenuate and failing architecture — the X1 Acute is one abiding laptop.
To the adapted of the X1 Extreme’s keyboard is an included Match-on-Chip fingerprint clairvoyant to go forth with the alternative Smart Agenda clairvoyant for defended login. Alternatively, you can assurance in to Windows 10 with facial acceptance via Windows Hello application the alternative IR camera ($25). The webcam cover, or what Lenovo calls ThinkShutter, is not accessible with the IR camera, so if you’re afraid about snooping, opt for the accepted 720p HD lens instead.
If array activity and bulk aren’t a affair for you, opt for the X1 Extreme’s astounding 4K (3840 x 2160) HDR touch-screen affectation over the matte, 1080p option. Detailed and beginning with vivid, saturated colors, this is afterwards a agnosticism one of the best 15.6-inch displays on a consumer-grade business laptop, or any laptop for that matter.
The bivouac I watched of the accessible X-Men film, Dark Phoenix, was arresting on the about bezel-less 4K model. During the slow-motion car crash, I could see the atomic shards of bottle amphibian harmlessly, inches abroad from a adolescent Jean Grey. I additionally noticed an absurd bulk of detail in James McAvoy’s face during a close-up shot, from the tiny cracks in his ablaze red aperture to the aboriginal curve on his forehead.
The awfully active colors on the HDR console bound off the screen; in fact, I was so captivated by the images it produced that I acquainted an appetite to rewatch my admired movies aloof to acquaintance them in such animated blush and detail. In Dark Phoenix, Mystique’s ablaze red bristles looked like it had been biconcave in a brazier of paint, and McEvoy’s dejected eyes glistened like azure gemstones. Alike Windows 10 icons were accustomed new activity by the affluence of this display.
Detailed and beginning with vivid, saturated colors, this is afterwards a agnosticism one of the best 15.6-inch displays on a consumer-grade business laptop.
But while white antithesis seemed accurate, blush assimilation was abstract to the point of actuality lurid. Because of this, photo editors who charge authentic tones will charge to use blush arrangement software to punch things down. On a absolute note, I had no issues application the X1 Extreme’s blow awning to browse the web and draw images in Acrylic 3D.
Our lab tests accepted the accurateness of the ThinkPad X1 Extreme’s display. The console covers an accomplished 186 percent of the sRGB blush gamut, which is greater than the displays on the 4K XPS 15 (164 percent), the Apple MacBook Pro (117 percent) and the Asus ZenBook Pro 15 (141 percent). The exceptional laptop boilerplate is paltry in comparison, at 113 percent.
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At a best of 366 nits, the X1 Extreme’s affectation is additionally actual bright, although added panels are alike added luminous. For example, the Dell XPS’ affectation accomplished a blinding 447 nits of brightness, and the 2K console on the Thinkpad X1 Carbon maxed out at 469 nits. The displays on the MacBook Pro (354 nits), the ZenBook Pro 15 (330 nits) and the exceptional laptop boilerplate (310 nits) are dimmer.
ThinkPad keyboards are anxiously fantastic, and the X1 Extreme’s ranks a the top. That’s acknowledgment in ample allotment to 1.7 millimeters of key travel, which is adapted in the boilerplate of our 1.5mm to 2mm preference, and aloft boilerplate for a laptop this thin. If I had one catch with the backlit keyboard, it’s that, with a hardly animated actuation force of 78 grams, the keys are a bit stiff.
There is no cardinal pad on the X1 Extreme, but the laptop’s abnormally arced keys are ample and well-spaced. A weighty, concrete bang rewards you for commutual a keystroke, authoritative it a amusement to blazon for continued sessions.
I blazed through the 10fastfingers.com accounting test, accomplishing 116 words per minute with an accurateness of 96 percent. Those after-effects beat my 115 wpm and 5 percent absurdity bulk averages.
An iconic admittance on ThinkPad accessories is the baby red pointing stick in the centermost of the keyboard, which some bodies use instead of the touchpad. The biconcave elastic dot tracked my movements accurately as I browsed the web.
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The ThinkPad X1 Extreme’s 3.9 x 2.3-inch touchpad kept up with me rapidly scrolling through web pages. The bland apparent didn’t alternate through a administration of Windows 10 gestures, including pinch-to-zoom, a three-finger tap to accessible Cortana, and a three-finger bash to change apps.
The bifold speakers on the abject of the ThinkPad X1 Acute can ample a medium-size room. Complete affection is average, admitting your breadth will alter depending on what music brand you accept to. The speakers can accumulate up with simple cord rhythms in acoustic music, but circuitous bedrock advance complete muddled.
When I listened to City and Colour’s “Northern Wind,” Dallas Green’s affluent falsetto was bright clear, and the simple acoustic guitar chords were nice and clean. Things went decline already I listened to the choir of Thrice’s “Just Breathe.” Splashy cymbal hits circuitous with acute guitar notes, consistent in a cacophony that masked Dustin Kensrue’s able vocals.
The X1 Acute lives up to its name back it comes to achievement — this laptop is afire fast. Our analysis unit, which came able with an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, didn’t dribble back I loaded 15 Google Chrome tabs and ran assorted 1080p YouTube videos. From there, the laptop agilely opened the LinkedIn app and played Microsoft Solitaire afterwards any lag. I again played an HD Twitch beck and noticed alone abrupt slowdowns back switching amid web browser tabs.
We saw analogously able achievement on our lab tests. The X1 Acute denticulate a aerial account of 22,021 on the Geekbench 4.1 all-embracing achievement test, almost outperforming the Dell XPS 15 (Core i7-8750H; 21,201) and the Asus ZenBook Pro 15 (Core i9-8950HK; 21,691). The MacBook Pro 15 (Core i9-8950HK; 23,138) had a slight bend on the ThinkPad, with a account of 22,021. Still, the ThinkPad X1 Acute is added able than the boilerplate exceptional laptop (13,996).
The X1 Acute additionally has one of the fastest adamantine drives we’ve tested. The business machine’s 1TB PCIe-NVME OPAL2.0 M.2 SSD bare alone 5 abnormal to alike 4.97GB of mixed-media files for a bulk of 1,017 megabytes per second. That account didn’t absolutely ability the aerial heights of the MacBook Pro (2TB; 2,724 MBps), but it outpaced the ZenBook Pro 15 (512GB NVMe PCIe SSD; 424 MBps) and the XPS 15 (256GB M.2 PCIe SSD; 391 MBps).
Our high-end agreement of the X1 Acute akin 65,000 names to their agnate addresses in aloof 40 abnormal on the Excel Macro Test. The ZenBook Pro 15 (40 seconds) completed the analysis in the aforementioned bulk of time, while the MacBook Pro (52 seconds) and the XPS 15 (44 seconds) lagged behind. The exceptional laptop boilerplate (1:29) took added than alert as continued as the ThinkPad.
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Even our authentic Handbrake video-transcoding analysis was no assignment for the Thinkpad X1 Extreme, which adapted a 4K video to 1080p in 10 account and 3 seconds. The XPS 15 (10:12) and MacBook Pro (10:16) took a few abnormal longer, and the ZenBook Pro 15 (10:53) was alike slower. Again, the boilerplate exceptional laptop (20:30) takes alert as continued to complete this test.
The X1 Acute is advised for business professionals, prosumers and…gamers? Yes, the ThinkPad X1 Acute can bifold as an entry-level gaming apparatus acknowledgment to its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM. The committed GPU is able abundant to comedy best avant-garde titles at low-to-medium cartoon settings.
The ThinkPad X1 Acute denticulate a 154,719 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited cartoon test, falling aloof abbreviate of the XPS 15 (GTX 1050 Ti, 163,171) and the ZenBook Pro 15 (GTX 1050 Ti, 174,523). The boilerplate exceptional laptop (90,396) is far behind.
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We accomplished a solid 35 frames per additional back arena Rise of the Tomb Raider on the X1 Acute on Actual Aerial cartoon settings. That acme the XPS 15 (22 fps) and the Asus ZenBook Pro 15 (21 fps) but is beneath the exceptional laptop boilerplate (39 fps). At 56 fps, X1 Acute additionally exceeded our 30-fps playability beginning back arena Hitman on Ultra settings. The XPS 15 (60 fps) and ZenBook Pro 15 (60 fps) were a bit smoother.
Battery activity on the 4K archetypal of the X1 Acute is disappointing. The laptop lasted aloof 6 hours and 7 account on the Laptop Mag Array Test, which involves connected web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of affectation brightness. That’s not abhorrent for a laptop with such a high-resolution panel, but it’s able-bodied beneath the 8:14 exceptional laptop average.
For comparison, the 4K adaptation of the XPS 15 (8:28) backward powered for added than 2 hours best than the X1 Extreme. And although the MacBook Pro’s (10:21) affectation isn’t absolutely as pixel-packed, the abysm in array activity is adamantine to ignore. The Asus ZenBook Pro 15 (4:23), with a 4K affectation and ScreenPad, powered off continued afore the competitors.
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We doubtable the FHD adaptation of the ThinkPad X1 Acute gets decidedly best array activity than the 4K model, but we’ll accept to delay to get our easily on a analysis assemblage to apperceive for sure.
Rejoice! Lenovo begin a way to position the ThinkPad X1 Extreme’s webcam aloft the display, admitting the laptop’s abbreviate bezels. This puts the Lenovo afar advanced of competitors whose “nose cams” abide beneath the screen.
The angel affection of this 720p webcam is annihilation to address home about, but it’s not terrible, either. A selfie I airtight in our dimly lit appointment had authentic colors, capturing the adapted brownish accent in my bark and the ablaze gray blush of my shirt. My blooming eyes and the straw-colored ends of my bedraggled albino bristles were alike retained in the image.
Unfortunately, the camera aloof isn’t actual sharp. It bootless to abstract alone strands of bristles in my beard, which, instead, looked like a blob. Overall, it’s a appropriate webcam, but alien cameras are a big footfall up.
Lenovo claims the X1 Extreme’s new aluminum-alloy basal awning can finer blow calefaction to accumulate the laptop cool. Unfortunately, we didn’t acquisition this to be the case in our tests. The apparatus accomplished apropos calefaction levels afterwards we played a full-screen YouTube video for 15 minutes.
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The centermost of the keyboard hit 107 degrees Fahrenheit and the abject topped out at 116 degrees. Those after-effects are able-bodied aloft our 95-degree abundance threshold. The hottest area on the laptop was the abject a the hinge, which broiled to a blame 123 degrees. For what it’s worth, the touchpad accomplished alone 88 degrees.
To our relief, there are few accidental programs preinstalled on the ThinkPad X1. Lenovo brings its Pen Settings software, which lets users adapt the alternative stylus.
There are a few blackballed programs on the ThinkPad X1 Extreme, best of which appear address of Microsoft. Those accommodate LinkedIn and amateur like the Candy Crush Saga and Hidden City, which feel out of abode on such a exceptional device.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Acute comes with a one-year warranty. See how Lenovo performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands ranking.
I activated the $2,955 archetypal of the X1 Extreme. The specific agreement has a 4K display, an Intel Core i7-8750H, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB PCIe-NVME OPAL2.0 M.2 SSD. For gaming, there’s an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU, which comes accepted no bulk the configuration.
The abject archetypal of the X1 Acute costs $1,580 and comes with an FHD display, a Core i5-8400H CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Upgrading to a Core i7 CPU and acceleration the bulk of RAM and accumulator raises the bulk to $1,767.
The 4K affectation will bake a aperture in your wallet. You’ll charge to save up $2,370 for an X1 Carbon with a UHD affectation and a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
Lenovo calls the top-of-the-line archetypal the “X-tremely Awesome Bundle,” but it should be dubbed the “X-tremely Expensive Bundle.” For $3,217, this UHD config comes with a Core i7-8850H CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. Additionally, you get an continued three-year assurance forth with a agglomeration of extras, including a USB berth and a wireless mouse.
The X1 Acute is absolutely a Jack-of-all-trades. The laptop is abundant for business professionals acknowledgment to its accomplished alternative of ports and rugged, carriageable design. For accustomed consumers and ability users, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme’s high-end apparatus can run alike the best ambitious programs, and movies and shows attending adorable on the active 4K HDR display. And with a GTX 1050 Ti GPU, alike gamers accept a acumen to get aflame about the laptop.
Unfortunately, there are a few areas area the X1 Acute avalanche short, including its below-average array activity and apropos calefaction levels beneath a abundant workload. These shortcomings accessible the aperture for the X1 Extreme’s competitors.
The Dell XPS 15 additionally has a adorable 4K display, fast achievement and a committed GPU, all packaged in a abbreviate adorable design. However, the webcam is ailing located. The 15-inch MacBook Pro is addition contender, acknowledgment to its blazing-fast accumulator and continued array life. But you charge alike added pockets to allow the Apple laptop, and there is no USB Type-A anchorage for peripherals.
Overall, the X1 Acute is an accomplished advantage for business users, gamers and accustomed consumers who are in the bazaar for a exceptional laptop. So, to acknowledgment the catechism you’ve been wondering: Yes, this absolutely is an X-treme laptop.
Credit: Laptop Mag
Phenomenal 4K HDR display; Blazing-fast performance; Adequate design; Attenuate and lightweight; Adequate keyboard
Below-average array life; Runs warm; Expensive
Sporting a adorable 4K display, able Intel i7 processor and detached Nvidia graphics, this 15.6-inch assertive lives up to the name: Extreme.
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