Ever since the Lenovo X line appeared, it has met a high level of success and it’s not surprising that CES 2017 is seeing a new batch of ThinkPad X computers, including the Lenovo ThinkPad X1. This year’s version comes with an even lighter design at 2.5 Lbs (vs. 2.6 Lbs last year), which is very impressive for a 14” laptop.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one of the rare 14” ultralight laptop on the market, the rest of the industry tends to compete on the 13.3” display size.
14” is a very interesting choice because it does bring extra work comfort, especially with higher PPI screens, without inducing the bulk of 15.6” laptops, which are not prioritized for size and weight. In that sense, the ratio between speed, size and weight of the Lenovo X1 Carbon remains extraordinary.
The 14” display uses 300-NIT brightness IPS LCD technology for both FHD (1080p / 1920×1080) and WQHD (2560×1440). There are two primary concerns when choosing between these two display options. For one, the higher pixel density will induce a faster battery depletion rate (~20%-30% faster). Secondly, more pixels can translate into higher reading comfort due to sharper text and better image definition for people who work on high-resolution photos.
The chassis of the Carbon X1 has been designed to be resistant to scratches, and shocks. Although the CES 2017 pitch from Lenovo doesn’t include the Mil-Spec 810G drop test certification (which may be in progress), past X1s have all been certified to such a standard, and we found their outer skin to be very tough to scratches – that is in stark contrast to aluminum chassis which scratch easily.
The 2016 ThinkPad X1 will come in classic black, but also in silver, which is new. We’re curious to see how the silver surface will hold, but it’s possible that the color is bonded into the material itself, so it could prove to be just as resistant as the black version.
The Lenovo ThinkPad keyboard remains a reference in terms of typing comfort, and even though there are variations, we still consider them to be the overall best laptop keyboard at the moment, with the perfect combination of key size, travel, tactile response and curvature. The Trackpad is large enough to be comfortable, and the physical Left/Right “mouse” buttons are rather unique these days. Lenovo also boast the classic red TrackPoint which remains something unique to ThinkPad computers.
The X1 Carbon 2017 is powered by Intel’s latest Core i7 7th generation paired with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD PCIe storage. There are also SATA version of the SSD storage, but keep in mind that PCIe is much faster in peak performance as SATA was designed for mechanical hard drives.
"LENOVO THINKPAD X1 CARBON IS A MUST-CONSIDER LAPTOP"Like other Lenovo laptops, the X1 Carbon 2017 comes with a fingerprint reader which is run in a “security island” which makes it very hard for hackers to pry the biometrics data, even if they have physical access to the computer. Additionally, there’s also an infrared (IR) camera which can sense the geometry of the user’s face – a bit like Kinect would on an Xbox. This time, the fingerprint is certified by FIDO for payment, and the security island is probably the reason for it.
Although it is only 2.5Lbs light, the X1 comes with many ports: 2x USB C (with Thunderbolt 3), 2 x USB 3.0, HDMI (full size), native RJ45 (requires RJ45 dongle), microSD, micro-SIM. Note that the micro-SIM is there only if you get the 4G LTE CAT6 option (300 Mbps) which is powered by a Qualcomm X7 modem. With this newer version of LTE, the X1 2017 is 3X faster in wireless broadband communications as the X1 2016, at least on paper.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a must-consider laptop for anyone who wants something better than a 13.3″, but yet don’t want to carry a full-on 15.6″ computer during frequent trips.