Lenovo built a thin and light laptop for both work and play

There are many dedicated gaming laptops that look the part, which is either a good thing or bad thing, depending on your vantage point. Not all of them do, however. Lenovo's new ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2) is a good example. From the pictures we have seen, it looks like a sleek business laptop, because it is one, but it also rocks one of Nvidia's latest Turing GPUs for gaming.

Specifically, the newest iteration packs a GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. That's the newest addition to Nvidia's Turing family, and also the cheapest. By extension, that means it's also the least powerful of Nvidia's latest generation GPUs—and it's the only GTX 16-series card that uses the last-gen Volta NVENC encoder instead of the Turing NVENC.

It's not slow, though—on the desktop, the GTX 1650 is faster than the previous generation GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. The same should be true of the mobile variant, though we haven't tested one in mobile form yet. On the desktop, however, we found that the GTX 1650 is capable of hitting 60 frames per second at 1080p (medium to high quality settings) in most games. So there's your point of reference.

One final note about the GPU—it's a Max-Q chip. Performance is likely to be less than that of a regular GTX 1650. Some of the best gaming laptops use Max-Q GPUs, which lend themselves to thinner and lighter profiles. In this case, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme measures 14.2 x 9.67 x 0.72 inches, and weighs 3.76 pounds.

Moving on, ThinkPad X1 Extreme now comes configurable with up to an Intel 9th generation Core i9-9850H processor, up to 64GB of DDR4-2666 memory, and up to 4TB of PCIe SSD storage.

Connectivity options include a pair of USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C / Thunderbolt 3 ports, an SD memory car reader, HDMI output, a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack, and Kensington lock slot. A separately sold Ethernet extension adapter is required if you want a wired LAN connection. On the wireless side, it supports the newest Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard.

Lenovo offers a variety of display options. They include:

  • 15.6-inch 4K OLED HDR w/ touch support
  • 15.6-inch 4K IPS AG HDR 400 (500 nits)
  • 15.6-inch 1080p IPS AG HDR 400 (500 nits)
  • 15.6-inch 1080p IPS AG (300 nits)

If you end up shopping for one of these, pay close attention to the display specs so you don't end up with something you were not expecting. The least expensive variants will undoubtedly come standard with the lowest end display that lacks HDR support.

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 will be available in July starting at $1,499.99. In the meantime, you can head to the laptop's product page and share your email, if you want to be notified when it releases.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).