The new ThinkPad X1 Carbon takes the design of the ThinkPad X1, which we loved, and bumps the screen up to a mainstream 14-inch. The X1 Carbon might possibly be the best business notebook we’ve seen so far as it addresses many of the tradeoffs users must typically make when trading in a typical business notebook.
The ThinkPad X1 should be standard issue in corporate America. No, the X1 won’t fit everybody’s needs, but it will make everyone from road warriors to conference room jockeys very happy. The 14″ display means there’s not much to give up when downsizing from a bulkier business notebook such as the ThinkPad T400.
The ThinkPad Carbon X1 has several creature comforts baked in that make it more user friendly, without giving up its ThinkPad pedigree.
Read: ThinkPad X1 Review
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon has about the same footprint as the original ThinkPad X1, which has a 13.3″ display. One thing we really like is that the new X1 Carbon has an anti-glare display like the rest of the ThinkPad lineup. The display has a resolution of 1600×900 pixels, which means users can edit two documents side by side. A 720p webcam that tracks the user is at the top of the display. The keyboard is backlit, making it easier to use in the dark.
We got to take an early look at the ThinkPad X1 Carbon at a Lenovo event in San Francisco last week. Weighing in at almost exactly three pounds, the ThinkPad Carbon X1 feels even lighter than it looks. Part of the reason for that is that Lenovo built its internal rollcage out of Carbon, hence the product’s name.
The new ThinkPad X1 Carbon includes the new 3rd Generation Intel Core family of processors with better power management and enhanced integrated Intel graphics. Lenovo hasn’t provided official battery life numbers yet, but company representatives said it will last longer than the original X1 on a single charge. That’s important considering users can’t slap an extended battery on this notebook as they can with most ThinkPads. One very nice feature is that the X1 Carbon’s battery can go from zero to 80% in just 30 minutes. That means all you need to do is plug in during a coffe break at a cafe or while waiting for your connecting flight and you’re good to go.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon isn’t as thin as the MacBook Air or consumer UltraBooks, but it is a world apart from what most business people lug around.
The left side of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a single USB 2.0 port and wireless on/off switch. Towards the rear of the left side is the power adapter port. It is rectangular in shape since the notebook is too thin to accomodate the standard ThinkPad power adapter, which features a round connector.
The right side of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a Kensignton lock slot, USB 3.0 port, DisplayPort, audio jack and SD card reader.
The rear of the notebook has a SIM slot for 3G and 4G connectivity. Lenovo and its partners will offer users the option of paying per session, which means users won’t have to sign up for long contracts. This is a very nice feature since most people don’t have an ongoing need and bosses aren’t too keen on approving such contracts for people that only travel occasionally.