For a number of laptop computer generations, Lenovo’s ThinkPad line has been the go-to for professionals and workplace staff. ThinkPads have been remarkably constant in high quality because the starting, with each iteration enhancing efficiency and performance with out eradicating options ThinkPad homeowners have come to like.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is an ideal instance of this. Lenovo’s signature enterprise ultraportable is now in its 5th era, including new Intel Kaby Lake processors and a bigger battery with out sacrificing the portability of this 14-inch system. And after utilizing this laptop computer for a couple of weeks now, it’s clear that Lenovo’s minor year-on-year enhancements have led to a shocking system that’s one of the best ThinkPad ultraportable but.
Like earlier variations of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the 5th era mannequin is remarkably compact for a 14-inch laptop computer. At simply 1.13kg heavy, the X1 Carbon is lighter than most traditional 13-inch ultraportables, and this has been achieved with out sacrificing battery life. Lenovo hasn’t tried to make the X1 Carbon notably slim, at 15.95mm thick, nonetheless its footprint is much like 13-inch gadgets because of slim bezels across the show.
Lenovo has achieved such a lightweight laptop computer because of their alternative of supplies for its development. Slightly than choosing a dense metallic exterior, like many premium laptops in the marketplace right now, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s physique is sort of fully mushy contact plastic. Usually I favor metallic our bodies from a visible and textural perspective, however so far as plastic our bodies go, the X1 Carbon’s is great. Its pleasing texture makes the laptop computer a pleasure to hold, and its minimalist design appears to be like nice. Understated designs are inclined to work effectively in enterprise environments; that is precisely what the X1 Carbon gives.
For a laptop computer that’s largely black plastic, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is surprisingly proof against fingerprints and dirt. After a couple of weeks of use you’ll discover a couple of marks across the place, but it surely’s far much less susceptible to fingerprint accumulation than another laptops I’ve tried. Plus, the X1 Carbon doesn’t have a touchscreen, so that you received’t need to obsessively clear the show both. The matte end to the display screen is actually welcome.
The X1 Carbon features a 180-degree hinge, permitting the show to fold flat within the occasion you want a large angle between keyboard and display screen. I want extra laptop computer producers would attempt to make the hinge as versatile as potential, as there are occasions the place the angle restrict on some laptops isn’t sufficient.
One in every of my favourite features to the X1 Carbon is its excellent array of ports. You get two Thunderbolt three USB-C ports, each of which can be utilized for charging, together with two USB three.zero Sort-A ports. Lenovo is offering customers with a incredible mixture of each future and present USB expertise, moderately than prematurely forcing customers right into a USB-C solely life. There’s additionally a full-sized HDMI port, which can come in useful for connecting to assembly room projectors, and a three.5mm audio jack.
Maybe the strangest port on the X1 Carbon is the proprietary connector that’s devoted to Ethernet. As this ultraportable is approach too slim to incorporate an Ethernet port on the system itself, Lenovo has included a devoted port that attaches to an included Ethernet dongle. It’s a neat approach of coping with Ethernet on a contemporary laptop computer and nonetheless provides you entry to 4 USB ports when Ethernet is in use.
Whereas not new to the 5th-generation X1 Carbon, I like the inclusion of a fingerprint reader right here. Increasingly laptops are together with fingerprint safety by means of smartphone-like contact sensors, and it really works effectively to safe your system whereas offering fast and quick access to the correct consumer. Lenovo’s implementation right here is especially snappy.
Top-of-the-line features to any ThinkPad laptop computer is its keyboard. The implementation on the X1 Carbon is essentially incredible, with glorious tactile suggestions and journey distance offering an amazing typing expertise for a thin-and-light laptop computer. Giant modifier keys and devoted buttons for residence, insert, delete and even print display screen enhance the expertise.
My solely actual grievance in regards to the keyboard is the horrible place of the Fn key. In each keyboard ever made apart from the ThinkPad keyboard, the management secret is discovered within the backside left nook. Nevertheless, on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and different ThinkPad laptops, the Fn secret is within the backside left nook. This makes it fairly arduous to choose up this laptop computer and begin performing fundamental instructions like copy and paste with out rewiring your mind to the brand new place of the management key.
Fortunately you may swap the perform of the Fn and Ctrl keys within the BIOS of this laptop computer, which mainly solves this concern. This needs to be the default configuration.
The trackpad included with this laptop computer is great. It’s extremely responsive, tracks your finger precisely, and features a very nice click on mechanism. There’s additionally the signature ThinkPad crimson joystick you should utilize as a mouse, which isn’t a favourite of mine, however I do know some individuals swear by this navigation choice. Each options are effectively carried out, as you’d anticipate of a ThinkPad product.
Included with my ThinkPad X1 Carbon evaluate unit is a 14-inch IPS LCD 1080p show, though a 1440p choice might be accessible later this 12 months. 1080p is a good decision for a laptop computer of this dimension, and it really works effectively at 125% scaling. The anti-glare matte coating mixed with peak brightness of 310 nits makes this display screen simple to view in most lighting circumstances, whereas viewing angles are stable.
Surprisingly, Lenovo solely charges this show as having a distinction ratio of 700:1. I’m unsure whether or not that is a particularly conservative estimate, as a result of I measured an precise distinction ratio of practically 1400:1 at peak brightness. Shade accuracy throughout the board is common, although that is largely on account of an incorrect coloration temperature of 7340Ok, which supplies the show a ‘chilly’ blue tone generally. Slight calibration can simply repair points with the temperature and gamma (2.zero not 2.2) to offer a good although not excellent coloration expertise.
The 1440p choice may very well be good for those who need elevated sharpness from their show, though the sharpness supplied by the 1080p show continues to be glorious. Upgrading to 1440p will introduce a minor hit to efficiency and a average hit to battery life in most conditions.