Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen7 Review (2019)

Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen7 Review (2019)

Like clockwork, Lenovo introduced a brand new ThinkPad X1 Carbon sequence earlier this 12 months and with the lineup now available on the market, together with upcoming fashions with Intel’s Tenth Gen processors, there isn’t a greatest time to publish a evaluate.

Specs Highlights

  • 14” IPS LCD Show (a number of choices)
  • Intel Core i5, i7 (Gen8 or Gen10)
  • 256GB to 1TB SSD
  • Priced at $999+ (i5-8265U, 8GB, 256GB)

Configuration as examined: Intel Core i7-8665U (+Intel UHD 620), Home windows 10 Professional, 16GB RAM, 1TB Samsung MZVLB1T0HBLR-000L7 SSD. 4K 3840×2160 show IPS LCD

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon could be configured in so some ways, we’ll get again to completely different CPU and show choices as we progress within the evaluate.

Industrial Design: ultra-light made from Carbon Fiber

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon design has made a reputation for itself by combining ultra-portability and toughness, two attributes which are normally mutually unique.

As such, this mannequin has rapidly turn out to be knowledgeable and IT group darling, because of its 2.45 Lbs weight and MIL-STD 810G Mil-Spec certification (12 assessments), amongst many different issues (resembling vPro administration and extra).

Such Mil-Specs certification implies that it may face up to what military {hardware} undergo throughout battlefield storage and transport on the entrance line. Learn our What’s MIL-STD-810G article for an entire rationalization, or you possibly can test Lenovo’s leaflet to see the 12 assessments particulars.

There are completely different methods to attain such light-weight. Most use Magnesium, however the X1 is made from carbon-fiber (dearer), apart from the detachable backside, which is magnesium alloy.


In 2019, new ultra-portable rivals are coming, and we’ll should see how new choices from Samsung and LG compete within the sub 3 Lbs house. For the time being, Lenovo retains a singular benefit of getting a 14” show with a 4K choice (extra on that later) whereas rivals usually have 13.3” shows principally with FHD decision.

Basic rivals such because the Dell XPS 13 2019, the HP Spectre X360 2019 have aluminum chassis which are considerably heavier, despite the fact that these computer systems could also be extra compact. In truth, the XPS 13 has a 33% smaller footprint than the X1 Carbon, however weights 11% extra.

The 4K show even will get a carbon-weave sample within the again, which highlights the truth that Lenovo’s X1 is made out of Carbon. It seems to be fancy however stays subtle-enough as a result of company prospects like protecting issues low-key.

The design is usually similar to final 12 months’s version, which had seen a giant discount in show bezel dimension. The resistant comfortable paint seems to be and feels the identical as properly. After all, there are small variations, such because the ~6% extra thinness, however it’s not that apparent at first sight.

Keyboard and Trackpad

As traditional, Lenovo nailed the keyboard and enter designs. There’s no cause to alter a successful system, and the ThinkPad keyboard has been racking up awards for greater than 25 years, and surprisingly, no-one has challenged that design.

The 1.3mm key journey is just about optimum for typing consolation and pace, however that’s a matter of preferences. Maybe Lenovo can win over many MacBook customers who grew dissatisfied with their 0.6mm MacBook key journey and its tendency to get caught with small grime particles.

This keyboard has a U-shape key design, which implies that the keys usually are not flat, however curved downwards within the center. This makes the downward push power naturally push the fingertip in the direction of the middle, thus serving to keep away from typing errors.


Along with being comfy, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon keyboard can be spill-proof and could have no downside surviving a espresso cup being dropped on it, nor little crumbs falling between the keys.

The one factor that I dislike in regards to the keyboard is the situation of the Fn button to the lower-left nook. This isn’t normal, and I preserve lacking it, though I’ve handled this concern for a variety of years.

I personally don’t use Lenovo’s TrackPoint (sorry!), that little crimson dot above the “B” key, however some individuals swear by it, and that provides further stickiness to Lenovo’s enter system.

With a trackpad floor of ~8.8 Sq.-inches, the trackpad is normal. When in comparison with the competitors, this dimension is just not notably massive and you’ll find a lot bigger trackpads in computer systems like Macbook Execs and others.

Like every other touch-interface, the scale of the trackpad in relation to the gestures issues. On laptops, most individuals use scroll and pinch & zoom motions. Extra superior usages require as much as 4 fingers, and round gestures are typically extra comfy with a bigger floor. Test the Home windows 10 gestures.


  • 1x USB Sort-C Thunderbolt 3
  • 2x USB Sort-A, 3.1 Gen1
  • 1x Commonplace HDMI1.4
  • 1x Ethernet, Proprietary
  • 1x 3.5mm audio
  • 1x Anti-theft slot, Kensington

For such a light-weight laptop computer, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen7 has a surprisingly giant variety of ports. That stems from the truth that it doesn’t attempt to be absolutely the smallest/thinnest design. In any case, as soon as it’s in your bag, it’s the load that counts, no?

The USB-C Thunderbolt 3 can be the Energy port (65W charging) and can be utilized to hook up with an exterior monitor. The total-size HDMI port is helpful for projectors and older screens, no dongle wanted.

Since Thunderbolt 3 units could be daisy-chained, you may get by with a single port in case you are a bit cautious.

Two USB-A (full-size) can be utilized with legacy units resembling printers, USB-keys, safety keys and every kind of issues that also use that format. Most 13.3 rivals could have at the very least one USB-A port, however each the Macbook Professional and Macbook Air solely function USB-C for the time being.


The audio high quality was one of many weaknesses we noticed within the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Gen6 (2018), and the excellent news is that Lenovo has vastly improved upon final 12 months’s X1 Carbon mannequin with a quad-speaker setup (2-tweeter going through prime, 2-woofers going through down).


The 4 audio system, together with Dolby Atmos sound processing, create a robust sound with extra “body”. There’s a little bit of sound distortion with the tweeters at most quantity, however general, that is getting near the Huawei MateBook X Professional, which stays the reference for skinny & mild audio high quality.

Observe that many laptops don’t include Dolby Atmos, and we observed that it could actually make a big distinction, particularly now that Atmos’ software program has a “dynamic” setting that you simply solely should allow as soon as.


Our evaluate unit was outfitted with the 4K IPS LCD choice, which meant that it has a particularly excessive pixel density and colour accuracy (~140% sRGB). We measured its brightness at 544 NITs, which is ~10% increased than the five hundred NITs specification. This show can be licensed for Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR.

Show choices

  • 14″ WQHD (2560 x 1440) 300 nits, IPS, anti-glare
  • 14″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 400 nits, IPS, low energy, anti-glare
  • 14″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 400 nits, IPS, PrivacyGuard, anti-glare
  • 14″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 300 nits, IPS, anti-glare, multi-touch
  • 14″ UHD (3840 x 2160) 500 nits IPS, shiny, dolby imaginative and prescient™ HDR 400

For prospect consumers, Lenovo has an unlimited array of choices that embody 1080P FHD with varied resolutions, brightness and safety choices. The 4K show is shiny, 1080p variations have a matte “anti-glare” end. Observe that solely ONE 1080p choice has multi-touch.

The ample decisions permit Lenovo to focus on vastly completely different use instances going from pure workplace work to some slice of the artistic (and profitable) market the place individuals want extra correct colours, together with increased brightness.

On our 4K show, the brightness setting is not linear, and whenever you go from 100% to 90% by urgent the keyboard key, the brightness diminishes by ~50% (!!) which is a bit bizarre as a result of there are many conditions the place you’d need brightness between 250 and 500 NITs.

For reference, the 1080p show would get one thing like 350 NITs and 110% of sRGB colour protection. Chances are you’ll discover barely higher 1080p shows (though 13.3”) with Dell and HP, however the Lenovo 4K choice has increased brightness and sRGB protection than its 4K rivals.

Not like the Lenovo X1 Yoga 2019 (evaluate coming quickly…), the X1 Carbon display could be prolonged to 180-degree, however not 360. It is usually an ideal match with the transportable Lenovo ThinkVision M14 we not too long ago reviewed.


There are two potential webcam choices, relying in your show selection. They include the plain webcam and the opposite one with the secondary infrared (IR) sensor to securely unlock the pc utilizing a 3D scan of your face.

Though the fingerprint-unlock works properly, I actually like having the face unlock choice as properly. All X1 Carbon webcams embody ThinkShutter, a bodily shutter that blocks the digital camera lens to guard your privateness. That is a part of ThinkShield, a Lenovo safety initiative that covers completely different pc safety points.

Laptop computer webcams usually are not a defining issue, and Huawei claims that solely a small fraction of laptop computer customers really use the digital camera regularly. Like most such webcams, the X1 Carbon has a 720p sensor and might seize video and pictures at 1280×720: that is very a lot normal.

The microphone setup might be the largest webcam change since final 12 months, with a greater 4-microphone array that works in every kind of conditions, from single chat to having a number of contributors within the room.

Audio recording works properly out of the field, however Lenovo factors out which you could choose particular use instances within the (Microphone Settings) resembling having a number of individuals within the room or voice recognition to get additional recording optimizations.


The Thinkpad Carbon X1 Gen7 comes with Intel’s eighth or Tenth era processors, and that’s at the very least 6 CPU choices in whole (4xGen8 + 2xGen10).

We’ve examined the Intel Core i7-8665U (eighth Gen), because the Tenth era CPUs aren’t configurable (but) on Lenovo.com. Nevertheless, we are able to have a look at the efficiency of the Dell XPS 13 7390 with Core i7-10710U to pinpoint generational CPU variations. You may anticipate a equally configured X1 Carbon to behave comparably.

CPU choices

  • Core i5-8265U Processor (4 Cores)
  • Core i5-8365U with vPro (4 Cores)
  • Core i7-8565U Processor (4 Cores)
  • Core i7-8665U with vPro (4 Cores)
  • Core i7-10510U Processor (4 Cores)
  • Core i7-10710U Processor (6 Cores)

Geekbench exhibits that in order for you increased ranges of efficiency, you must configure the X1 Carbon with the brand new Intel Tenth era processors, similar to the XPS 13 7390.

One of many advantages of the Tenth era Intel Core is the elevated graphics efficiency on the high-end. Alternatively, it’s possible you’ll get a greater efficiency “for the price” by choosing a Tenth-gen Core i3 processor, should you don’t want peak efficiency.

In an workplace atmosphere, the additional horsepower isn’t making as a lot of a distinction as one might imagine, however for Inventive work (video-editing, photoshop…) it positively would.

* Efficiency numbers are from testing in 1080p mode in order that we get constant metrics throughout laptops. Decision can influence some benchmarks resembling PCMark 8 Residence or PCMark 8 Work the place 4K scores have been ~15% decrease.

General, the multi-thread CPU efficiency of the Tenth Era is increased, together with drastically higher graphics efficiency. Intel’s new Iris Plus built-in graphics current within the Tenth Era Core processors virtually doubles the graphics efficiency, and that’s crucial takeaway.

In case you do intensive multi-core computing resembling artistic apps or GPU-driven apps, you’ll want to get the newest Tenth era CPUs. For workplace duties, you possibly can keep on with the eighth era, and you could possibly even purchase the X1 Carbon Gen 6 should you discover an awesome deal, as a result of workplace duties aren’t a lot quicker than on final 12 months’s X1 Carbon.

One added good thing about the Intel Tenth era platform is that it ought to include WiFi-6, which improves almost each side of WiFi, from pace to effectivity. However you want a WiFi-6 router to learn from all that.

Optionally, it’s potential to get a 4G LTE CAT9 built-in modem (Fibocom L850-GL 4G LTE CAT9) to remain related always.

Battery Life

Relating to battery life, we suggest trying on the battery capability (in Wh or Watt-hours) as the first issue for any given CPU/GPU/Show combo. These are the first power-consumers on any laptops and similarly-configured methods have a tendency to attract energy in an analogous manner.

The 51Wh battery capability of the 2019 X1 Carbon is lower than the 57Wh if final 12 months’s X1 however it matches the 52Wh of the Dell XPS 13 and is a little more than the 49Wh of the Macbook Air (2019).

Yow will discover 13.3” methods with 60Wh (+17%) batteries just like the HP Spectre X360 13t, however that one is 17% heavier, so it has the identical battery capability “per Lbs” than the Lenovo X1 Carbon has. Primarily, Lenovo may improve the battery capability, however that will induce further weight. For prime battery-capacity test the Lenovo X1 Yoga!

That mentioned, customers can rapidly replenish their battery utilizing Lenovo’s RapidCharge at a pace of 47Wh per hour, which is 13% quicker than final 12 months’s mannequin, in accordance with our lab assessments.

Lenovo’s 65W charger is just not unusual within the PC world, however some producers do use 45W, and Apple has 61W (MacBook Professional) and 30W (MacBook Air) chargers that aren’t as highly effective/quick.

Lastly, understand that 4K shows have a tendency to make use of considerably extra energy (30%-40% extra), so if battery longevity is your foremost concern, decide one of many 1080p/FHD choices. In some assessments, the battery lifetime of the FHD mannequin could be 2X longer when in comparison with the 4K mannequin.

Our 4K configuration received 06h03 mn of battery life within the PCMark 8 Work battery benchmark (PCM8WB). You must get considerably extra with a 1080p show choice.

PCM8WB might be essentially the most consultant of what you’d get in the actual world and is significantly better than “custom-made” looking assessments that browse faux websites.  Video-playback assessments are attention-grabbing for that particular use-case, however they aren’t consultant of normal pc use.

Conclusion:  distinctive and really versatile providing

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen7 (2019) is a wonderful ultralight laptop computer that’s configurable to compete at any efficiency or value level within the high-end 13” to 14” laptop computer market.

The 4 or 5 show choices can accommodate many varieties of consumers, together with those that have distinctive safety necessities (Lenovo PrivacyGuard) or wish to select between matte and shiny finishes.

It’s completely different from nice rivals such because the Dell XPS 13 and HP’s Spectre X360 as a result of it’s mild and constructed for bodily endurance. It’s a uncommon laptop computer in that ultralight market to have a spill-proof keyboard and move Mil-810-STD assessments.

The X1 Carbon can be the Ultralight laptop computer that has essentially the most ports, particularly should you evaluate it with the MacBook Professional which doesn’t have a single full-size USB and weighs 23% extra.

After all, there are issues that Lenovo may enhance upon, resembling having smaller bezels, a bigger trackpad, and a extra compact form-factor. There are alternatives on the market in order for you one or two of these items however general, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen7 is a hell of a laptop computer.

General product ranking: 9.5/10

Filed in Computer systems >Critiques. Learn extra about Editorspick, Laptop computer Critiques, Lenovo and Lenovo critiques.

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