Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen) review: Flagship ultraportable maintains the quality Review

Lenovo’s flagship company laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, has arrived at its eighth technology, and the most current model carries on to drive at the boundaries of overall performance and portability. It athletics a fourteen-inch screen with up to 4K (three,840 x 2,a hundred and sixty) resolution, up to 2TB of SSD storage, and weighs a shade above 1kg. You can devote in between £1,141.sixty six (ex. VAT £1,369.ninety nine inc. VAT) and £1,716.sixty six (ex. VAT £2,059.ninety nine inc. VAT) on an off-the-shelf configuration, or you can customise. 

In the US, price ranges start at $one,331.40 and top out at $2,207.40.

Very last year’s seventh Technology ThinkPad X1 Carbon obtained plaudits for its ability in a gentle, difficult chassis. The X1 Carbon is not without rivals, of system, and this 12 months the important rival is almost certainly Dell’s refreshed XPS line.

The Dell XPS fifteen I reviewed lately packs a fifteen.six-inch screen into a chassis measuring 344mm huge by 230mm deep by 18mm thick. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon (eighth Gen) has a fourteen-inch screen in a chassis with a desktop footprint which is only a little bit lesser (323mm x 218mm). Lenovo would do effectively to figure out a way to narrow its screen bezels to rival Dell’s XPS. The bezels on the X1 Carbon are recognizable on the small edges (calculated at 6mm), additional so at the top (calculated at 12mm) and even additional so on the bottom (additional difficult to evaluate properly, but at least 20mm). Dell’s InfinityEdge style improves screen peak, lets for additional screen in the chassis, and provides what is, for me, the very best screen usability encounter I have experienced for a whilst. The bottom bezel on Lenovo’s flagship laptop looks broad in comparison. 

As famous, the Dell XPS fifteen is 18mm thick whilst the ThinkPad X1 Carbon eighth Gen is slimmer at fourteen.9mm. Also, the fifteen.six-inch XPS fifteen weighs one.8kg, whilst the ThinkPad X1 Carbon eighth Gen has a a lot additional bag-pleasant commencing excess weight of one.09kg.


The fourteen-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon (eighth Gen) is Lenovo’s quality company ultraportable, weighing in at just above 1kg.

Visuals: Lenovo

Even with its gentle excess weight, Lenovo will make no compromises on construct excellent. Lenovo suggests the X1 Carbon has passed twelve military-grade necessities, which includes for chilly, dust and liquid ingress. Though I failed to examination all of these elements, I can say that the chassis feels sturdy, with just a slight quantity of give in the lid.

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The black chassis with the ThinkPad X1 brand in just one corner of the lid, its crimson gentle above the ‘i’ indicating the laptop is switched on, is extremely familiar. Lenovo likes regularity in its branding, and outwardly this ThinkPad X1 hardly differs from its the latest predecessors.

Internally too, you will find a lot that is familiar. The keyboard is backlit, its two intensities toggled by the Fn important/room bar combo. The QWERTY keys are massive, their pot-belly supplying them just a tiny little bit additional of a goal for the fingers than usual, and their a little bit concave shaping and recognizable bounceback making for a at ease typing encounter. They have a comfortable-contact experience that provides to the beneficial motion and they simply click quietly. The Enter important is massive, and Lenovo has even managed to make the arrow keys, which normally undergo on lesser keyboards, rather sizeable by extending the keyboard region beneath them a number of millimetres into the wrist rest. The Fn important row now features a pair of keys for making phone calls — useful for people of us who are paying out most of the time operating remotely. This all provides up to just one of the most at ease laptop keyboard ordeals around.  


The style, structure and motion of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s keyboard will make for just one of the very best typing ordeals obtainable on a laptop.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Lenovo’s trademark TrackPoint sits in its usual property in between the G, H and B keys, and you will find a three-button array in between the room bar and the touchpad for use with it. This implies the touchpad alone is a little bit fewer deep than usual, which does make working with it a tiny awkward. There is an NFC contact point developed into it, and a fingerprint sensor to its proper.

Though it has a a little bit larger sized chassis, the touchpad on the Dell XPS fifteen is proportionately a lot larger sized than the X1 Carbon’s, which feels cramped by comparison. I famous its smallish dimensions in my critique of very last year’s model, and arguably it is time for Lenovo to make the touchpad larger sized. Following the Dell XPS encounter, big is stunning when it arrives to touchpads, in my view.

The screen lays flat to a desk, but does not swivel any further more. If you want that, there are loads of 360-degree convertible choices in the Lenovo stable. The screen in my critique unit was a fourteen-inch IPS panel with FHD (one,920 x one,080) resolution, 400 nits brightness and an anti-glare coating. It is wonderful to have a non-reflective screen, and it goes loads brilliant ample for operating indoors. Other choices involve a 4K, 500 nits glossy IPS panel with HDR400 and Dolby Vision, or an FHD anti-glare contact screen with 400 nits brightness.


Protection options involve the webcam’s ThinkShutter.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

There is a 720p webcam over the screen with IR and Lenovo’s ThinkShutter, a manual slider that handles the camera lens. This isn’t really reliable throughout all the preconfigured designs, so double-examine if you want it.

SEE: Windows 10: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

Lenovo works by using the Dolby Atmos four-speaker procedure, which features profiles for use instances which includes movie, tunes, voice and gaming, has a dynamic profiling placing that will adjust relying on what you might be listening to, and lets you to help save three personalised profiles. Two grilles sit on the underside of the chassis the place they are in risk of remaining muffled, and two are over the keyboard. Audio output is outstanding: I favored very last year’s speaker setup, and this 12 months I uncovered bass tones suitably bassy, spoken text very clear, and basic streamed video clip and tunes extremely satisfactory. As in advance of, fidelity does drop if you drive the quantity to 100{d11068cee6a5c14bc1230e191cd2ec553067ecb641ed9b4e647acef6cc316fdd}, but at eighty{d11068cee6a5c14bc1230e191cd2ec553067ecb641ed9b4e647acef6cc316fdd} it is great, and I in no way felt the need to have to go higher.

Lenovo equips the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (eighth Gen) variety with processors up to a 10th-technology Intel Main i7, 16GB of RAM and a alternative of two batteries, with the higher-potential just one in all of the pre-configured designs. Lenovo statements that this 51Wh battery provides up to 19.5 several hours of lifestyle. All designs have integrated Intel UHD 620 Graphics and Wi-Fi six (802.11ax).

ThinkShield protection is an optional additional and features PrivacyGuard, which decreases the screen’s angle of vision so that everyone sitting future to you would have problem peering at its content material. It also features PrivacyAlert — software program that functions with the IR camera to difficulty a pop-up inform if another person is on the lookout above your shoulder. 


Remaining aspect (top): USB-C Thunderbolt three (always on) USB-C thunderbolt three and network extension for Ethernet dongle/dock USB three.one HDMI three.5mm audio in/out. Right aspect (over): electric power button USB three.one Kensington lock slot.

Visuals: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The electric power switch, on the proper edge of the chassis, has a tiny white LED to enable you know it is on, and pulses if you near the lid without powering down (just like the crimson dot above the ThinkPad logo’s ‘i’ on the lid). There are two USB-C Thunderbolt three ports (just one of which doubles for charging the laptop), two USB three.one ports, a full-dimensions HDMI port, and a three.5mm combo headphone/mic jack. A proprietary connector caters for an RJ-45 Ethernet dongle. Cell LTE broadband is integrated into some designs.

The preconfigured designs start at £1,141.sixty six (ex. VAT £1,369.ninety nine inc. VAT). Not all choices are outlined underneath — just the least and most highly-priced, and my critique unit, which falls in between the two at £1,399.ninety nine (ex. VAT £1,679.ninety nine inc. VAT).

  • Intel Main i5-10210U, Windows 10 House, fourteen.-inch one,920 x one,two hundred anti-glare 400 nits non contact screen, Intel UHD Graphics, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
    £1,141.sixty six (ex. VAT £1,369.ninety nine inc. VAT)
  • Intel Main i7-10510U, Windows 10 Pro, fourteen.-inch one,920 x one,two hundred anti-glare 400 nits non contact screen, Intel UHD Graphics, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
    £1,399.ninety nine (ex. VAT £1,679.ninety nine inc. VAT)
  • Intel Main i7-10610U, Windows 10 Pro, fourteen.-inch one,920 x one,two hundred anti-glare 400 nits non contact screen, Intel UHD Graphics, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
    £1,716.sixty six (ex. VAT £2,059.ninety nine inc. VAT)

As famous previously, Lenovo statements 19.5 several hours of battery lifestyle for the high-potential 51Wh battery, which I suspect would be a little bit of a stretch to attain in daily use. As usual, I streamed video clip by means of various normal operating classes, working a normal productiveness workload involving producing into net apps and examining internet sites. Monitor brightness was immediately established to eighty{d11068cee6a5c14bc1230e191cd2ec553067ecb641ed9b4e647acef6cc316fdd}, which I uncovered great. 

Immediately after three several hours the battery fell from 100{d11068cee6a5c14bc1230e191cd2ec553067ecb641ed9b4e647acef6cc316fdd} to 63{d11068cee6a5c14bc1230e191cd2ec553067ecb641ed9b4e647acef6cc316fdd}, on which foundation several employees might attain all-day battery lifestyle. Nonetheless, that 19.5 several hours looks rather hopeful. The superior information is that the battery charges speedily: Lenovo suggests it can go from -eighty{d11068cee6a5c14bc1230e191cd2ec553067ecb641ed9b4e647acef6cc316fdd} in an hour.


Picture: Lenovo


Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon carries on to evolve, and stays an exceptional ultraportable laptop for company consumers. The keyboard is a pleasure to use, you will find a superior variety of screen choices, audio excellent is up there with the very best laptops, and mobile pros will respect the variety of protection options on give.

The only problem marks surround the screen bezels and the touchpad: Lenovo requires to think about how it might shrink the former and grow the latter.

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