CES has been the traditional launch platform of the Lenovo X1 Series for a long time, and it continues with the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th generation. Lenovo is refreshing one of its most prized laptop design with new components, but also a bit of a design makeover.
From the outside, the X1 Carbon with the visible Carbon Fiber weave is should make head turns. Users have been clamoring for a more visible Carbon material, and Lenovo has listened. This option will be available only for the high-end configurations, so start opening your wallets.
Lenovo has brought down the thickness of the X1 Carbon down by ~1mm at the thinnest point, and that reduces the by ~7% (our estimation). The keyboard is spillproof and this laptop is one of the rare business computers to pass a dozen MIL-STD-810G military transport tests, which makes the Lenovo X1 series one of the toughest options available.
At 2.46 Lbs, the X1 Carbon is just a hair lighter than its predecessor (by ~1.8%) but that’s still impressive for a 14” (13.9”) laptop built with premium materials.
The base FHD IPS LCD display got a boost of brightness to 400 NITs, which is great since that’s 30% more than a whole lot of thin and lights within the same price range. If you work outdoors, this can make a big difference in visual comfort.
Lenovo five display options in total, which is a bit unprecedented:
- FHD IPS (400 NITs)
- FHD IPS Touch (300 NITs)
- FHD IPS ePrivacy (400 NITs)
- WQHD IPS (300 NITs)
- HDR UHD IPS 10-bit (500 NITs)
The ePrivacy option has a special glass that prevents people from seeing what you’re working on, when looking from the side. This seems to work like a polarizing filter, although we don’t have the full details yet.
The 4K UHD option is Dolby Vision 400 certified and can reach a brightness of 500 NITs. Typically, the more expensive displays also have the best color rendering capabilities, so if you need color accuracy, that’s probably the one you want.
Lenovo is putting a huge emphasis on security, which is not surprising given that this is a very popular business laptop, and that hacking keeps hitting new records. In addition to the physical webcam shutter called ThinkShutter, Lenovo is adding an IR camera option to log-in using a 3D scan of your face. Obviously, a fingerprint reader is still around as a secondary option.
The sound system has been greatly improved as well. We’ve said in our previous X1 Carbon Gen 6 review that the sound was decent, but not quite on par with other laptops designed for entertainment. Lenovo seemed to agree, and has integrated four speakers in a Dolby Atmos certified configuration.
Two bottom-firing speakers will take care of the bass, while two others will render more acute sounds. CES is definitely not a great place for an audio test but after Lenovo’s audio performance in the Yoga C930, we’re looking forward to hearing the X1 Carbon perform in a quiet environment.
There are also four far-field microphones. These can help the smart digital assistant such as Cortana (Microsoft) or Alexa (Amazon) hearing your commands from anywhere in the room. They are also extremely effective with conference calls, tracking your voice or a group conversation with ease. Many other laptop microphones are only optimized for users sitting right in front of the screen.
Inside, you will find the newest Intel processors, up to Core i7 (gen 8), although all the possible combinations will be revealed at a later time. We expect Lenovo to match what the competition is doing, so there will be no huge surprise here.
There’s an optional 4G LTE CAT16 modem, which is an excellent way to stay connected. In general, having an integrated modem is always better and more secure than using public WiFi. Even when connecting to your phone, it’s not battery efficient to turn your handset into a WiFi hotspot. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon will be available June 2019, starting at $1709.99
ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019 Specs
- 8th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors, Memory 8GB or 16GB LPDDR3
12.71” x 8.54” x 0.58” (323 x 217 x 14.95 mm), 2.46lbs (1.11kg)
- Displays: 14”: FHD IPS (400nit), FHD IPS Touch (300nit), FHD IPS ePrivacy (400nit), 14” WQHD IPS(300nit), HDR UHD IPS (500nit) 10bit
- Up to 2TB PCIe SSD
- Audio Dolby Atmos Sound System, 4 far-field microphones
- Battery 51Wh
- 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2 x Thunderbolt 3, 3.5mm Audio
- Camera RGB & IR Camera w/ ThinkShutter
- Keyboard Dual Pointing CS18 Keyboard, LED Backlight
- Security Touch FPR, IR Camera, dTPM 2.0