Hands-on with Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga
LAS VEGAS: LENOVO DIDN’T MAKE too much of a fuss at this year’s CES, announcing incremental updates to its flagship ThinkPad X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga laptops alongside its, er, Assistant-powered Smart Clock.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon has been put on a diet and is now the skinniest iteration yet, despite also receiving an under the hood upgrade which should result in even-better battery life. The bendy ThinkPad X1 Yoga, on the other hand, received an all-new aluminium chassis, making it Lenovo’s lightest biz laptop to date.
We took a tour of the new ThinkPads at Lenovo’s CES booth this week; read on for our first impressions.
Design and display
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon hasn’t received too much of a refresh in the design department. Rather, it retains its legendary durable aesthetic and supreme keyboard which has become synonymous with the ThinkPad brand.
It’s smaller than the last-gen model, though, and earns the clunky title of the “world’s lightest commercial 14in laptop” at 1.08kg and 14.95mm thick. The biz-focused machine also now features a textured carbon fibre finish on its lid, although this remains satisfyingly smooth to touch.
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga has seen a bigger overhaul, however. It controversially ditches rugged carbon fibre in favour of an aluminium chassis, which Lenovo swoons makes the flexible laptop both thinner (15.2mm) and lighter (1.35kg) than last year’s model.
Thankfully, the Yoga doesn’t look like your run-of-the-mill aluminium ultrabook, maintaining the sharp, durable business aesthetic of ThinkPad laptops. It still offers the unique hinged design that allows it to transform from a laptop into an albeit wieldy tablet, and remains just as rugged as previous models, boasting the MIL-STD-810G standard of toughness
Both the X1 Carbon and Yoga have seen welcome changes to the display. The 14in laptops are now offered in a 4K UHD variant for the first time, and this model comes offered with Dolby Vision support, unlike the QHD and FHD variants.
Lenovo has finally sorted out the ThinkShutter, which lets you cover up the webcam for added privacy, a feature that can be found on the Yoga for the first time. The shutter now doesn’t mask the IR camera, so you can continue to use Windows Hello login when it’s closed.
Both the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga have been given a refresh under the hood; they now ship with the latest eighth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 U-Series processors and offer up to 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB of PCIe SSD storage.
While we didn’t have enough time to test the full performance credentials of the new ThinkPads, Intel’s U-Series processors should make the laptops more capable than most thin and light laptops, which typically opt for the chipmakers low-power Y-series chips. The upgraded internals should also make for souped-up battery life too, but Lenovo has yet to cough on exact figures.
The port selection remains solid on both ThinkPads, too. The X1 Carbon, despite its slimmed-down design, still includes two USB 3.1 ports, two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, a USB-C charging port, HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack and a Kensington lock.
The X1 Yoga, which offers docking support for the first time, packs two USB 3.1 ports, two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a holder for the built-in digital stylus
Lenovo’s new ThinkPad laptops bring with them some subtle yet welcome upgrades that will no doubt appeal to those in the market for a new biz laptop; they’re now thinner and lighter than before, offers souped-up internals in the form of Intel’s latest 8th-gen CPUs and now offer optional 4K displays.
And they still remain the best for business, offering docking support, ThinkShutter and a whole host of ports and connections that you’re unlikely to found on many other thin and light laptops. µ
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