Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10): Best laptop for professionals?

Lenovo’s ThinkPad series is considered by many to be the benchmark for business laptops, and the X1 Carbon is its most iconic model. Lenovo’s new computer (10th generation) has a 14-inch screen, 12th generation Intel Core processors, touchscreens and, new for this generation, a 1080p webcam. With a base price of €3115 (excl. discount), this is clearly not a cheap model. But is the price justified?

ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10

Build quality

In terms of design, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 offers no surprises. The black chassis is marked by the ThinkPad X1 logo in one corner and Lenovo branding in the opposite corner. The dot above the “i” in “ThinkPad” lights up red when the laptop is on, letting you know if you’ve closed the laptop without shutting it down. Some models have a woven carbon fiber finish on the lid, which gives a two-tone look.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10)

Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNET

The build quality is good, as you would expect from a ThinkPad. The lid is made of carbon fiber and the body of magnesium alloy. I struggled to bend the screen even when I tried, and while there is some play around the keyboard, the corners of the case are solid.

The X1 Carbon is a compact and lightweight portable laptop. The chassis has a footprint of 315.6mm by 222.5mm, for a thickness of 14.95mm at the rear. A small lip in the center of the cover helps you open the machine – an action that is easily performed with one hand, since the balance of weight between the screen and the base means that the bottom of the computer can stay on the desk when the lid is open. The machine weighs only 1.12 kg.

Screen and speakers

The 14-inch screen strikes the perfect balance between convenience and portability. Lenovo uses a 16:10 aspect ratio and offers a wide range of display options. The model I tested had an IPS WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200) touchscreen with a matte finish and 400 nits of brightness. A combination that makes the board comfortable to use.

The 1920 x 1200 display is available with or without touch compatibility. There are also configurations with WQUXGA screen (3840 x 2400 px) or Oled screen (2880 x 1800 px). The computer also benefits from the PrivacyGuard feature, which reduces the readability of the screen to people around the machine.

The machine has four speakers, two on the front and two with vertical grilles on the sides of the keyboard. The sound quality is impeccable: the maximum volume is quite high and although there is a bit of distortion, it is still acceptable. At three-quarters of maximum volume, the distortion disappears. The bass and treble are suitable for listening to rock, and classical music is well reproduced.

Above the screen there is a webcam with a sliding cover. Users can take advantage of facial recognition and presence detection that lock the laptop when the user walks away from their machine. All configurations of this laptop come with a FHD (1080p) camera. If you don’t like facial recognition, there’s a fingerprint reader built into the power button on the keyboard.

Keyboard and trackpad

I found the keyboard to be very comfortable to use, with just the right amount of resistance and rebound. The Enter key is large and tall, and the Fn keys are also a good size. Fans of the Lenovo TrackPoint and its accompanying buttons above the trackpad will be pleased to find them again and again on this machine.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10): keyboard

Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNET

The trackpad itself feels a little small compared to what’s out there today. Lenovo has sacrificed part of its wrist support to make more room for the keyboard. Some users, especially those with large hands, may feel offended by this decision.

A variety of configurations

There is a wide range of configurations with 12th generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors. RAM can go up to 32 GB and storage space up to 2 TB The GPU is an integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics. Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2 are present on all models, while mobile broadband – 4G LTE and 5G (sub-6GHz) – is available as an option.

My test unit had a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1255U processor, 16GB of RAM, Intel Iris Xe graphics, a 512GB SSD, and a WUXGA touchscreen (1920 x 1200) with PrivacyGuard. The machine achieved Geekbench CPU scores of 1543 (single core) and 6732 (multi core).

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10): Ports

Image: Lenovo

For the wired connection, there is a full-size HDMI port, a 3.5mm audio in/out jack, two USB-A ports and two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports. One of these USB ports -C is occupied when the battery is charging. Configurations with mobile broadband also have a Nano SIM slot.

Autonomy

Battery life is probably the biggest issue with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. After three hours (with all default settings, including brightness) of typing in web apps, streaming audio and video, and surfing the web, the battery dropped from 100% to 39%. This suggests a battery life of just under 5 hours in total.

At least fast charging is present and the power brick is small enough to carry around easily. Plugged in the computer at 32% and continued working on it, after 15 minutes the battery was at 48%, after half an hour it was at 62% and after 45 minutes it was at 74%.

Conclusion

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10) is an excellent 14-inch laptop. Extremely well made while remaining lightweight, it offers plenty of configuration options, including 4G/5G compatibility. Its excellent keyboard, excellent speakers and 1080p webcam make it a great machine.

The biggest disappointment concerns the too easy autonomy. Some users may also find the palm rest low and the trackpad a bit small. But if you can deal with these issues, this laptop is definitely worth it.

Advantage :

  • Compact, light and well built
  • Numerous configuration options
  • Excellent keyboard and speakers
  • 1080p webcam with privacy cover

Disadvantages :

  • Small size trackpad and wrist rest
  • Disappointing autonomy
  • No SD/MicroSD card slot

Functions

  • Processor : Intel Core i5-1235U – Core i5-1240P – i5-1250P – i7-1260P – i7-1270P with vPro
  • Graphics card : Intel Iris Xe Graphics (integrated)
  • BONE : Windows 11 (Home, Pro), Ubuntu Linux, Fedora Linux
  • Screen : 14 inch WUXGA (1920 x 1200) IPS, 400 nits – WUXGA (3840 x 2400) Touch IPS, 400 nits – 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED, 400 nits –
  • ram : up to 32 GB LPDDR5
  • Storage : up to 2 TB PCIe SSD Gen 4
  • Battery : 57Wh
  • Battery charging : Fast charging (65W or more power supply)
  • Security : dTPM 2.0 – Presence detection via IR (optional) – PrivacyGuard (optional), facial recognition via IR (optional) – Fingerprint reader in the power button – Webcam privacy cover – slot Kensington lock
  • Sound : 4x speakers, Dolby Atmos – 4x microphones (360 degrees).
  • Camera : Hybrid FHD IR with private cover.
  • Wireless : Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax, 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz)
  • Bluetooth : 5.2
  • NFC : yes (optional)
  • Mobile broadband : Fibocom L860-GL-16 4G CAT16 (optional) – Fibocom FM350-GL 5G SUB 6 (optional)
  • Ports : 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4 – 2x USB-A (3.2 Gen 1) – sound in/out – HDMI 2.0 – Nano SIM (optional)
  • Keyboard : backlit, 110 mm glass trackpad.
  • Color : Black – carbon fiber fabric on the top cover (optional).
  • Dimensions : 315.6mm x 222.5mm x 15.36mm.
  • Weight : from 1.12 kg.
  • In the box : ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10, battery, 65W USB-C charger (supports fast charging), quick start guide.
  • Price : from 3115 euros

Alternatives

Source: “ZDNet.com”

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