The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 brings – and dissipates – the heat

The latest generation of Lenovo’s workhorse laptop has some much-needed cooling features to go with all that power

ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5
ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5

Over at MWC 2022 in Barcelona, Lenovo is serving up some brand new laptops and other goodies. And when it comes to pure processing power, it looks like the winner is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 — a laptop packing so much heat, it needs some special features to make sure it doesn’t burn up the table it’s sitting on.

Improving on last year’s model, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 runs on the latest 12th Gen Intel Core H-series processors, up to an i9. Intel’s H-series processors are the ones tuned to maximize graphics performance, and here they are combined with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card and 16 GB of GDDR6 RAM, with up to a 64GB DDR5 option. Storage options include up to two 4 TB SSDs. And, as a practical feature that anyone with a fancy camera will appreciate, there is an SD card slot built in, no dongle needed.

Graphics are definitely what this machine is meant for — if you need to do some serious video editing or other multimedia work on the go, this is going to be the right laptop for it. And, if you’re getting it on your work’s dime, it can be purchased with Intel’s vPro technology, making it more IT department-friendly.

Now, all that power is going to generate some heat. A lot of heat — especially in a laptop! Lenovo has used liquid metal thermal paste on both the CPU and GPU, and has even managed to sneak in a vapor chamber for cooling to help make sure performance doesn’t get bogged down by overheating.

Whether for gaming or creation the 16″ display can offer bright and smooth images of up to 4k resolution, and also features 600 nits of brightness and a high 165Hz refresh rate. Touch and pen input are also supported, but are optional. Some of the display options also include Dolby Vision processing. Audio is all Dolby — Dolby Voice for noise-canceling technology, and a Dolby Atmos-powered speaker system.

Pretty exciting if you need all that power, but if you just need an everyday workhorse, Lenovo also unveiled the latest members of the ThinkPad T-series — the ThinkPad 14 Gen 3, ThinkPad 14s Gen3, and the all-new ThinkPad T16.

The T-series devices will be available with both Intel (12th Gen) and AMD (Ryzen Pro 6000 series) processors.

The ThinkPad T16 is a fresh offering from Lenovo and adopts the four-sided narrow bezel design found on the 14 and 14s. It can be configured with up to a 4k display with 500 nits of brightness, and Dolby HDR support. At the high end, the 14s can be configured with up to a 2.8k OLED display. All of those will have 16:10 aspect ratios, which is quickly becoming the norm for laptops.

ThinkPad T16 Gen 1
ThinkPad T16 Gen 1

AMD models will be equipped with AMD Radeon 600M GPUs to handle graphics, while their Intel counterparts will be working with Intel Iris Xe graphics. Intel models also have the option to switch to an NVIDIA MX 550 or RTX 2050 discrete GPUs, in case you need a little more graphics power but don’t want to lay down the considerable cash it takes to get the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5.

With video calls now an integral part of today’s workday, Lenovo offers an optional FHD or FHD infrared camera for all T-series devices. Dolby Voice takes care of ambient noise reduction.

ThinkPad T14s Gen 3
ThinkPad T14s Gen 3

Lenovo is also adding human presence detection to the new laptops. Presence detection is most commonly accomplished by the camera, but the ThinkPad T14 is able to use ultrasound waves instead. Using the speaker and microphone, a software-based sensor will be able to detect when the user walks away or is absent. This will prompt action such as locking the device or switching to a low-power state.

Speaking of power, here’s an interesting little tidbit — you’ll have battery capacity options, if you want to trade off battery life for less weight. For the T14, you can choose between a 39.3Wh option and a 52.5Wh option, the smaller of the two cutting off a half pound. On the T16, you can choose between 52.5Wh and 86Wh batteries.

All devices are set to be available this year. The Lenovo ThinkPad T16 and T14 will be the first two to hit the market this April with a starting price of $1419 and $1399 respectively.

The AMD-powered T14s will follow in May with a starting price of $1399.

In June, we can expect the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5, the ThinkPad 14s (starting from $2049), and the AMD-powered ThinkPad T14 (starting from $1299) and T16 (starting from $1299).

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