Lenovo has announced a raft of updates to its ThinkPad, Yoga, and Think Vision product ranges. Probably the most exiting introduction is the new fourth generation ThinkPad X1 Extreme, which continues to crush compromises in the thin and light laptop market.The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 is designed to be a powerhouse that you don't mind carrying around with you and that can ably tackle the latest apps for content creation, as well as entertainment. This 16-inch carbon fibre constructed machine is just 17.7mm thick and weighs less than 1.82kg.
 The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is the highest-end device in Lenovo’s laptop portfolio, combining the best performance with the best design. The fourth-generation brings a new display, better cooling, and high-end graphics.
Lenovo has made a number of significant changes to the X1 Extreme (Gen 4), making this one of the best refreshes in recent memory.
  • Larger 16-inch display with taller 16:10 aspect ratio, up to 4K resolution with 600 nits brightness
  • Thinner bezel around all four sides of the display
  • 11th Gen Intel Core H-series vPro CPU options (up to Core i9)
  • NVIDIA RTX 30-series Laptop GPU options (up to RTX 3080)
  • 20% larger user-facing speakers with Dolby Atmos tuning
  • PCIe 4.0 SSD storage with dual M.2 slots available for up to 4TB of space
  • Larger 90Wh battery compared to 80Wh
  • Optional 5G connectivity as well as Wi-Fi 6E, Thunderbolt 4
  • Wider 115mm touchpad and deeper 1.5mm key travel
  • Webcam resolution boosted to FHD
  • Fingerprint reader now built into the power button
The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 was 14.24 inches by 9.67 inches by .72 inches and weighed 3.75 pounds. The new Gen 4 model is 14.13 inches by 9.99 inches by 0.70 inches and weighs 3.99 pounds. Other than adding a tiny bit of depth thanks to the taller display and a quarter of a pound in weight, Lenovo did what it set out to do: pack a 16:10 16-inch display into the same size chassis as the previous 15.6-inch generation.All in all, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 looks like a large laptop but doesn’t feel like one thanks to its light weight. It’s constructed of aluminum alloy on the bottom chassis (with some plastic parts) and incorporates four layers of reinforced carbon fiber in the lid. It incorporates the ThinkPad’s usual soft-touch coating and is extremely comfortable to hold.
Key performance uplifts are present in this fourth generation device, which can be configured with up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i9 H-series processor (vPro optional), plus up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 laptop graphics with 16GB GDDR6 (with options for the RTX 3050 Ti, 3060, and 3070 available too). Other attractive key tech specs are the ability to fit up to 64GB DDR4 memory and two 2TB M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSDs, the 90Whr standard battery which offers up to 10.7 hours battery life, integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6E and optional 5G Wireless WAN, and screen options that include displays up to 600nits brightness with 4K resolution, Dolby Vision HDR, Touch, pen and factory colour calibration.
With such powerful components in a space confined chassis you might be concerned about thermal throttling, and rightly so, but Lenovo reassures that it has designed "three new complementary cooling systems for the Nvidia RTX configured models". These three features are; a hybrid cooling system mixing heatpipes and a vapour chamber, keyboard air intake fans, and a dual bypass design which allows air to flow over the top and bottom of the cooling system.
Elsewhere, there are welcome design touches like the integrated FHD or FHD Infrared webcam with physical shutter, an array of far-field noise-cancelling mics, an upwards facing Dolby Atmos Speaker System, a fingerprint reader in the power button, a large 115mm touchpad, as well as a trackpoint. Ports include; 1 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x USB-C 3.1, 2 x Intel Thunderbolt 4, DisplayPort 1.4), 1 x SD Card slot, 1 x 3.5mm audio jack, and 1 x Nano SIM slot (optional).
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 lives up to its title. It’s the most powerful ThinkPad you can buy and in a different class entirely than most ThinkPads intended for standard productivity performance. Given that you can configure it with a Core i9 and an RTX 3080 Max-Q, there’s not another non-gaming laptop in the same class that can compete on sheer specs along. At the same time, performance is less than it should be. Its gaming performance is inconsistent. If you can live with those limitations, then you’ll love the look and feel and the build quality, probably love the keyboard and touchpad, and even the entry-level display is excellent. You’ll just be a bit uncertain how the laptop will perform in your given workflow.
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