The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a business notebook that combines an ultralight design with powerful performance. Weighing in at just 2.8 pounds, the X1 Carbon is one of the lightest notebooks in its class, despite its slim dimensions, the X1 Carbon packs a healthy dose of features, including a full HD touch screen, a backlit keyboard and all the ports you need for working on the go.
The first thing you’ll notice about the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon is that it’s thinner and lighter than ever before. Lenovo has managed to shave off a few millimeters in both directions, and at just 2.6 pounds, the X1 Carbon is one of the lightest 14-inch laptops you can buy.
Despite its slimmed-down dimensions, the X1 Carbon doesn’t feel flimsy or delicate. It’s made from a combination of carbon fiber and magnesium, which lends the chassis a rigid yet premium feel. And like all ThinkPads, the X1 Carbon has passed MIL-STD 810G durability tests for resistance to vibration, extreme temperatures, humidity and dust.
One of my favorite design flourishes on the X1 Carbon is the soft-touch deck. The area where your palms rest while typing is covered in a textured material that feels great and helps mask fingerprints.
The X1 Carbon has a 14-inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. This is the same panel as on the previous generation, and it’s a good one. It’s plenty bright, with excellent colors and viewing angles. One downside is that it’s a bit glossy, so reflections can be an issue. But overall, it’s a great display.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard is backlit, which is great for working in low-light conditions, and the key travel is shallow but still comfortable. The trackpad is large and responsive, and Dell includes both a pointer stick and a trackpad in the box.
In terms of performance, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a mixed bag. It’s equipped with a 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6600U processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive. That’s enough raw power to do some serious multitasking, but the storage space is on the low side for a business laptop. I was able to run 20 tabs in Google Chrome while streaming HD video from YouTube without issue, but I noticed some slowdown when I attempted to play “Overwatch” at high settings.
On the positive side, the X1 Carbon scored a strong 12,287 on the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, which is more than enough juice for productivity tasks. It also boot in a speedy 10 seconds.
Lenovo outfitted the ThinkPad X1 Carbon with a 60Wh battery, which is a good size for a 14-inch notebook. The company claims the notebook will last for up to 15 hours on a charge, but that’s with the screen set to 1080p and power savings mode enabled. In our testing, we were able to get about 6 hours and 40 minutes of continuous streaming video playback at 1080p with the screen at 75 percent brightness.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one of the best Ultrabooks you can buy. It’s expensive, but it’s worth it.
value for money: 3/5
The Good Accurate and bright display • Swift overall performance • Excellent keyboard and trackpad • Light and thin
The Bad So-so battery life • Below-average graphics performance • Some ports are hard to access • No Thunderbolt 3 support
Verdict The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a premium 14-inch notebook that doesn’t weigh you down when you’re on business trips.