Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Review (2021): Portable, Powerful, and Spendy


Lenovo’s X1 Carbon is among the greatest laptops you should buy. At 2.5 kilos, it is light-weight, skinny, and very moveable. It affords loads of energy for many duties, all-day battery life, and—in contrast to its competitors—loads of ports for your whole equipment.

We’re reviewed the Linux version of the X1 Carbon final 12 months, and every thing on this overview applies to the up to date model of the machine too. The fundamental change to the 2021 X1 Carbon is the transfer to Eleventh-generation Intel processors. Oh, and the brand new, barely taller display screen, which now has a 16:10 facet ratio, similar to the Dell XPS 13.

Carbon Core

The new X1 Carbon is just not a design revolution. That’s an excellent factor, although, as a result of the design has all the time been very properly achieved and does not want a makeover. It’s lighter than a lot of the competitors, particularly the enterprise class laptops just like the Dell Latitude, and the delicate carbon fiber floor is a Thinkpad hallmark at this level. It depends upon your private aesthetics, I suppose, however I’ve all the time a lot most well-liked the Thinkpad carbon fiber look and really feel to aluminum and titanium laptops.

All the acquainted, and deservedly well-known, Thinkpad components are right here: The keyboard is superb; the purple pointer nub is between the G, H, and B keys; and there are three buttons on the prime of the trackpad. 

There are additionally loads of ports. Unlike different ultraportables—I’m taking a look at you, XPS 13 and MacBook Air—there are two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, a headphone jack, and a Kensington lock slot. The solely factor lacking is an SD or microSD card slot. Still, one dongle is healthier than the half dozen you want with different laptops.

The most noticeable change within the Gen 9 X1 Carbon is the brand new 16:10 display screen measurement. As I stated when Dell made the same change to the XPS, you would not assume this may be that large of a deal, nevertheless it actually is noticeable in day-to-day work.

That additional half inch of display screen means there’s extra vertical room for paperwork, internet pages, and spreadsheets, which suggests much less scrolling and typically makes life extra nice. When I despatched the X1 Carbon again to Lenovo, my X250’s 16:9 display screen all of a sudden felt extra cramped. The physique measurement and weight distinction in comparison with the 16:9 mannequin is negligible, and any additional display screen you possibly can eke out of a laptop computer is a win for the consumer.

The mannequin I examined had the FHD+ (1920 x 1200-pixel) panel, however there is a 4K choice out there if you would like it. The 1080p model has a matte panel, although, which is a plus when you’re working in brightly lit conditions. It solely will get to 365 nits of brightness, which is not industry-leading by any means, nevertheless it was loads brilliant sufficient to take a seat exterior on a summer time day and do some work within the sunshine. Unfortunately, there is not any OLED display screen, which is disappointing.

Perhaps the largest disappointment, except for the lacking SD card slot, is the 720p webcam. No Lenovo I’ve used has had an impressive webcam, however this one is unhealthy sufficient that my colleagues commented on how unhealthy it was once I used it for a Zoom assembly. Given the quantity of Zoom conferences the typical company employee is doing today, this looks as if an enormous oversight on Lenovo’s half. To be honest, no computer-maker appears to be prepared to place an honest digicam in a laptop computer, so if you really want high-quality video, you are better off with a third-party webcam.

Photograph: Lenovo



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