ThinkPad X1 Carbon Seventh-gen mini-review: Minor updates made to a stellar machine

ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th-gen mini-review: Minor updates made to a stellar machine

Valentina Palladino

There are some individuals who would by no means purchase a ThinkPad, and there are others who flock to Lenovo’s flagship enterprise household each time the corporate makes an replace. The most recent launch will probably be no exception, even when the updates it brings are comparatively small. The seventh-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon will look acquainted to ThinkPad followers, and on this case, familiarity is an efficient factor.

A lot of the enhancements and updates are available non-obligatory add-ons or inner modifications that make the laptop computer even higher than it was earlier than. We spent a couple of week utilizing it to get a really feel for the updates and see which (if any) are value spending not less than $1,400 to get this improve.

What’s new

Lenovo has usually gone towards the grain with the design of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The X1 Carbon does not seem like another premium Home windows pocket book, a lot much less any of the flagship laptops which are vying on your consideration and with fancy, ultra-slim profiles. The basics of the X1 have not modified, however Lenovo did make it practically one millimeter thinner, which is a feat contemplating the earlier mannequin was already a svelte 15.95mm. It is also nonetheless a MIL-SPEC examined machine, so it’s going to take up much less area in your bag, but it surely will not crack or bend simply if that bag has an accident.

Solely small beauty modifications dot the remainder of the X1 Carbon when you get the black model. Lenovo now affords a “carbon fiber weave” mannequin with a textured sample on the lid. That fashion is at the moment solely provided on an in any other case specced-out mannequin of the X1 Carbon, nonetheless, so you will pay over $2,000 for it.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen product image

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Seventh Gen

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The X1 Carbon nonetheless has two USB three.1 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, an HDMI port, a microSD card reader, a headphone/mic combo jack, and a lock slot. However the headphone jack now sits on the left edge as an alternative of the precise. The best edge additionally now holds the ability button subsequent to considered one of its USB-A ports, a change from the earlier mannequin’s energy button, which sat simply above the highest row of keys.

One of many Thunderbolt three ports is constructed into Lenovo’s proprietary dock connector, which additionally works as the one Ethernet connectivity on the X1 Carbon. As an alternative of a full-sized Ethernet port, this laptop computer requires you to purchase a proprietary adapter if you wish to use hardwired Web. Whereas that is seemingly extra dependable than the drop-jaw Ethernet ports discovered on many ultra-thin laptops, it’s going to frustrate customers who need nothing lower than to purchase one more adapter for his or her PC.

The webcam seems barely completely different as effectively, now with its bodily shutter completely separate from the digicam itself. The mechanism works the identical, although, permitting you to cowl the webcam at any time—or when you’re like me, always while you’re not actively video chatting. The most important bummer about that is that when you select an X1 Carbon with a webcam shutter, you’ll be able to’t additionally get an IR digicam for Home windows Good day. Each X1 Carbon mannequin has a fingerprint reader proper subsequent to the trackpad, so you will have one methodology of biometric authentication regardless. However Lenovo continues to make customers select between privateness and login comfort, and it is disappointing contemplating different producers have discovered methods to include each options into laptops.

Lenovo already provided numerous display-panel selections for the X1 Carbon, but it surely lately added a 4K IPS panel possibility that helps Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HDR400. This panel will probably be best for these in artistic fields or those that plan on continuously consuming photograph and video content material with the X1 Carbon. However with a strong display comes sacrifices in battery life, so you will should be comfy with that trade-off.

Our overview unit got here with a extra conservative panel: a 14-inch, FHD, non-touch, low-power panel that reaches as much as 400 nits of brightness. You will get an FHD touchscreen panel or a non-touch panel with PrivacyGuard, which is Lenovo’s privateness display expertise that helps forestall strangers from spying on the knowledge in your display. There is a QHD panel possibility as effectively, which makes a complete of 5 shows that you could select from.

The thinner, lighter ThinkPad X1 Carbon Seventh-gen.

Valentina Palladino

You possibly can select from 5 show choices, together with a 4K panel, a show with PrivacyGuard, and a low-power FHD panel.

Valentina Palladino

The stellar keyboard stays largely untouched (as a result of Lenovo is aware of it is among the finest issues about this laptop computer).

Valentina Palladino

TrackPoint followers will rejoice to see that Lenovo hasn’t eliminated their favourite enter methodology.

Valentina Palladino

The carbon-fiber chassis is simply as gentle as it’s sturdy.

Valentina Palladino

The odd-looking twin port subsequent to the Thunderbolt three port connects to Lenovo’s proprietary dock and Ethernet adapter.

Valentina Palladino

The facility button now sits on the aspect of the system.

Valentina Palladino

The matte black exterior holds on to fingerprints, so you will have to wash it on occasion.

Valentina Palladino

I used to be proud of the low-power panel for my every day use—a 4K panel, whereas pretty, is overkill for a author like myself, and I not often use touchscreens when engaged on a typical laptop computer. I might have appreciated to strive PrivacyGuard to see the way it compares to HP’s SureView, and basically I discover privacy-screen expertise very useful as a result of I usually work from varied non-secure places.

Nonetheless, the low-power show actually exhibits off the X1 Carbon’s battery chops. Lenovo claims this up to date laptop computer will last as long as 18.5 hours on a single cost, and my overview unit lasted a mean of 1,045 minutes (17.5 hours) on our default check and 677 minutes (or about 11.three hours) on our graphics-intensive check.

That is fairly an enchancment during the last X1 Carbon mannequin we examined in 2018, which lasted about 12 hours and 6 hours on our default and WebGL exams, respectively. For somebody like me who spends most of her working time on-line writing, researching, and doing gentle photograph modifying, this may very well be one of the best new function of the up to date X1 Carbon. It means I will not should deliver an influence twine or charger with me once I work from my native espresso store or bookstore.

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