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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th-gen) review

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Seventh-gen) overview

There are not any larger names in enterprise laptops than the Lenovo ThinkPad, and the X1 Carbon is the agency’s present flagship – so a giant fame and loads of money rides on its annual refreshes.

This machine is the seventh iteration of the Carbon laptop computer, and Lenovo has made notable enhancements whereas retaining a lot of the ThinkPad’s well-known design.

Can this machine retain its prominence in a busy market – and justify its lofty UK and US costs?

Worth & Availability

The laptop computer reviewed right here has the mannequin quantity ’20QD00KWUK’ and prices £1,927 within the UK. Within the US, this specification is bought with a 1440p display and a touch higher CPU. It makes use of the mannequin quantity 20QD0007US and prices $2,130. Additionally accessible at Amazon.

As ever, Lenovo permits specs to be customised and makes a great deal of different choices accessible. Some fashions can be found at Amazon and eBuyer within the UK.

Within the UK, two fashions can be found pre-built with costs of £1,700 and £2,100 – the previous has a Core i5 CPU and a 1080p display, whereas the latter has a Core i7 CPU and a 1440p show.

Three fashions might be customised, with base specs that vary between £1,296 and £2,016. They’ve Core i5 and i7 CPUs, totally different reminiscence and storage configurations and 1080p and 1440p screens, however not the 4K panel.

US consumers can select from fashions that vary between $1,149 and $three,659. There’s extra versatility right here: Intel 10th-gen CPUs can be found in addition to Eighth-gen components, and two of the pricier machines have the 4K panel. A full vary of customisation choices are additionally accessible.

Design & Construct

There are not any massive surprises right here: the Carbon nonetheless seems to be like a ThinkPad. There’s the acquainted brand on the lid and the wrist-rest, and the machine is hewn from magnesium alloy with a soft-touch end.

This mannequin has one in all Lenovo’s new choices – a carbon-fibre lid. It’s a delicate impact that appears good, and it’s solely accessible with 4K variants.


The Carbon retains the traditional look of a ThinkPad whereas being slim and lightweight. This seventh-generation machine weighs 1.1kg and is 15mm thick. That’s spectacular, and it signifies that this technique is lighter than its key rival – the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1.

The ThinkPad is MIL-STD examined to face up to excessive temperatures alongside water and dirt ingress, and construct high quality is rock-solid – simply sturdy sufficient to be tossed right into a bag for the morning commute. It’s somewhat extra strong than the Dell.

The ThinkPad could be very sensible too. It has two full-size USB three.1 ports and two Thunderbolt three connectors that help USB Sort-C. It’s bought an HDMI output and a Kensington Lock slot, and on the within there’s dual-band 802.11ac wi-fi and Bluetooth 5.zero

Elsewhere, the ThinkPad has a fingerprint reader and a vTPM chip, and the webcam has been upgraded with IR and a bodily shutter. This mannequin has an non-obligatory LTE 4G modem, with the SIM slot put in on the rear. It doesn’t have a micro-SD slot, which the Dell does embody.


Regardless of that, although, the Lenovo takes a slight lead with connectivity. Extra of Lenovo’s base fashions embody the 4G modem and the fingerprint reader as customary, and also you don’t should fill a USB port to make use of Gigabit Ethernet on the Lenovo – there’s a particular adapter.

Keyboard & Trackpad

ThinkPads have at all times had improbable keyboards, and that continues to be true right here.

The Carbon’s buttons have 1.6mm of journey – a tiny bit greater than most laptops – they usually require extra power to push down than most rivals. The buttons have a tactile bump of their motion, and the highest of every button has a concave design.

The keyboard feels strong and vital: the buttons are constant and comfy, with extra weight than the shallower, softer buttons put in on nearly each rival – together with the Dell.


As standard, this ThinkPad has a standard touchpad alongside the well-known touchpoint and its accompanying buttons.
The pad is nice, with Home windows Precision help, and its in-built buttons are tremendous – somewhat delicate and deep, maybe, however that’s the one minor concern.

The touchpoint could be very exact – a welcome addition for working in cramped environments.

Display screen & Audio system

The ThinkPad is bought with contact and non-touch 1080p screens, a 1440p unit and a 4K panel. Our overview pattern consists of the latter display.

The 14in 4K display serves up a density degree of 315ppi. That’s super: pin-sharp, with the element ranges required for high-end photograph work and an enormous quantity of on-screen area.

Testing reveals that the 4K panel is somewhat inconsistent. Its brightness degree of 486cd/m2 is nice: higher than nearly each different laptop computer, and is excessive sufficient to deal with vibrant workplace lights and outside use.

It’s additionally excessive sufficient to help DisplayHDR 400 content material, though this modest HDR protocol solely delivers a tiny increase to media – so it doesn’t actually add worth.


The massive brightness is undermined by the black degree of zero.45cd/m2. It’s too excessive, and it signifies that darkish areas solely have mediocre depth. The distinction ratio of 1080:1 is okay for day-to-day work and mainstream photograph duties, however it might be higher.
The Delta E degree of three.26 is affordable, however not significantly nice – and it lends this panel a noticeable purple hue in lighter areas.

Dell’s 1080p panel isn’t as crisp because the Lenovo’s display, and it’s not as. Nevertheless, the Dell does have higher distinction, black ranges and hues – so if these are necessary, the Latitude is healthier.

Lenovo’s 4K panel doesn’t embody the agency’s PrivacyGuard characteristic – that’s solely accessible on 1080p fashions. It’s additionally value mentioning that the 4K panel drastically reduces battery life, so solely think about this selection in case you actually do want these pixels.
The Lenovo’s audio system are tremendous for informal media use, however they’re a bit tinny and don’t have a lot bass.

Specs & Efficiency

This ThinkPad depends on Intel’s older Eighth-gen CPUs. That’s no shock – Ninth-gen chips solely ship a modest efficiency increase in any case. Intel’s newest 10th-gen CPUs have solely simply began to look in US fashions, however the Eighth-gen variations are persevering with within the UK for now.

The Core i7-8565U has 4 cores that may handle eight threads, and it runs at 1.8GHz with a Turbo peak of four.6GHz. It’s paired with 16GB of reminiscence, a 512GB SSD and built-in graphics.

It’s a step forward of the cheaper Dell, which makes use of a Core i5-8265U CPU with 8GB of reminiscence.


The Lenovo delivered single- and multi-threaded Geekbench outcomes of four,950 and 15,765. That’s good tempo: just a few hundred factors forward of the Dell. The Lenovo’s PC Mark eight results of three,842 simply outpaced the Dell.

The ThinkPad delivered SSD learn and write speeds of three,493MB/s and a pair of,513MB/s. Once more, they have been higher than the Dell’s outcomes.

It’s sufficient velocity to make Workplace functions and web-browsing instruments run flawlessly, irrespective of what number of apps or tabs you’ve got open, and database functions and mainstream photo-editing apps will run fairly nicely too – you’re solely going to have somewhat slowdown. The SSD makes the entire machine really feel snappy.

You’ll want extra energy in case you’re working a great deal of contact apps without delay, working with big recordsdata or want to make use of workstation-level instruments. Those that have to work with media ought to search for laptops with discrete GPUs too.

The Lenovo is an inexpensive thermal performer too, with strong temperatures in nearly all conditions. The CPU did start to throttle due to a 93°C peak temperature in a stress-test, although, with all-core and single-core revised speeds of 1.9GHz and a pair of.8GHz.


That’s no shock contemplating the ThinkPad’s slim physique, however it’s additionally higher than the Dell – that machine had a slower CPU out of the field, was poorer when throttling, and its exterior was typically hotter.

Don’t be postpone: the Lenovo doesn’t expertise points throughout quick bursts of labor and it’s unlikely that anybody can be working the CPU at full pelt for lengthy intervals.

Battery Life

In our customary looping movie benchmark with the display at 120cd/m2 the Lenovo lasted for six hours and 48 minutes, and in a PCMark work benchmark the Lenovo lasted for eight hours and 12 minutes.

Nboth consequence matches the Dell, which lasted for sixteen hours within the movie playback check and almost 9 hours in a piece check.

The Lenovo suffers resulting from its 4K display and Core i7 CPU, however there are alternatives. Dropping the 4K display will dramatically enhance battery life – in case you go for a 1080p panel with a Core i5 CPU you’ll simply make it by a workday and the ThinkPad will final nearly so long as the Dell.

Verdict

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon stays a wonderful selection for a robust and transportable enterprise laptop computer.

It is bought the anticipated mixture of prime construct high quality mixed with wonderful efficiency and first rate options. There’s little to dislike however we do not suppose you need to punt for this 4K mannequin we examined – even in case you lose the carbon fibre lid.

Battery life is not nice so dropping to a 1080p will assist and the picture will nonetheless be crisp sufficient for day-to-day duties until you want a increased decision particularly for design work. This will even make the X1 extra reasonably priced, even cheaper than some rivals.

Dropping to a Core i5 processor will even prevent cash and whereas nonetheless provideing sufficient efficiency for mainstream duties.

The X1 Carbon lives as much as the ThinkPad’s well-known identify, simply decide the best mannequin.

Specs

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Seventh-gen): Specs

  • Processor: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Reminiscence: 16GB 2,1333MHz LPDDR3
  • Display screen: 14in three,840 x 2,160 IPS
  • Storage: 512GB Western Digital PC SN720 SSD
  • Ports: 2 x USB three.1, 2 x Thunderbolt three/USB-C, HDMI 1.four, 1 x audio, docking level
  • Connectivity: Twin-band 802.11ac WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.zero
  • Battery: 51Wh
  • Dimensions: 323 x 217 x 15mm
  • Weight: 1.1kg
  • Guarantee: 3yr on-site

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