The ThinkPad X1 Extreme G5 from Lenovo is overpriced and underpowered in terms of GPU performance.
Thought to be Lenovo’s flagship ThinkPad device, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme’s position as such is mostly apparent when considering the pricing. The inferior keyboard and the poor GPU performance are only two of the 3500 Euros’ letdowns.
The most powerful 16-inch ThinkPad notebook is the X1 Extreme, which is located at the top of the series. You may also get the similarly built ThinkPad p1, which comes with professional Nvidia GPUs, in addition to the X1 Extreme. Lenovo employs a potent Vapor Chamber cooling system, offers up to 8 TB of SSD storage, 5G connection, cutting-edge Alder Lake CPUs, and Nvidia’s RTX GPUs all the way up to the RTX 3080 Ti. The spec sheet seems impressive.
The first issue, though, is that since there are once more two base models, you cannot mix all of these possibilities. Only the X1 Extreme G5 with the RTX 3050 Ti, which has a typical cooling setup with heat pipes, comes with two SSDs and the optional WWAN module. There is no room for a secondary SSD or a WWAN module since SKUs with more potent GPUs have larger, more potent vapor chamber cooling systems, including liquid metal cooling for the CPU. Customers must conduct extensive study or read our reviews to learn about the distinctions and restrictions. The performance of the graphics cards (max. TGP 95W including Dynamic Boost) is the next issue, but even our review unit’s GeForce RTX 3060 is unable to sustain this level of performance. Therefore, from a performance standpoint, it makes little sense to sell the RTX 3080 Ti, although it sounds fantastic on paper.
Due to the new Alder Lake processor and the enhanced liquid metal cooling system, the CPU performance was increased compared to the model from last year. The system can only withstand roughly 80 Watts of sustained load, so it might yet be improved. This is a good result compared to the immediate comparison group, but it is not better than, for instance, the lighter and slimmer Schenker Vision 16 Pro, which also means it cannot leverage the Core i7-full 12700H’s capabilities. The new ThinkPad P16, which is substantially thicker due to being a full-fledged workstation and is also outfitted with faster HX CPUs, has already piqued our interest in terms of performance.
Due to cost concerns, Lenovo already altered the keyboard on the G4 model from a year ago, which worsened the typing experience by reducing travel (from 1.8 to 1.5 mm) in line with other ThinkPads. On compact devices like the X1 Carbon or X1 Nano, we can appreciate Lenovo’s need to conserve space, but not on a large model like the X1 Extreme.
Overall, the X1 Extreme is still a very good package, but we believe that its price of 3500 Euros is excessive given that it includes a Core i7 processor, 32 GB of RAM, and a GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card. We would prefer that there be just one X1 Extreme model available in the upcoming generation that genuinely includes all capabilities that are offered. Additionally, Lenovo ought to pay more attention to GPU performance. We also wish—though it’s unlikely—that someone at Lenovo would pick up an old X1 Extreme and observe how much superior the previous keyboards were. No one will care if the chassis is a half-millimeter thicker in exchange since the manufacturer has saved money in the wrong place.