Coming to the ports, the X1 Extreme has not cut any corners at all, and personally, I am astounded at how easily Lenovo has managed to put in two USB 3.1 type-A ports, an SD card reader, a smart card reader, a Kensington lock, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI port, a headphone jack and the Lenovo proprietary AC power port in such a slim frame. This is definitely where the X1 Extreme stands out among the rest of the competition.
Durability is something of a Lenovo speciality, and with the X1 Extreme, the durability factor has been taken to a whole other level, with the rather slim and lightweight laptop being subjected to 12 MIL-STD-810G standards, which means it can survive high humidity, exposure to sand and dust, extreme temperatures and repeated drops. The X1 Extreme has superb security features under the hood as well. The laptop has been certified by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) and supports dTPM encryption and Intel vPro technology. Along with this, we have an in built match on chip fingerprint sensor which teams up perfectly with the Windows Hello facial sign in to give you a complete security package.
The Lenovo X1 Extreme does feature the standard 1080p display variant, but if you want to truly experience the best of the X1 Extreme, and you wouldn’t mind breaking the bank for the same, go for the top end 4K HDR touch screen variant. The panel output is extremely detailed, with vivid and accurate colours which make the X1 Extreme one of the best laptops in the world right now in terms of the display. The display output is so rich, that I have been hard-pressed to rewatch a lot of movies and Tv shows, just to experience them on this display. Even the Windows 10 icons receive a step up, thanks to the rich details of the display. The White balance too, is supremely accurate, but the colour saturation will have to be dialled down in a few cases, but its not such a ludicrous problem, so we will not deduct any points from Lenovo for this.Talking purely in terms of benchmark numbers, the X1 Extreme display panel covers a staggering 186% of the sRGB colour gamut, which is astronomical when compared to the industry average of a paltry 113%. The panel maxes out at 366 nits of brightness, which is in itself, very bright for a laptop display, and at the same time, is not as blinding as the display of the XPS 15 which features 447 nits of brightness.
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Lenovo keyboard have been fantastic over the years, and X1 Extreme is no exception. With 1.7mm of key travel and superbly curved and tactile keys, the keyboard is one of, if not, the best keyboard in the laptop market today. The keys may be a bit stiff due to the slightly bumped up actuation force, but when you put in the work, you will see that you will literally blaze through any typing assignment with relative ease. There is no dedicated number pad on the X1 Extreme, but the well sized keys compensate for this, and you will not really feel anything amiss once you start using the same.The iconic red pointing stick has been retained in the X1 Extreme and can be found seated snugly at the centre of the keyboard. The dimpled top of the pointing stick catches your movements accurately, and make for a reliable second touch pad when you need to do some general browsing.
When it comes to raw performance, the X1 starts to flex its muscles and delivers an unbelievable experience. The Lenovo X1 Extreme comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, which, even on paper, makes for a compelling argument. When you bring it to life however, you will see that in reality, there was really no argument to begin with. The X1 Extreme makes google chrome tabs look like a cup of tea, and doesn’t break a sweat when you decide to load multiple 1080p videos simultaneously. If you then decide to stream a video live, do so by all means, but do not expect the X1 Extreme to tire out. It is powerful, fast and without a doubt, one of the best in the business.When it comes to benchmark scores, the 22,021 clocked in by the X1 Extreme, outperforms the likes of the Dell XPS 15 and the Asus ZenBook Pro 15, while just falling short against the 15 inch MacBook Pro(i9 variant). That said, the Lenovo X1 Extreme still stands tall among the performance laptop bracket, which features an average score of 13,000.
While the benchmarks place the X1 Extreme on the podium, what is truly surprising is that although the laptop has been made for business, the X1 Extreme features the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM. The dedicated GPU is powerful enough to play most modern titles at low-to-medium graphics settings. While you do get a decent 35 fps and 30 fps frame rates, they are nowhere near the 50 fps average for gaming segment competitors. Do keep in mind, however, that the X1 Extreme is by no means a gaming piece, so it’s more of a bonus that you can do a bit of casual gaming without breaking the bank.
On paper, Lenovo claims that the aluminium underbody helps in easier dissipation of heat, and keeps the device cool. This is again not completely true, since the X1 Extreme heats up to concerning temperatures at certain hotspots, making it unbearable at times.