Home / Laptops / Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen) review: A top-quality 14-inch business ultraportable, with excellent security features

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen) review: A top-quality 14-inch business ultraportable, with excellent security features

The discharge of a brand new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a much-anticipated tournament within the pc yr. Now on its seventh technology, this gadget is, for lots of, the standard-setter for high-end ultraportable computing. The yearly improve is an opportunity for Lenovo to sing their own praises its perfect cell era for enterprise customers, and this yr we have now a good lighter pc, as much as a 4K display, as much as 1TB of garage, plus the most recent Eighth Era Intel processors. Naturally this is not a pc for the cash-strapped, with costs beginning at £1,429.99 (inc. VAT; £1,191.66 ex. VAT).

Bearing in mind the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (seventh Gen) packs a 14-inch display, it is exceptionally mild, beginning at 1.09kg. Probably Lenovo’s design workforce simply could not deliver it in beneath the magic 1kg mark, however it is nonetheless an outstanding fulfillment — ultimate yr’s style weighed in at 1.13kg.


The seventh technology ThinkPad X1 Carbon runs on Eighth-gen Core i5 or i7 processors with as much as 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD garage. Display choices run from FHD/300nits to 4K/500nits, with PrivacyGuard to be had at the FHD/400nits style. 

Pictures: Lenovo

The chassis does not sacrifice any power in pursuit of low weight. The X1 Carbon (seventh Gen) meets MIL-STD 810G, because of this it is just right to be used in excessive chilly and warmth, in addition to ready to live on drops and knocks. The construct is as cast as we now have come to be expecting from the X1 Carbon sequence: there is a little flex within the lid, however no longer sufficient to purpose alarm, whilst the bottom may be very cast.

SEE: 20 professional tricks to make Home windows 10 paintings the way in which you wish to have (loose PDF)    


The 4K display style comes with a carbon fibre weave trend at the height quilt.

Symbol: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

With a most thickness of 14.95mm, the perimeters can accommodate full-size connectors slightly than mini variations, for essentially the most section (see beneath). The taper to the entrance isn’t as nice as on some laptops — perhaps that is why the thickness of the entrance edge isn’t documented (even supposing at 10mm it is truly no purpose for embarrassment). The desktop footprint of at 323mm broad by way of 217mm thick is not a lot more than a sheet of A4 paper.

Two finishes are to be had: each are black, with the choice of a carbon fibre weave end to the highest quilt on 4K fashions. My evaluate unit had this end, which appears good, even supposing I am not positive I would leave out it if it had been absent.

Most sensible ZDNET Evaluations

This isn’t a 360-degree convertible pc. For that you will have to wait (no longer very lengthy) till Lenovo releases the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (4th Gen). Right here the display will hinge some distance sufficient to take a seat flat on a table, however no additional.

The 14-inch display sits in bezels whose intensity Lenovo does no longer care to proportion — in all probability as a result of they do not set any data. Via my measurements the facet bezels to the periphery are 6mm broad, whilst the highest bezel measures 12mm. 

The display itself these days is available in 3 other variations in off-the-shelf configurations. The entry-level style has an FHD (1,920 x 1,zero80 pixel) IPS panel with most brightness of 400nits and an anti-glare end. The mid-range style has the similar panel at 300nits with contact improve. The highest-end style provides 2,560-by-1,440 answer and 300nits however no contact improve.

There may be the 4K (3840 x 2160) IPS display with DolbyVision, HDR400 and 10-bit color, which I used to be despatched. This non-touch display is sweet to paintings with, being sharp, shiny (500nits) and transparent. 

Lenovo has applied an ‘eye care’ mode which reduces the blue mild at the display. This will likely be welcome to any person wanting to paintings into the small hours.

Probably the most pc’s safety features is PrivacyGuard, which reduces the viewing angles of the display in order that others sitting close by can not take a look at what you are doing over your shoulders. If this sounds alluring, you must word that it is not to be had at the 4K display, which supposed I wasn’t ready to check PrivacyGuard.

In case you are prepared to make use of this pc for multimedia, it is value noting the standard of the audio subsystem. The Dolby Atmos machine is determined by stereo audio system whose grilles sit down simply above the keyboard. Those pump out top quality sound: track is impressively bass-rich, and even supposing constancy is misplaced at height quantity you do not truly wish to pass there — I discovered 80% was once lots, and far of the time I used to be proud of 60%.

In case you are tempted by way of the 4K display, you must know that it hammered the 51Wh battery on my evaluate unit. Lenovo quotes battery lifetime of ‘as much as’ 18.three hours, however the 4K display may not ship that: the pre-configured display brightness of 100% for running on battery energy fed on 28% of a complete battery in two hours. Losing to 80% brightness (it wasn’t comfy to move beneath that mark) diminished the battery to 43% after any other two hours. Throughout this era I used to be doing a mixture of mainstream duties over a wireless connection: writing right into a internet app, streaming track and internet surfing.

Thankfully the X1 Carbon (seventh Gen) helps Speedy Price, which replenished my evaluate unit from 56% to 100% in an hour.  


The keyboard is backlit and spill-resistant, and has a good, clicky motion. The touchpad contains an NFC touchpoint, and there is a fingerprint reader to its proper.

Symbol: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The spill-resistant backlit keyboard is as much as Lenovo’s standard excessive ordinary. The pot-bellied keys are sufficiently big for full-speed contact typing, and the Input secret’s double peak and effectively broad. Even the arrow keys are properly sized — they are no longer the slim lozenges you get in smaller-format laptops. The keys, which jump again effectively when pressed, have an audible ‘click on’, which will likely be specifically noticeable if you are a heavy-handed typist.

If the rest suffers from this pc’s fairly small footprint, it is the touchpad. It has to house Lenovo’s trademark trio of TrackPoint buttons, to be used along side the enduring crimson pointing stick that sits between the G, H and B keys. The fairly truncated wrist relaxation does not go away numerous house for the touchpad itself, which feels broad sufficient, however is usually a little deeper. There is an NFC touchpoint constructed into it, and a fingerprint reader to the suitable.

READ MORE: PC marketplace proportion achieve lifts Lenovo’s general earnings to $12.five billion

The PrivacyGuard choice and fingerprint sensor are amongst a spread of safety features, together with discrete TPM (dTPM) and a camera-blocking ThinkShutter slider. The ones considering folks sitting subsequent to them glancing over at their displays may also be considering folks status at the back of them. The IR digital camera has a function referred to as PrivacyAlert which gives you a pop-up notification if any individual is taking a look over your shoulder. Notice, although, that the hybrid IR digital camera is a configurable choice, and of the 3 variations on Lenovo’s UK site it is just on the most costly. 

Listed here are the 3 off-the-shelf choices to be had in the United Kingdom on the time of writing (customers can personalise those if they need): 

  • Intel Core i5-8265U, Home windows 10 House, 14-inch FHD (1920×1080) IPS 400nits anti-glare non-touch show, Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
    £1,429.99 (inc. VAT; £1,191.66 ex. VAT)
  • Intel Core i7-8565U, Home windows 10 Professional, 14-inch FHD (1920×1080) IPS 300nits anti-glare contact show, Intel UHD Graphics 620, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
    £1,769.19 (inc. VAT; £1,474.32 ex. VAT)
  • Intel Core i7-8665U, Home windows 10 Professional, 14-inch WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS 300nits anti-glare non-touch show, Intel UHD Graphics 620, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Fibocom L850-GL 4G LTE CAT9 cell broadband, IR/720p HD digital camera with microphone
    £2,132.39 (inc. VAT; £1,776.99 ex. VAT)

Proper edge (height): energy button; USB three.1. Left edge (above): USB-C Thunderbolt three/energy in; USB-C Thunderbolt three; Ethernet/docking (proprietary); USB three.1; HDMI; three.5mm audio.

Symbol: Lenovo

The SIM slot for the built-in cell broadband (if specified) sits at the again of the chassis. At the proper edge there is only a full-size USB three.1 port, plus the facility button. The left edge homes the whole thing else: a USB-C Thunderbolt three port doubles up as the facility connector, leaving a 2d USB-C Thunderbolt three port loose to be used. There is additionally a proprietary Ethernet port that calls for a £19.99 (inc. VAT) adapter; this may be the place you connect the Lenovo dock if you wish to have extra connection choices. On-board connectivity is finished by way of any other USB three.1 port, a complete length HDMI port and a three.5mm headset jack. 



Symbol: Lenovo

Lenovo does not trade the overall design of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon yr on yr, as it does not wish to: the unique glance is well-established. However squeezing a 14-inch display right into a chassis that is just a coloration over 1kg is an actual feat, particularly because the seventh technology style provides business-friendly options like Eye Care mode, PrivacyGuard and PrivacyAlert along truly just right audio system. 

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon has all the time carried a top rate worth, and clearly the extra choices you upload, the upper the fee. Consider carefully in regards to the 4K display choice: it will sound alluring, however you’ll be able to sacrifice contact improve and PrivacyGuard, and it is a actual drain at the battery. Believe brightness when configuring your display choices too — 300nits may no longer lower it if you happen to paintings outdoor so much.


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