ThinkPad X1 Carbon Laptop: An In-Depth Review of the Product

Though there are many laptop companies out in today’s market, a few stand up above the rest in terms of reputation. One such company is Lenovo, a brand known for its reliable devices and high-quality machines.

This guide will break down one such computer, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Laptop, in order to take an in-depth look at its numerous top-of-the-line attributes and cover what makes it such a good gaming notebook.

An Attractive Laptop with all the Fixings

The ThinkPad X1 has the classic Lenovo design you know and love, but with a small twist that updates it for the modern world.

As you may expect, this device has a soft-touch lid, as well as a comfortable deck that makes it both easy to grip and comfortable to rest your wrists against.

Many of the classics are here as well, including the red TrackPoint, upper-left alignment on the keys, as well as the old-school mouse click.

In addition, the ThinkPad logos on the deck are black and the lower left corner of the lid has a sharp looking red-and-gray X1 logo stamped onto it.

All of those accents help the machine keep an eye-catching look without sacrificing the iconic ThinkPad design.

If you want to branch out from the black, you also have the option to go with a dark silver. However, that does not come with the same soft-touch texture as the main model.

Quality you can Carry

Continuing on the idea of design, the ThinkPad X1 is light, compact, and easy to handle. Those three qualities are essential for any laptop, and they go a long way with this model.

The machine weighs just under 2.5 pounds (making it lighter than the MacBook Pro) and it is quite thin compared to other laptops in its size range. Not only that, but it manages to keep that small shape and have a multitude of important ports and plug-ins as well.

A lighter load is always welcome for people who find themselves carrying their laptop from place to place, and the thin size makes it much easier to operate both at home and on the go.

Reinforced Durability and Careful Construction

Though most of the sections in this review will focus on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s performance, that is not the only thing you need to keep in mind when buying a new laptop.

When it comes to durability, few notebooks are able to resist accidents like the ThinkPad X1. While it is easy to assume that its lightweight body means it is fragile, the computer is able to handle a range of different issues in stride.

The sturdy construction and high quality make this laptop naturally resistant to shocks, bumps, vibrations, and extreme temperatures. There is minimal flex in both the keyboard deck and lid, which only reinforces its top-notch construction.

Laptops are significant investments. It helps to get one that can last.

Multi-Layered Security

Another reason to purchase this machine is its incredible range of security options. Protecting your files is always important in today’s everything-connected world, and Lenovo goes the extra mile to make sure your data stays safe.

First, the laptop supports dTPM encryption. It also supports Intel vPro manageability for an extra layer of protection.

If that’s not enough, the X1 Carbon is equipped with a special Match-in-Sensor fingerprint reader that keeps its storage and analysis on the same chip to prevent any outside attacks.

Finally, there is an optional infrared camera that, should you purchase, will enable you to set your ThinkPad up with Windows Hello facial recognition.

Even without that feature, the device still comes equipped with the ThinkShutter. That program acts as a cover for your lens that will stop anyone else from using it.

Your World in Full Color

While you have the option to upgrade to a 2560 x 1440 HDR (high dynamic range) screen, the base Carbon X1 comes with a 1920 x 1080 touch panel.

The upgrade is fantastic, but so is the base package, which offers you more than enough power to see everything in full, vibrant tones.

The device also does not have a glossy cover glass as a result of the in-cell touch technology. That not only keeps the entire package looking good, it makes it more power efficient as well.

This model has low average color error and an incredible contrast that excels most other laptops on the market. Each of those work with the matte display coat to reduce glare and make sure you can easily view the screen from all angles.

Crisp Sound Quality

Sound is another important aspect to have in a laptop. Whether you’re streaming a weekend movie, enjoying a show, or bumping your favorite tunes, good speakers are a key component to the computer experience.

The Dolby audio software automatically adjusts depending on what app you’re using at the time. That adaptation keeps your sound at the highest quality possible.

However, you can also manually select different sound profiles to match your current setting if that’s more your style.

Another addition here fis that Lenovo equipped the ThinkPad X1 with a 360 degree far-field microphones that help enable the Cortana voice assistant. This greatly increases the power of the assistant, enabling her to hear no matter how much noise is around you.

Advanced Technological Features

As with so many Lenovo machines, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a world-class keyboard with a strong tactile feedback and incredible feel. The soft touch furthers the user experience and helps you work for long periods of time without getting sore or tired.

The keyboard also helps you type quickly and efficiently. That is particularly helpful for anyone who uses their laptop for large portions of the day, such as writers or business owners.

Beyond that, the X1 Carbon continues its great technology with the red TrackPoint that sits between the G and H keys. The pointing stick navigates extremely well, and is much more precise than other ones you have seen or used before.

While not everyone will feel comfortable using the feature, if you know how to use the nub it is a great upgrade over the common touchpad because of how it allows you to seamlessly switch between different sections.

However, if you do switch, the button-less touchpad is also extremely responsive and well made.

Not only does it have advanced accuracy, but it also responds smoothly in a way where you can use your computer without any jumpiness or annoying stickiness. It immediately responds to multitouch gestures as well, never mistaking your fingers for your thumb.

For those reasons, the X1 Carbon enables you to get the most out of the system regardless of how you plan to use it or what you need it for.

As great as the extra features are, a laptop is not much without a strong performance. To cover that, Lenovo has given the X1 Carbon a quad-core, Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD.

These give it enough power to handle just about any task you use it for. It does not matter if you’re watching TV, compressing videos, surfing the web, or crunching spread sheets, this machine has what it takes to do it all.

It also performs such tasks at an extremely fast pace, which is something you want in a ThinkPad. Being able to carry out different programs is one thing, being able to do it in a fraction of the time it takes other systems to do so is a completely different beast altogether.

The X1 Carbon is not just a machine with a lot of processing power. It is a machine that excels in doing all of your needed tasks in a way that saves you precious time.

Right behind the stellar performance are the strong graphics. It may be surprising to even suggest the graphics when discussing a high-end business laptop, but more options never hurt.

Being able to install an older title or one of your favorite games from the past for when you have downtime is a welcome addition to the machine. This can even be a good feature for people who use their ThinkPad to relax on the weekends or weeknights.

As you might expect, the device can handle many lower-end titles with ease. While it does do a bit better with the Core i7 processor (less risk of dropping frames), a Core i5 chip should be more than enough for casual play or smaller titles.

If you do ever want to expand that power or get more graphics, you also have the option to purchase an external GPU and hook it up to one of the device’s handy Thunderbolt 3 ports.

All the Ports You Could Ever Need

On that note, the ThinkPad Carbon X1 has some of the best port selection on the market for laptops in its size. This machine offers you various ways to plug in, which then only expands your options.

This machine includes one Type-A port, a 3.5-millimeter audio jack, and a Kensington lock slot on the right side. On the other side, there is an HDMI port, one USB Type-A port, and the two aforementioned Thunderbolt 3 connectors.

Not only that, but one of the Thunderbolt 3 ports works with the proprietary port for Lenovo’s side-docking connector. You can also charge with either of the Thunderbolt 3 ports using the included USB Type-C power adapter.

All of those plug-ins are important because they each enable you to use the computer for numerous programs or more serious workloads.

The Thunderbolt 3 ports are the same that come in other models like the HP Spectre 13, while the full-size HDMI and two USB-A are great options for businesspeople.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon also comes with a 720p webcam. This feature, while not necessary, is another fun attribute that captures bright images and allows you to video chat with ease.

A good camera is not something everyone may use all of the time, but it comes in handy when you need it. In fact, it is another solid addition for business because it allows you to hold meetings online with little resistance.

As mentioned, you also have the option to use the ThinkShutter with the lens to prevent any outside attacks.


Last but not least is the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s stellar battery.

Being able to use your laptop without being tied to a charger is important for all aspects of life, but it is especially useful for those who want to bounce around an office, home, or workspace.

This computer, which lasts a stunning 10 to 11 hours, will easily get you through the entire work or school day on a single charge.

That time clocks in at hours longer than what you can expect from other models on the market and gives you enough wiggle room so that you won’t have to worry about suddenly losing your charge during a meeting or in the midst of editing an important document.

The X1 Carbon supports fast charging as well. The machine’s AC adapter can get it from 0 percent battery up to 80 percent in roughly an hour. Within two, you should be able to go all the way.

That charging capability meshes perfectly with the extended life to give you a truly portable device.

Few laptops, business or otherwise, are as well rounded as the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. This machine not only nails the fundamentals, it also has a slew of important upgrades that help take your computer experience to the next level.

It is not easy to find a laptop in today’s world with this many features. Variety is the spice of life, and the Carbon X1 has it in droves.

Business is the main goal behind this model, but don’t be fooled, the computer can truly do it all.

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