Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen 2 Review – Is this perfect!?

 This is jay from bestinlaptops.com and this is the Lenovo ThinkPad x1 extreme Gen 2 Review with the OLED display. 

Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme specs

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-8950HK
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
  • DISPLAY: 15.6”, Full HD (1920 x 1080), IPS
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4, 2666 MHz
  • WEIGHT: 1.70 kg (3.7 lbs)

Lenovo Thinkpad x1 extreme pros

  • Thin and light workstation with a great build quality
  • 92% sRGB coverage and no PWM for brightness adjustment (BOE NV156FHM-N63 (BOE07D8))
  • Super comfortable keyboard
  • Up to 64GB DDR4 memory
  • Has two Thunderbolt 3 ports and an SD card slot
  • Dual M.2 slots that support PCIe x4 drives and RAID 0 mode
  • Great battery life

Lenovo ThinkPad x1 extreme cons

  • Premium price tag
  • Core i9-9880H would be too hot in this device
  • Its display uses PWM for almost all brightness levels (our Health-Guard profile takes care of that)
  • Speakers are average

Thinkpad x1 extreme Display 

The display options when it comes to the thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2 there are two full HD options and there are two 4k options. 

I looked at the 4k IPS display before and also the 4k OLED multi-touch option. 

I can say it without hesitation that the 4k OLED touch panel is absolutely gorgeous. It’s stunning in fact it’s a Dolby vision HDR 500 display. 

That means if you’re watching high dynamic range content you’re going to absolutely love it on this display. 

Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2

This display really shines

When you’re looking at an OLED display one of the things you’re going to notice is how you’re going to get those really deep blacks

The very vibrant colors that really pop off the display and this is no exception this is exactly what you’re going to experience with this OLED display on the ThinkPad x1 extreme gen 2. 

While it has the same resolution as the 4k IPS panel there is some differences and you’ll notice that the contrast and the black levels are going to be significantly better on the OLED version

That’s of course a USP of an OLED panel and the OLED version covers the color gamut extremely well 100% srgb 98% Adobe RGB. 

Making this a great choice for those creative professionals that do Photoshop Lightroom and of course video editing. 

Lenovo claims that the IPS panel will get up to 500 nits in terms of brightness and the OLED panel up to 400 nits. 

I measured 403 on the IPS panel and measured 368 on the OLED panel both are good although. The IPS panel does get a little bit brighter and both of these can be used outdoors. 

The OLED model seems a little bit better a little bit more readable in direct sunlight. 

On the left is the IPS panel you’ll notice that matte display versus the slightly glossy display of the OLED version. 

You can see the difference between the two. I actually like the OLED version of course.

But again both of these can be used in indoor and outdoor scenarios and the other key difference is that the OLED panel is a touch display

Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2

Which is really responsive and it also has Pen support. It uses the Wacom AES technology and I am using it with the pen sent over. 

If you want to take notes with this or sketch out some artwork you have that option. 

Something you don’t get with that IPS panel don’t get me wrong the IPS panel is excellent in its own right really deep blacks excellent contrast really vibrant colors. 

It really is a great display. 

But you will pay more for the OLED panel of course. but not that much more when you compare it to the IPS panel when it comes to the bezels the top and side does allure a decent or the top bezel does.

The webcam and the bottom bezel there’s a bit of a chin but remember this is a 15-inch laptop so I’m not expecting the thinness. 

The bezels on this laptop and they’re not bad at by any stretch. 

keep that in mind but don’t get me wrong this thing looks amazing of course there’s a price to pay for having that OLED display and that’s going to be battery life. 

Battery life of thinkpad x1 extreme

 The lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme lasts for only four hours and twelve minutes on my continuous web surfing test over Wi-Fi at 115 nits. 

It’s the 4k IPS panel that did six hours and 46 minutes. If you need better battery life take a look at that 4k IPS panel or take a look at any of the 1080p panels lenovo do offers. 

If you do need to plug in it’ll take a little over 2 hours to give you a full charge with the supplied 135 watt power adapter. 

I love the fact that this thinkpad x1 extreme is a user upgradeable laptop. All you need to do is loosen the captive Phillips head screws remove the bottom plate and you’re in. 

Thinkpad x1 extreme Internals 

Once inside you’ll notice extra SSD slots. If you want to add more storage you have that option and the RAM is socketed in. 

Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2

You can add more RAM and I love that option as well. The Wi-Fi card is swappable as well although you do get some really great range, good uploads, good downloads and speaking of the SSD. 

You get some excellent reads and writes speed from these ssd.


 You get some really excellent port selections. On the left side you get your power port, two thunderbolt three ports and  they do support four lanes. 

Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2
Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2

You do get an HDMI port at breakout Ethernet port and a 3.5 millimeter headset jack

Moving over to the right side you get your optional smart card reader which is a full-size SD card slot. 

2 USB a 3.1 ports and a Kensington lock port and we have to say that’s a pretty good selection of ports


The IPS version does have a Windows hello camera login which is a 720p cometa with 30 frames per second.

Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2

This is the OLED version of the ThinkPad x1 extreme Gen 2. It’s an infrared camera 720p 30 frames per second.

It also is Windows hello login compatible. So, you can login with face recognition good for Skype, Good for video conferencing. 

I’m curious to know what you think about this lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2? Let me know in the comment section below

Performance of Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme

As far as performance is concerned I was hoping that this unit with the OLED panel would have the core i9 with its eight cores 9th gen processor. 

Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2

Of course, they sent over one with the core i7 9850 H.That’s the same as the 4k IPS panel. The performance is very good, great for productivity and works great for consuming media. 

The lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2 is also good for gaming. 

The X1 Extreme Gen 2 looks and feels just like a ThinkPad, but does it run like one?

It’s not even as different as the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 4 with its all-aluminum design. But the X1 Extreme Gen 2 isn’t just like other ThinkPads inside.

Nope, this one runs an 8-core, 16-thread Intel 9th-gen Core i9-9880H.

That’s not quite the fastest chip you can get in a laptop today the Core i9-9980HK in the Dell XPS 15 and Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch has a higher frequency.

But, the Extreme is much faster than typical ThinkPad fare.

lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2 review

Looking at the Geekbench 4 synthetic benchmark, the X1 Extreme Gen 2 was slower than the Dell and the Apple as expected, but not by much.

When we ran our real-world Handbrake test that converts a 420MB video to H.265, the ThinkPad was even more competitive.

There’s a caveat, though: Lenovo has leveraged the Windows 10 power slider to implement its Intelligent Cooling feature.

Move the slider all the way to the right, and you’ll kick off the Performance setting that maximizes processor performance (and ramps up the fans).

Heat and thermals 

They also went over the thermals and cooling. 

But, Poor cooling was one of the few complaints we had with the first-gen ThinkPad X1 Extreme.

Fortunately, the new model did much better in our heat test, topping out at 99 degrees Fahrenheit.

That’s still above our 95-degree comfort threshold but nowhere near the 123 degrees the Gen 1 version reached on the same test (playing a 15-minute, 1080p video).

The 2nd Gen Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme’s touchpad (82 degrees) and the center of the machine’s keyboard (92 degrees).

Two places you often rest your hands, were only warm to the touch.

Built and looks

As far as the durability is concerned. Thinkpad x1 extreme gem 2 is excellent of course. This has a military standard 810g rating.

That means it underwent a series of tests to make sure that this thinkpad x1 extreme can be durable. 

One thing to note though is the ThinkPad x1 extreme is a major fingerprint magnet you will be wiping it down quite a bit. 

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen 2 Review - Is this perfect!?

My first laptop had a 15-inch display, and as much as I appreciated the screen real estate it offered, that thick brick of a device was too heavy to haul around.

When it was time to upgrade, I, like so many, rode the wave of small-screened laptops that had become popular over the last decade.

It’s time to return to the big screen, because 15-inch laptops like the ThinkPad X1 Extreme prove that a large display doesn’t mean a big chassis.

Yes, the X1 Extreme has a much larger footprint than something like the XPS 13 or even the 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon, but at 0.7 inches thick, it’s thin enough to slip into a handbag or backpack.

I’m even more impressed by its weight; a 15.6-inch laptop weighing 3.8 pounds would have been unheard of just a few years ago. 

Lenovo didn’t make any major changes to the design of this sophomore effort.

This machine’s sleek, thin-and-lightweight chassis remains the best presentation (alongside the X1 Carbon) of Lenovo’s iconic ThinkPad aesthetic. 

Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2

You’re probably familiar with the look by now, but we’ll go over the basics: On the X1 Extreme’s lid is a blackout ThinkPad logo illuminated by a glowing red “i” opposite some stylish X1 branding.

Open the lid, and you’ll find the signature red ThinkPad trim on the touchpad buttons and pointing stick.

There’s more branding on the deck and display bezels, but it’s all discreet and doesn’t take away from the X1 Extreme’s stealthy, minimalist appearance. 

New to this year’s model is a carbon-fiber weave on the X1 Extreme’s lid.

This same pattern, introduced on the latest ThinkPad X1 Carbon, accentuates the X1 Extreme’s plush, carbon-fiber material and gives the laptop the same aggressive edge as those carbon-fiber decals on sports cars.

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is an attractive laptop, but I have a few quibbles with the design.

For one, the X1 Extreme hasn’t embraced thin display bezels like other premium laptops have done.

The bottom bezel is especially chunky and detracts from an otherwise-streamlined design.

Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2

I also wish the fingerprint sensor were more pronounced and the power button weren’t so recessed. Oh, and the matte-black, soft-touch surfaces attract fingerprints like no other.  

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is larger than the XPS 15 (14.1 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches, 4.5 pounds) and even the 16-inch MacBook Pro (14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches, 4.3 pounds).

The HP Spectre x360 15 (14.2 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches, 4.6 pounds) is about the same size as the Lenovo, but that will change when HP releases the redesigned 2020 model.

You should note, however, that despite being on the larger side of this category, the X1 Extreme is significantly lighter than its competitors.

Keyboard and Touchpad 

The ThinkPad keyboards are some of the best in the business and this is no exception. I love the keyboard on the Lenovo ThinkPad x1 extreme Gen 2.

Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2

It has got good key travel and good tactile feedback. The keys are nicely spaced out. This keyboard has everything you’d want in a great keyboard. The precision touchpad and i have to say. I’m a huge fan of this touchpad. 


This thinkpad x1 extreme has Dolby Atmos speakers and I think they sound okay. These are not the best speakers I’ve ever heard.

I’m not gonna say these are better than a MacBook Pro cuz they’re not.

But, they are good enough to watch a YouTube video to fill up a room rather nicely. It has a pretty decent volume. But again I would say this is a pretty average experience. Let’s wrap it all up.

So, Can I recommend the Lenovo ThinkPad x1 extreme gen 2? 


I think you know the answer is yes. This is a definite yes you definitely want to take a look at this.

Especially, if you do video editing, Photoshop, Lightroom. You need this display. 

It’s simply superb. I also like the 4k IPS panel. I also like the fact that it is a touch display as well something you don’t get with that IPS panel. 

As far as the performance I was very impressed with the core i7. With the ninth generation Intel processor you do have the option to go with the core i9.

Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2

Unfortunately, lenovo didn’t send the core i9 with its 8 cores for me to check out

But from what I’m hearing it’s very good. I like its outstanding port selection, I like its outstanding keyboard, touchpad and track point.

I love the fact that the RAM is upgradeable as well as the SSD and the Wi-Fi. That’s something you don’t see every day. Although there are a few negatives on this there are no deal-breakers. 

I’m going to stick with my score of 91% making the Lenovo ThinkPad x1 extreme gen 2 worth your money. 

What do you think about the x1 extreme Gen 2 with that OLED display? I absolutely love it, I love the exterior, I love the carbon fibre. But one thing you’re gonna notice is it is a major fingerprint magnet.

It’s just unavoidable with this it really attracts fingerprints very easily. But when you wipe it down. This laptop is absolutely gorgeous. Let’s talk about that 4k display.

It’s an OLED panel with really deep blacks, the really vibrant colors that pop off the display. This display doesn’t disappoint you.

Of course, it’s also a touch display and was very responsive. It has pen support as far as the performance.

This also has the core i7 that’s a ninth generation 6 core processor from Intel. Unfortunately, lenovo didn’t send me the one with the core i9. 

That one would have eight cores which would be good. For a video editor get a little bit more use out of those two extra cores. Which will give you a little bit more horsepower.

Lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2

But, it has the gtx 1650 with max-q design as far as the GPU option is concerned and performance was very good, gaming was very good. I thought the medium settings were a sweet spot.

As far as doing everyday productivity tasks. It does Microsoft Office well, it does video editing well thanks to that GPU. You could do 4k video editing with Premiere Pro everything looked good. 

As far as battery life that’s where you’re going to take a hit and having an oled display will definitely give you less battery life than the IPS version.

One thing you’ll note that you battery life may vary. If you use a black background with an OLED display. You might get a little bit better battery life.

But for the most part you’re looking at a little bit more than four hours on a charge. Where you’re going to get closer to seven hours or six hours and 45 minutes. 

If you want even better battery life check out the 1080p options that Lenovo offers for the ThinkPad x1 extreme gen 2. 

 I’m curious to know what you think about this thinkpad x1 extreme gen 2 laptop. 

let me know in the comments section below what do you think of the OLED version of this beauty. I actually really do like it. 

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