What you need to know
- Lenovo announced today the new ThinkPad X1 Extreme, refreshed for Gen 4.
- The refresh includes a new 16-inch 16:10 display, 11th Gen Intel Core H-series CPUs, and NVIDIA RTX 30-series Laptop GPUs.
- The laptop is expected to arrive in August with a starting price of $2,149.
Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 3) was one of the most exciting laptops I reviewed earlier this year, but I warned potential buyers that big changes were likely coming for the Gen 4 models. And now that Lenovo has taken the lid off of the latest X1 Extreme, it looks like this is indeed the biggest and most thorough refresh the laptop has ever seen.
Not only is it now packing the latest 11th Gen Intel Core H-series vPro processors (CPU) and NVIDIA RTX 30-series Laptop graphics cards (GPU), it has a new set of display options, new connectivity, larger battery, better sound, and much more. Let's take a look at some of the major changes compared to the X1 Extreme (Gen 3).
What's new with the ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 4)
Lenovo has made a number of significant changes to the X1 Extreme (Gen 4), making this one of the best refreshes in recent memory. Here's what the changes look like on paper.
- 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
Here's a closer look at the exact specifications we're expecting to see when the laptop launches in August.
|OS||Up to Windows 10 Pro|
|Processor||Up to 11th Gen Intel
Core i9 H-series vPro
|RAM||Up to 64GB DDR4-3200MHz|
NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti Laptop
NVIDIA RTX 3060 Laptop
NVIDIA RTX 3070 Laptop
NVIDIA RTX 3080 Laptop
|Storage||Up to 4TB
Dual M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs
16:10 aspect ratio
400 nits, 100% sRGB, 60Hz
600 nits, 100% AdobeRGB, HDR 400
60Hz, 8+2 bit color
|Ports||Two Thunderbolt 4
Two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1)
SD card reader (UHS-II)
|Audio||User-facing Dolby Atmos speakers
Two far-field mics
|Connectivity||Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6/6E
IR camera (optional)
|Touchpad||4.53 x 2.64 inches
(115mm x 67mm)
Kensington Nano slot
|Dimensions||14.13 x 9.99 x 0.78 inches
(359.5mm x 253.8mm x 19.9mm)
|Weight||From 3.99 pounds (1.81kg)|
Woven Carbon Fiber (lid, optional)
The most exciting part of this refresh is undoubtedly the move to a taller 16:10 display. It provides you with more screen real estate, and it removes the unsightly chin below the screen. The result is a look that's much more modern, especially now that Lenovo has shaved off more bezel on all sides.
The new 16-inch IPS panel starts at a 2560x1600 resolution, with 400 nits brightness, 100% sRGB color reproduction, 60Hz refresh rate, and low blue light tech to protect your eyes. It's non-touch and finished with an anti-glare coating. Moving up, you enter into a 3840x2400 resolution available in either touch or non-touch. Both panels have 600 nits brightness, 100% AdobeRGB color, Dolby Vision HDR 400, 60Hz refresh rate, low blue light, and 8+2 bit color. The touch version has an anti-reflective finish, with non-touch goes with anti-glare. Lenovo mentions factory color calibration and inking setups are possible in certain scenarios.
The excellent ThinkPad keyboard remains mostly unchanged, but the touchpad is now wider, measuring 4.53 inches (115mm). The TrackPoint system remains for those who prefer the red pointing nub and physical buttons. Flanking the sides of the keyboard are larger speakers with Dolby Atmos tuning; no more down-firing sound. For better collaboration, the webcam has been boosted to 1080p from 720p, available with a standard shutter. An IR camera is also available for extra security, and the fingerprint reader is now located on the power button.
Connectivity has received a nice boost, with Wi-Fi 6E and optional 5G available for those who need to stay connected everywhere. On that note, Thunderbolt 4 is now included and HDMI looks to have seen a bump up to 2.1 for models with RTX graphics. You can configure models with up to an RTX 3080 Laptop GPU and 11th Gen Intel Core i9 H-series vPro CPU for incredible performance and remote management capabilities. Two M.2 slots are available, each with PCIe 4.0 compatibility.
This is still a relatively thin and light laptop for what you're getting inside. It measures just 0.78 inches (19.9mm) thin and weighs in at 3.99 pounds (1.81kg) for non-touch models. The laptop is finished in a new anti-fingerprint paint, which will be interesting to test since ThinkPads have long suffered from severe smudging.
The ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 4) is expected to release August 2021, with models starting at $2,149 before any of Lenovo's frequent automatic discounts. Check out our roundup of the best Lenovo laptops to see how it compares.