Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5 review: highly effective, as all the time

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5

MSRP $2,974.00

“The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5 is significantly quick, even when the design is a bit old-school.”

Professionals

  • Excellent productiveness and artistic efficiency
  • Strong construct high quality
  • Wonderful keyboard
  • Spectacular IPS show
  • Good connectivity
  • Competent battery life

Cons

  • Bigger chassis than some
  • Touchpad floor is just too small
  • Aesthetic is old skool
  • Costly

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive is the actual workhorse of the road. Now in its fifth era, it comes packing Intel Twelfth-gen H-series CPUs with vPro and ultrafast discrete GPUs as much as the Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti.

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5 is definitely a quick laptop, even when its general design is getting a bit lengthy within the tooth. In the event you get pleasure from that conventional ThinkPad aesthetic and construct, but additionally want that additional efficiency, the X1 Excessive Gen 5 will fulfill.

Specs

  Specs
Dimensions 14.13 inches by 9.99 inches by 0.78 inches
Weight 4.14 kilos
Processor Intel Core i5-12700H
Intel Core i7-12800H vPro
Intel Core i9-12900H vPro
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
RAM 16GB to 64GB DDR5
Show 16-inch 16:10 WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200) IPS non-touch
16-inch 16:10 WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) IPS non-touch 165Hz
16-inch 16:10 UHD+ (3,840 x 2,400) IPS non-touch
16-inch 16:10 UHD+ (3,840 x 2,400) IPS contact
Storage 512GB PCIe 4.0 to 8TB PCIe 4.0 SSD (with twin storage)
Contact Non-compulsory
Ports 2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1 x HDMI 2.1
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x full measurement SD card reader
Wi-fi Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Non-compulsory 5G WWAN
Webcam 1080p with infrared camera for Home windows 11 Howdy
Working system Home windows 11
Battery 90 watt-hour
Value $1,650+

Value and configurations

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5 is a extremely configurable laptop. On the low finish, it’s $1,650 for a Core i7-12700H, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti, and a 16-inch 16:10 WUXGA IPS non-touch show.

The most costly machine you may configure utilizing Lenovo’s instrument, at $4,612, features a Core i9-12900H, 64GB of RAM, a 4TB SSD, an RTX 3080 Ti, and a 16-inch 16:10 WQUXGA show. My review unit runs $2,974 with a Core i7-12800H vPro, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, an RTX 3070 Ti GPU, and a touch-enabled WQUXGA show. Notice that the laptop can accommodate two SSDs, which means you may increase storage past that time by merely dropping in one other drive.

Clearly, that is an costly laptop. But it surely’s no more costly than many different highly effective 16-inch laptops just like the MSI Creator Z16P and the MacBook Professional 16, which might value much more.

All about efficiency

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 top down view showing vPro label.Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

As talked about within the introduction, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive is all about offering the most effective efficiency amongst mainstream ThinkPad laptops. The fifth-generation mannequin upgrades to 45-watt Intel Twelfth-gen CPUs, DDR5 RAM, and PCIe 4.0 SSDs.

All of that ought to end in a significant improve from the earlier era. I reviewed a configuration with a 14-core/16-thread 45-watt Intel Core i7-12800H, which is a quick CPU that helps Intel vPro technology to plug into company environments. The laptop additionally included the discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, a quick GPU for each gaming and artistic duties.

Lenovo throttles the GPU in balanced mode and unleashes it in efficiency mode.

I used Lenovo’s thermal administration utility to check in each balanced and efficiency modes. Apparently, the utility made little distinction in our CPU-intensive benchmarks, with the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5 nonetheless performing nicely in comparison with a number of comparable laptops.

Nonetheless, after I ran the Pugetbench Premiere Professional benchmark that makes use of a reside model of Adobe Premiere, the ThinkPad was gradual in balanced mode. It got here in second slowest behind the MSI Creator Z16P. Once I switched to efficiency mode, nevertheless, the ThinkPad’s Pugetbench rating jumped to 928, among the many leaders we’ve examined. That signifies that Lenovo throttles the GPU in balanced mode and unleashes it in efficiency mode.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 rear view showing carbon fiber lid and logos.Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

The underside line is that if you wish to get the most effective efficiency in GPU-intensive functions like Adobe’s Artistic Suite, you’ll wish to crank as much as efficiency mode. You’ll take care of extra fan noise, but it surely’s greater than well worth the uptick in efficiency. When switched into efficiency mode, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5 is a significantly quick productiveness machine and a legit creator workstation.

It even competes with the vaunted M1 Professional MacBook Professional 16, and when configured with the Core i9-12900H and RTX 3080 Ti GPU, would probably sustain with the M1 Max MacBook as nicely. It’s price noting, although, that the a lot cheaper HP Envy 16 with the RTX 3060 additionally carried out nicely on this benchmark.

Geekbench
(single / multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
Pugetbench
Premiere Professional
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5
(Core i7-12800H)
Bal: 1,783 / 12,354
Perf: 1,768 / 12,020
Bal: 77
Perf: 77
Bal: 1,861 / 14,561
Perf: 1,859 / 14,609
Bal: 720
Perf: 928
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Excessive Gen 4
(Core i7-11800H)
Bal: 1,520 / 7,353
Perf: N/A
Bal: 106
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,519 / 10,497
Perf: N/A
N/A
HP Envy 16
(Core i9-12900H)
Bal: 1,839 / 11,187
Perf: 1,811 / 11,387
Bal: 83
Perf: 84
Bal: 1,919 / 12,538
Perf: 1922 / 12,525
Bal: 814
Perf: 932
MSI Creator Z16P
(Core i9-12900H)
Bal: 1,769 / 14,034
Perf: 1,835 / 14,051
Bal: 71
Perf: 69
Bal: 1,844 / 15,047
Perf: 1,837 / 16,084
Bal: 717
Perf: 1,042
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,470 / 9,952
Perf: 1,714 / 11,053
Bal: 100
Perf: 77
Bal: 1,509 / 11,578
Perf: 1,806 / 13,313
Bal: 760
Perf: 729
Apple MacBook Professional 16
(Apple M1 Professional)
Bal: 1,773 / 12,605
Perf: N/A
Bal: 95
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,531 / 12,343
Perf: N/A
Bal: 977
Perf: N/A

As we noticed within the mainstream benchmarks above, Lenovo clearly tuned its thermal utility to dramatically enhance GPU efficiency. This confirmed up in our gaming benchmarks as nicely, and curiously, in balanced mode, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5 was locked at round 30 frames per second (fps) throughout all our video games. Notice that it wouldn’t run Fortnite, crashing after I tried to enter fight. Its graphics drivers have been updated and so it have to be one thing that Lenovo is doing with the firmware.

In efficiency mode, although, the ThinkPad carried out significantly better. It nonetheless wasn’t the quickest gaming laptop in our comparability group, performing equally to some laptops with the slower RTX 3060 GPU in all however Murderer’s Creed Valhalla. But it surely was quick sufficient to run fashionable titles at 1440p and excessive graphics. Notice that the laptop might be outfitted with a 165Hz WQXGA show for tear-free gaming.

Murderer’s Creed
Valhalla
(1080p/1200p
Extremely Excessive)
Cyberpunk
2077
(1080p/1200p
Extremely)
Civilization VI
(1080p Extremely)
3DMark
Time Spy
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5
(RTX 3070 Ti)
Bal: 37 fps
Perf: 97 fps
Bal: 29 fps
Perf: 46 fps
Bal: 30 fps
Perf: 140 fps
Bal: 5,494
Perf: 9,114
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 4
(RTX 3060)
Bal: 48 fps
Perf: 46 fps
N/A N/A Bal: 6,691
Perf: N/A
HP Envy 16
(RTX 3060)
Bal: 70 fps
Perf: 71 fps
Bal: 40 fps
Perf: 41 fps
Bal: 125 fps
Perf: 132
Bal: 7,645
Perf: 8,040
MSI Creator Z16P
(RTX 3080 Ti)
Bal: 55 fps
Perf: 60 fps
Bal: 30 fps
Perf: 49 fps
Bal: 60 fps
Perf: N/A
Bal: 9,251
Perf: 10,054
Dell XPS 17 9720
(RTX 3060)
Bal: 23 fps
Perf: N/A
Bal: 45 fps
Perf: N/A
Bal: 111 fps
Perf: N/A
Bal: 6,757
Perf: 6,958

With a lot efficiency packed inside, I wasn’t shocked to see restricted battery life. The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5 has a 90 watt-hour battery, which is ok for a big laptop, however there’s additionally a high-resolution show and highly effective elements.

The laptop hit seven hours in our web-browsing check, near 11.5 hours in our native video check, and about six hours within the PCMark 10 Purposes battery benchmark. These are adequate scores given the design, however you’ll want to hold the very hefty energy brick with you for all-day classes.

Nonetheless a ThinkPad

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5 would possibly maintain a particular place within the ThinkPad lineup, but it surely’s nonetheless a ThinkPad by and thru. In actual fact, with laptops just like the ThinkPad Z16 taking the road in a totally totally different route, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive is one thing of a throwback. The place the ThinkPad Z16 makes use of an aluminum chassis with extra frequent styling that’s barely harking back to the enduring line, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive is all-in on the same old black-on-black aesthetic with purple accents sprinkled about.

The one distinction is an optionally available carbon-fiber weave on the lid that comes with the highest-end show. It’s constructed of aluminum within the backside chassis and carbon fiber within the lid, with a soft-touch coating on the skin. For such a big, daring laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5 is surprisingly inviting. if a bit old skool.

And it’s, certainly, a big laptop. Its high and backside bezels aren’t notably small, making it fairly a bit deeper than another 15-inch or so laptops. The Dell XPS 15, for instance, is smaller. The ThinkPad can be relatively thick at 0.78 inches, in comparison with the XPS 15’s 0.73 inches, but it surely’s additionally lighter than the Dell at 4.1 kilos versus 4.62 kilos because of its light-weight supplies. So far as large-screen non-workstation laptops go, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5 isn’t a very tiny instance. However that’s the value you pay to hold round a lot energy.

The keyboard is distinctly ThinkPad-like.

You must attempt actually onerous to bend the lid, and the keyboard deck and chassis backside are fully inflexible. That provides the ThinkPad X1 Excessive a sense of solidity that’s in step with its excessive worth. The hinge opens with one hand and holds the lid firmly in place. The MacBook Professional 16 could be a barely better-built laptop, however then once more, it’s in a category of its personal.

The keyboard can be distinctly ThinkPad-like, a minimum of within the sculpted keycaps and keyboard format (full with the inverted left Fn and Ctrl keys). It’s lighter and snappier than common, although, which I a lot choose. That makes it the most effective keyboards on a Home windows laptop, totally different than however equally pretty much as good as that on the Dell XPS 15. Solely the MacBook Professional 16’s Magic Keyboard is best.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

As common, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5’s touchpad is smaller than it may very well be because of a set of buttons accommodating the TrackPoint nubbin in the midst of the keyboard. I’d by no means use the TrackPoint and so remorse the misplaced house, however should you’re a TrackPoint fan, then you definitely probably gained’t thoughts. My review unit’s show was touch-enabled, which I choose.

Connectivity was glorious, with a full complement of each legacy and future-proof ports and a full-size SD card reader. Wi-fi connectivity was additionally sturdy with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 to go along with optionally available 5G WWAN help.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 left side showing ports.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 right side showing ports.

Lastly, all the same old business-oriented options are available. The vPro CPU will work with enterprise-level administration and safety instruments, and there’s a number of security-minded options just like the Intel {Hardware} Protect and match-on-finger fingerprint reader. What’s lacking is greater than the same old consumer-level one-year guarantee, though Lenovo affords a variety of business-level providers at an extra worth.

A wonderful media expertise

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 front view showing display.Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

My review unit was outfitted with the high-end touch-enabled 16-inch 16:10 WQUXGA IPS show, and out of the field, it appeared so vibrant and colourful, with deep blacks, that I believed it was an OLED panel. Once I utilized my colorimeter, the show excelled, providing a number of the finest outcomes we’ve seen in an IPS show.

Due to broad and extremely correct colours, tons of brightness, and excessive distinction, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5’s show matches its efficiency in assembly the wants of demanding creators. The Dell XPS 17‘s is a uncommon IPS show that matches the ThinkPad’s. Notice that the MacBook Professional 16’s show was examined with a special colorimeter that exams distinction in a different way; its distinction was equal to the OLED shows, however no higher.

Brightness
(nits)
Distinction sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(decrease is best)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5
(IPS)
572 1,520:1 100% 99% 0.51
HP Envy 16
(OLED)
348 24,3010:1 100% 97% 0.74
Asus ZenBook Professional 16X
(OLED)
365 26,090:1 100% 98% 0.84
MSI Creator Z16P
(IPS)
461 990:1 100% 89% 0.89
Dell XPS 17 9720
(IPS)
543 1,870:1 100% 100% 0.58
Apple MacBook Professional 16
(XDR)
475 475,200:1 100% 90% 1.04

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 top down view showing speaker.Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

The twin upward-firing audio system have been extremely loud and clear, with glorious mids and highs. They couldn’t match the XPS 17’s and MacBook Professional’s deeper bass, although, as they lack these laptops’ subwoofers. The audio was nonetheless adequate that you simply gained’t routinely seize a set of headphones.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 front view showing webcam.Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

The webcam is a 1080p model that gives clear video with loads of element in lowlight environments. There’s a ThinkShutter privateness display and an infrared camera supporting Home windows 11 Howdy passwordless login help to go along with a fingerprint reader embedded within the energy button.

Essentially the most highly effective choice for ThinkPad followers

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen lives as much as its function as essentially the most highly effective non-workstation ThinkPad you should buy. For ThinkPad followers who’re additionally demanding creators, it’s the most effective laptop you should buy.

It’s additionally fairly costly, which is why it turns into a less-appealing selection for individuals who aren’t dedicated to the ThinkPad line. There are a number of 16-inch laptops which might be highly effective creativity workstations and value some huge cash, just like the MSI Creator Z16P and Apple MacBook Professional 16. However there are additionally significantly cheaper choices, just like the HP Envy 16 that’s simply as quick and in addition enjoys an superior show (in its case, an OLED panel). That makes the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 5 barely much less simple to universally suggest.

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