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They do not have independent software vendor certifications (ISV) mobile workstations for design, computer-aided rendering and scientific applications, but elite systems for digital content creators are among our favorite laptops. Le Dell XPS 15 and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 inches are probably the best known, but everyone, from Acer and Asus to Gigabyte, Razer and MSI compete in this area, just like Lenovo, which has just unveiled a third generation of its 15ThinkPad X1 Extreme 6 inches (from 1479 $; 2913 $ as tested) The new Extreme combines a sleek design and solid performance with alluring features led by a gorgeous OLED display Its battery life is a bit of a letdown and it can't double as a gamer like some competitors can., but he is a first-rate creative and productive partner.
The basic model at 1479 $ includes a six-core Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 8 GB of memory, an SSD of 256 GB and a 1080p IPS display with a brightness of 300 nits There are three best display options: 500 nits Full HD, 600 4K nights (3840 x 2160 pixels) IPS with Dolby Vision and touchscreen 400 4K nits of my test unit with OLED technology and Dolby Vision True Black All X1 Extreme models come with an Nvidia GeForce GTX GPU 1650 Ti Max-Q's 4 Go, which fits just below the GeForce GTX 1650 Unregulated Ti from XPS 15 and well below the GeForce RTX silicon of some competitors
Besides the OLED panel, my exam unit at 2913 $ boasted of a six-core, 27 GHz (51 GHz turbo) Puce Core i7-10850H, 32 GB of RAM and an NVMe SSD of 1 The best choice of processor is an eight-core Core i9-10885H; maximum memory and storage at 64 Go et 4 To respectively (The latter is a welcome change from the cap of 1 To that we complained about with the Gen model 2 from last year) Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth are standard; LTE mobile broadband is optional
The Extreme has the same matte black panel style that has defined ThinkPads forever, although units with 4K displays have a subtle carbon fiber weave pattern on the cover Like all ThinkPads, it has passed MIL-STD 810G shock torture tests, vibrations and environmental extremes; there is no flex if you grab the corners of the screen or press the keyboard to 074 by 142 by 97 inches, it's a bit bigger than the Dell XPS 15 (071 by 136 by 91 thumb), although half a pound less to 40 books with the touchscreen The Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED is roughly the same size, at 078 by 14 by 98 inches
Where the Dell only has USB Type-C ports / Thunderbolt 3 (with USB Type-A and HDMI dongles in the box), the Lenovo has two USB ports 32 ports de type A (one always on) with SD card and Kensington lock slots on the right side On the left is an HDMI port, two Thunderbolt ports 3, an audio jack and the connector for the mains adapter of the coat pocket
The screen bezels are moderately thin, but not in a disparate way; a facial recognition webcam and fingerprint reader give you two ways to bypass password entry with Windows Hello
You just can't find a better laptop keyboard than the high-end ThinkPads The Extreme's follows the familiar corporate layout (Home and End keys on the top row, Page Up and Page Down at the bottom right using the cursor arrows) The Fn and Control keys are probably in their place at the bottom left, but if you can't adapt to it, you can exchange them with the supplied Lenovo Vantage utility, which combines matching system settings with Wi-Fi security.
Two levels of keyboard backlighting are available; Top row keys are used to make and end calls in Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business The typing feel is quiet but crisp, with firm tactile feedback Pointing device fans can choose between the mid-size touchpad and the mini TrackPoint joystick integrated into the keyboard, with three mouse buttons located below the space bar Both work smoothly and precisely
What could be better than the keyboard of the Extreme? Its OLED screen, which combines ink blacks with bright colors The brightness is sufficient, with white snowy background, and the contrast is as high as the viewing angles are wide Fine details and the edges of the letters are as sharp as 4K resolution can make them
720p webcam captures bright, colorful images without noise or static, although they are rather blurry Lower speakers produce not too loud sound, short on lows but with clear highs and mid tones; overlapping tracks are easy to hear Dolby software lets you tinker with music, movies, games, dynamic vocals and presets and an equalizer
The ThinkPad X1 Extreme didn't feel as fast as some Core i9 or AMD Ryzen laptops 7 that I tried, but very lively while speeding up multitasking and everyday applications (Learn more about how we test laptops)
For our objective benchmarks, I opposed it to the Apple MacBook Pro 16 inches, to the Dell XPS 15 and the Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED This left a location, that I filled with the Asus ProArt StudioBook 15 to give the ThinkPad a six-core enterprise (Other laptops have eight-core processors) You can see the basic specs of the contenders in the table below
PCMark 10 and 8 are holistic performance suites developed by UL PC benchmark specialists (formerly Futuremark) PCMark tests 10 that we run simulates different real-world productivity and content creation workflows We use it to assess overall system performance for desktop-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheets, web browsing and video conferencing. PCMark 8, on the other hand, has a storage subtest that we use to assess the speed of the system boot drive Both give an exclusive numeric score; higher numbers are better
The Extreme easily crossed the bar 4000 points that we consider excellent productivity in PCMark 10, and PCI Express SSDs from the four Windows laptops have traveled PCMark's storage measurement 8 (Le MacBook Pro, naturally, ignored our Windows benchmarks only)
Next is Maxon's Cinebench R15 test, which is fully threaded to use all available processor cores and threads. Cinebench emphasizes the CPU rather than the GPU to render a complex image The result is a proprietary score indicating a PC's suitability for CPU-intensive workloads
Cinebench is often a good predictor of our Handbrake video editing benchmark, in which we put a stopwatch on systems when they transcode a brief movie from 4K resolution to 1080p This is also a tough test for multi-core and multi-threaded processors; lower times are better
Six-core processors have stayed surprisingly close to their eight-core counterparts in Cinebench, although raw power prevailed in Handbrake
We also run a custom benchmark for retouching images in Adobe Photoshop using an early version. 2018 the Creative Cloud version of Photoshop, we apply a series of 10 filters and complex effects to a standard JPEG test image We time each operation and add up the total (lower times are better) Photoshop test focuses on processor, the storage subsystem and RAM, but it can also take advantage of most GPUs to speed up the process of applying filters
Lenovo's display makes it an excellent platform for editing images, but unfortunately he followed the field in this exercise, taking a few extra seconds to complete each operation.
3DMark measures relative graphics power by rendering sequences of highly detailed game-style 3D graphics that highlight particles and lighting We run two different 3DMark subtests, Sky Diver and Fire Strike Both are DirectX references 11, but Sky Diver is more suitable for laptops and mid-range PCs, while Fire Strike is more demanding and allows high-end PCs and gaming rigs to strut.
Asus and Gigabyte GeForce RTX silicon set the tone in this gaming simulation, with the ThinkPad's Max-Q GPU at the rear in the tough Fire Strike test
The next step is another synthetic graphics test, this time from Unigine Corp Like 3DMark, the Overlay test renders and walks through a detailed 3D scene, this one rendered in the eponymous Unigine engine for a second opinion on the graphic prowess of the machine
Dell hesitated on this test, leaving the Lenovo putter in the wake of the Aero 15 and StudioBook 15 The Extreme can handle light or occasional games, but serious players don't need to apply
After fully recharging the laptop, we have configured the machine in energy saving mode (as opposed to balanced or high performance mode), if necessary, and we're making a few other adjustments to save battery power in preparation for our unplugged video dropout test. (We also turn off Wi-Fi, putting the laptop in airplane mode In this test, we loop a video – a locally stored 720p file of the Tears of Steel short film Tears of Steel by the Blender Foundation – with the screen brightness set to 50 percent and a volume at 100 percent until the system closes.
Not exceeding an eight hour working day (and around 55 minutes less than the other 4K OLED screen in this competition, the Gigabyte), the ThinkPad's endurance isn't bad but is lower than what we like to see on a replacement desktop Dell and Apple did a lot better
It's not really fair to criticize the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 for not having been qualified as a gaming platform, but it's fair to wish a few more hours of battery life – in fact, this is the only thing preventing him from presenting himself to the editors. Wink choice, since its screen and keyboard are both flawless and weighs less than its rival XPS 15 (that requires adapters or dongles for external monitors or USB-A devices) Nevertheless, The Extreme is a highly desirable laptop that deserves a look for anyone buying in the high end creative segment.
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Lenovo ThinkPad, Computer