Lenovo launches ThinkPads with high-octane Ultra Performance Mode

Lenovo unveiled the third generation of its 15-inch ThinkPad X1 Extreme laptop on Wednesday morning, boasting an Intel 10th-gen Core CPU, upgraded graphics, and a brighter display option. The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 spearheads a range of Lenovo’s new mobile workstations, built around Intel’s “H” series processors.

Lenovo announced the 15-inch ThinkPad P15 and P17 as the successors to the older ThinkPads P53 and 73, respectively—both members of the inaugural Nvidia RTX Studio class of mobile workstations. Lenovo also announced the third generation of the ThinkPad P1, aptly called the ThinkPad P1 Gen 3. Finally, Lenovo announced the new ThinkPad P15v, aimed mainly at the professional on a budget, with an Nvidia Quadro P620 GPU inside.

Lenovo’s touting a new Ultra Performance Mode for both the P series as well as the ThinkPad X1 Extreme, which will allow users to “take full control of their performance settings” by dialing up the settings to “peak performance.” It’s not clear whether Lenovo’s providing its own hooks into Windows’ performance controls, or if this is a true overclocking capability. Lenovo’s definitely allowing the system to bypass the traditional limitations on fan noise and temperature, however, pushing the system to its limits.

“Enabled by default as a setting in BIOS, Ultra Performance Mode relaxes restrictions on acoustics and temperature, tapping into the full potential of the GPU and CPU, and leveraging an improved thermal design to maintain the integrity of the machine and deliver increased performance,” Lenovo said.

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 leads the launch

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 carries over the 15.6-inch display from its predecessor (presumably with a 4K option), as well as Intel’s vPro technology, allowing the laptop to be managed by an IT admin.

Lenovo ThinkPad x1 extreme gen 3 Lenovo

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 earned 3.5 stars in our review, marred slightly by poor battery life and graphics performance that lagged behind that of rival laptops. Lenovo’s taken steps to overcome the latter shortcoming, at least: The integrated GeForce 1650 Ti should top the previous model’s GTX 1650 graphics by a small amount.

Intel’s 10th-gen H-series CPUs are still fabricated on a 14nm process technology, however, which implies that the battery life won’t change much. Lenovo still claims that it’s the most powerful X-series laptop it’s ever offered. 

Lenovo ThinkPad x1 extreme gen 3 Lenovo

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 includes Lenovo’s Ultra Performance Mode.

We don’t know too much about its specifications, but the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 features an optional 600-nit display, up from the 500-nit option offered on the second-generation device. Intel’s 10th-gen platform typically offers Wi-Fi 6 capabilities, and that’s included, along with the option of CAT16 LTE-A. Modern Standby is enabled, allowing to it remain connected in standby mode.

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