Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four

MSRP $2,095.00

“The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four is not an ideal performer, however there’s lots to love about it.”


Glorious construct quailty

Superior entry-level show

Strong efficiency

Good keyboard and touchpad

Very highly effective configuration choices


Efficiency was inconsistent

Battery life was middling

Lenovo’s most potent non-workstation ThinkPad is the ThinkPad X1 Excessive, previously a 15-inch laptop computer that served as a formidable competitor to the Dell XPS 15 and different highly effective laptops within the class. You’ll discover the quickest elements and essentially the most aggressive thermal designs within the ThinkPad X1 Excessive, one thing that Lenovo has taken to the max with the fourth technology.

Along with including energy, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four has joined the taller show motion, incorporating a barely bigger 16-inch 16:10 show whereas managing to suit it into roughly the identical measurement chassis because the earlier technology.

I reviewed a ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four with the Intel Core i7-11800H and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, which prices $2,095. You may as well select as much as a Core i9-11950H with vPro and an RTX 3080, additional bettering the laptop computer’s theoretical efficiency and pushing it past even the formidable Dell XPS 17 by way of sheer energy. As I found on this evaluate, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four is a quick, premium laptop computer — however in response to my exams, it has some efficiency weaknesses that steal a few of its clout.


Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen three was 14.24 inches by 9.67 inches by .72 inches and weighed three.75 kilos. The brand new Gen four mannequin is 14.13 inches by 9.99 inches by zero.70 inches and weighs three.99 kilos. Apart from including a tiny little bit of depth due to the taller show and 1 / 4 of a pound in weight, Lenovo did what it got down to do: pack a 16:10 16-inch show into the identical measurement chassis because the earlier 15.6-inch technology.

The factor is, that also makes it a lot bigger than the Dell XPS 15, which is available in at 13.57 inches by 9.06 inches by zero.71 inches and a barely heavier four.22 kilos. Put the 2 side-by-side, and the ThinkPad appears enormous by comparability. It’s primarily due to the bigger bezels on the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four, which lend an old-school look even with the fashionable taller show. A brand new competitor, the MSI Creator Z16, additionally sports activities a 16:10 16-inch show, and it’s 14.13 inches by 10.08 inches by zero.64 inches and a a lot heavier 5.07 kilos. Its bezels are a bit smaller than the ThinkPad’s, however it’s nonetheless deeper — go determine.

All in all, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four seems to be like a big laptop computer however doesn’t really feel like one due to its mild weight. It’s constructed of aluminum alloy on the underside chassis (with some plastic components) and incorporates 4 layers of strengthened carbon fiber within the lid. I’m undecided how Lenovo saved the burden down with out utilizing magnesium alloy, however they managed to take action, and the laptop computer feels nice in hand. It incorporates the ThinkPad’s ordinary soft-touch coating and is extraordinarily comfy to carry.

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four seems to be like, effectively, a ThinkPad.

It’s additionally fairly inflexible, with simply the slightest bend within the lid in case you strive exhausting sufficient and with no give within the keyboard deck or chassis backside. The Dell XPS 15 is inflexible throughout and so feels extra stable, however there’s not a major distinction. The Gen four mannequin is at the very least as strong because the Gen three was, touchdown it among the many class leaders in construct high quality — and it gives the same old MIL-STD 810g certification for robustness.

Aesthetically, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four seems to be like, effectively, a ThinkPad. It’s all-black with only a few purple accents within the X1 emblem on the lid, the purple LED dot on the “i” within the ThinkPad emblem, the purple TrackPoint nubbin within the heart of the keyboard, and accents alongside the sides of the TrackPoint buttons. My evaluate unit got here with the WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) decision show and so its lid was plain black.

Select one of many 4K+ WQUXGA (three,840 x 2,400) shows, and also you get a carbon fiber weave so as to add some panache to the lid. Total, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four has a gorgeous and daring look, and in case you just like the ThinkPad aesthetic you then’ll like this one. The XPS 15 seems extra trendy and streamlined and extra engaging total, particularly with the white glass fiber keyboard deck, however the ThinkPad goals for its personal feel and appear, and achieves it.

The MSI Creator Z16 has a extra simple aesthetic within the chassis. Nonetheless, it incorporates RGB lighting within the keyboard, making it the polar reverse of the conservative ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four, at the very least once you open the lid and the keyboard lighting activates.

Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Connectivity stays a power, with a proprietary energy connector (supporting a 230-watt energy adapter), two USB-C with Thunderbolt four ports, a full-size HDMI 2.zero or 2.1 (relying on the mannequin) port, and a three.5mm audio jack on the left aspect, and two USB-A three.2 Gen 1 ports and a full-size SD card reader on the proper aspect. Wi-fi connectivity is offered by the newest and quickest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, and you’ll configure WWAN help through an non-obligatory nano-SIM slot.


Lenovo wasn’t messing round when it designed the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four’s efficiency profile. You may configure as much as a Core i9-11950H with vPro within the CPU division and as much as an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Max-Q within the GPU division. There’s not one other 15- or 16-inch laptop computer that I’m conscious of that’s as highly effective outdoors of gaming machines.

My evaluate unit outfitted a Core i7-11800H and an RTX 3060, making it stronger than the Dell XPS 15 and an identical to the MSI Creator Z16. Sadly, Lenovo despatched me a machine with only one 16GB RAM stick put in, limiting the reminiscence to single-channel efficiency. As we’ll see, that had an influence that wasn’t instantly apparent.

Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

In Geekbench 5, the ThinkPad carried out effectively sufficient, simply barely behind the MSI Creator Z16 and the Dell XPS 15. It beat the MSI and the Dell in our Handbrake check that encodes a 420MB video as H.265 by a number of seconds. And it additionally got here out forward of the XPS 15 and the Z16 in Cinebench R23 by a extra vital margin. Up to now, so good. Solely the Lenovo Legion 5 Professional with its Ryzen 7 5800H — a speedy processor for CPU-intensive duties — stood out in our comparability group.

In PCMark 10, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four was within the center, sooner than the XPS 15 however slower than the Z16. It saved up within the Necessities and Productiveness parts of the check however fell behind the MSI Creator Z16 within the Content material Creation portion (however forward of the Dell XPS 15). Once more, there have been no purple flags by way of efficiency in response to the benchmarks reported to date.

In the event you purchase this laptop computer, ensure you verify off dual-channel RAM within the configurator.

Nonetheless, once I switched to the Pugetbench benchmark that runs in Adobe Premiere Professional, issues bought slightly bizarre. The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four scored an especially low 432 on this check, which makes use of each the CPU and GPU. The Dell XPS 15 with its Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti scored 509 in its normal mode (and 590 in its efficiency mode), and the MSI Creator Z16 was sooner but at 732. The ThinkPad scored significantly poorly within the Reside Playback part of the check, hitting simply 54.5 in comparison with the MSI’s 119.1 and the Dell’s 74.eight.

It turned out that the single-channel RAM prompted such a low rating on this benchmark. Lenovo examined an an identical machine with two 16GB RAM sticks and dual-channel reminiscence, and it scored 642. Frankly, that’s nonetheless low for the CPU and GPU, particularly with 32GB of RAM, effectively underneath the MSI Creator Z16 (additionally with 32GB) and just a bit bit higher than the XPS 15 in efficiency mode. However it’s higher than my evaluate unit carried out. In the event you purchase this laptop computer, ensure you verify off dual-channel RAM within the configurator.

I used to be pleased with the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four’s efficiency till I hit the Pugetbench outcomes. This laptop computer is made for creators who will run CPU- and GPU-intensive purposes like Premiere Professional, and the ThinkPad didn’t do in addition to I anticipated even when configured with sooner RAM efficiency. I don’t know how effectively the Core i9 model would possibly carry out, and you’ll up the general efficiency in these apps by choosing an RTX 3070 or 3080. The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four will possible be the quickest laptop computer amongst this comparability group when maxed out. However bear in mind that it’s not the quickest laptop computer in comparison with its competitors when equally configured. Notice you can add a second solid-state drive (SSD) to the machine for further storage or redundancy in case you go for mirroring.

Laptop computer
3DMark Time Spy
Cinebench R23
Geekbench 5
PCMark 10
(1080p Epic)

Civilization VI (1080p Extremely)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four (Core i7-11800H)
1519 / 10497
1520 / 7353
85 fps (1920 x 1200)
Wouldn’t run
Dell XPS 15 OLED 2021 (Core i7-11800H)
1513 / 9979
1544 / 7692
50 fps
73 fps
MSI Creator Z16 (Core i7-11800H)
1444 / 9615
1540 / 7625
59 fps (1920 x 1200)
92 fps
Dell XPS 17 (Core i7-11800H)
1525 / 10145
1568 / 8801
78 fps
104 fps
LG Gram 16 (Core i7-1165G7)
1394 / 4137
1573 / 5454
13 fps
Lenovo Legion 5 Professional (Ryzen 7 5800H)
1430 / 11195
1460 / 7227
101 fps
114 fps

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four ought to be entry-level gaming machine given the RTX 3060 and quick CPU. For essentially the most half, that’s how my testing performed out. Sadly, the ThinkPad wouldn’t run Civilization VI with out crashing, so I can’t report any outcomes for that recreation. In Murderer’s Creed Valhalla, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four hit 53 frames per second (fps) in 1080p and excessive graphics, a lot slower than the MSI Creator Z16’s 82 fps, however that hole narrowed as I moved up in decision and graphics. At 1600p and ultra-high graphics, the ThinkPad managed 39 fps in comparison with the Z16’s 45 fps.

I noticed related outcomes with Battlefield V, the place the ThinkPad achieved 69 fps at 1080p and medium graphics in comparison with the MSI at 81 fps, after which the ThinkPad was sooner at 1600p and extremely graphics at 56 fps versus 43 fps. Lastly, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four massacred the MSI Creator Z16 in Fortnite, hitting 85 fps at 1200p and epic graphics in comparison with 59 fps. The identical disparity held for the remainder of the examined resolutions and graphics settings.

You’ll discover the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four to be a reliable however not class-leading gaming laptop computer for contemporary titles at cheap resolutions and graphics settings. You may in all probability play most video games at 1600p and medium to excessive graphics so long as you’re keen to place up with decrease body charges or flip issues down a notch, and also you’ll get very playable efficiency. You would possibly discover some inconsistency, as I did, however total, you’ll have the ability to play alongside along with your work.


Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Lenovo gives a number of 16:10 16-inch shows for the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four, WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) IPS, WQUXGA (three,840 x 2,400) with Dolby Imaginative and prescient, and WQUXGA contact show with Dolby Imaginative and prescient. My evaluate unit outfitted the entry-level WQXGA show, which is best for battery life however not as sharp. As I used to be utilizing the laptop computer through the evaluate, I discovered the show a pleasure, with loads of brightness and distinction and colours that popped however didn’t appear inaccurate. It’s not OLED, however for an IPS show, it was glorious.

My colorimeter agreed with me. It’s extremely shiny at 468 nits, effectively above our 300-nit threshold, which is best than the MSI Creator Z16’s IPS WQUXGA panel’s 385 nits and the Dell XPS 15’s three.5K OLED show’s 381 nits. The ThinkPad’s distinction was excellent for an IPS show at 1,240:1 (above our most popular 1000:1 distinction ratio), the place the MSI was disappointing at 800:1, and the Dell was spectacular at 381,130:1 (typical OLED).

The ThinkPad additionally stood out amongst “entry-level” IPS shows in its shade width at 82% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB. You’ll possible get higher colours with the WQUXGA choices, however these numbers are ok that creators might use this show. The MSI was higher at 91% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB, and the Dell was once more glorious at 99% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB due to its OLED expertise. The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four’s colours have been additionally very correct at a DeltaE of zero.81 (lower than 1.zero is great), the place the MSI got here in at zero.76 and the Dell at zero.46.

Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The ThinkPad’s twin upward-firing audio system on both sides of the keyboard put out loads of quantity when turned all the best way up, and there was zero distortion. Mids and highs have been clear, and there was a contact of bass. The Dell XPS 15’s quad audio system are higher, however the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four’s audio system is ok for binging Netflix alone. You’ll need headphones for the perfect music high quality, although.

Keyboard and touchpad

Pop open the lid, and also you’ll discover the everyday ThinkPad keyboard. It has loads of journey at 1.8mm, sculpted keys with massive keycaps and good key spacing, and switches which are snappy and exact. It appears like most ThinkPad keyboards, and my one criticism is that the keys require extra stress than I wish to depress. I discover it extra fatiguing over lengthy typing classes than the lighter keyboard on HP’s Spectre line or the Dell XPS 15, and I discovered the keyboard on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 to even have a lighter contact than I most popular. In the event you don’t thoughts — or possibly even desire — a stiffer mechanism, you then’ll like this keyboard.

Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The TrackPoint nubbin in the midst of the keyboard works effectively, as ordinary, however the buttons take up the identical area on the touchpad. You’ll be comfortable in case you like that cursor management technique, however I’d relatively skip it and have a bigger touchpad. Talking of that, the touchpad is decently sized however nowhere close to the large model on the Dell XPS 15. It was easy and responsive, with Microsoft Precision Touchpad help, however I want it have been bigger given all that area on the palm relaxation.

Home windows 10 Whats up password-less login help is offered by a fingerprint reader embedded within the energy button, which works shortly and logs you in instantly once you energy up the machine. There’s an non-obligatory infrared digicam for facial recognition that my evaluate unit didn’t equip. There’s additionally the Lenovo ThinkShutter bodily slider for webcam privateness that’s old-school in comparison with some digital variations you’ll discover on another laptops just like the HP Spectre, however it works.

Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Battery life

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four has a 90 watt-hour battery, which is lots. The 16-inch WQXGA show ought to get higher battery life than the UHD+ model, however the elements aren’t terribly energy-efficient. Add in that apart from the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9, ThinkPad battery life has been disappointing, and I wasn’t anticipating an excessive amount of.

In our net looking check, the ThinkPad managed proper round 7.5 hours, effectively underneath the 10 hours we wish to see. Even so, that beat out the MSI Creator Z16 (additionally with a WQXGA show and 90 watt-hour battery) that hit simply 5.three hours. The Dell XPS 15, with its three.5K OLED show and 84 watt-hours, was stronger at 9 hours. In our video looping check that performs an area Full HD film trailer, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four lasted for simply over 9 hours, once more higher than the MSI’s eight hours however behind the XPS 15’s 11 hours.

In the event you preserve your workload mild, you would possibly make it to the night, however I wouldn’t depend on it.

I additionally ran the PCMark 10 Functions battery check, the perfect indication of productiveness battery life. The ThinkPad went for eight.75 hours, a low rating in comparison with the typical laptop computer that lasts 10 hours or extra on this check. The XPS 15 was worse at eight hours, and we didn’t run the MSI by means of this check. Within the PCMark 10 Gaming battery check, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four made it to only underneath 90 minutes, in comparison with the XPS 15 at three minutes much less (once more, we didn’t run this check on the MSI Creator Z16). In my expertise, this check demonstrates how exhausting a laptop computer works on battery relatively than absolute longevity, and the ThinkPad is amongst these laptops that appear to maintain up the pace whereas unplugged.

Total, the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four wasn’t a horrible battery performer, given the 16-inch WQXGA show and high-end elements. It’s not prone to get you thru a full day’s work on a single cost, and the ability brick is relatively massive to hold round, however that’s the worth you pay for a lot energy. In the event you preserve your workload mild, you would possibly make it to the night, however I wouldn’t depend on it.

Our take

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four lives as much as its title. It’s essentially the most highly effective ThinkPad you should purchase and in a special class totally than most ThinkPads supposed for traditional productiveness efficiency. Given you can configure it with a Core i9 and an RTX 3080 Max-Q, there’s not one other non-gaming laptop computer in the identical class that may compete on sheer specs alongside.

On the similar time, efficiency is lower than it ought to be, at the very least within the one benchmark that provides the perfect real-world instance of the laptop computer’s efficiency in artistic apps. And its gaming efficiency is inconsistent. In the event you can dwell with these limitations, you then’ll love the appear and feel and the construct high quality, in all probability love the keyboard and touchpad, and even the entry-level show is great. You’ll simply be a bit unsure how the laptop computer will carry out in your given workflow.

Are there any alternate options?

The Dell XPS 15 is a stable various by way of its aesthetic and construct high quality, and it supplies good efficiency and a surprising three.5K OLED show possibility. It’s across the similar worth as configured, and so that you’re giving up some efficiency for the XPS 15’s glorious design.

The MSI Creator Z16 is an alternative choice, providing higher efficiency in most exams (apart from a number of video games) however not nearly as good battery life. It’s costlier at $2,549 when equally configured, however you’re getting higher Premiere Professional efficiency that may please creators.

Lastly, the Apple MacBook Professional 16 has been a stable selection within the 16-inch class, however the Intel model gained’t have the ability to sustain with the ThinkPad, particularly in case you configure the Lenovo to its max. The rumored M1X MacBook Professional is likely to be higher price consideration, although.

How lengthy will it final?

The ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four is constructed effectively and will final for years of service. The elements are updated and will preserve Home windows 10 (and 11) buzzing alongside. The 1-year guarantee may be very disappointing for this class of laptop computer, nevertheless.

The one-year guarantee is disappointing for such an costly laptop computer, however at the very least it supplies on-site service.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. In the event you’re a ThinkPad fan and wish the quickest one you should purchase, then the ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen four gained’t disappoint. In the event you’re not a ThinkPad fan, then your determination is a bit more difficult — however ultimately, it is a serviceable possibility in comparison with the competitors.

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