Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen4 Evaluation

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive gen4 represents the technological pinnacle of the ThinkPad X1 collection. As such, it has the best attainable configuration choices of any X1 and exhibits how far Lenovo’s laptop computer expertise can go for that technology of laptops.

When it launched, the specs and configuration choices appeared terrific. Now, we’re going to dive deeper into the strengths and attainable tradeoffs of packing a lot energy right into a 3.99 Lbs chassis. We’ll let you know who, how, and when this laptop computer may be most helpful (to).

Specs highlights + config choices

Our take a look at unit is a ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen4 with a Core i7-11800H CPU, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD (KXG7AZNV512G LA KIOXIA), and the NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU. As configured, this unit is on the decrease spectrum of efficiency the X1 Excessive Gen4 presents, so hold that in thoughts. Lenovo has appreciable configuration choices.

CPU choices embody the Core i7-11800H (ours), Core i7-11850H, and Core i9-11950H. The principle distinction between them is the utmost Frequencies of 4.6, 4.8, and 5.0 GHz, respectively.

Customers can order or set up a most of 64GB RAM (DDR4-3200) by way of two SO-DIMM modules, making this laptop computer appropriate for data-heavy work. The next OSes can be found: Win10, Win11, Linux (Ubuntu), and no OS.

The discrete GPU choices embody the RTX 3050 Ti 4GB, RTX 3060 6GB (ours), RTX 3070 8GB, and RTX 3080 16GB. Extra selections than prime opponents.

Storage choices of “as much as” 2TB are barely totally different relying on the laptop computer tiers: RTX 3050Ti and beneath get two M.2 slots, whereas RTX 3060 and above get solely one M.2 slot.

Industrial Design

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive gen4 makes use of a barely modified chassis in comparison with final 12 months’s. Probably the most notable evolutions are the brand new show 16:10 ratio and the new audio system’ location on both keyboard facet.

The show cowl is manufactured from Carbon, whereas the remainder of the chassis is usually Aluminum. It’s all lined by the same old ThinkPad soft-touch paint that Lenovo has used for years (with minor tweaks), so should you’ve seen a current ThinkPad earlier than, the floor therapy could be very related.

“THE CORE I9-11950H+RTX 3080 THINKPAD X1 EXTREME SHOULD HAVE NO PROBLEM BEATING THESE COMPETITORS WHEN IT COMES TO PERF/WEIGHT RATIO”

With a weight of 3.99 Lbs (4.1 Lbs for the touchscreen SKU), it’s a 16-inch gentle laptop, on par with the brand new Dell XPS 15, however a bit heavier than the three.5 Lbs Macbook Professional.

That stated, the Core i9-11950H+RTX 3080 ThinkPad X1 Excessive should not have any drawback beating these opponents relating to Perf/Weight ratio. By “how a lot” it wins stays to be seen.

Keyboard and Trackpad

On the floor, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive inputs seem like your typical ThinkPad keyboard and principally really feel the identical. Nevertheless, the key-travel appears a bit extra shallow, and that’s additionally true for the trackpad click on depth.

This small change doesn’t trouble me, however of us who beloved the traditional ThinkPad keyboard for its deep key journey may discover and must determine for themselves. More than likely, you’re going to get used to it in a short time, and that’s in all probability the value to pay for having such highly effective inner elements in a skinny chassis.

The keyboard backlight has the usual two brightness ranges, however it will have been good to have the next peak backlight brightness.

The bigger (glass) trackpad is easy and makes utilizing any gestures comfy. The bodily left/proper trackpad buttons make click on operations extra correct and dissociated from any mouse cursor movement.

Ports & Connectivity

This laptop computer has all of the ports one would sometimes want, and I can’t think about requiring a dongle, apart from Ethernet connectivity, maybe. That may very well be a steep benefit over super-slim opponents with solely USB-C ports.

The presence of a full-size SD card reader is an efficient trace that Lenovo had Inventive customers in thoughts, and it’s an awesome thought as a result of this laptop computer will entice lots of them for its dimension/weight/efficiency ratio.

WiFi-6E makes this laptop computer future-proof for native wi-fi networking. The subsequent stage could be to get the elective 5G connectivity powered by Qualcomm’s X55 modem that was utilized in high-end telephones not so way back. Built-in 5G is all the time significantly better and extra handy than making a hotspot together with your cellphone.

Lastly, in case you have a number of 4K shows and even exterior GPUs, Thunderbolt 4 is a superb bonus to have on this laptop computer.

ThinkPad X1 Excessive Sound high quality

The two up-firing audio system (2x 2-Watt) are positioned on both facet of the keyboard and are a major improve from earlier X1 Excessive generations that had bottom-firing audio system. This is without doubt one of the most optimum speaker placement on a laptop computer.

“CUSTOMERS WILL BE SATISFIED WITH THE X1 EXTREME’S IMPROVED SOUND SYSTEM”

They output a very good high quality sound that’s clear, distortion-free, and highly effective sufficient to take pleasure in a very good motion film in your mattress or resort room. Lenovo’s soundbar on YOGA Laptops is a bit higher, and so are choose laptops just like the Macbook Professional 16, the brand new Huawei MateBook 16, or Dell XPS 15 (4 audio system).

Nonetheless, I feel that prospects will probably be happy with the X1 Excessive’s improved sound system.

Show

Lenovo continues to roll out 16:10 ratio shows, and that’s nice from a productiveness standpoint because it offers a bit extra vertical house for content material. Maybe we’ll see a 3:2 version sometime, just like the 2021 X1 Titanium.

Our unit’s show is the 16-inch WQXGA (2560×1600), a non-touch panel with a matte end. A matte show will not be as vulnerable to glare as a shiny display, however it’s additionally true that colours don’t “pop” as a lot, and shiny shows may look a bit sharper.

The show high quality is excessive, with wonderful colour gamut (95% sRGB measured) and good colour accuracy as properly (avg Delta-E < 2.2). The picture high quality makes this laptop appropriate for Inventive skilled utilization.

A brightness of 354 NITs measured makes it readable sufficient open air, however that’s simply above common. Fortuitously, Lenovo has higher, costlier choices with even higher picture high quality.

If you wish to go the additional mile, it is best to calibrate it your self utilizing a Spyderx datacolor, or get a pre-calibrated show just like the Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen2 workstation.

For gaming functions, take into account that the refresh charge is 60Hz. For many customers, that’s fully high quality, and I take pleasure in taking part in at a sustained 60FPS myself. However some avid gamers are a bit pickier and may need a display that reaches 120Hz+ simply because this laptop computer can run some video games at a really excessive pace.

The new 1080p webcam is noticeably sharper than your typical 720p digital camera. That stated, a mid-range cellphone selfie digital camera Remains to be higher than any laptop computer we reviewed, together with this one, however it’s good to see some progress on this entrance, and I encourage OEMs to proceed pushing the envelope.

ThinkPad X1 Excessive Efficiency

From a efficiency standpoint, the benchmark numbers present the ThinkPad X1 Excessive to be an excellent performer, with considerably increased common “Productiveness” efficiency than the most recent X1 Carbon.

For CPU-heavy Inventive duties, our Core i7-11800H CPU proves to be a bonus when in comparison with laptops geared up with Core i7-11375H processors, despite the fact that they could have an analogous graphics processor.

Sometimes not seen within the benchmarks, however in some purposes, you may get a lift in reminiscence efficiency should you go for a unit with two reminiscence modules because it will increase the height RAM bandwidth. Some RAM configurations include one module solely.

Laptops with the RTX 3070 or 3080 GPUs are even sooner, as demonstrated by the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE. Nevertheless, you could bear in mind the cooling capability of every laptop design. These two GPUs generate quite a lot of warmth, and I don’t understand how quick this X1 Excessive chassis can dissipate it, despite the fact that Lenovo is ventilating it as a lot as attainable.

Additionally, wanting on the efficiency “per Lbs” exhibits how nice this X1 Excessive design is for many who care about each little bit of weight.

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive is designed as a enterprise laptop or gentle workstation. That’s why it doesn’t characteristic an enormous gaming-like cooling system (and chassis). Gaming laptops are designed to run sizzling and noisy.

As an alternative, the X1 Excessive is skinny and visually pleasant to a enterprise setting, and that features conserving a low fan noise (solely ~51db max, vs. 60db+ for gaming laptops).

Our RTX 3060 GPU ran sizzling, practically reaching 88-90 Celcius, and whereas it’s okay for minutes of benchmarking, it’s not ultimate for sustained efficiency as warmth builds up and thermal efficiency throttling units in to stop overheating. Be aware that we didn’t have any sort of stability points.

Lenovo doesn’t present software program fan controls, and having a few of these capabilities would assist customers get probably the most from this laptop computer. Within the meantime, you’ll be able to management the followers utilizing tpfancontrol, however I’d like to see a local resolution.

In case your finances is tight and you may get by with solely 4GB of video reminiscence, the RTX 3050 Ti SKU may be a good selection. It would maximize the value/pace ratio by maximizing the thermal dissipation capabilities.

In benchmarks, the graphics efficiency “per Lbs” of this RTX 3060 X1 Excessive could be very similar to the sunshine Acer Triton Predator 300 SE gaming laptop computer. For a enterprise laptop computer, it’s spectacular and an enormous enchancment over final 12 months’s X1 Excessive Gen3.

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 4 presents workstation-level SSD efficiency, with barely higher total efficiency than the heavier ThinkPad P15 Gen2. The writes will not be as quick because the Predator Triton 500 SE as a result of Acer makes use of a RAID0 configuration in that laptop computer, pushing it above everybody with out RAID0.

Since this laptop computer has PCIe 4.0, it is best to get increased efficiency by manually upgrading to the most recent PCIe 4.0 SSDs from Samsung or different OEMs, however this stays to be confirmed independently.

ThinkPad X1 Excessive Battery Life

The 88Wh battery capability could be very respectable given the small chassis dimension, and the 6h48mn battery endurance through the steady “Workplace Productiveness” battery take a look at is according to laptops with the identical efficiency envelope.

If you wish to have a for much longer battery life, you’ll need to choose a pc with a decrease efficiency profile. That’s all there’s to it. If you’d like Gaming-like graphics efficiency, you additionally want a higher-wattage CPU and GPU that can eat extra energy always. Intel’s new Alder Lake structure ought to assist significantly with energy effectivity sooner or later.

That’s why the 2021 ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a for much longer battery life, regardless of that includes a a lot smaller battery.

It’s attainable to cost the X1 Excessive utilizing the USB-C ports, however you want a high-power USB-C charger. I’m undecided what the minimal is, however I’ve a 100W USB-C charger, and it labored, whereas a 65W from one other Lenovo laptop computer didn’t. I’ll attempt discovering out what the precise ground is, however be aware of this till then.

That stated, solely the 230W unique Lenovo energy provide can fulfill this laptop computer’s vitality requirement to run at full pace. However should you lose it, it’s good to have another emergency possibility (like borrowing from a buddy).

Conclusion

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen4 (official web page) is a formidable replace from a 12 months in the past. It is without doubt one of the finest skinny & gentle 16-inch enterprise laptops for its peak efficiency and total options. And take into account that we solely examined the slower model of this laptop!

With sooner RTX 3070 and 3080 GPU choices, the graphics efficiency has extra potential. Although I’m wondering how thermal limitations might have an effect on their peak efficiency, I do know that peak speeds could be considerably increased.

“THE LENOVO THINKPAD X1 EXTREME HAS THE BEST CONFIGURATION OPTIONS IN ITS CATEGORY”

Objectively, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive has the most effective configuration choices in its class, making it very exhausting to beat in its most “excessive” model: Core i9-11950H+RTX 3080.

For brief and heavy compute workloads going from 20mn to 5mn remains to be a fascinating and measurable productiveness acquire. You’ll should determine this out on your use case and worth it.

In conclusion, as probably the most “excessive” ThinkPad X1, this laptop computer is a superb product that may deal with any enterprise utility and will probably be an awesome companion throughout instances of enjoyable as properly.

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