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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- More iPad screen sizes unlikely to stop slump
- Android struggling in tablets as Windows 10 2-in-1s come on strong
- Samsung unveils Galaxy Book, a Windows 10 tablet aimed at the Surface-curious
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst | HealthQLD
- FTSolutions Architect - Digital Technologies Financial ServicesQLD
- FTDeveloper - Java/J2EEQLD
- CCTSM SpecialistNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst- Digital & agileNSW
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorVIC
- TPSAP BA - Source to PayQLD
- TPSolution Architect - Transport DomainVIC
- FTDeveloper - XML & JavaVIC
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- TPGIS Developer - 6 month ContractQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst/Project MangerVIC
- CCApplication Architect - CloudVIC
- FTICT Business Development Manager - Technical Products/SolutionsQLD
- CCWintel Engineers - NV1ACT
- FTChief Architect - Principal ArchitectVIC
- FTSenior IOS DeveloperNSW
- TPTest AnalystQLD
- FTIt Security and process analystNSW
- FTEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- FTTest Advert Software EngineerSA
- TPAPS6 Java DeveloperACT
- CCJava DeveloperVIC