Lenovo on Thursday introduced its ultra-thin ThinkPad X1 Extreme laptop aimed at business users who are also interested in gaming and multimedia applications. The new notebook has a 15.6-inch display and is basically a version of the ThinkPad P1 mobile workstation with a gaming-grade discrete GPU and additional enhancements aimed at the target audience. Meanwhile, a ThinkPad is still a ThinkPad, with all the business/enterprise-related advantages of the series.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme is based on Intel’s Core i7 or Core i9 processors with up to six cores as well as NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti discrete GPU with Max-Q software enhancements to guarantee sufficient performance in a variety of games while keeping TDP in check. The notebook can be equipped with up to 64 GB of DDR4-2667 memory as well as up to two M.2 SSDs with a PCIe or SATA interface that can work in RAID 0 or RAID 1 modes. Unlike the ThinkPad P1, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme officially supports 1 TB drives, and therefore up to 2 TB of storage in total.

As with the 13.3-inch ThinkPad X1 as well as 15.6-inch ThinkPad P1 laptops, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme will be available with two display options. The more advanced machines will come with a multitouch 15.6-inch 10-bit IPS LCD with a 4K Ultra-HD (3840×2160) resolution, a 400 nits brightness, and supporting Dolby Vision HDR for appropriate content. The more affordable models will use a non-touch Full-HD (1920×1080) IPS panel featuring a 300 nits brightness and covering 100% of the sRGB color range.

On the wireless connectivity side of things, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme resembles its professional counterpart, the ThinkPad P1. The laptop is outfitted with  Intel’s Wireless-AC 9560 802.11ac Wi-Fi solution featuring up to 1.73 Gbps throughput over 160 MHz channels as well as supporting Bluetooth 5.0 tech. As for hardware interfaces, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme is equipped with two Thunderbolt 3 ports (unknown controller), two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A connectors, a mini GbE header (requires a dongle), an HDMI 2.0 output, an optional smart card reader, a 4-in-1 card reader, a webcam, far field microphones, and a TRRS audio port that supports Dolby Atmos with appropriate headphones.

Even though Lenovo outfitted its ThinkPad X1 Extreme with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti discrete GPU aimed at gamers, the laptop still retains its business/enterprise roots. The notebook comes with Intel’s vPro technology enabled (on i7 CPUs), features a dTPM 2.0 module, a match-in-sensor fingerprint reader, ThinkShutter cover for the webcam, and so on. Meanwhile, ThinkPad’s ergonomic keyboard with key travel of 1.8mm and backlighting will certainly be appreciated by all types of users, including gamers.

Since the ThinkPad X1 Extreme is essentially a variant of the ThinkPad P1, it uses a similar black carbon fiber chassis with an aluminum bottom designed to withstand bumps of life as well as harsh environmental conditions while efficiently dissipating heat generated by high-performance CPU and GPU. Obviously, at 17.8 mm (0.7 inch) z-height and at 1.7 kg (3.76 pounds) weight, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme will also be among the thinnest and lightest 15.6-inch gaming notebooks. When it comes to battery life, Lenovo says that the ThinkPad X1 Extreme can last for 15 hours on one charge, presumably with an 80 Wh battery. Meanwhile, just like its ‘professional’ brother, the X1 Extreme uses a power brick with a proprietary connector, not a universal USB Type-C.

Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Extreme
  ThinkPad X1 Extreme FHD ThinkPad X1 Extreme 4K UHD
Display Type  IPS
Resolution 1920×1080 3840×2160
Brightness 300 cd/m² 400 cd/m²
Color Gamut ~100% sRGB 100% AdobeRGB (?)
Touch No Yes
HDR No Dolby Vision HDR
CPU Intel's 8th Generation Core i7/i9 with six cores.
Select SKUs will be powered by vPro-enabled CPUs
Graphics Integrated UHD Graphics 620 (24 EUs)
Discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4 GB GDDR5 and Max-Q enhancements
GP 107, 768 SPs
RAM up to 64 GB DDR4-2667
Storage up to 2 TB PCIe SSD with RAID 0/RAID 1
Wi-Fi Intel Wireless AC-9560 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with up to 1.73 Gbps
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5
Thunderbolt 2 × USB Type-C TB3 ports
USB 2 × USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
GbE Native, with a dongle
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Webcam 720p webcam
720p webcam with IR for Windows Hello
Other I/O Microphone, stereo speakers, TRRS audio jack (with Dolby Atmos enhancements for appropriate headphones), joystick, trackpad, card reader, etc.
Battery 80 Wh
Dimensions Thickness non touch-enabled: 18.4 mm | 0.7 inch
touch-enabled: 18.7 mm | 0.72 inch
Width 361.8 mm | 14.2 inch
Depth 245.7 mm | 9.7 inch
Weight 1.7 kilograms | 3.76 lbs
Operating System Windows 10 Pro

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme will be available in September at prices starting at $1,859. Meanwhile, the X1 Extreme systems with overclockable Core i9 processors will be available starting from December. Keep in mind that the Core i9-8950HK does not support Intel’s vPro technology, so laptops based on these chips will lack certain features of notebooks running various Core i7 CPUs.

NOTE: The news story used Lenovo ThinkPad P1 provided images. We're pretty sure some of the photos that show crazy viewing angles aren't that clear. With any luck, we will have time for a hands on while at the IFA show.

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  • Topweasel - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - link

    Same reason K CPU's didn't have VM exentions for a long time. They made a choice that the i9 options were gamer chips. Gamer chips don't need VPro. Therefore lets not give it to them. This is getting really really tiring. There is no reason to make this choice since vpro isn't driven by CPU used but platform used. I get choices like ECC where support may exist but not validated because of target market. But actively disabling features specially on more expensive products just because the target market has been deemed to have little use for it is really nerve wracking.
  • nicolaim - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - link

    Text says two USB type-A, table says type-C.
  • gw74 - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - link

    how many lanes do the TB3 ports have? you should include this info as default

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