Dell XPS 15 vs. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Comparison Smackdown

by birtanpublished on April 18, 2021

This is Lisa from mobile tech review and it's time for a Smackdown between two kinda high and 15 inch mobile workstations and slash ultrabooks in the 15 inch category this is the Dell XPS 15 the 95 70 so it's still currently in the latest generation that's available and this is the Lenovo ThinkPad x1 extreme which is a new product for Lenovo in 2018 and I think pretty much they did make this to compete with this I'm gonna smack them down now so first off pricing pricing is usually important to everybody in the United States because that's where we are the pricing for the x1 extreme starts higher but that's

Because the configuration doesn't go as low-end Dell is always great for offering a whole lot of XPS configurations for their 15-inch under 13-inch as a matter of fact so they start lower down so they have a 979 $979 starting price but that gets you a core i5 no nvidia dedicated graphics at all eight gigs of ram and a hard drive is spinning hard drive and a smaller battery so the x1 extreme there's no option without the nvidia gtx 1050 TI max q say that three times fast they both hit the higher end to Dell will have that same GPU and Sun so with

Lenovo it starts around 13 94 currently on their website that gets you the i5 same i5 eight gigs a ram a 256 gig nvme SSD instead of that hard drive 1080p display for both of these as you go up the configuration chain the prices in the United States are pretty close to a clip equivalent I'm pretty sure that these manufacturers are working on keeping them price competitive with each other as a matter of fact now they both go up to core i7 if you on 8750 H even 8850 H fiddling novo but Dell goes all the way up to a core I 9 but don't get too excited because the third the

Chassis is so thermally constrained and the the the i9 does have to throttle quite a bit plus a 99 is more of a marketing thing Intel came up with its really architecture pretty much a higher clocked core i7 CPU anyway lenovo is interesting because they have two m2 SSD drive bays usually in anything other than the gaming laptop you just won't see that so Dell has two options if you get that low-end option it has a spinning hard drive no SSD is installed there and a smaller 56 watt hour battery

Because the hard drive is taking him space if you do go with the SSD with the Dell there is one m2 SSD slot so that's as many SSDs days you can have just one both of these have two slots for RAM so they have equivalent upgrade paths you can get them as 16 gigs of ram or 32 gigs of DDR 4 Ram if you want they both have socket and Wi-Fi cards Lenovo uses the Intel 85 60 AC which is a good card a lot of most people like that pretty well and Dell goes with killer and it's the 1535 AC which is the one that isn't actually rebranded Intel cards some people don't like killer cards so keep

That in mind of course you can open up both of these and upgrade the Wi-Fi cards upgrade your RAM upgrade your SSD you get the idea so if you really hated that Wi-Fi card but loved everything else about the Dell you could swap the Wi-Fi card or if you're a little bit adventurous with doing laptop upgrades both of these are available with your choice of a 1080p full HD display are a 4k wide gamut display so Dell is the brighter display whether you go with the 1080p or the 4k they claim 400 nits and on our 4k mom we actually exceeded that according to our color inner and you can

See the measurements on screen with Lenovo the 1080p display is a 300 nits display and these are standard almost full srgb for the 1080p in terms of color gamut and therefore K is also wide gamut and they claimed 400 nits but ours measured 359 didn't quite reach that so it's not as bright when it comes to the display quality they're both lovely displays they might claim to nominally support HDR but these are not OLED true HDR displays but they do have wide color gamut almost complete Adobe RGB coverage which is the wider gamut and harder to cover that's very impressive in terms of

Color accuracy you can see the charts on screen where lower bars are better the ThinkPad does better in terms of color accuracy none of the colors is too excessive or blown out with the Dell the Reds are super blown out but on the other hand the thing pad has a very high white point which can skew accuracy some and they might be doing this to try to get the brightness higher who knows whereas Dell has a pretty decent white point on so they each have their pluses it's really not an easy pick here I would say experientially the ThinkPad looks

We're saturated in terms of colors which is great if you're consuming content watching videos but if you're creating content it can be a little bit misleading because other people with lower gamut displays might not see such a saturated look so del has a chin cam we know this by now at the XPS 13 refresh that it was just announced moves the webcam finally back up top maybe the XPS 15 will someday get a refresh and will do the same thing it would be welcome because nobody looks great from under here particularly do they when it comes to keyboards I think

You can guess who the winner is think pad keyboards are legendary this is an excellent keyboard with good key travel travel tactile smile shaped keys nice actuation force it's all there it's all very nice the Dell has a pretty in 1.3 millimeter the short travel keyboard with a kind of harsh bottoming out sensation it's not hideous keyboard there certainly there are weirder and worst keyboards out there like the MacBook Pro but I think most people would like this thing pad better they're both back late and white they both have very good trackpad set now you've got

Microsoft precision drivers on the Dell I know some of you like that I like both track pads equally as well if you're into that thing pads nav style pointer in the keyboard area well that's gonna be a thing pad for you but probably you're already a thing pad person if you're into that in terms of build quality they are both durable we have a mix of carbon fiber and metal here you think pads are famous for their mill STD 8ng milspec build qualities and their quality control is usually pretty good that doesn't mean they'll never get a lemon or something like that but it's

Pretty good the Dell XPS 15 has a nifty silver and carbon fiber interior look it's really up to you as to which you like that and think bad people tend to like the understand a thing pad look a lot of people like the XPS with this carbon fiber and it's shiny metal top I leave that up to you when it comes to stability Dell XPS models particularly the XPS 15 for the last couple of generations has been a work in progress when it first shipped the driver BIOS issues and all that sort of thing so many months into the lifecycle is something is the best time to buy which

Is where we're at right now I our XPS 15 was a little bit classy and had some driver issues and stuff like that well now there been several BIOS updates lots of drivers and it's a pretty state thing the ThinkPad from the get-go was very stable and pretty reliable but even though Dell is pretty much gotten to the point where they're pretty decent and stable and all that sort of thing I still give the ThinkPad the wind for the whole stability and the driver quality of the BIOS quality when it comes to performance you're looking at pretty much equivalent options here this

Say if you've got the dedicated graphics with the Dell the same GPU the same CPU options other than the fact that there's no core I nine option for the ThinkPad performance levels on benchmarks are really neck-and-neck though thinking pad comes a little bit faster for a CPU based test and the Dells are just a little bit faster for GPU tests but none of them are really statistically terribly meaningful to be honest these are both very thin and relatively speaking very light laptops to have the kind of horsepower they have inside this kind of mobile workstation sort of power

Inside footprints and weight by the way are just about the same on these two Lenovo's two fans and to heat pipe solution is a little bit more effective though than Dell the XPS 15 has always been famous for throttling and it's thermal constraints and it can get pretty hot if the CPU and the GPU are both being taxed those of you who are interested in playing games for example are doing ZBrush or blender those kind of rendering programs you'll probably see more thermal throttling and a hotter chassis to the touch than the thing pad the thing that gets pretty darn toasty –

It still gets that thermal win them battery life is where the Dell really fights back of course it depends on which battery you get I think probably most people are opting for the SSD option with the bigger 97 watt hour battery instead of the hard drive with the 56 watt hour battery that's a big battery 97 watt hour it's hitting the legal limit for what the FCC allows you to take up on an airplane the Lenovo ThinkPad x1 extreme has an 80 watt battery which is decent but 80 watt hour versus 97 watt hour you've already figured out what's going on here so we

Have the 4k model for each of these and with the with the thing that we manage about six hours with light productivity kind of views and streaming video a little photoshop that sort of thing brighten is set to 115 it's same equivalent on the Dell with the 4k despite and we're seeing more like seven and a half hours if you're going to that Full HD which typically has better a lifeless demanding then the dela can push like nine hours maybe even ten if you work on that paramount management and still with a thing Pat I don't think you're ever gonna hit beyond seven and a

Half hours or so so tell for the win when it comes to them in terms of the Chargers like I said the weight is about the same Del's a little bit heavier they're both kind of stylized Chargers instead of your basic bricks but in terms of the volume that they take up in your bag it's about the same now the thing that does have the fast-charging they say you can get up to 50% of your charge and a half an hour which is pretty impressive in in my experience it does charge extremely quickly so that helps a little bit with its weaker battery life now both of

These do happen to support an active panel using Wacom AES technology though neither manufacturer really advertises that fact a lot maybe because it's a laptop form factor so it's not the easiest thing to use as a note pad it doesn't Bend in a 360 degree fashion for example but pen technology is similar the pen experience is similar with both of these so there you have it Dell XPS 15 and 95 70 versus the Lenovo ThinkPad x1 extreme so as you can see I mean these are both high end laptops meant for business people and those who are willing to spend a lot on performance

Thin this lightness and quality of build in the end is going to come down to any brand preference you already have and aesthetics to a certain point but in terms of performance they're just about equal a little bit of a thermal thumbs up for the thing pad in terms of thermal throttling but they both will if you really push them very hard in terms of displays display options is similar but delegates the nod for having the brighter displays pink pad fights back with a better keyboard battery life Dell wins on that one so you can see there's not a clear winner here but you decide

Which of those points is the most important to you when you go out and buy one of these and hopefully this makes it easier I'm Lisa from mobile tech review be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more cool tech videos and thumbs up if you like this vid

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