LAS VEGAS: LENOVO unveiled its third-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook this week, featuring Intel's 5th-generation Core processor to bring the best possible performance for the form factor.
We got a chance to play with the device while runnign between the booths at CES 2015.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon looks all but identical to its 2014 predecessor, with the same black finish and red detailing.
But while the updated features are subtle, they are very welcome ones. The updated laptop features an even thinner and lighter chassis, weighing just under 1.3kg and measuring 17.7mm thick, almost a full millimetre thinner than last year's model which measured 18.5mm.
The laptop felt especially light and thin in our hands and we can see it making an ideal laptop for travel and/or business trips.
Another new feature is a PCIe SSD storage in a similar vein to the MacBook Air, which will allow users to take advantage of the benefits of faster on-board SSD drive storage. The laptop will ship with up to 512GB drives.
The Thinkpad X1 Carbon (2015) is available in touchscreen and non-touchscreen versions. The demo unit we tried boasted a 14in, 10-point multi-touch, with a WQHD in-plane switching (IPS) display.
As well as being nicely responsive to the touch, the new Thinkpad X1 Carbon's screen was also fairly pleasant to look at. Using the Thinkpad X1 Carbon in the brightly lit showroom floor the ultrabook's display proved suitably bright and remained legible even when hit with stray light. We were also impressed with its viewing angles, with text remaining crisp even when viewing the screen from the side.
Colours were also suitably vibrant and, while not as crisp as the Retina displays seen on Apple Macbooks, the Thinkpad X1 Carbon's screen was far better than those seen on most competing Windows 8 ultrabooks.
The laptop will be available with FHD display options.
Performance and software
Lenovo said that it didn't go for an Intel Core M design with the upgrade and instead opted for the chipmaker's latest 5th-gen Core processor. The model we tested was running a Core i7 chip, so felt super fast in our hands-on.
It seemed to handle Windows 8.1 very well, with no lag when swiping between pages, and programs popped up almost as soon as we selected them. It also handled everything we threw it at with ease.
Beyond its performance boosting powers, the real benefit of Intel's new Broadwell chip architecture is its ability to boost ultrabooks' battery lives. Intel claims that thanks to its more energy efficient design, Broadwell chips are able to offer better battery life. For this reason, Lenovo lists the Thinkpad X1 Carbon as being able to last for 10 hours of regular use from one charge, one hour more than last year's Broadwell model.
Intel's Core update packs in 35 percent more transistors than in Intel's previous 4th-generation Haswell CPU, while also shrinking die size by 37 percent, allowing for super powerful machines with form factors like the XPS 13, so expect many more like it to pop up from other OEMs later this year.
In terms of other features, there's wireless connectivity in the form of 802.11ac Wi-Fi and there's a selection of USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI output thrown in.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon starts at $1,249 and will be available in the US from January. UK release dates are yet to be announced. µ