Published on July 9th, 2017 | by Jugal Parekh


Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon – uncompromising portability

It is mid-2017, and if you are not yet convinced it is time for the tablet form or the 2-in-1s to take over your daily computing needs, don’t fret, the manufacturers have not made the design department for the traditional laptops redundant as of yet. Along with premium components, the new crop oozes style, and ultra-portability. A prime example is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Read on to find out more about this exemplary Ultrabook.

Use & Feel

X1 Carbon is built to perform, and to ensure that it never disappoints the user or their needs. The laptop has been spec’ed up with everything that is absolutely the best, and would ensure portability at only 1.13 Kgs, with no sacrifice on computing power. Open it up, and the slim-bezel screen is an absolute beauty. I was a little skeptical when I first saw the spec sheet claiming a lower than now-expected screen resolution at 2560×1440, in a premium laptop; I was wrong. You can tilt the screen all the way back to 180 degrees, and the viewing angles, vivid colour reproduction, and the contrasts are great!

The i7 processors used are the dual-core U range that utilize 14W. It ensures zippy performance, along with the 16 GB RAM, and the SSD. The 14W also allows the laptop to last 6-8 hours, which is disappointing. I was expecting it to last a lot longer. I was not able to sustain the laptop to its claimed long battery life during my tests. I used it as my everyday laptop for a little under 2 weeks. Applications I used were the Microsoft Office suite, and a few others primarily for the internet – Google Chrome, Skype, Whatsapp and Slack. The use is uber-smooth even when dealing with very heavy spread-sheets and multiple browser windows open.

The spill-resistant keyboard is extremely comfortable to type on, and to a pleasant surprise, the glass trackpad was wonderful to use as well. The backlit keys are well-spaced, have great travel, and the curved design is very compliant to the fingers. The input mediums truly live up to the ThinkPad’s legacy. I used to like the TrackPoint, but found it a little slow to my liking when navigating this screen with higher resolution. The fingerprint scanner works excellently, and instead of the swipe based scanners that were bundled along with business laptops before, this requires a simple tap.

On the other hand, don’t expect to rock the room with the bottom facing tiny speakers. The sound is miserly, to the extent that I was unable to complete my Skype call without connecting my headphones. Talking of the ports, the X1 Carbon is built for anything you throw at it, in the present or out in the future. Thunderbolt USB-C sit alongside USB 3.1s., HDMI, and the now infamous headphone jack. The thunderbolt USB-C also doubles as the charging port.

The build is durable with military grade magnesium alloy chassis that can survive drops and extreme temperatures; the screen lid with carbon fiber reinforced alloy and also the screen itself is a Corning Glass. The body is silky smooth to touch, and it really feels assuring and good to hold. This is one premium laptop that you definitely will have no qualms in “chucking” it in your bag, or using it for a presentation even when you’re wearing a hard-hat at a construction site. A tiny geeky attraction – the dot at the top of the “i” in ThinkPad, on the outer lid, blinks red when the laptop is in standby mode.

Competition & Conclusion

The X1 Carbon faces a stiff competition, both from other Windows PC manufacturers including Microsoft, and Mac-based Apple. Products like the Dell’s XPS, HP’s Spectre, Microsoft’s Surface Book, or Apple’s MacBook Pro, are all amazing competitors. They all have certain personality traits that makes them unique, however, the only decision-worthy factor is the individual’s use. Do you need ports? Do you need a high-quality screen? Do you need a touchscreen that detaches? Are you better off on the Mac or Windows ecosystem? All the laptops mentioned here shall deliver to your expectations. Hence, it is more difficult than ever to make the decision.

The Lenovo X1 Carbon is probably the best, wait, the best Windows laptop that I have used in a very long time, and I would be a proud owner, based on my use. It is portable, powerful, well-built, ergonomic to use, and personally I like the looks. It is available in the UAE starting at AED 7000.

The laptop configuration as tested was an i7-7500U with 2 cores at base frequency of 2.7 GHz, 16 GB LP DDR3 RAM, Intel HD Graphics 620, 512 GB SSD, and a WQHD screen.

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About the Author

Jugal Parekh is professionally involved with product & services design & development, with special focus on healthcare. He is passionate about information – whether technological, philosophical, or business related. Currently, his setup combines Apple’s hardware with Google’s cloud, oh, with Windows 7 on Parallels (for the mac).

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