Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive assessment: A robust enterprise laptop computer with a top-quality 4K display screen Overview


Lenovo’s ThinkPads are nicely regarded, solidly constructed, feature-rich enterprise laptops. The 15.6-inch ThinkPad X1 Excessive is presently obtainable in two off-the-page configurations on Lenovo’s UK web site, at £1,619.99 (inc. VAT; £1,349.99 ex. VAT), or £2,266.79 (inc. VAT; £1,888.99 ex. VAT). Described as an “ultralight powerhouse” that “handles demanding computing duties with no hitch”, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive is an expensive laptop computer — however does it ship worth for cash?

Lenovo would not fiddle with the essential design of its ThinkPad vary, so right here now we have a really traditional appear and feel. The matte-black chassis seems to be huge on this comparatively massive ThinkPad, which is adorned solely by the X1 emblem sitting in a single nook and the ThinkPad marquee within the reverse nook. The entire unit tapers in direction of the entrance with the underside edge elevating itself barely from the desktop. This angled edge continues into the perimeters and the again, permitting the perimeters and again to accommodate a pair of speaker grilles which are barely elevated from a desk (or from clothes if the ThinkPad is in your lap), which helps to keep away from muffled sound.


The ThinkPad X1 Excessive is a robust 15.6-inch laptop computer weighing 1.7kg with an FHD non-touch display screen or 1.8kg with a 4K touch-screen. The entry-level value is £1,619.99 (inc. VAT; £1,349.99 ex. VAT).

Photos: Lenovo

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive is ‘excessive’ in a number of methods. The 15.6-inch display screen is bigger than any that is been seen within the X1 vary earlier than, for instance, so it clearly requires a much bigger chassis. The FHD non-touch model measures 361.8mm by 245.7mm by 18.Four mm and weighs 1.7kg, whereas the 4K contact model is barely thicker (18.7mm) and heavier (1.8kg). This laptop computer is destined to spend most of its time deskbound, reasonably than be an everyday journey companion.

Ought to you could journey with it, this ThinkPad is characteristically powerful. 4 layers of strengthened carbon fibre are constructed into the lid part, together with a core shock-absorbing layer. I used to be capable of bend the lid barely in my fingers, but it surely’s remarkably stable for such a large display screen.


The ThinkPad X1 Excessive’s display screen will lay flat, however that is no 360-degree Yoga-style laptop computer.

Picture: Lenovo

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive doesn’t have a Yoga-style 360-degree rotating display screen. It can lay again far sufficient to take a seat flat on a desk in order that data may be shared, however there is not any choice for a tent, presentation or pill modes. For those who want that form of flexibility in a ThinkPad, take a look at the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (third Gen).

There are two configurations of the ThinkPad X1 Excessive obtainable on Lenovo’s UK web site. The £1,619.99 (inc. VAT) mannequin has an FHD IPS (1,920 x 1,zero80) non-touch display screen, whereas the £2,266.79 mannequin, like my assessment pattern, has a 4K UHD HDR (3840 x 2160) touch-screen. You possibly can tweak the specification of both mannequin up to some extent — including the UHD touch-screen to the FHD non-touch laptop computer, for instance, provides £256.80 to the worth.

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The 4K display screen on my assessment unit responded nicely to the touch enter and was extraordinarily sharp and brilliant, which ought to attraction to customers eager to create content material immediately on-screen. When engaged on battery energy, the default 80 p.c display screen brightness setting labored nicely for me — simply as nicely as a result of this laptop computer’s high-level specs are one thing of a problem for the battery, as we will see.

The audio system ship good-quality sound and at respectable quantity. Dolby Atmos help signifies that a variety of sound profiles can be found to reinforce audio high quality.

The keyboard is as much as Lenovo’s standard excessive requirements. The pot-bellied keys are massive, with loads of journey and an actual springiness to the motion. The enter secret’s huge and tall, and there is sufficient area for the operate keys and the arrow keys to be comparatively massive. Keys require a bit extra pressure to depress than standard, however that is simply accommodated and I might contact sort at regular velocity with no downside.


Contact-typing at velocity isn’t any downside on the ThinkPad X1 Excessive’s spacious, responsive keyboard.

Picture: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Lenovo’s TrackPoint sits between the G, H and B keys, with two related buttons and a scroll bar that lie above the touchpad. The touchpad itself is responsive, and I want its barely tactile end to smoother, glassier choices (though others might differ). The keyboard backlight provides two brightness ranges, and is toggled with the Fn key/spacebar mixture.

The entry-level mannequin has a 720p digicam above the display screen with a ThinkShutter, a canopy you may slide in entrance of the lens for those who’re nervous about privateness. I final noticed this on the Yoga C930, and it is also a function of a number of ThinkPad fashions. My assessment unit, which is nearer to the top-end specification, had a 720p digicam with IR for Home windows Hey authentication, however no ThinkShutter.

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My assessment pattern featured a Core i7 processor and discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics — a robust mixture that makes use of a brand new aluminium alloy backside cowl that is designed to dissipate warmth extra effectively. I discovered this to be moderately efficient, though the system nonetheless ran barely heat at instances. RAM can go as much as 64GB, however my assessment pattern got here with ‘simply’ 32GB. The complete RAM complement will value you although — an additional £513.60 (inc. VAT) on the 32GB value.

My assessment unit had a 1TB SSD, and it is doable to configure the laptop computer with two SSDs, bringing the entire capability to an enormous 2TB. Once more, the total SSD storage capability is not low-cost — an additional £370.80 (inc. VAT) on prime of the 1TB value.

Right here the 2 off-the-page the configurations on Lenovo’s UK web site:

  • Intel Core i5-8300H, Home windows 10 Residence, 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,zero80 pixel non-touch display screen, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB GPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
    £1,619.99 (inc. VAT; £1,349.99 ex. VAT)
  • Intel Core i7-8750H, Home windows 10 Professional, 15.6-inch three,840 x 2,160 pixel contact display screen, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB GPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
    £2,266.79 (inc. VAT; £1,888.99 ex. VAT)

A 15.6-inch chassis provides loads of area for ports and slots.

Picture: Lenovo

There is a beneficiant array of ports and connectors. The suitable edge has an SD card reader and two USB three.1 ports, whereas the left edge has a full-size HDMI port, a three.5mm headset jack, a mini-Ethernet port (Lenovo offers a dongle with an RJ-45 connector), and a pair of USB-C Thunderbolt three ports. Charging is by way of Lenovo’s proprietary connector reasonably than the Thunderbolt three ports. That is a disgrace in some methods, but it surely does imply that the Thunderbolt ports are all the time obtainable.

The 4K touchscreen and Core i7 processor in my assessment unit gave the Four-cell, 80Wh battery one thing of a hammering. With the display screen at its default battery-power brightness of 80 p.c and a reasonably mild workload of writing right into a web-based app whereas streaming music, with some pauses for video playback, the battery was diminished to 44 p.c after 4 hours. A full day’s work on battery energy could be a stretch with this configuration, particularly beneath heavy workloads. I might anticipate the FHD display screen to last more. Lenovo, by the way, claims battery lifetime of ‘as much as’ 15 hours, noting that this “varies considerably with settings, utilization, and different components”.

There are many safety services, together with a fingerprint sensor on the wrist relaxation, vPro help in some configurations, and a wise card reader as an non-compulsory additional. As well as, as talked about earlier, you may both have the ThinkShutter or an IR digicam for Home windows Hey authentication.


‘Excessive’ is the correct phrase to explain this laptop computer: it has a big 15.6-inch display screen which, in 4K guise (as reviewed), could be very watchable; high-end CPU and discrete GPU choices permit it to deal with demanding duties; and with two SSD slots there’s potential for lots of inner storage.

The let-down is that the 80Wh battery struggled to provide me a day’s work from my 4K-screen assessment pattern.


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