Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen) review: Flagship ultraportable maintains the quality Review

Maria J. Danford

Lenovo’s flagship enterprise laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, has attained its 8th era, and the most up-to-date product carries on to drive at the boundaries of performance and portability. It athletics a 14-inch display with up to 4K (3,840 x two,a hundred and sixty) resolution, up to 2TB of SSD […]

Lenovo’s flagship enterprise laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, has attained its 8th era, and the most up-to-date product carries on to drive at the boundaries of performance and portability. It athletics a 14-inch display with up to 4K (3,840 x two,a hundred and sixty) resolution, up to 2TB of SSD storage, and weighs a shade more than 1kg. You can devote amongst £1,141.66 (ex. VAT £1,369.ninety nine inc. VAT) and £1,716.66 (ex. VAT £2,059.ninety nine inc. VAT) on an off-the-shelf configuration, or you can customise. 

In the US, rates begin at $1,331.40 and top rated out at $two,207.40.

Last year’s 7th Technology ThinkPad X1 Carbon received plaudits for its functionality in a gentle, hard chassis. The X1 Carbon is not without rivals, of training course, and this year the vital rival is likely Dell’s refreshed XPS line.

The Dell XPS fifteen I reviewed not long ago packs a fifteen.six-inch display into a chassis measuring 344mm vast by 230mm deep by 18mm thick. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen) has a 14-inch display in a chassis with a desktop footprint that is only marginally lesser (323mm x 218mm). Lenovo would do effectively to determine out a way to narrow its display bezels to rival Dell’s XPS. The bezels on the X1 Carbon are obvious on the brief edges (calculated at 6mm), a lot more so at the top rated (calculated at 12mm) and even a lot more so on the bottom (a lot more difficult to measure correctly, but at minimum 20mm). Dell’s InfinityEdge design and style raises display peak, enables for a lot more display in the chassis, and provides what is, for me, the very best display usability practical experience I have had for a when. The bottom bezel on Lenovo’s flagship laptop would seem huge in comparison. 

As noted, the Dell XPS fifteen is 18mm thick when the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 8th Gen is slimmer at 14.9mm. Also, the fifteen.six-inch XPS fifteen weighs 1.8kg, when the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 8th Gen has a a lot a lot more bag-pleasant starting up weight of 1.09kg.

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The 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen) is Lenovo’s premium enterprise ultraportable, weighing in at just more than 1kg.


Images: Lenovo

In spite of its gentle weight, Lenovo can make no compromises on construct excellent. Lenovo states the X1 Carbon has handed 12 army-grade necessities, such as for chilly, dust and liquid ingress. Though I failed to exam all of these factors, I can say that the chassis feels strong, with just a slight amount of money of give in the lid.

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The black chassis with the ThinkPad X1 logo in one corner of the lid, its pink gentle more than the ‘i’ indicating the laptop is switched on, is extremely familiar. Lenovo likes consistency in its branding, and outwardly this ThinkPad X1 scarcely differs from its new predecessors.

Internally far too, you will find a lot that is familiar. The keyboard is backlit, its two intensities toggled by the Fn vital/space bar combo. The QWERTY keys are big, their pot-belly supplying them just a little little bit a lot more of a focus on for the fingers than regular, and their marginally concave shaping and obvious bounceback building for a snug typing practical experience. They have a soft-contact really feel that provides to the constructive motion and they click quietly. The Enter vital is big, and Lenovo has even managed to make the arrow keys, which frequently endure on lesser keyboards, quite sizeable by extending the keyboard space beneath them a couple millimetres into the wrist rest. The Fn vital row now incorporates a pair of keys for building calls — useful for these of us who are paying out most of the time operating remotely. This all provides up to one of the most snug laptop keyboard experiences close to.  

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The design and style, structure and motion of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s keyboard can make for one of the very best typing experiences obtainable on a laptop.


Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Lenovo’s trademark TrackPoint sits in its regular household amongst the G, H and B keys, and you will find a three-button array amongst the space bar and the touchpad for use with it. This usually means the touchpad by itself is marginally significantly less deep than regular, which does make utilizing it a little uncomfortable. There is an NFC contact issue constructed into it, and a fingerprint sensor to its right.

Though it has a marginally larger sized chassis, the touchpad on the Dell XPS fifteen is proportionately a lot larger sized than the X1 Carbon’s, which feels cramped by comparison. I noted its smallish sizing in my review of previous year’s product, and arguably it can be time for Lenovo to make the touchpad larger sized. Pursuing the Dell XPS practical experience, big is stunning when it comes to touchpads, in my view.

The display lays flat to a desk, but does not swivel any even more. If you want that, there are plenty of 360-degree convertible options in the Lenovo stable. The display in my review device was a 14-inch IPS panel with FHD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution, four hundred nits brightness and an anti-glare coating. It’s pleasant to have a non-reflective display, and it goes plenty bright adequate for operating indoors. Other options involve a 4K, 500 nits glossy IPS panel with HDR400 and Dolby Vision, or an FHD anti-glare contact display with four hundred nits brightness.

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Security capabilities involve the webcam’s ThinkShutter.


Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

There is certainly a 720p webcam over the display with IR and Lenovo’s ThinkShutter, a manual slider that covers the digicam lens. This is just not consistent throughout all the preconfigured types, so double-test if you want it.

SEE: Home windows 10: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

Lenovo works by using the Dolby Atmos 4-speaker method, which incorporates profiles for use circumstances such as film, audio, voice and gaming, has a dynamic profiling setting that will modify relying on what you’re listening to, and enables you to help you save three personalised profiles. Two grilles sit on the underside of the chassis wherever they are in danger of being muffled, and two are over the keyboard. Audio output is extraordinary: I preferred previous year’s speaker setup, and this year I observed bass tones suitably bassy, spoken words apparent, and normal streamed video and audio extremely suitable. As before, fidelity does drop if you drive the volume to 100%, but at eighty% it can be fine, and I hardly ever felt the have to have to go greater.

Lenovo equips the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen) assortment with processors up to a 10th-era Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM and a decision of two batteries, with the greater-ability one in all of the pre-configured types. Lenovo statements that this 51Wh battery provides up to 19.5 several hours of everyday living. All types have built-in Intel UHD 620 Graphics and Wi-Fi six (802.11ax).

ThinkShield safety is an optional additional and incorporates PrivacyGuard, which decreases the screen’s angle of eyesight so that everyone sitting down following to you would have difficulty peering at its material. It also incorporates PrivacyAlert — computer software that functions with the IR digicam to concern a pop-up warn if an individual is wanting more than your shoulder. 

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Remaining aspect (top rated): USB-C Thunderbolt 3 (always on) USB-C thunderbolt 3 and community extension for Ethernet dongle/dock USB 3.1 HDMI 3.5mm audio in/out. Appropriate aspect (over): ability button USB 3.1 Kensington lock slot.


Images: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The ability switch, on the right edge of the chassis, has a little white LED to allow you know it can be on, and pulses if you near the lid without powering down (just like the pink dot more than the ThinkPad logo’s ‘i’ on the lid). There are two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports (one of which doubles for charging the laptop), two USB 3.1 ports, a total-sizing HDMI port, and a 3.5mm combo headphone/mic jack. A proprietary connector caters for an RJ-45 Ethernet dongle. Mobile LTE broadband is built-in into some types.

The preconfigured types begin at £1,141.66 (ex. VAT £1,369.ninety nine inc. VAT). Not all options are shown beneath — just the minimum and most highly-priced, and my review device, which falls amongst the two at £1,399.ninety nine (ex. VAT £1,679.ninety nine inc. VAT).

  • Intel Core i5-10210U, Home windows 10 Property, 14.-inch 1,920 x 1,200 anti-glare four hundred nits non contact display, Intel UHD Graphics, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
    £1,141.66 (ex. VAT £1,369.ninety nine inc. VAT)
  • Intel Core i7-10510U, Home windows 10 Pro, 14.-inch 1,920 x 1,200 anti-glare four hundred nits non contact display, Intel UHD Graphics, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
    £1,399.ninety nine (ex. VAT £1,679.ninety nine inc. VAT)
  • Intel Core i7-10610U, Home windows 10 Pro, 14.-inch 1,920 x 1,200 anti-glare four hundred nits non contact display, Intel UHD Graphics, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
    £1,716.66 (ex. VAT £2,059.ninety nine inc. VAT)

As noted previously, Lenovo statements 19.5 several hours of battery everyday living for the superior-ability 51Wh battery, which I suspect would be a little bit of a extend to attain in day-to-day use. As regular, I streamed video by many regular operating classes, jogging a standard efficiency workload involving producing into internet applications and checking web-sites. Display screen brightness was instantly established to eighty%, which I observed fine. 

After three several hours the battery fell from 100% to 63%, on which basis several employees may possibly attain all-day battery everyday living. Even so, that 19.5 several hours would seem rather hopeful. The fantastic news is that the battery expenses rapidly: Lenovo states it can go from -eighty% in an hour.

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Graphic: Lenovo

Conclusions

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon carries on to evolve, and continues to be an outstanding ultraportable laptop for enterprise people. The keyboard is a enjoyment to use, you will find a fantastic assortment of display options, seem excellent is up there with the very best laptops, and mobile specialists will take pleasure in the assortment of safety capabilities on supply.

The only dilemma marks encompass the display bezels and the touchpad: Lenovo needs to take into consideration how it may possibly shrink the former and mature the latter.

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