LAPTOP MAKER Lenovo's revised Thinkpad X1 might simply have the Carbon moniker attached to it but we were left in no doubt that it gives the Macbook Air a run for its money.
From the front, Lenovo's Thinkpad X1 Carbon looks just like any other Thinkpad made in the last 20 years, which is no bad thing. The difference comes when you look at just how thin the device is, as Lenovo has done a brilliant job of packing considerable hardware into a very thin chassis.
Compared to its real predecessor, the Thinkpad X301, the difference in thickness is considerable though the difference in weight is not. Lenovo has moved the Thinkpad range to using chiclet-style keyboards, which is a worry as Thinkpads were always lauded for having the best laptop keyboards around.
Lenovo might have deferred to fashion with the chiclet keyboard but the keys are surprisingly large and have good tactile feedback. This reviewer, who currently uses a Thinkpad X301, didn't find the keyboard as tactile, though it still puts most other desktop, let alone laptop, keyboards to shame.
Lenovo has clearly worked on the display since the Thinkpad X301. The firm's decision to mount a 14in 1600x900 display is par for the course but where it does excel, especially compared to previous Thinkpads - save perhaps the X200 series with the "high quality" display option - is in significantly improved viewing angles.
Lenovo has done a good job of making the X1 Carbon feel tight and well made like most Thinkpads despite its 1.35Kg weight. However, diehard Thinkpad fans might find the lack of a removable battery and multi-purpose drive bays concerning, and Lenovo requires users to buy a dongle should they want to use an Ethernet port.
Despite Lenovo's decision to limit the X1 Carbon's expansion capabilities, it has provided ample connectivity with USB3 and Displayport sockets plus WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Lenovo is clearly aiming the Thinkpad X1 Carbon at executives that want a thin laptop, not road warriors who need a bit of everything including extended battery life. The firm has done a top job with the Thinkpad X1 Carbon, but the Thinkpad X230 is still a better choice if you want to have more options while on the road. µ