Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook Review

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Ultrabooks continue to be the hot trend in the Windows notebook arena. With the recent introduction of Intel's new, low power 3rd generation Ivy Bridge Core series processors, designs are becoming thinner with every iteration, while paradoxically it seems, performance continues to scale higher.  We've seen Ultrabook machines from virtually all the majors here at HotHardware and many of them are targeted at consumers on the go where thin is in, and not so much the business user, where practical usability, durability and performance are critical.  Lenovo however, is stepping outside the box with the latest addition to their ThinkPad lineup for road warriors and cubical commandos alike.

The venerable Lenovo ThinkPad, with its little red TrackPoint nub has gone the way of the Ultrabook.  If there's one small dig ThinkPads have taken with regularity over the years, it's that though there's a ton of quality and substance built into these machines, style was not a hallmark of the brand.  The all new ThinkPad X1 Carbon could very well change the utilitarian stereotype of the Lenovo's business-backed line-up, however.  It's very well-made like a ThinkPad should be but it's thin, sleek and dare we say sexy?  Go-on little ThinkPad, back that a... oh never mind.  Let's run down the specs and stick with the program.
ThinkPad X1 Carbon Edge


Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Ultrabook
Specifications & Features
Let's start by covering some detail that you can't glean from the above spec list. The SSD on board the ThinkPad X1 Carbon that we tested is a 128GB SandDisk mSATA model that has a fair bit of punch, especially on the read side of things.  Other notables are the machine's 14-inch panel with a native resolution of 1600X900.  It might not be the brightest LCD in the lab at 300 nits but it's bright enough and its native resolution seems like a perfect fit for 14 inches of real estate.  More on this later. For its on-board power source, we've got a 45Whr battery strapped in for good (it's not user serviceable, which is common for Ultrabooks these days), capable of providing over 6 hours of uptime backed up by Lenovo's RapidCharge technology that'll re-juice the machine up to 80% (5+Hrs) in only 35 minutes.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Ahh but here's where the rubber meets the proverbial road.  The above table was provided by the folks in Lenovo Product Marketing.  As you can see, they're quick to point out that the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one of the thinnest, lightest machines on the market currently and it weighs in at a mere 3 pounds soaking wet. For a 14-inch machine that's almost ridiculously light.  What isn't so light, however, is the X1 Carbon's price point. Starting at $1399 ($1499 as tested), though this ThinkPad excels beyond Intel's Ultrabook spec in many areas, it falls short of Intel's $799 - $999 Ultrabook pricing goal in exchange for higher-end components and build quality.  Regardless, let's journey on for a closer look around this sliver of technological wonderment.

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