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Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon: Slim 14-incher for the mobile professional

A look at the Thinkpad X1 Carbon from this fall’s IFA show.

According to Lenovo, the X1 Carbon should be the thinnest 14-inch ultrabook computer. Or at least it was when it was first made public. Since then, the Swedish launch of it has been postponed time and time again and only now, in the middle of the wave of Windows 8 computers comes this traditional but elegant business computer.

So if it is still thinnest when you read this, we dare not say. But it is thin. When folded, it rises 2.3 centimeters from the table surface, but then it rests on two pairs of sturdy rubber feet, so the computer chassis itself is well under two centimeters thick. The weight is also low at 1.36 kilos. That’s smaller than many 13-inch ultrabooks.

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon
Contactless. The X1 Carbon has very few external connections, but all the more possibilities for mobile connection. The power cord has a slightly different connector, and looks mostly like an overgrown USB port.

Features for the company
The chassis is, as the name suggests, in carbon fiber and the shell in the nice matte plastic that many Lenovo computers boast. The build quality is impeccable and despite the slim design and low weight, it feels extremely durable. However, the cover is perhaps a little easy to scratch. A good computer case is therefore recommended.

The X1 Carbon has tpm and vpro support, a fingerprint reader and the Pro version of Windows 7. And like all better Thinkpads, two ways to control the mouse, touchpad or trackpad in the middle of the keyboard.

For being a computer intended primarily for business, it is otherwise rather spartanly equipped, especially when it comes to connections. There are only two USB ports, one of which is USB 2, a display port, and an SD card reader. That’s all. No smart card, no network port, no docking option. And you who also want to use it at home may lack an HDMI output. The screen is really good except for the viewing angle and 1600 x 900 pixels on a 14 inch screen looks really good.

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon

Tablet? One thing that Lenovo advertises is that the screen can be folded back a full 180 degrees. We don’t really know why you would want to do that, but it works just fine.

Fast wifi and built-in 3g
Instead, it is the mobile connection that applies. Wi-fi with really good reception, Bluetooth 4 and built-in 3g modem should keep the user constantly connected.

Performance is good if not spectacular. The computer is sold in several different combinations of hardware. In our example, there is a lively dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with integrated Intel graphics, a large SSD and eight gigabytes of internal memory. Mostly very quiet. Ssd and passive cooling if not pushed too hard. Even when fans start, it is not particularly disturbing.

The computer we tested came with Windows 7 Pro. Whether this will be upgraded to Windows 8 Pro remains to be seen. On the other hand, we don’t think touch interfaces and apps are the first thing a user of this computer needs.

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon (3460-2SG)

Manufacturer: Lenovo, www.lenovo.se
Processor: Intel Core i5 3427U, 1.8 GHz dual core
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000
Memory: 8GB ddr3
Storage: 256 GB ssd
DVD: No.
Connections: Usb 3, usb 2, mini display port, headset.
Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n, bluetooth 4, 3g.
Card reader: Sd, sdhc, sdxc, mmc.
Screen: 14 inch matte tn, 1600 x 900 pixels.
Brightness: 289 cd/m2
Webcam: 0.9 megapixels.
Operating system: Windows 7 Professional, 64 bit.
Battery life: 8 hours 10 minutes (low load) 1 hour 32 minutes (high load).
Sound level50 cm distance: 0 – 38 dBA.
Size: 32.8 x 22.9 x 2.3 cm.
Weight: 1.36 kg.
Award: SEK 19,600.

Plus: Thin. Well built. Good mobile connection.
Minus: Get connections. High price.
Grade: (8 out of 10)

Pcmark Vantage Score
Total: 12352
Pictures: 7393
Television and film: 5164
Game: 8732
Music: 16095
Communication: 12755
Productivity: 16721
Hard disk: 40283

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