It’s hard to believe that it’s been six years since we got our hands on the original Lenovo X1 Carbon. In 2018, Lenovo is introducing the 6th Generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon, with a few twists and advances.
At first glance, the most visible change is the ultrabright (500 NITs) 14” display (IPS LCD, touch-screen). It has a resolution of 2560×1440, and its brightness capability is the primary driver behind the Dolby Vision HDR certification. There are a few HDR standards out there, but Dolby Vision has the particularity of having dynamic metadata, which means that it can best adapt to a specific movie frame or scene. Lenovo is doubling on Dolby support by adding Dolby Premium Audio as well.
A very close look at the webcam on the X1 Carbon reveals a physical lens blocker (called ThinkShutter), to make entirely sure that no video spying will happen, even from state actors. When the lens is not covered, it is possible to login using facial recognition via Windows Hello. The new fingerprint reader will improve the login speed and security, although we’ll have to clock it and see how fast it really goes.
On the software side, the X1 Carbon is powered by Windows 10 (up to Pro) and uses ThinkPad Crystal Image, a software profile that is said to reduce the number of pre-loaded apps (we’ll see about that) and prepares the system for Microsoft AutoPilot, a more streamlined way of automatically deploying software onto laptops.
Out of the box, the laptop is compatible with Amazon Alexa, the voice-assistant that seems to find itself almost everywhere now. We tend to find it to be better than Microsoft’s Cortana, which is also available in Windows 10.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is powered by an Intel Core i7 (gen8), and although Lenovo has not yet revealed which i7 SKU it is, we can guess that it’s the one with a favorable thermal design point (TDP) which will be used on most laptops in this price range. High-powered “creative” or “gaming” laptops can opt for a higher Wattage model which brings extra speed at the expense of battery life.
The user can select up to 16GB (LPDDR3 2133 MHz) at purchase time, and the SSD PCIe storage maxes out at 1TB, which is admittedly extremely nice.
The industrial design of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon has small changes but keeps the overall look of the series. At 2.49 lbs, it is a stunningly light computer that has been designed to pass part of the Mil-STD 810G certification for military hardware ruggedness (12.7” x 8.54” x .62” or 323.5 x 217.1 x 15.95 mm).
With four USB ports (2x USB-C Thunderbolt 3 and 2x USB 3.0), the connectivity options are excellent for a laptop this size. There is also a multi-card reader, which is a very popular request that is no longer present on many competitors (SD, MMC, SDHC, SDXC). If you deal with projectors often, the full-size HDMI connector means that you don’t require a dongle, unless you bump into an old VGA projector.
The USB-C Thunderbolt 3 can also connect to Thunderbolt or Display Port screens, including multiple 4K displays to maximize productivity.
Not surprisingly, there is excellent support for WiFi AC (+Dual-band +2×2 MIMO), which is the fastest consumer standard at the moment, along with Bluetooth 4.2. For travelers, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen6 includes an LTE broadband option which should work with virtually ant LTE network in the world (Fibocom L850-GL).
It will ship this month starting at $1709 and if you forgot what the previous model was like, check our Lenovo X1 Carbon 2017 coverage from last year.