Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook (hands-on preview)
ThinkPad X1 Carbon: a business Ultrabook with a rugged design, professional management and security features
- Very thin and light for a 14in Ultrabook
- Excellent keyboard
- Only one port is USB 3.0
- Ethernet is via a USB dongle
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is an Ultrabook with a robust, carbon fibre-based body that's designed for business users. It's 14 inches, but it's still very thin and light and it felt great to use in our brief hands-on session.
Price$ 1,999.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 3 stores)
Lenovo's X1 Carbon is named after the material from which it is constructed. It's a super-thin, 14in Ultrabook that employs carbon fibre both in its base and its lid, and it has been designed to stand up to the demands (and clumsiness) of business use. It's an Ultrabook that conforms to military specs; it's drop-resistant (to a certain extent), the keyboard is spill-resistant, and the unit as a whole can withstand a fair bit of pressure when the notebook is closed and weight is spread evenly across the lid (the Lenovo rep stood on it for his demonstration and our amusement).
As far as 14in Ultrabooks go, the X1 Carbon is comparatively tiny. It is 18mm at its thickest point and it weighs just under 1.4kg — it feels easily mobile. The 14in screen fits into a chassis that is actually smaller than last year's 13in ThinkPad X1 ultraportable notebook. Placed on top of the X1, the X1 Carbon is noticeably narrower and shorter. Despite the shrunken size, it still has large keys and the touchpad has 30 per cent more surface area than the one on the X1.
In terms of aesthetics, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon employs a metallic black colour that looks fantastic. The texture of the finish is rubbery, which Lenovo says is by design so that the Ultrabook can not slip out of your hands accidentally. You can easily dangle this unit from two fingers and it won't get away from you — but if it does, hey, it's drop resistant.
Along the edges, the X1 Carbon has few ports, which is a sacrifice that has had to be made in order for the chassis to be so slim and solid. You don't get a built-in Ethernet port (this is via a USB dongle), and there are only two USB ports: one which is USB 2.0 and one which is USB 3.0. You get an SD card slot, a combination headphone and microphone port, and a mini DisplayPort. If you require more ports, then you have to consider Lenovo's compact USB 3.0 dock, which offers five USB 3.0 ports, two DVI ports and Gigabit Ethernet.
An anti-glare screen has been installed in the Carbon X1, and it has a native resolution of 1600x900. It's a panel that has, from what we could tell in our brief hands-on session, acceptably wide viewing angles. Just like many ThinkPads before it, the Carbon X1's hinges allow the screen to be tilted all the way back, which can be convenient when giving presentations, for example. The screen isn't as rigid as the base; the carbon fibre in the lid has been weaved, according to Lenovo, which allows for a little bit of movement to counter accidental knocks. Lenovo says that an extra screen is also available (for $179) so that you can get a two-screen user experience even while you're away from the office — the screen is 14 inches, powered by USB and slim enough to fit into the same laptop bag as the X1 Carbon.
The keyboard has Lenovo's new-style keys, which feature a curved shape that aims to reduce miss-hits, and it has a backlight that can illuminate the keys in four intensity levels. A spill-resistant design allows liquids to pass through the keyboard without affecting the components beneath; the liquid will go through channels to escape via two slits on both sides of the base. The centre of the keyboard still includes the famous TrackPoint pointing device.
Glass has been used for the touchpad, which means that it's now much smoother than the touchpad on previous ThinkPads, which employed a textured finish that we found annoying. It supports multi-finger gestures and it's comfortably large to use.
A sealed chassis design means that the battery is internal and can't easily be removed and replaced. Lenovo claims that it can last for 6.5 hours and that it has a rapid charge feature. Charging for 30min will allow the battery to reach about 80 per cent of its capacity. Lenovo says that this feature won't degrade the battery's lifespan in terms of how many charge cycles and how much life per cycle it can provide, and it backs the battery with the same warranty as the laptop itself — three years.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon will be available with up to 8GB of RAM, up to a third generation Intel Core i7 CPU, as well as integrated Intel HD graphics and a solid state drive. Wireless networking is handled by a dual-band Intel Centrino adapter, you get built-in Bluetooth, and there is also an option for integrated 3G. Management is aided by the inclusion of a vPro chipset, and security is handled by a fingerprint reader that has its own processor and hardware encryption. Computrace is also supported.
Related notebook reviews:
• Sony VAIO T Series Ultrabook
• HP Envy Spectre XT Ultrabook
• Toshiba Satellite U840W Ultrabook
• Origin EON15-S gaming notebook
• Dell Inspiron 15R 5520 Ivy Bridge notebook
• Medion Akoya P6635 Ivy Bridge notebook
• HP Envy 6-1001tx Ultrabook
• HP Pavilion dv6-7030tx Ivy Bridge notebook
• Sony VAIO E Series 14P Ivy Bridge notebook
• ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A Ultrabook
• Fujitsu Lifebook U772 Ivy Bridge Ultrabook
• Dell XPS 14 Ivy Bridge Ultrabook
• Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook
• Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Ivy Bridge laptop
• Apple MacBook Pro (15in with Retina display)
• ASUS N56VM Ivy Bridge laptop
• Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 Ultrabook
• Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530 Ivy Bridge laptop
• Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook
Join the newsletter!
As more and more of everyday life becomes predicated on our connection to the digital world, the chances we will be targeted or vulnerable to cyber-attacks has also risen
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 ASUS FX503 review: An ROG Notebook By Any Other Name
- 2 HP Envy x360 (Ryzen 5) review: Power over portability
- 3 Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- 4 Oppo R11s review: The iClone you know and love, but not quite the one you deserve
- 5 Blackberry KEYone Black Edition review: What the original KEYone should have been
Latest News Articles
- Music Producer Takes Microsoft Surface Into The Clouds For Australian First Performance at 3,000ft
- HP double down on premium style for modern workforce PCs
- Lenovo recalls ThinkPad notebooks after overheating hazard
- CES 2018: Everything Announced By ASUS
- CES 2018: Everything Announced By Dell
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
- Picture Perfect: OPPO prepare their boldest smartphone yet
- Gigabyte AERO 15: Full, in-depth review
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCJava DeveloperNSW
- CCWindows Desk Migration EngineerNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTSales ConsultantsSA
- FTNetezza Developer - Brisbane locationOther
- CCSENIOR PROJECT MANAGER - INFRASTRUCTURENSW
- TPAPS 6 Web DeveloperACT
- FTIT Security EngineerOther
- FTSenior UX Digital Developer, Digital Design DevelopmentOther
- CC0365 EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Desktop Support OfficerVIC
- FTBusiness AnalystSA
- CCCommunications AnalystVIC
- FTC++/Python DeveloperACT
- FTSenior Checkpoint Security EngineerOther
- FTGun Java Developers wantedVIC
- FTTester (Dynamics AX)Other
- CCXamarin .Net DeveloperQLD
- FTDigital Marketing Manager - Affiliates and PartnersOther
- FTCyber Security AnalystOther
- CCAutomation & Robotics Support Analyst - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCProject AnalystVIC
- CCCyber Security Business AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther