Lenovo’s latest generation of ThinkPads comes in three distinct versions - the convertible X1 Yoga, the X1 Tablet, and the laptop X1 Carbon. All three are representative of Lenovo’s premiere business ThinkPad X1 line - especially so for the X1 Carbon which is the device that has found its way to our doorsteps.
Carbon fiber reinforced plastic, glass fiber reinforced plastic and magnesium alloy. Enough said!
Kidding - but seriously though, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is pretty much built to take a beating but plastic materials still keeps it at a light 1.13kg - great to carry around or just toss into your backpack. It also has somewhat of a rubberised finish on the top and bottom that gives a better grip either on your desk or in your hands. The X1 marque has been added to the top of the device with the classic ThinkPad logo with the ‘i’ that lights up under certain conditions like during charging. So in the most part, Lenovo has kept the classic minimalism that we know (and love?) for this 6th generation ThinkPad. Although the dimensions and weight are exactly the same as the last generation - at 323.5mm x 217.1mm x 15.95mm, it is by no means a deal breaker. It’s not a convertible laptop but it can go completely flat, if you wish.
The display is a good 14” but you have several options for the screen - we’ll list it down at the end, but for our review, we’ll be looking at the 1440p IPS WQHD anti-glare display. For a business device like this, an effective anti-glare screen is what we mostly want and that’s what we got. Even facing a bright window, it’s just as great to look at in any other lighting condition - this is mostly due to its extreme brightness. During the whole time using this device, I never had to max out the brightness - it was mostly painful to look at if I did. Lenovo didn’t just made it bright, they made the colours popped as well. The screen is actually quite saturated which can be a good thing or bad thing depending on who you asked. I personally would prefer more colour accuracy in my displays for my photo processing but if your work doesn’t require it, I’m sure it’s a perfectly good screen for anything else.
1920 x 1080 IPS Anti-Glare
1920 x 1080 IPS Anti-Glare (touch-screen)
2560 x 1440 IPS Anti-Glare
2560 x 1440 IPS HDR (Glossy)
Being the business device that it is, the keyboard is what makes or breaks the device. Given that this is the 6th generation of the ThinkPad, Lenovo had the time to really perfect the keyboard. Which they pretty much have done already - the outlay is great, its got some nice keystrokes and while the keys are a little squishier than what I’m used to, it did make for more comfortable day-long typing. Also, I’m glad Lenovo fit fuller arrow keys into this keyboard because it would be used a lot given the nature of the ThinkPad.
Of course, the red TrackPoint is nestled in the middle of the keyboard. I never found it better to use this over the trackpad, but apparently the TrackPoint is so that your hands don’t have to leave keyboard, which is why the the mouse buttons are on top of the trackpad near the keyboard.
It’s all good… but for the life of me, I don’t understand why Lenovo keeps the Fn button and Ctrl button in switched positions. They even have a Keyboard Manager to switch the function of both of those exact buttons - plus the Function keys but that neither here nor there. But they wouldn’t have to implement that if they just make it like regular keyboard! I guess it’s brand familiarity? I don’t know.
Rant over. Moving on!
The Lenovo ThinkPad has a good selection of ports with 2 USB-Cs with Thunderbolt 3, 2 USB 3.0, an HDMI port, 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD card slot and Lenovo’s Native Ethernet port. These mostly likely encompass everything you need for a business device. Though, the native ethernet port requires a separate dongle from Lenovo if you want to use conventional ethernet cables. There’s also a lot of applications for the Thunderbolt 3 ports such as connecting it to compatible docks to further expand your port options, have multiple displays, or even use an external GPU for better graphical performance. For the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the USB-C is also used for charging.
0 to 80 in 60
Lenovo has boasted about their RapidCharge technology being able to achieve an 80 percent charge in an hour and so far it’s been fairly consistent. I was able to see those numbers in the aforementioned of time - this was done with the device and display turned on during non-activity but it’s nonetheless impressive. In terms of battery life, I was able to get an average of 10 hours with the usual PBV - Productivity, web Browsing and Video streaming. That’s definitely above the average and definitely enough for your 9 to 5.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is running on Intel’s 8th-gen Kaby Lake U processors - either an i5 or i7 with 8gb or 16gb of RAM. The device will definitely run smoothly with 8gb of RAM for PBV but if you’re doing creative work like photo processing or illustrations, you might want to opt for the 16gb option. The unit I tried had 16GB and even though I didn’t manage to try the creative stuff, the ThinkPad is capable of it - plus everything ran like a hot knife through butter.
Nifty Webcam Shutter?
One more feature for the 6th-gen Lenovo ThinkPad is the shutter for the webcam that you can easily slide to shut it off whenever you’re not using or just paranoid in general - given you have the fingernail for it. It’s nifty I guess - like how the TrackPoint is nifty.
The 6th-generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon stays consistent and feels familiar to its predecessor with minimal design and outstanding keyboard but Lenovo manages to fit a few new things and gave it a better battery life. Unlike the light and slim design, the ThinkPad comes with a pretty hefty price tag - starting from MYR 6,395. But if you’re willing invest in this device, the ThinkPad can be your sole work device for the next 3 - 4 years.