Small laptops are excellent, but for a combination of productivity and portability, 15-inch models are perfect. This time we bring you two of the best manufacturers of laptops in that category, Lenovo vs.. Dell, and we face two of its jewels, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 with the XPS 15 in a face-to-face design, performance and portability.
Neither the Dell XPS 15 nor the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 are a cone of style compared to the most form-centric laptops, such as the XPS 13 or the MacBook Pro, but they are not very bad either. The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 has thinner bezels than its latest generation counterparts, but retains the square look of the range. The Dell alternative has thinner bezels and a totally more modern design than its Lenovo counterpart. It is a bit thinner than the ThinkPad, but it weighs more with the larger battery option. It has a silver exterior paint job compared to the overall black color of the ThinkPad X1, which affects personal preferences more than anything tangible.
Both laptops have excellent keyboards with sharp and responsive keys and comfortable designs. The Lenovo keyboard is a bit more enjoyable to use in the long term, although either will be good for everyday use. The main difference here is the ThinkPad TrackPoint, which some people still love.
The XPS 15 has a number of port options on its sides and on the back, offering a pair of USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports (fast, but not as fast), an HDMI 2.0 output, a single USB-C connector Compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The ThinkPad has a slightly wider selection of ports, with two USB-C ports compatible with Thunderbolt 3, a pair of USB-A 3.1 ports, an HDMI 2.0 output, a smart card reader, SD card reader, a connector for 3.5mm headphones and a network extension port that, when combined with an adapter 'dongle ‘, can be used for ethernet connections.
The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is priced at $ 1,475 dollars and offers an eighth-generation Intel Core i5-9300H processor, 8 GB of DDR4 memory, an Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics chip and 256 GB of M.2 SSD storage. All that feeds a 15.6-inch and 1080p IPS screen that can reach a brightness of 300 nits. Upgrade options include a more powerful processor, up to a Core i9-9980H, up to a terabyte of PCIe SSD storage, up to 64 GB of RAM and a 4K OLED display. The most expensive model costs $ 3,195 dollars. The XPS 15 has a much more modest starting price of $ 1,000 for its entry-level model, with a ninth-generation Intel Core i5-9300H processor, 8GB of DDR4 memory, integrated Intel UHD 630 graphics and 256GB of PCIe SSD storage. The best configuration is $ 2,900 dollars and comes with an Intel Core i9-9980H processor, 64GB of DDR4 memory, a 2TB PCIe SSD and a 4K OLED display.
The XPS 15 certainly offers more value at the lower end, with hardware comparable to the entry-level ThinkPad for a few hundred dollars less. However, once you reach around $ 2,000, the specifications and costs are matched and are much more comparable in terms of investment. Our review configurations had the Core i9-9980H processor, and the results slightly favored the XPS 15. However, both laptops offer excellent performance for creative types that need additional processor power for photo and video editing. .
Both laptops have the same Samsung OLED screen with incredible colors, contrast and brightness, along with some of the deepest blacks you'll find on a laptop. Both also provide excellent support for Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) video. You can get a laptop with Full HD and IPS 4K screens, with and without a touch screen.
No 15-inch laptop is as portable as some of the smaller form factor alternatives, but the two laptops on this face to face are not workstations locked in any way. In fact, Lenovo has done everything possible to make the ThinkPad X1 Extreme much more elegant and aerodynamic than the other laptops in its professional range. It measures 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.7 inches and weighs only 3.76 pounds as the initial weight. The XPS 15 is definitely the cutting device, with 14.06 x 9.7 x 0.66 inches (0.45 inches at its thinnest point) but not by a huge margin. However, it is a bit heavier, weighs 4.5 pounds with the larger battery option.
That battery comes with 97W, with the option of 56W, much smaller in some configurations. The version we tested came with the largest of the two and the OLED screen that consumes a lot of energy. Dur just over eight hours in our video test. Some newer laptops with low-power Full HD displays easily exceed that figure, but the ThinkPad equipped with OLED is far behind with its 80W load that offers only six hours of video. It is a respectable result, but the XPS 15 is much more efficient.
Efficiency and style
In our direct tests of comparable hardware configurations, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 stands out, for a bit. It also has a better selection of ports, but it cannot be denied that it is the most expensive of the two, especially at the lower end. It also has a much weaker battery life, although few can be compared to the stellar efficiency of the XPS 15.
Without a doubt, it is worth considering the ThinkPad if you like its more professional appearance, its beautiful HDR screen, but the XPS 15 is still our favorite because of the 15-inch form factor. It is the complete package, which offers great performance in general use and games, long service life with a single load, and also looks good.