Notebook review – Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 CarbonThe new ThinkPad X1 Carbon is Lenovo’s halo entry into the high-end business Ultrabook market. This product options the terribly latest in technology as well as a WHQD (2560×1440 resolution) show with bit support, carbon fiber construction, backlit adjustive keyboard, fourth-gen Intel dual-core processors and up to 512GB of SSD storage. We’re keen on the planning however have some grumbles regarding the keyboard and touchpad that ultimately build it come short of the competition.

2014 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 CarbonBuild and style

The X1 Carbon’s exterior style has the all-black business look we’ve come back to expect over the years from ThinkPads except this one is far sleeker; it’s simply eight-tenths of an in. skinny at the very best purpose and a shade but 3 pounds. The chassis is exceptionally robust despite this because of its carbon fiber construction. The lid’s strength is impressive; it’s the foremost rigid I’ve seen on Associate in Nursing Ultrabook. i used to be unable to induce ripples to seem within the show even applying Associate in Nursing excessive quantity of pressure on the rear. Lid strength is Associate in Nursing usually unmarked attribute of build quality for notebooks that see frequent handling and travel; the board will distort and fail over time if pressures like that have an effect on it.

The show hinge is stiff enough to stop any excessive unsteady once touching the show but stiff enough 2 hands area unit needed to open it. The X1 Carbon’s work and end is extremely good; all of its items work along tightly and with regularity.

2014 ThinkPad X1 Carbon bottomSeven screws hold the X1 Carbon’s bottom cowl to the remainder of the chassis; these area unit luckily Phillips screws in contrast to different Ultrabooks that use Torx or another proprietary style. The X1 Carbon’s choices for user upgrades area unit terribly limited; the RAM is non-upgradeable since it’s soldered to the motherboard and there are not any open slots. It accepts solely the new M.2 specification SSDs that area unit new and have restricted choice at the time of this writing. Besides the SSD, the sole user-changeable part is that the wireless card and therefore the X1 Carbon already comes with the simplest presently obtainable, the Intel Dual-Band Wireless AC-7260.

Input and Output Ports

The X1 Carbon features a restricted choice of input/output ports of course from Associate in Nursing Ultrabook however covers the fundamentals with 2 USB three.0 ports, HDMI and mini-DisplayPort. LAN property is provided via electronic device (the chassis is simply too skinny to accommodate the port, apparently). sadly there’s no intrinsical media card reader, thus you’ll would like Associate in Nursing external card reader if you would like to transfer pictures from your photographic camera. All image descriptions area unit left to right.
Keyboard and Touchpad

2014 ThinkPad X1 Carbon keyboardThe X1 Carbon features a large ‘Chiclet’ vogue keyboard; it’s white semiconductor diode backlighting with 3 levels of brightness as well as absolutely off. this is often what Lenovo calls Associate in Nursing adjustive keyboard – notice that the top-row operate keys ([F1], [F2] then on) area unit absent; a touch-sensitive strip resides in their place with a digital background. totally different functions show looking on the mode; as an example the quality operate layout displays the normal [F1] – [F12] keys. different modes embrace Home that displays volume and screen brightness controls, fast access to go looking, Windows eight Apps and therefore the piece Tool; applications programme mode that has back, refresh and new tab buttons; and at last net Conference mode that has mike settings and levels.

The adjustive keyboard strip may be a notable exercise in innovation however falls short on usability. I appreciated its handy auto-switch feature that changes the mode looking on the application; it switches to applications programme mode mechanically once exploitation web somebody as an example. The operate keys handily show up once the [Alt] secret’s ironed likewise. the final usability issue is that there’s a close to complete lack of tactile feedback; you’re unsure a “key press” registered till one thing happens on-screen. And whereas the keys area unit in their expected positions, it’s powerful to use them by feel since there are not any physical keys. One specific Associate in Nursingnoyance is that the operate keys don’t show up instantly once pressing [Alt]; keyboard route junkies wont to pressing [Alt] + [F4] to shut an application as an example can realize this virtually unendurable since that route is typically one fluid motion however on this keyboard is 2 parts; pressing [Alt], looking forward to the operate keys to show then sound wherever [F4] ought to be. It’s but ideal and not the least bit intuitive. Overall the adjustive keyboard’s deserves fail to counteract the deficiencies it bestows upon old bit typists and people that think about commonplace keyboard shortcuts.

I have middling feelings regarding the remainder of the keyboard. The tactile feedback is superb primarily as a result of in contrast to several Ultrabooks, the X1 Carbon’s keys have lots of travel (distance between ironed and un-pressed positions) for a communicative typewriting expertise. The keyboard receptacle has no flex and therefore the keys themselves build a subdued sound, smart for operating in quiet environments. The middling feelings come back from layout issues. The Caps Lock secret’s gone and replaced with the house and finish keys; to alter Caps Lock, press the left Shift key double. this can throw you for a loop if you’re a frequent user of the said keys particularly if you employ different computers besides this one (thus switch between layouts and ne’er changing into at home with this one). The diacritical mark (~) key has been captive from underneath the [Esc] key to the proper of the spacebar and therefore the Page Up and Page Down keys area unit currently a part of the arrow key cluster.

In addition, the type and Delete keys area unit oddly joined along within the same house the backspacer would unremarkably occupy by itself. moreover there are not any Printscreen or Insert keys. I realize these layout decisions hard considering the number of assets obtainable on this chassis to easily use a consistent layout; thus why do this? I’d excuse the changes if they improved productivity however cyber web result is way within the different direction. a few years back I would’ve ne’er forseen the day that I had such basic problems with a ThinkPad keyboard, the once gold commonplace. It saddened American state to kind what I simply typewritten (not to say I did thus on the X1 Carbon’s keyboard).

2014 ThinkPad X1 Carbon clickpad and TrackPointThe touchpad is truly a clickpad; displace anyplace to supply a click. like varied different manufacturers UN agency tried clickpad implementations, Lenovo’s version falls short in usefulness compared to a conventional two-button touchpad setup. The clickpad is suitably sized for a 14? screen and features a pleasant matte surface; the problem is but that the clicks area unit inaccurate. The clickpad surface has an excessive amount of travel that makes it feel trampoline-like and as a result, imprecise. The clicks area unit additionally abundant too loud; somebody across a comparatively quiet room will simply hear a click. Per ThinkPad tradition, the X1 Carbon features a inform stick within the center of the keyboard however in contrast to ThinkPad tradition, no dedicated set of buttons; awkward is that the best thanks to describe exploitation the clickpad as buttons particularly since you’ve got to press all the method at very cheap right of the clickpad to perform a right-click.

Screen and Speakers

The X1 Carbon is obtainable with 2 14-inch show choices: the bottom 1600×900 resolution Tennessee panel and therefore the upgraded WQHD version on our review unit. The WQHD show is cutting edge; it options Associate in Nursing ultra-high 2560×1440 resolution (a commonplace 1920×1080 (1080p) show has simply fifty six of the pixels by comparison), anti-glare surface, IPS panel technology and ten bit purpose support. Color depth and distinction area unit outstanding; something with color stands out. This show is lots bright at three hundred nits, enough to use outdoors on a sunny day. Backlight uniformity is mostly smart although there’s some harm from round the edges particularly very cheap. The IPS technology is what permits this show to possess unlimited viewing angles; the image appearance constant in spite of what angle you’re viewing. Despite this I did notice the brightness varied considerably looking on whether or not the show was viewed head-on or not. Changes in color were bottom but.

In terms of sound performance there area unit 2 little side-facing stereo speakers placed underneath the palm rests. they need a astonishingly spacious soundstage and find louder than expected. The bass is faint however gift. This setup suffices for private listening however 2 individuals looking at a picture show would possible be left wanting.