Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 vs. Dell XPS 15 |  Digital trends

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 vs. Dell XPS 15 | Digital trends

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 and the Dell XPS 15 top our list of best 15-inch laptops for several reasons. They’re both incredibly well-built and fast, and they deliver outstanding large-format displays.

But they are not identical. In fact, they’re quite different, with the XPS 15 intended to be a more portable 15-inch laptop and the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 serving as the most powerful consumer ThinkPad. Take a look at our comparison to see which is best for you.

Specifications and configurations

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 Dell XPS 15 9520
Dimensions 14.15 inches x 9.99 inches x 0.7 inches 13.56 inches x 9.06 inches x 0.73 inches
lester 4.14 pounds 4.22 pounds (non-touch)
4.62 pounds (touch)
Processor Intel Core i7-12700H
Intel Core i7-12800H
Intel Core i9-12900H
Intel Core i5-12500H
Intel Core i7-12700H
Intel Core i9-12900HK
Chart Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050Ti
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080Ti
Intel UHD Graphics
Intel Iris Xe graphics card
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050Ti
16 GB DDR5
32 GB DDR5
64 GB DDR5
16 GB DDR5
32 GB DDR5
64 GB DDR5
Display 16.0 inch 16:10 Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS
16.0 inch 16:10 WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS 165Hz
16.0-inch IPS UHD+ (3840 x 2400)
15.6 inch 16:10 Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS
15.6 inch 16:10 3.5K (3456 x 2160) OLED
15.6 inch 16:10 UHD+ (3840 x 2400) IPS
Storage 256GB PCIe 4.0 Solid State Drive
512GB PCIe 4.0 Solid State Drive
1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
4TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
512GB PCIe 4.0 Solid State Drive
1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
To touch Optional Optional
Ports 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
2 USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4
1 HDMI 2.1 port
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x nano SIM (optional)
Full-size SD card reader
1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
2 USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
Full-size SD card reader
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1 Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
webcam 1080p with Windows 11 Hello infrared camera 720p with Windows 11 Hello infrared camera
Operating system Windows 11 Windows 11
Battery 90 watt hours 86 watt hours
Price $1,458+ $1,249+
Evaluation 3.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars


The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is built for performance, but that doesn’t mean it’s thicker or heavier than the XPS 15, which is designed to be a very high-end 15-inch ultrabook. In fact, the ThinkPad is thinner at 0.70 inches versus 0.73 inches and lighter at 4.14 pounds versus 4.62 pounds. It’s an inch deeper thanks to a slightly larger screen and thicker display bezels.

The ThinkPad differs in its thermal design, which is more aggressive in maintaining maximized airflow and heat, and in its ease of expansion, including dual SSD slots. It is also constructed from aluminum in the lower chassis and carbon fiber in the lid, which contributes to its light weight. The XPS 15 has an aluminum chassis and lid and either carbon or glass fiber on the keyboard. It’s a denser laptop, but both machines feel incredibly stiff and exude durability. The hinge of both is smooth and confident.

Aesthetically, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 retains the iconic black-on-black color scheme with red accents, and the premium display offers a carbon weave on the lid. It’s a bolder look than the XPS 15’s streamlined silver chassis with a black or white keyboard. The XPS 15 looks more modern, but if you’re a fan of ThinkPad aesthetics, you’ll love the X1 Extreme Gen 5.

Both laptops have excellent keyboards with plenty of travel, precise and fast switches, and comfortable bottom actions. The ThinkPad’s keys are slightly larger and more sculpted, but the XPS 15 has better key spacing. Either way, you’ll love typing on both machines. The ThinkPad includes the usual TrackPoint nubbin in the middle of the keyboard, and its two buttons take up space on the relatively small touchpad. The XPS 15’s touchpad, on the other hand, is huge for a Windows machine and provides a better overall experience. Both laptops offer optional touchscreens.

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is much more powerful in terms of connectivity, with a solid mix of Thunderbolt 4 and legacy ports. Both laptops support the latest wireless connectivity, but the ThinkPad also has optional 5G WWAN support for always-on internet.

Finally, the ThinkPad also sports a 1080p webcam which is much better than the old-school 720p version of the XPS 15. Both laptops have infrared cameras for Windows 11 Hello facial recognition as well as fingerprint readers. The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 delivers better overall security and manageability for businesses with its support for the vPro processor.


Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

We reviewed the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 with the 45-watt Core i7-12800H processor with 14 cores (six performance and eight efficient) and 20 threads, along with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU. The XPS 15 we reviewed came with a Core i7-12700H, a slightly slower version of the same processor, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti.

The ThinkPad was faster in most of our benchmarks, with the XPS 15 holding up well in our Handbrake test when set to performance mode. We noticed that Lenovo accelerated the GPU in the ThinkPad’s performance mode, which is reflected in both the Pugetbench Premiere Pro benchmark which uses the GPU to speed up certain operations in Adobe’s application and the 3DMark Time test. Spy. Both laptops are very fast for productivity tasks and can also handle creative processes, but the ThinkPad is significantly faster.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5
(Core i7-12800H)
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
Geek Bench 5
(single / multiple)
Balance: 1,783 / 12,354
Performance: 1,768 / 12,020
Balance: 1,470 / 9,952
Performance: 1,714 / 11,053
Hand brake
Ball: 77
Performance: 77
Balance: 100
Performance: 77
Cinebench R23
(single / multiple)
Balance: 1,861 / 14,561
Performance: 1,859 / 14,609
Balance: 1,509 / 11,578
Performance: 1,806 / 13,313
Pugetbench Premiere Pro Balance: 720
Performance: 928
Balance: 760
Performance: 729
3DMark Time Spy Balance: 5,494
Performance: 9,114
Balance: 4,470
Performance: 4,520

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 can be configured with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU, making it a much faster gaming laptop. The XPS 15 is okay with its RTX 3050 Ti, but the ThinkPad has a lot more headroom if gaming is important to you.


Front view of the Dell XPS 15 9520 showing the display.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

We tested both laptops with their UHD+ IPS displays, and both produced excellent results when tested with our colorimeter. They’re bright, have great contrast for IPS screens, and have wide, accurate colors. They may not have the inky blacks of OLED panels (although Dell offers it as an option), but they’re both spectacular screens for creators. They’re also great for productivity users and media consumers, the latter thanks to Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) support that makes streaming high-resolution video a delight.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5
Dell XPS 17 9720
472 543
AdobeRGB Range 99% 100%
sRGB gamut 100% 100%
(DeltaE, lower is better)
0.51 0.58
Contrast ratio 1520:1 1870:1


Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 left side showing ports.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

They’re both large laptops that take up space in a backpack, and neither is particularly light. The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 is a bit lighter and thinner, however, while being a bit deeper.

The ThinkPad also has a larger battery, and it saw slightly better battery life in our test suite. Considering the power inside these laptops, however, neither will last a full working day performing any kind of demanding tasks. And both have larger power bricks which are a bit of a hassle to carry around.

Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
Dell XPS 17 9720
(Core i7-12700H)
web browsing 9 hours, 38 minutes 7 hours, 36 minutes
Video 12 hours, 40 minutes 1 p.m., 5 mins
PCMark 10 Apps 11 hours, 14 minutes 7 hours, 3 minutes


Sometimes you need to consider how a laptop meets its design criteria rather than how it directly matches another machine. The Dell XPS 15 is cheaper than the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 but also cannot be configured with the same high-performance components.

But it better be a thin and light 15-inch machine overall, with a consistent design and build that elevates it above the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5. If you’re looking for the most power, however, Lenovo’s laptop wins out.

Editors’ Recommendations

#Lenovo #ThinkPad #Extreme #Gen #Dell #XPS #Digital #trends

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