Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017) Review


Introduction, Design, & Features

We have completed Peak Laptop.

Oh, positive, there will be different fashions and technological advances in long run. Even now, there are options for specialised audiences—gamers who need 17.Three-inch gaming rigs, pill lovers who need touch-screen convertibles. But for these days or even for the next day to come, we will be able to’t believe a righter, extra righteous stability of measurement, weight, display and keyboard high quality, connectivity, and battery existence than the fifth-generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. It’s a couple of hundred greenbacks overpriced. It’s the most efficient pocket book PC we have now ever noticed.

Like closing yr’s model, the 2017 Carbon is geared toward business-class and top quality vacationers who can have the funds for a 14-inch computer even thinner and lighter than the superb ThinkPad T460s (which in flip is thinner and lighter than the T460 or new T470). It’s a vintage clamshell design; the ones in the hunt for a slightly display or 2-in-1 capability are referred to the ThinkPad X1 Yoga.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017) angle

Compared to the fourth version with its Intel “Skylake” processor, the brand new fashion packs considered one of Intel’s seventh-generation “Kaby Lake” CPUs—a Core i5-7300U in our check system, priced at $1,609 at CDW.com, or a Core i7-7600U within the $1,899 config recently on again order at Lenovo.com. Both characteristic 8GB of reminiscence, a 256GB solid-state power, and a 14-inch complete HD (1,920×1,zero80) show.

You can see why we flinch at our $1,609 device’s worth. Top 13.Three-inch laptops just like the Dell XPS 13 and HP Spectre x360 have accustomed us to Core i5/8GB RAM/256GB SSD slimlines costing extra like $1,000 or $1,100 (despite the fact that the X1 Carbon comes with Windows 10 Pro as an alternative of Home, in order that’s 50 dollars proper there). Lenovo’s personal, admirable Yoga 910 gives a 13.Nine-inch show and a Core i7 chip for $1,049.

But after you have the brand new ThinkPad X1 Carbon for your arms and for your briefcase, objections soften away. This factor is a murals, a masterpiece of design, and a hospital in buyer comments: The 2016 fashion took away the micro Ethernet port? It’s again. We complained that it had no Thunderbolt Three/USB-C ports? Now it has two, plus two full-sized (Type A) USB Three.zero ports.

Is there actually not anything to gripe about? Well, if you wish to have one thing more than complete HD display answer, you will have to wait till June when Lenovo guarantees to send a 2,560×1,440 possibility. The corporate additionally says the Webcam can be changed with a Windows Hello-compatible face popularity digital camera, and that the Carbon can be to be had in silver in addition to the standard ThinkPad matte black. We’d vote for gold as smartly. Or perhaps platinum.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017) rear angle


Compared to the fourth era, Lenovo has lopped a quarter-inch off the Carbon’s width and part an inch off its intensity, leaving a system that measures 12.7 via eight.five via zero.63 inches—a 14-inch computer, the corporate brags, in a 13.Three-inch chassis. It weighs a tiny bit lower than closing yr’s fashion (2.five kilos) in spite of a tiny bit higher battery (57 as opposed to 52 watt-hours).

Except for various ports at the aspects, the device seems to be the similar—a skinny black slab carved right into a curving wedge, with etched Lenovo and chrome ThinkPad trademarks in reverse corners of the lid. The lid and base are manufactured from carbon fiber (reformulated for 2017) and magnesium alloy respectively.

Once opened, the pocket book unearths that Lenovo has joined the trend pattern introduced via Dell’s XPS 13: the bezels on all sides of the display are a skinny 5mm (zero.2 inch). The bezel above the show is thicker at 9mm (zero.35 inch), as it makes room for the Webcam, averting the up-your-nose angled pictures of Dell’s below-the-screen digital camera.

Two hinges open a complete 180 levels, so discovering a delightful display perspective should not be an issue. Though skinny and light-weight, the Carbon feels remarkably strong, with virtually no torque whilst you snatch the display corners and no flex within the keyboard tray. Lenovo boasts that the device has survived a dozen military-grade certification checks for surprise, vibration, excessive low and high temperatures and humidity, and extra.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017) left side
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017) left ports

Two Thunderbolt Three ports sign up for a USB Three.zero port, an HDMI port, and a micro Ethernet port—Lenovo says there will be an RJ45 dongle within the field, despite the fact that ours was once lacking—at the computer’s left aspect. You can use both of the Thunderbolt ports for charging the device (a one-hour rate will replenish the battery to 80 p.c capability). We do not see why you’ll use one thing rather then the equipped USB-C adapter to rate the Carbon, however Lenovo notes that the ports have “anti-fry circuitry” to forestall third-party chargers from sending an fallacious voltage.

A 2nd USB Three.zero port, an audio jack, and a Kensington lock slot are at the proper aspect. A troublesome-to-open tray at the again edge allows you to insert a micro SD card and, should you ordered the not obligatory cell broadband adapter, a micro SIM card.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017) right side
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017) right ports


The 720p Webcam captures properly detailed stills and video even in moderately low gentle. One of the serve as keys mutes the microphone so you will not disturb a colleague’s presentation. As for the Carbon’s personal sound, it is as just right as two 2-watt audio system could make it, loud sufficient to fill a room and transparent sufficient to select particular person tools in MP3 tracks, despite the fact that brief on bass.

The backlit, spill-resistant keyboard follows the acquainted ThinkPad format, with PgUp and PgDn keys adjacent the inverted-T cursor arrows and Home and End keys at the best row. Typing really feel is first-rate, moderately shallow however crisp and quiet; we had been cruising at prime velocity inside of mins of unboxing the device. Lenovo says the brand new Carbon’s fingerprint reader is extra correct and safe because of a device on a chip that handles all processing as an alternative of leaving it to the host instrument; we will be able to’t ascertain that, but it surely labored definitely and unexpectedly.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017) keyboard

The contact pad is fractionally higher than closing yr’s (flush with the keyboard deck as an alternative of recessed), and is now a Microsoft Precision pad, which means Windows Update takes care of latest gestures or upgrades with out messing with third-party drivers. It glides and faucets easily. We want the contact pad to the TrackPoint mini joystick embedded within the keyboard, however the latter and its buttons labored with no hitch.

Fourteen inches is a great measurement for a 1,920×1,zero80-pixel display, appearing ins and outs with out making them too small. (If anything else, Windows’ default 150 p.c zoom made icons too giant; we dialed it again to 125 p.c.) The Carbon’s show flaunts the ones main points and vibrant colours, even with brightness became down a number of notches. We admired the prime distinction and extensive viewing angles.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017) front

The 1080p answer is okay for productiveness paintings, despite the fact that customers planning to do numerous symbol or video modifying—now not in point of fact the ThinkPad’s meant duties—will wish to look forward to the two,560×1,440 possibility. The upper answer will probably price just a little of battery existence, however make each pictures and textual content glance sharper.

The Carbon carries a three-year guaranty as an alternative of the standard one; IT managers deploying and configuring a couple of machines will respect its dTPM chip and vPro processor. Lenovo says the unit could also be to be had with Windows 10 Pro Signature Edition, freed from bloatware and distractions; our check unit did not trouble us with any pop-u.s.or registration reminders, however incorporated one of the vital same old suspects comparable to Royal Revolt 2 and Candy Crush Soda Saga.

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