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X1 Carbon Extreme 6-Core Really Flies

A little over two weeks ago, Lenovo sent me a couple of loaner laptops. To be more specific, their largesse included one each X1 Carbon Extreme and an X380 Yoga.  Today, I’m going to explain some recent experiences with the X1. And when I say this X1 Carbon Extreme 6-core really flies, I’m not kidding. But first, some speeds and feeds, courtesy of Piriform’s (free) Speccy tool:

For those in the know, these are some pretty impressive components. Let me explain…

Killer Components Explain Why X1 Carbon Extreme 6-Core Really Flies

The X1 Carbon I received is very well equipped. It’s got a 6-core i7-8550H (Coffee Lake/8th generation) CPU, 32 GB of DDR4-2666 RAM, Intel UHD 630 and Nvidia GTX-1050 Ti graphics, and two fast (960-equivalent) Samsung OEM NVMe drivers (1 TB and 512 GB units). Simply put, it runs faster than my current production PC. For the record, that desktop features an Asrock Z170 Extreme 7+ motherboard, an i7-6700 (Skylake/6th generation) CPU, 32 GB DDR4-2132 RAM, and a Samsung 950 Pro 512 GB SSD.

I’ve tested a lot of laptops. Most notably I chewed my way through many dozens of machines writing reviews for Tom’s Hardware during the 2000s. This is my first time to encounter a compact, high-end current-generation laptop that outperforms my production PC. Lenovo will release 9th-generation models later this year. They should improve upon the already-impressive stats and behavior of the X1 Carbon.

I’m not ready to abandon desktop technology in favor of laptops, though. I need the extra storage (I’ve got 10 drives currently connected to my production desktop, ranging in size from 128 MB SSDs to 4 TB conventional HDs, and a total of 13.5 TB). I also use a higher-end graphics card — an MSI Nvidia GTX 1070 with 8 GB of DDR5 VRAM — to drive a couple of 4K 27″ monitors to give me a lot of screen real estate while I’m working.

This Time, Spending More Means Getting More

But wow! The X1 Carbon Extreme with the high-end CPU and the next-to-highest-RAM configuration (it will actually accommodate 64 GB max) is a great performer. My son is using it as his preferred homework PC, and I’ve taken it on the road for a couple of legal engagements during which it has both shone and flown. If you’re looking for a higher-end work laptop to take on the road, and don’t mind spending up to $2,700-2,800, this machine will do you proud. If it lasts like my previous Lenovo laptop duo has done — I bought a T520 and an X220 Tablet back in 2013 and they’re both still solidly in service — that substantial investment will repay itself several times over before you need to move up to a newer model.

It’s amazing. Highly recommended!

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