Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2014, A Fantastic Revision

Experience, Software and Utilities

Lenovo presents a relatively clean setup of Windows 8.1 with the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon, though there are some additions of both useful utilities and bloat.

Lenovo QuickCast allows you to share files with other ThinkPads on the same network while the Lenovo Settings app lets you configure things like the camera, power profiles, audio setup and location aware services.

Lenovo Companion contains quick access to user guides and a previews of recommended apps, along with promotional spots for different services that you might find useful or entertaining with your machine. Frankly, this is where things feel a little "bloaty," if that's a word.

rara is a music streaming service offering titles from a number of major and independent record labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music Group. Lenovo installs a limited free trial with the ability to upgrade to a monthly subscription.  Again, you may or may not deem this as useful software and may ultimately end up deleting it.

Regardless, most users will find Lenovo's custom utilities and configuration menus a nice addition to the Windows 8 interface that still occasionally has its moments of mysteriously hidden functionality, at least comparatively, if you're migrating on from a Windows 7 machine and are still trying to understand the inner-workings of Microsoft's new touch-centric OS.

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