ThinkPad X1 Extreme Packs Core i9 Into Lightweight Package

If you liked the look, feel and light weight of the X1 Carbon, but want a more powerful system with a larger screen, Lenovo's upcoming ThinkPad X1 Extreme could be your answer. Due out in September for a starting price of $1,859, the X1 Extreme offers a 15-inch screen that's up to 4K resolution, a CPU that goes up to Core i9 and Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti dedicated graphics.

The raven-black mobile workstation weighs just 3.76 pounds with its base-level, 1080p screen. That's about half a pound lighter than the Dell XPS 15 and a quarter pound less than the MacBook Pro 15. That weight jumps up to 4.04 pounds when you choose the optional, 4K touch screen.

Considering the components it packs inside, the X1 Extreme is a mere 0.72 inches thick. While not as thin as some competitors, that leaves room for two full-size, USB Type-A ports, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, an SD card reader and HDMI out.

We haven't had a chance to test out the 4K screen, but if it's anything like the 2K HDR panel on the X1 Carbon, it will be one of the best displays on the market. Lenovo claims that, like the Carbon's high-end display, the Extreme's panel will support Dolby Vision HDR and reach up to 400 nits of brightness. It will also add touch capability, something the Carbon's HDR display lacks. The default, 1080p panel promises 300 nits of brightness.

In addition to the high-end display, the X1 Extreme packs Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics with 4GB of video memory. The GPU uses Nvidia's MaxQ technology, which allows it to run cooler and quieter (read: less fan noise), but which also limits performance somewhat.

The system is powered by a 6-core, 45-watt Intel H Series processor. It will be available with Core i5, Core i7 and -- later in the year -- Core i9. The Extreme also supports up to 64GB of RAM.

Lenovo's powerhouse laptop has room for two M.2 NVMe storage drives. You'll be able to get it with dual 1TB drives in a RAID 0 or RAID 1 array, which is a feature we've mostly only seen on gaming laptops before.

Creative professionals and high-end users who want the same svelte chassis as the X1 Extreme but need a professional Nvidia Quadro card and Intel Xeon CPU should look into the ThinkPad P1, which will start at $1,949.

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch is Tom's Hardware's editor-in-chief. When he's not playing with the latest gadgets at work or putting on VR helmets at trade shows, you'll find him rooting his phone, taking apart his PC or coding plugins. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram developed many real-world benchmarks, including our laptop battery test.
  • aznchum
    No RTX graphics. Pass.
  • stdragon
    Much better than an Apple MBP. If I needed a thin powerful laptop, I'd seriously consider that Thinkpad.
  • DGurney
    Still no “touch bar?” How will I possibly pick the right emoji in a timely manner?
  • aaronzz
    Battery life = 5 minutes
  • alfaalex101
    I'd rather have something bulkier but with better thermal cooling so it doesn't melt itself in four years.
  • alan_rave
    Too thin to be cool.
  • Stephen_144
    X1 keyboards fall apart on the regular.