Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook: A short review


    By Parwinder Sandhu

    The Fully loaded business Ultrabook inspired by Intel called ThinkPad X1 Carbon with its weight under 4 lbs (2.99 lbs without touch; 3.4 lbs with touch) and half a inch thickness can be easily described as being thinner than the diameter of a penny, yet packed with premium features and designed with durability in mind.

    In fact Lenovo, keeper of the venerated ThinkPad brand, was one of the first Windows laptop makers to directly take on Apple’s MacBook Air, with its 13-inch ThinkPad X1. This was way before Intel had begun publicly branding thin laptops with its trademarked ultrabook tag, and the rules for this new class of thin laptops were still in flux.

    The X1 Carbon is the 14-inch business-class Ultrabook that replaces the old 13-inch ThinkPad X1. Loaded with third generation Intel Core processors, and high-speed solid state drives for storage, the X1 Carbon gets its name from the carbon fiber used in both the exterior and in the interior roll-cage construction. Carbon fiber allows the X1 Carbon to weigh just three pounds but it passes eight separate MIL spec tests (humidity, low temperature, high temperature, extreme temperatures, sand, altitude, vibration and mechanical shock).

    The components are standard, with a third-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics, and a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD). That’s a fairly standard loadout, and available in some very affordable laptops. But, X1 Carbon is far from being as affordable as it starts at $1,399. More expensive builds, with faster processors and a 256GB SSD, cost up to $1,849.

    However, it comes packed with loads of extra features that help in justifying the higher price: Lenovo’s industry-leading keyboard, a revamped glass touch pad that works better than any Windows touch pad so far, a suite of Lenovo-branded security and support apps, and IT-department-friendly features like Intel’s vPro technology.

    In terms of build quality and durability, the X1 Carbon delivers the same classic ThinkPad roll-cage design but using carbon fiber rather than magnesium. Previous ThinkPad designs used a magnesium alloy roll-cage but the X1 Carbon incorporates carbon fiber both in the roll-cage construction as well as the top cove

    ‘The ThinkPad X1 Carbon features all of its major ports on the left and right sides of the chassis. A 4-in-1 media card reader, headset jack mini DisplayPort and USB 3.0 port on one side of the X1 Carbon, and a power jack, USB 2.0 port and Wi-Fi switch on the other side. This isn’t a massive number of ports but it’s as good as or better than most 13-inch and 14-inch Ultrabooks.

    The 14-inch screen on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a HD+ (1600 x 900 resolution) matte screen with a backlight rated at 300 nits. The major items of note here are the improved resolution (the old X1 was limited to 1366 x 768) and the matte screen surface.

    Specifications Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook:
    Processor: Intel Core i5-3427U (2×1.8GHz + HTT, Turbo to 2.8GHz, 22nm, 3MB L3, 17W
    Chipset: Intel QS77
    Memrory: 2x2GB integrated DDR3L-1333
    Graphics: Intel HD 4000 Graphics (16 EUs, up to 1150MHz)
    Display: 14″ LED Glossy 16:9 1600×900 Touchscreen SHP5108
    Hard Drive (s): 180GB Intel SATA 6Gbps SSD
    Networking: Intel Centrino Wireless-N 6205 802.11a/g/n 2×2 Bluetooth 4.0
    Audio: Realtek ALC269 HD Audio Stereo speakers Combination mic/headphone jack
    Battery: 4-Cell, 45Wh (integrated)
    Right Side: SD card reader, Mic/headphone combo jack, Mini-DisplayPort, USB 3.0, Kensington lock
    Left Side: AC adaptor, Vent, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi switch
    Operating system: Windows 8 Pro 64-bit
    Dimension: 13.03″ x 8.9″ x 0.74″, 331mm x 226mm x 20.85mm
    Extras: 720p Webcam, SSD, Bluetooth, Backlit keyboard, Intel vPro, 10-finger touch, Fingerprint reader