Lenovo on Thursday introduced its ultra-thin ThinkPad X1 Extreme laptop aimed at business users who are also interested in gaming and multimedia applications. The new notebook has a 15.6-inch display and is basically a version of the ThinkPad P1 mobile workstation with a gaming-grade discrete GPU and additional enhancements aimed at the target audience. Meanwhile, a ThinkPad is still a ThinkPad, with all the business/enterprise-related advantages of the series.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme is based on Intel’s Core i7 or Core i9 processors with up to six cores as well as NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti discrete GPU with Max-Q software enhancements to guarantee sufficient performance in a variety of games while keeping TDP in check. The notebook can be equipped with up to 64 GB of DDR4-2667 memory as well as up to two M.2 SSDs with a PCIe or SATA interface that can work in RAID 0 or RAID 1 modes. Unlike the ThinkPad P1, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme officially supports 1 TB drives, and therefore up to 2 TB of storage in total.
As with the 13.3-inch ThinkPad X1 as well as 15.6-inch ThinkPad P1 laptops, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme will be available with two display options. The more advanced machines will come with a multitouch 15.6-inch 10-bit IPS LCD with a 4K Ultra-HD (3840×2160) resolution, a 400 nits brightness, and supporting Dolby Vision HDR for appropriate content. The more affordable models will use a non-touch Full-HD (1920×1080) IPS panel featuring a 300 nits brightness and covering 100% of the sRGB color range.
On the wireless connectivity side of things, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme resembles its professional counterpart, the ThinkPad P1. The laptop is outfitted with Intel’s Wireless-AC 9560 802.11ac Wi-Fi solution featuring up to 1.73 Gbps throughput over 160 MHz channels as well as supporting Bluetooth 5.0 tech. As for hardware interfaces, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme is equipped with two Thunderbolt 3 ports (unknown controller), two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A connectors, a mini GbE header (requires a dongle), an HDMI 2.0 output, an optional smart card reader, a 4-in-1 card reader, a webcam, far field microphones, and a TRRS audio port that supports Dolby Atmos with appropriate headphones.
Even though Lenovo outfitted its ThinkPad X1 Extreme with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti discrete GPU aimed at gamers, the laptop still retains its business/enterprise roots. The notebook comes with Intel’s vPro technology enabled (on i7 CPUs), features a dTPM 2.0 module, a match-in-sensor fingerprint reader, ThinkShutter cover for the webcam, and so on. Meanwhile, ThinkPad’s ergonomic keyboard with key travel of 1.8mm and backlighting will certainly be appreciated by all types of users, including gamers.
Since the ThinkPad X1 Extreme is essentially a variant of the ThinkPad P1, it uses a similar black carbon fiber chassis with an aluminum bottom designed to withstand bumps of life as well as harsh environmental conditions while efficiently dissipating heat generated by high-performance CPU and GPU. Obviously, at 17.8 mm (0.7 inch) z-height and at 1.7 kg (3.76 pounds) weight, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme will also be among the thinnest and lightest 15.6-inch gaming notebooks. When it comes to battery life, Lenovo says that the ThinkPad X1 Extreme can last for 15 hours on one charge, presumably with an 80 Wh battery. Meanwhile, just like its ‘professional’ brother, the X1 Extreme uses a power brick with a proprietary connector, not a universal USB Type-C.
Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Extreme
ThinkPad X1 Extreme FHD
ThinkPad X1 Extreme 4K UHD
100% AdobeRGB (?)
Dolby Vision HDR
Intel's 8th Generation Core i7/i9 with six cores.
Select SKUs will be powered by vPro-enabled CPUs
UHD Graphics 620 (24 EUs)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4 GB GDDR5 and Max-Q enhancements
GP 107, 768 SPs
up to 64 GB DDR4-2667
up to 2 TB PCIe SSD with RAID 0/RAID 1
Intel Wireless AC-9560 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with up to 1.73 Gbps
2 × USB Type-C TB3 ports
2 × USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
Native, with a dongle
720p webcam with IR for Windows Hello
Microphone, stereo speakers, TRRS audio jack (with Dolby Atmos enhancements for appropriate headphones), joystick, trackpad, card reader, etc.
non touch-enabled: 18.4 mm | 0.7 inch
touch-enabled: 18.7 mm | 0.72 inch
361.8 mm | 14.2 inch
245.7 mm | 9.7 inch
1.7 kilograms | 3.76 lbs
Windows 10 Pro
Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme will be available in September at prices starting at $1,859. Meanwhile, the X1 Extreme systems with overclockable Core i9 processors will be available starting from December. Keep in mind that the Core i9-8950HK does not support Intel’s vPro technology, so laptops based on these chips will lack certain features of notebooks running various Core i7 CPUs.
NOTE: The news story used Lenovo ThinkPad P1 provided images. We're pretty sure some of the photos that show crazy viewing angles aren't that clear. With any luck, we will have time for a hands on while at the IFA show.