ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review (2017)

ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review (2017)

ThinkPad has been round for 25 years, and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is likely one of the crown-jewels of the ThinkPad household. In 2017, we’re trying on the fifth technology of X1 Carbon laptop computer, which is positioned to compete within the high-end spectrum of the ultra-portable enterprise laptop computer.

Lenovo’s pitch sounds tempting: the X1 is designed to be extraordinarily compact and lightweight, not sacrifice computing efficiency, have glorious connectivity (ports) and extraordinary sturdiness. On this evaluation, we take a more in-depth look and put it to the take a look at.

Configuration as examined

  • Core i7 7600U
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD

Industrial Design: lean and difficult

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017)

The Lenovo X1 Carbon fifth Gen (2017) is an especially compact ThinkPad laptop computer. This was made attainable as a result of Lenovo has sharply lowered the bezel dimension on the left and proper of the display screen right down to ~5 millimeters (have a look at the 2016 X1 Carbon to see the distinction!). All in all, Lenovo says that it has lowered the general footprint by 8%. Because of this, you’ll be able to have a 14” laptop computer, which appears like how 12.5” laptops weren’t so way back.

There are different footprint optimization in lots of locations, however the display screen bezels have a major affect on the general size and width of the pc.

Lenovo makes use of the normal tender paint floor therapy on high of the carbon-fiber and magnesium chassis. This sort of tender floor has served Lenovo very nicely for a while. All Thinkpad surfaces might look the identical from a distance, I’ve seen that Lenovo has improved the tender contact materials through the years: it appears to much less vulnerable to fingerprints, and it’s robust towards put on and tear.

Aluminum chassis are pleasant to the eyes and easy (and slippery) the contact, however additionally they are likely to scratch very simply, which is why clostly protecting instances/adhesives promote so nicely for some fashions. With the Thinkpad tender floor gives a superb grip and the laptop computer seems good even after months or care-free utilization at tradeshows and journey.


Some variants of Carbon Fiber can provide 2X to 5X the rigidity of Aluminum and Metal (for a similar weight). Basically, Carbon Fiber is used to take away weight whereas retaining the identical degree of durability. Basically, the precise kind of carbon fiber is just not revealed by the system producer, so we don’t know the energy ratio on this case. If you’re curious, learn this Aluminum vs Carbon article.

The Lenovo X1 Carbon is very inflexible and gained’t twist or bend. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon additionally passes 12 army MIL-810-G certifications for drops and shocks. These checks are designed to ensure that army {hardware} can survive the vibrations and shocks throughout transport within the subject. That’s a superb proxy for civilian journey.

It’s a degree of endurance that almost all laptops wouldn’t move. Lenovo has 200 further sturdiness checks that are a part of the standard analysis. I visited one among Lenovo’s QA labs in China a few years in the past, and the array of checks was spectacular. Sadly, we couldn’t take pictures, not to mention file movies.

Lenovo now has a silver model out there, along with the normal black colour. The silver one doesn’t appear like Aluminum (as a result of it’s not), however it provides increased distinction for keyboard keys (I like that, however it’s possible you’ll not care), and a unique look.

Keyboard, Trackpad, and TrackPoint

The ThinkPad keyboard and TrackPoint are iconic ThinkPad components that hold prospects coming again. There have been many variations over time, however the degree of consolation and high quality is extraordinarily excessive with this X1 Carbon.  By the best way, I like how the Energy button is positioned above the keyboard, and never on the fitting/left sides.“THE LEVEL OF COMFORT AND QUALITY IS EXTREMELY HIGH”

The high-quality person expertise of the spill-resistant keyboard is because of a number of elements. First, the keys are made with a cloth that doesn’t let the keys develop into greasy and slippery. I’m speaking about odd finger-sweat right here, and never burger joint grease. Secondly, the keys have a barely curved form, so even should you don’t press proper on the middle, the drive can be directed in the direction of the center of the important thing (“self-centering”).

Lastly, the keyboard is backlit, and the key-travel is lengthy (~1.3mm estimated) which makes the tactile really feel is great. In the event you can, kind on one for a couple of minutes, and you will notice. I at all times encourage potential laptop computer consumers to pay specific consideration to the keyboard and trackpad since you employ them *each time*, and that is very a lot a matter of non-public preferences.

The trackpad is giant sufficient (100x57mm) with a floor space of 8.83 sq-inch. This isn’t the most important trackpad available on the market, however one that’s most undoubtedly comfy sufficient for the massive majority of customers.

Home windows provides some gestures, and we contemplate that this trackpad is giant sufficient to carry out them with ease. There’s no argument {that a} extra large trackpad might really feel extra comfy, however there may be additionally a diminishing return to growing the trackpad floor space until you’ve got setup your cursor to maneuver very slowly to require extra finesse and precision.

The presence of left and proper trackpad bodily buttons could be extraordinarily useful for operations of click on and drag (or drawing) as a result of it’s rather more exact than press and drag. Click on and drag is much less vulnerable to a failed motion since you didn’t press robust sufficient. Additionally, should you get to the sting of the trackpad, you’ll be able to hold pushing the bodily button, which isn’t attainable with press and drag.

Though TrackPoint has been cloned right here and there, it largely stays a Lenovo ThinkPad characteristic. The primary level is that your fingers don’t want to maneuver a lot from the perfect typing place to maneuver the cursor. Briefly, it’d assist obtain a quicker and extra constant typing. In fact, it’s not as correct because the trackpad typically, so this relies on what you’re doing. TrackPoint and TrackPad should not meant to interchange each other. I personally don’t use TrackPoint, however many individuals I do know swear by it. It doesn’t harm to have one.

Ports: plentiful

For such a small pc, the Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen 5 has a whole lot of ports. On the fitting, there may be one USB-A (3.1 Gen1) together with the three.5mm audio connector and anti-theft connector.

On the fitting, you will discover two USB-C ThunderBolt 3 (and USB 3.1 Gen2), one USB-A (3.1 Gen1), one full-size HDMI (4096×2160@24Hz max) and one mini-Ethernet connector. Sadly, the ThinkPad Ethernet Extension Cable adapter must be bought individually, however most individuals don’t want it.

Observe that one USB-C additionally expenses the laptop computer, whereas the opposite can be utilized to cost your cellphone. The total-size HDMI is great should you hook up with HDMI projector frequently as a result of forgetting or dropping video dongles is quite common. Lastly, the mini-Ethernet port is an actual Ethernet port and never a USB-to-Ethernet one.

Within the again, there’s a slot/tray for a SIM card and a microSD card. The SIM card connects the non-obligatory Qualcomm X7 LTE modem to a mobile community so you’ll be able to at all times be linked. Observe that it is advisable resolve at order-time if you need LTE.

As for the microSD card, I might contemplate that it’s extra for everlasting storage, somewhat than to switch information out of your digital camera to the laptop computer. It’s attainable, however manipulating the tray typically is just not one thing that I might get pleasure from doing.

There’s a fingerprint reader if you wish to log into the pc with Home windows Howdy. It really works nicely, and I just like the comfort. The fingerprint makes it attainable to make use of a robust  password with out coping with the trouble of typing it each time you come again to your pc.

The fingerprint reader has a self-contained safety island, which signifies that the biometric information stays inside and at all times encrypted. It’s arduous to consider, however we’ve seen examples of fingerprint readers that might save the fingerprint picture in a unsecure location in reminiscence and even on disk. That’s the reason the island is value mentioning.

Element entry

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 5 (2017) is designed to be opened on the backside facet. After eradicating 5 sturdy screws, customers can entry the parts inside. The (M.2) SSD is the one half that I contemplate to be user-replaceable, however the general setup appears to make repairs simple. The LPDDR3 RAM modules are soldered on the motherboard, so it is advisable choose order time and keep it up.


The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon has an IPS LCD display screen with a matte end and a brightness of ~300 NITs. The minimal decision is 1080p (1920×1080 aka FHD), however there’s a $100 improve for a 2560×1440 decision.

The 300 NIT brightness is sort of typical for laptops. The primary concern about brightness right here is the power to work outside or close to brilliant lights. ~300 NIT is ample, however not comfy in that situation. The Matte end of the display screen helps as a result of it can keep away from having blinding reflections.

It’s not attainable to completely keep away from reflections, however minimizing them helps fairly a bit. The draw back of a matte show is that colours might look slightly bit much less saturated, and the picture might seem a bit much less sharp. This can be a matter of preferences, so it’s possible you’ll wish to test one out in case you are uncertain. I don’t thoughts both manner.

The show doesn’t rotate 360-degree, however it does open to 180-degree. 360-degrees laptops could be very handy, however for many individuals, 180-degrees is completely nice.

I discovered the show picture high quality to be superb, though the competitors at this worth vary is inside the identical vary and infrequently a bit higher maybe. If you would like a noticeably higher picture high quality, the ThinkPad X1 YOGA OLED is perhaps value contemplating. There are additionally extra creative-oriented and workstation laptops that will have calibrated shows, however they are typically bigger computer systems designed to work at a desk.

Study extra: LCD vs. OLED, which is greatest?

In contrast to the X1 Yoga, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon does not have a contact show. Undoubtedly, the 2 fashions increase the general X-Sequence’ attain whereas being sharply completely different from each other. Customers who want Pen and contact assist can go for the X1 Yoga, whereas those that desire a smaller, non-touch X1 will choose the Carbon. I like having a touch-display, however different individuals don’t look after them. That’s your alternative.


There are a number of flavors of X1 Carbon Gen5, and the CPU choices are:

  • Core i5-7200U (3.1GHz, 3MB)
  • Core i5-7300U (3.5 GHz, 3MB)
  • Core i7-7500U (3.5 GHz, 4MB)
  • Core i7-7600U (3.9 GHz, 4MB).

All these processors are from the seventh Intel Core technology, and the primary distinction between them is the utmost frequency and cache dimension. They’re all dual-core processors and have a 15W TDP (Thermal Design Level). The GHz velocity above represents the utmost frequency, when in “Turbo Mode.”

I’ve checked out CPU artificial efficiency for you, and the bottom-line is that this: The i5-7200U is noticeably slower. Nonetheless, the distinction between the Core i5-7300U and the Core i7-7600U isn’t very excessive (examine i5 7300U vs. i7 7600U, scroll down for benchmarks charts). The distinction between i7 7500U vs. i7 7600I is comparatively small.

Apparently, artificial benchmarks present that the Core i7-7500U is a bit slower than the Core i5-7300U. In the long run, the Core i5-7300U model looks like a superb alternative for most individuals and is considerably cheaper. Lenovo has a whole lot of improve choices on this ultralight enterprise laptop computer class.


“A LOT OF UPGRADE OPTIONS”With the CPU financial savings I like to recommend, you’ll be able to choose many attention-grabbing upgrades. For instance, a $100 additional will push your show decision from 1920×1080 to 2560×1440. In the event you care about textual content sharpness and don’t thoughts the additional energy consumption, it’s good.

$80 gives you double the RAM, going from 8GB to 16GB. $200 additional pushes inside storage from 256Gb to 512GB, and the 1TB possibility is $300, coming from the bottom 256GB of SSD PCIe-NVMe storage. At publishing time, these have been the upgrades you might get:

$80: RAM from 8GB to 16GB
$100: Show 1920×1080 to 2560×1440
$200: 256GB to 512GB SDD
$300: 256GB to 1TB SDD (learn my SSD notes within the Efficiency part as nicely)

If the CPU efficiency is shut sufficient, we extremely suggest getting extra RAM or Storage as an alternative of wanting the best CPU mannequin. This can be a common recommendation, and it relies on what you are attempting to do. Nonetheless, understand that thermal constraints additionally restrict quick cellular CPUs. In the event that they develop into too scorching, they may decelerate (in frequency) to achieve a sustainable temperature. Excessive-end CPUs are nice for bursts of efficiency. Throughout sustained workload (10mn+), they may very well be throttled right down to the less-performing CPU ranges.


The computing system (CPU+GPU+SSD storage) used on this laptop computer is sort of commonplace for this form-factor and worth vary. Because of this in relative phrases, it’s aggressive with different computer systems geared up with the identical parts. In any case, the identical “class of computer” ought to “feel” comparable by way of perceived efficiency.

There are small variations, however they’re sometimes inside regular benchmarking errors or part sampling+sourcing. Take into account that PC makers typically have a number of sources for reminiscence and storage, so there could also be small variations. The general expertise ought to stays the identical.


With a rating of ~4700 within the PCMark8 Work take a look at (Core i7-7600U), the Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen5 is on the efficiency degree of extra large computer systems we examined just lately, such because the HP Spectre X360 15” (Core i7-7500U).

Clearly, this laptop computer was not designed to be a gaming laptop computer. Though the presence of Thunderbolt 3 provides us hope that it is perhaps attainable to make use of an exterior GPU field, solely Lenovo can verify if that truly works. There are nonetheless many compatibility points for these use instances. That stated, should you launch Battlefield 4 at minimal graphics settings, it must be barely playable.

On the storage entrance, evidently the 256GB SSD could also be a Samsung PM871 with a SATA 6Gbps interface, as an alternative of the PCI-E interface used for the 512GB and 1TB drives. The interface alone would trigger a big artificial efficiency distinction in typical disk benchmarks. In actuality, it’s not simple to saturate even the SATA interface, however should you want absolute disk efficiency, go for the bigger sizes.

Ports and efficiency

I wished to spotlight the Thunderbolt 3 efficiency and capabilities right here. When you’ve got a laptop computer, Thunderbolt 3 provides a world of choices that even USB 3.1 Gen 2 doesn’t. With has a peak velocity of 40 Gbps (vs. 10 Gbps for USB 3.0), Thunderbolt can hook up with 4K shows (4096×2304@60Hz) and provide near-internal storage velocity with suitable exterior storage techniques. This might radically alter your productiveness setting. Lastly, Thunderbolt 3 docks provide all kinds of connections, together with energy and information, with a single cable. Your desktop can look clear and neat.

Transferring information, or working straight from a Thunderbolt 3 exterior storage can convey giant efficiency positive aspects when in comparison with USB 3.1 Gen 2 or earlier generations.


The Lenovo X1 Carbon comes with a 57 Wh battery capability, which is great for a laptop computer this dimension. The perfect competing laptops hover round ~57 Wh to ~63 Wh of capability. Though Lenovo claims that it may well ship 15.5 hours of battery life, it is best to deal with this as a “best case scenario” reminiscent of watching video from the interior SSD with a dim show setting.

Actual-world battery life is unimaginable to simulate or measure in a manner that would mirror your utilization. In fact, managed battery checks can spotlight if a PC maker has one thing horrible (which could be very uncommon), however typically, it is best to have a look at a couple of issues: battery capability, show decision and brightness and computing platform energy consumption (CPU/GPU/storage). Basically, most laptops who share these technical traits will exhibit comparable energy draw, and subsequently the battery Watt-hour (Wh) capability turns into the central piece.

Laptops do cost at completely different speeds, and that may very well be a worthwhile distinction. The Lenovo X1 Carbon expenses to 80% capability in 60 to 70 minutes with the 65W power-supply included within the field. This is superb, and I sometimes don’t hassle charging up all the best way to 100% (and watch for 150mn / 2.5 hrs. for that) if I do know I can entry a wall outlet simply. That’s the reason I urge Lenovo and different PC OEMs to construct power-supplies as small as attainable, with cable-management if attainable.

OEM Energy Provides might not be an issue for lengthy. Not that there’s one thing improper with Lenovo’s, however because of the USB-C Charging port, it’s now attainable to make use of third celebration chargers that will have a design that matches your way of life higher. Additionally it is attainable to purchase and drop a couple of in locations that you just go to typically: dwelling, workplace, secondary dwelling, automotive?

A 1080p show is an effective factor from a battery life perspective. Even the upper decision possibility doesn’t go overboard with the pixel depend.


The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a superb piece of engineering which addresses the enterprise market with core options which have develop into must-have for a lot of ThinkPad prospects: spill-resistance, excessive sturdiness, featherweight and glorious computing energy/weight ratio. Lenovo did ship on its pitch.


On Lenovo’s web site, The ThinkPad X1 begins at ~$1400 and might go to ~$2100 when “fully-loaded” (i7 7600U, 16GB, 1TB SSD). This isn’t low cost, however in case you are a laptop computer with the capabilities talked about above, you’ll shortly notice that there aren’t a whole lot of opponents round.

In the event you omit the sturdiness or the additional lightweight, the competitors will improve. There are extra inexpensive laptops that may very well be a lot slower (Core M CPU), or really feel like plastic (LG gram). Nonetheless, this isn’t the person expertise the X1 Carbon was designed for. X1 Carbon customers are in all probability not seeking to save a bit at buy time. As an alternative, they need a care-free high-performance and sturdy laptop computer which may simply face up to frequent journey and in-the-field work circumstances.

Warranty1: For frequent vacationers, it’s value noting that the “X1 Carbon comes with a standard worldwide warranty (1-3 years, selectable at order time). That means that you can get help in 160 countries. We work around the world so your business can too.” (Lenovo official ThinkPad X1 Gen 5 web page)

Total product ranking: 9/10

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

Trương Chí Kiệt

Tôi là Trương Chí Kiệt người điều hành sáng lạp website Gialaipc, tôi chia sẽ tiếp , thủ thuật hướng dẫn tất tần tật về công nghệ, điện tử ...

Trả lời

Email của bạn sẽ không được hiển thị công khai. Các trường bắt buộc được đánh dấu *