Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook

Article Index
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook
Hardware Teardown
Testing - Features
Testing - Benchmarks
Final Thoughts

Product(s): Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook
Provided By: Lenovo Canada
Price: Starting at $1,249.00 USD - As Equipped ~$1,584.00 USD


Ultrabooks have become very popular thanks to the thin design and portability that they offer. Lenovo has merged the ultra-portable Ultrabook with their ThinkPad lineup to offer "Business" users the best of both worlds with the X1 Carbon. We've had the chance to take a look at a couple other Ultrabooks in the past couple months, but this is the first "Business-Class" Ultrabook we've had on the test bench.

The ThinkPad lineup of laptops has been around for more than 20 years (first model launched October 1992) but I never dreamt of the day that I'd see a slim ThinkPad like the X1 Carbon. Traditionally ThinkPad models have focused more on being able to stand up to abuse than making a fashion statement, which is evident as over the past 20 years every model of ThinkPad has looked very similar to each other. 

Over the years I have been a huge ThinkPad fan and have owned quite a few different models. I'm not the easiest person on laptops and all my ThinkPad's have been able to keep up to the abuse I have given.


Closer Look:

ThinkPad X1 Carbon - Front View
ThinkPad X1 Carbon - Side View


So right off the bat we can see the X1 Carbon looks like a ThinkPad, the traditional black coloring gives it away pretty quickly.
Most Ultrabooks are a brushed aluminum, but the X1 Carbon has used the traditional ThinkPad matte black design. At first I wasn't overly impressed as is wasn't all "shiny", but after a couple days of comparing it side by side with other Ultrabooks I began to really appreciate the fact that I wasn't having to wipe fingerprints off of it every few minutes. 

ThinkPad X1 Carbon - Keyboard and Touchpad
ThinkPad X1 Carbon - UltraNav TrackPoint

Another signature ThinkPad feature is the red "eraser-head" mouse in the middle of the keyboard (or UltraNav TrackPoint to call it by its proper name). As a long time ThinkPad user I can say that I miss this feature when I use a laptop without it. 

Just in case you are more of a touchpad user you have that option as well with a glass multi-gesture touchpad. 

One new feature to the ThinkPad lineup is the is the backlit keyboard. In the past ThinkPads always had the little light at the top of the screen that when turned on shines down on the keyboard.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon - I/O Ports
ThinkPad X1 Carbon - I/O Ports

As far as I/O ports go, you get a Mini Displayport, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 USB 3.0 port, audio jack, and a 4-in-1 card reader on the sides of the X1 Carbon. Also on the side of the X1 Carbon you have your power plug port, a Kensington lock slot, and your toggle switch to disable wireless features.


ThinkPad X1 Carbon - New Power Connector
ThinkPad X1 Carbon - Dedicated Media Keys

Lenovo has gone with a bit different power adaptor for the X1 Carbon. Most ThinkPads all use the same round power plug, which is great if you upgrade and have an extra power brick kicking around. Most likely this new plug is a result of trying to make things slimmer.

You also get a few media keys with the X1 Carbon, which is a traditional ThinkPad feature. I really like having dedicated volume up and down buttons on any system, and the ability to mute sound or your mic with dedicated buttons is also a nice touch.

Well, thats what the ThinkPad X1 Carbon looks like. In the next sections we'll see if it can perform as well as it looks.