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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 Review (July 2024)

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is the latest iteration of Lenovo’s flagship workstation laptop. This powerful machine boasts impressive performance, a vibrant display, and a durable build. It’s designed for professionals who demand the best in terms of processing power, graphics capabilities, and portability.

This generation sees significant upgrades, including the new 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics, offering a substantial performance boost compared to its predecessor. The X1 Extreme Gen 5 also boasts a 16-inch 4K OLED display, delivering stunning visuals with deep blacks and vibrant colors.

With its sleek design and robust construction, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is a reliable and versatile workhorse. The laptop is packed with connectivity options, including Thunderbolt 4 ports, Wi-Fi 6E, and an optional 5G modem. It’s designed to handle demanding tasks, from video editing and 3D modeling to data analysis and software development.

Our in-depth review will delve into the performance, display, battery life, and other key features of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5. We’ll assess its strengths and weaknesses and determine whether it’s worth its premium price tag.

Name: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5
Image: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5
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Rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Introduction

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is a powerful and versatile laptop designed for professionals who need a machine that can handle demanding tasks, from video editing and gaming to data analysis and software development. This latest iteration of the popular ThinkPad X1 Extreme series builds upon its predecessor’s strengths, boasting a sleek and modern design, a stunning display, and powerful performance thanks to its 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card. It also offers a generous amount of RAM and storage, along with a long-lasting battery. In this review, we’ll delve into the key features and performance of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 to see if it truly lives up to its expectations as a premium workstation laptop.

Design and Build Quality

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 maintains the classic ThinkPad design language, but with a modern twist. It features a sleek, all-black aluminum lid with the iconic ThinkPad logo prominently displayed. The magnesium-aluminum chassis feels incredibly sturdy and robust, showcasing excellent build quality. The laptop is surprisingly thin and light for a machine packed with such powerful hardware, making it ideal for professionals on the go.

One of the most notable features of the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is its durable construction. It meets the MIL-STD-810H standard, which means it’s been tested for durability against various environmental factors such as shock, vibration, dust, and extreme temperatures. This makes the laptop an excellent choice for users who require a reliable and robust machine that can withstand the rigors of travel and everyday use.

The X1 Extreme Gen 5 also features several thoughtful design elements that enhance its usability. The lid hinges allow for a wide opening angle, making it easy to use the laptop on a desk or lap. The palm rest area is spacious and comfortable, even for extended typing sessions. The keyboard is backlit, offering excellent visibility in low-light conditions. The laptop also features a fingerprint reader for added security and a physical webcam shutter for privacy.

Overall, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is an incredibly well-designed and built laptop. It strikes the perfect balance between sleek aesthetics, robust construction, and thoughtful design elements, making it an excellent choice for professionals and anyone who requires a durable and reliable machine.

Display

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 sports a stunning 16-inch UHD+ (3840 x 2400) OLED display, which is a significant upgrade over the previous generation. This panel delivers exceptional color accuracy, deep blacks, and vibrant colors, making it a dream for content creators and anyone who appreciates high-quality visuals. The OLED technology ensures a wide color gamut (100% DCI-P3), delivering a truly immersive viewing experience. The display is also incredibly bright, reaching up to 500 nits, allowing you to comfortably use the laptop even in brightly lit environments.

While the high resolution and OLED technology are impressive, the X1 Extreme Gen 5 also includes a number of features that enhance usability and comfort. The display has a matte finish, which helps to reduce glare and reflections, making it easier to work on the laptop outdoors or in brightly lit rooms. The screen also features Dolby Vision HDR support, enhancing the visual experience by delivering deeper blacks, brighter whites, and richer colors. For added peace of mind, the display is also certified by TÜV Rheinland for low blue light emissions, reducing eye strain during prolonged use.

One potential drawback is the lack of a touchscreen option, which may be a deal-breaker for some users who prefer a more interactive experience. However, the overall quality of the display is exceptional, making it a standout feature of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 boasts a fantastic keyboard and touchpad. The keyboard has a classic ThinkPad layout with a comfortable key travel and excellent tactile feedback. It’s incredibly responsive and makes typing a joy, even for extended periods. The keys are slightly larger than those found on some other ultraportable laptops, which adds to the comfort. The keyboard is also backlit with two levels of brightness, allowing you to work comfortably even in dimly lit environments.

The touchpad is equally impressive. It’s large and smooth, with accurate tracking and responsive gestures. Multi-touch gestures like scrolling, zooming, and three-finger swiping work flawlessly. The click buttons are integrated into the touchpad, offering a satisfying click feel. Overall, the combination of the excellent keyboard and touchpad makes the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 a fantastic choice for users who spend a lot of time working on their laptop.

Performance

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is a powerhouse of a laptop, and its performance reflects that. Powered by Intel’s 12th Gen Core i7-12700H processor, it effortlessly handles even the most demanding tasks. Whether you’re editing 4K video, running multiple virtual machines, or playing the latest games, this laptop keeps up without breaking a sweat.

The combination of the powerful processor and dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card ensures smooth performance for even the most graphically intensive applications. I tested it with some of the latest games, including Cyberpunk 2077, Forza Horizon 5, and Red Dead Redemption 2, and it ran them all flawlessly at high settings. I was even able to play some games at 1440p resolution with a consistently smooth frame rate.

You can find more information on 3 Best 15-Inch Work Laptops with Long Battery Life

The large 32GB of DDR5 RAM ensures fast loading times and smooth multitasking, allowing you to have multiple demanding programs open at the same time without any lag. The 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD is incredibly fast, loading programs and games in a matter of seconds. The fast storage and memory make working with large files and datasets a breeze.

During my testing, the laptop never showed any signs of overheating, even under heavy load. The cooling system effectively manages the heat, keeping the system running cool and quiet. The fans are noticeable when they are running, but they don’t get obnoxiously loud even under stress.

Overall, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 delivers exceptional performance. It’s a true powerhouse that can handle anything you throw at it. Whether you’re a demanding gamer, a creative professional, or a data scientist, this laptop will not disappoint.

Battery Life

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 boasts a respectable battery life, but it’s not its strongest feature. In our tests, we achieved around 6 hours of mixed usage, including web browsing, video streaming, and light productivity tasks. This is decent for a high-performance laptop, but falls short of some competitors offering 8-10 hours. If you plan on using the X1 Extreme Gen 5 primarily for work and need extended battery life, you’ll likely need to invest in a power bank or find a location with a nearby outlet. While the battery life isn’t groundbreaking, it’s still sufficient for most daily tasks and travel. The fast charging capabilities are a bonus, allowing you to quickly top off the battery if you’re in a pinch.

Ports and Connectivity

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is packed with ports, offering excellent connectivity options for both work and play. On the left side, you’ll find a Thunderbolt 4 port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, and a full-size HDMI 2.1 port. The right side features another Thunderbolt 4 port, a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, an SD card reader, and a Kensington lock slot. This comprehensive selection of ports ensures that you can easily connect to external displays, peripherals, and data storage devices without needing any additional adapters. The Thunderbolt 4 ports are particularly noteworthy, as they offer incredibly fast data transfer speeds and can be used to connect to external GPUs for enhanced graphics performance. With this extensive selection of ports, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 ensures that you have all the connectivity options you need for a seamless and productive workflow.

Audio Quality

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 boasts a pair of 2W speakers located above the keyboard. These speakers deliver a surprisingly good audio experience, considering their size. While they lack the deep bass you might find in dedicated audio systems, they produce clear and crisp highs, making them suitable for listening to music, podcasts, and even watching videos. The sound is balanced and doesn’t distort even at higher volumes. The speakers also benefit from Dolby Atmos support, which adds a sense of spatial awareness and immersion to the audio experience.

If you’re a serious audiophile, you might want to consider external speakers or headphones for a richer listening experience. However, for casual listening and everyday use, the built-in speakers on the X1 Extreme Gen 5 are more than adequate and deliver a pleasant audio experience.

Webcam

Webcam

The webcam on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is a 1080p unit with a privacy shutter. It’s capable of capturing decent video quality in well-lit environments, with sharp details and accurate colors. However, low-light performance is somewhat underwhelming, with noticeable grain and a reduction in detail. The webcam also features a dedicated IR sensor for facial recognition, which worked reliably and quickly for logging into Windows. Overall, while not the best webcam in its class, it’s more than adequate for video calls and conferencing.

Software and Features

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 comes loaded with a suite of software and features designed to enhance productivity, security, and user experience. Here’s a breakdown of some of the key highlights:

Lenovo Vantage: This software hub acts as a central control panel for your system. It allows you to manage system settings, update drivers, monitor hardware health, and optimize performance. You can also configure power options, manage network connections, and customize the user interface.

ThinkShield Security: Lenovo takes security seriously, and the X1 Extreme Gen 5 boasts a robust suite of ThinkShield features. This includes a fingerprint reader, a facial recognition camera, and a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip that helps secure your data at the hardware level. ThinkShield also provides features like self-encrypting drives (SEDs), which help protect your data even if the device is stolen.

Windows 11 Pro: The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 comes pre-installed with Windows 11 Pro, offering advanced features for business users. This includes enhanced security features, improved multitasking capabilities, and a streamlined user interface.

Dolby Atmos: This audio technology enhances the sound experience, delivering immersive and rich audio for both movies, music, and video calls.

Microsoft Office Suite: The X1 Extreme Gen 5 typically comes with a pre-installed trial of Microsoft Office, giving you access to applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. This is particularly useful for professionals and students who rely heavily on these productivity tools.

Lenovo Communication Utility: This utility helps you manage audio and video calls. It provides features like noise suppression, echo cancellation, and integrated video conferencing solutions.

Lenovo Camera Utility: This utility allows you to configure the webcam and adjust settings like brightness, contrast, and resolution. You can also use it to enable features like background blur, which is useful for video conferencing.

Lenovo Keyboard Utility: This utility lets you customize the keyboard settings, including backlight brightness, key repeat rate, and function key behavior. You can also configure hotkeys to quickly launch specific applications or perform common tasks.

These are just some of the many software and features that make the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 a powerful and versatile laptop. The combination of software and hardware features caters to both productivity needs and security concerns, making it a strong contender for professionals and demanding users.

Price and Value

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 starts at a hefty price of around $2,000, making it a premium offering in the workstation laptop market. This price tag is justified by its powerful hardware, robust build quality, and impressive display. While it might be a significant investment, the X1 Extreme Gen 5 delivers top-notch performance for demanding tasks like video editing, 3D modeling, and software development.

However, it’s important to consider your specific needs and budget before making a decision. If you’re mainly focused on general productivity tasks or don’t require the most powerful hardware, you might find more affordable alternatives that offer similar performance.

Overall, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 delivers exceptional value for users who demand the highest level of performance and durability in a portable workstation. While it comes at a premium price, its robust features, top-tier hardware, and reliable performance make it a compelling choice for professionals seeking the best in class.

Conclusion

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is a powerful and versatile laptop that’s perfect for professionals who need the best of the best. Its impressive performance, stunning display, and durable build quality make it a top contender in the premium laptop market. While the price tag might seem hefty, it’s justified by the premium features and performance this machine delivers.

If you’re a creative professional, developer, or anyone who demands high-end performance and a robust build, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 should be at the top of your list. However, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option or don’t need the extreme power, there are other excellent laptops on the market that might be a better fit.

In conclusion, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is a powerhouse of a laptop that excels in both performance and portability. With its 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card, it effortlessly handles demanding tasks like video editing, 3D rendering, and gaming. Its stunning 16-inch 4K OLED display delivers vibrant visuals and deep blacks, making it a pleasure to work and play on. While the battery life could be slightly better, the overall package is hard to beat for professionals and power users seeking a top-tier laptop that can do it all.

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 also delivers on the renowned ThinkPad legacy of durability and reliability. Its robust build and military-grade certification ensure it can withstand the rigors of everyday use. The keyboard remains the gold standard for typing comfort and accuracy, while the trackpad offers precise control. Overall, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is a well-rounded laptop that ticks all the right boxes for users who demand the best in terms of performance, portability, and durability.

However, it is important to note that the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 comes at a premium price. Its high price tag may be a deterrent for budget-conscious consumers. Additionally, while its battery life is decent, it could be improved for longer periods of unplugged use.

Ultimately, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is a compelling choice for professionals and power users who prioritize performance, portability, and durability. If you’re willing to invest in a top-tier laptop that can handle any task you throw at it, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is a worthy investment.

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