Lenovo thinkpad x1 carbon 7th generation ultrabook

     

Pros

Roomy 16:10 displayThin and light yet ruggedStellar keyboardQuiet operationBooming audioTwo Thunderbolt 4 ports

Our Verdict

The 9th generation of Lenovo’s flagship ThinkPad gets a 16:10 display for getting work done but otherwise doesn’t stray too far from the successful X1 Carbon script. It’s fantastic.

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Nearly ten years old, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon gene 9 has grown taller. Lenovo’s flagship ThinkPad is still the same sleek, sturdy corporate ultrabook you may recall, but the manufacturer has ditched the 16:9 display ratio in favor of a 16:10 display that provides more room from vị trí cao nhất to bottom. The taller display gives you more room to work & requires you lớn scroll less through lengthy documents and long web pages.

Lenovo also tweaked the display hinge, expanded the touchpad, improved the positioning of the laptop’s speakers, và integrated the fingerprint reader into the power button. Inside, the máy tính received the expected intel update to lớn the chipmaker’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake chips. With its roomier display và other improvements, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon remains a top choice for business execs, even if its webcam is behind the times.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon ren 9 specifications

Nailing down the pricing for Lenovo’s laptops is a challenge because the company lists inflated prices on its trang web that are usually then discounted by substantial and fluctuating amounts. The baseline X1 Carbon gene 9, for example, features a các mục price of $2,459 but is currently discounted lớn $999.99. It has an 11th-gen bộ vi xử lý core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, & a 256GB SSD. The manufacturer also lists a handful of preconfigured ThinkPad X1 Carbon gen 9 models, but our demo configuration is not among them. Using the customizable mã sản phẩm on Lenovo’s site, we outfitted our test system for $1,799.60. Here are its specs:

CPU: Quad-core Intel vi xử lý core i7-1185G7Memory: 16GBGraphics: hãng sản xuất intel Iris XeStorage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSDDisplay: 14-inch, 1920×1200 IPS touchWebcam: 720p with physical camera shutterConnectivity: Right side: 2 x Thunderbolt 4, USB-A 3.2 gene 1, HDMI 2.0. Left side: USB-A 3.2 gene 1, full bộ audio jack.Networking: Wi-Fi 6, công nghệ bluetooth 5.0Biometrics: Fingerprint readerBattery capacity: 57 Watt-hoursDimensions: 12.38 x 8.72 x 0.59 inchesMeasured weight: 2.54 pounds (laptop), 0.65 pounds (AC adapter)OS: Windows 10 Pro

Our kiểm tra system features the top-end CPU offered. There are four CPU options, two Intel bộ vi xử lý core i5 Tiger Lake chips, and two chip core i7 Tiger Lake chips — with và without Intel’s vPro. Our nhận xét unit is packing the standard 16GB memory allotment, but you can double it khổng lồ 32GB of RAM. There are three solid-state drives available: 256GB, 512GB, và 1TB. We received the 512GB middle child. We also got the baseline, non-touch, Full HD display, but there are two touchscreen options — one with Lenovo’s Privacy Guard technology & one without — và a non-touch 4K option. Both 4G LTE and 5G mobile broadband are nâng cấp options; neither was included on our test system. You can configure the X1 Carbon ren 9 with Windows 11, but our chạy thử system is running Windows 10 Pro.


Display gets taller

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon gene 9 does not stray from the standard ThinkPad script. The matte black chassis will look familiar khổng lồ anyone who’s been in an office with Lenovo’s business machines. Made from aluminum, carbon fiber, and magnesium, the chassis feels rock solid with little to no flex. Lenovo coats the surfaces with a rubberized paint that provides a smooth yet grippy feel but also makes the laptop a magnet for fingerprints and smudges.


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Matt Elliott / IDG


The ThinkPad X1 Carbon has toughness baked in to lớn help it hold up in the field. It has passed a series of MIL-SPEC tests against environmental hazards and extremes. But it’s not a bulky tank of a system. Just the opposite. It weighs a svelte 2.54 pounds. That’s a hair more than the 2.4-pound X1 Carbon gene 8 version, but the added ounce or so of carrying weight is certainly worth it for the roomier 14-inch 16:10 display. Plus, its 2.5-pound weight is light among premium ultrabooks. For example, the 14-inch HP Envy 14 weighs 3.3 pounds và the 13.3-inch HP DragonFly Max is smaller but is slightly heavier at 2.59 pounds.

The biggest change from the X1 Carbon gene 8 to gene 9 is a move from a 14-inch display with a wide 16:9 aspect ratio to a 14-inch display with a taller 16:10 aspect ratio. It may seem like a trivial change, but it amounts to lớn an enormous difference when working. A 16:9 display makes sense for an entertainment-minded máy tính xách tay because the wide display is a good match for watching movies, but it feels cramped when you are multitasking & juggling a handful of windows. The taller 16:10 display also means you need khổng lồ scroll less through long documents, spreadsheets, & web pages. For getting work done, a 16:10 display is the way to lớn go.


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Matt Elliott / IDG


The 14-inch display features a 1920×1280 resolution and boasts a crisp image. The panel is rated for 400 nits of brightness and my measurements confirmed this figure. The brightness is offset some by an overly xanh cast that cools its overall impact. I much prefer the warmer screens of the HP Elite Dragonfly Max và HP Pavilion Aero I looked at earlier this year. The X1 Carbon’s contrast was excellent, with bright white & deep blacks, but its colors tended toward the blue end of the spectrum.


There’s also a new display hinge. It’s one long bar that runs nearly the width of the laptop. The hinge provides smooth action while keeping a firm hold on the display’s position. The new kiến thiết also allows for venting on the back edge of the laptop, which helps with cooling efficiency.


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Matt Elliott / IDG


The display may not be geared toward entertainment pursuits, but the speakers can handle fun & games. The laptop features two upward-firing speakers on either side of the keyboard và two woofers on the bottom panel. They produce some of the best laptop audio I’ve heard, with loud, dynamic sound with some bass response. You may not need such sound during the workday, but the X1 Carbon ren 9 will be of great utility after work for watching Netflix or even listening to music — gasp! — without headphones. I can’t remember the last time I could say that about a máy vi tính I’ve tested.


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Matt Elliott / IDG


As impressive as the speakers are, the webcam is decidedly mediocre. At a time when 1080p cameras are becoming more common, it’s disappointing lớn see Lenovo stick with a standard 720 cam on its flagship laptop. If Zoom meetings are a big part of your workday, then a 1080p camera can make you much clearer to colleagues and clients. The X1 Carbon’s 720p cam produces a well-balanced image with accurate colors, but it’s grainy. A 1080p tăng cấp ought khổng lồ be on the wish các mục for the X1 Carbon gen 10 if not already at least an upgrade option for the gen 9. Even a 1440p webcam isn’t too much khổng lồ ask for — that’s what you get with HP’s Elite Dragonfly Max. The X1 Carbon’s only camera upgrade is a 720p camera with IR, which allows you lớn use facial recognition for logins. In the plus column for the X1 Carbon’s webam is the presence of a physical privacy cover.

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The X1 Carbon ren 9 is not without biometrics. A fingerprint reader comes standard. It was previously located next to lớn the touchpad and has been relocated on the gene 9 và integrated into the nguồn button above the keyboard.


Same great ThinkPad keyboard

The main constant across all ThinkPads is the excellent keyboard and such excellence shows up here. The keys feel snappy and are quiet when mashed and offer just the right amount of travel. There are no annoyingly shortened keys to lớn interrupt your typing flow, but like all ThinkPads, the Function và Control keys are flip-flopped, which may take a bit of getting used to. Two-level backlighting is on board, as is the red pointing stick in the middle of the keyboard.


The pointing stick survives and makes it lớn another generation of ThinkPad, probably because there would be riots in the streets by the ThinkPad faithful if Lenovo ditched this legacy input device. The dedicated mouse buttons for the pointing stick sit between the spacebar & touchpad, và they are less intrusive than past efforts. Instead of being raised with bold red striping, they sit flusher with more subtle red stripes on their front edges.

Lenovo states that the X1 Carbon gene 9’s touchpad is wider than the ren 8’s và I must believe them. It doesn’t appear lớn be bigger than the average touchpad, but it’s roomy enough that I didn’t feel cramped with swiping and pinching and two-finger scrolling.


A pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports are the highlights of the X1 Carbon gene 9’s connectivity. You also get a pair of USB-A 3.2 gene 1 ports, which means you won’t need to carry a USB dongle. The biggest omission is an Ethernet jack, which means you will need to carry around an Ethernet adapter if you want khổng lồ connect to a wired network. The máy tính supports WiFi 6, the latest wireless networking standard.


ThinkPad X1 Carbon ren 9 performance

Our ThinkPad X1 Carbon gene 9 features the quad-core chip core i7-1185G7 from Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake family of processors. It also supplies 16GB of RAM & integrated hãng intel Iris xe cộ graphics. There’s no option for a GPU upgrade, making the X1 Carbon a better fit for busy execs than creative pros. We compared it against HP’s premium Elite Dragonfly Max, which packs the same vi xử lý core i7-1185G7 CPU. We also included the Razer Book 13 and the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 9310, both of which use a bộ vi xử lý core i7-1165G7 chip. We also compared it to the vi xử lý core i7-1160G& cpu inside the 13-inch ThinkPad X1 Nano. Each of these bộ vi xử lý core i7 parts is a quad-core processor with eight processing threads. Rounding out the charts is the HP Pavilion Aero 13 and its AMD’s eight-core Ryzen 7 5800U CPU. All of these laptops have integrated graphics.


Our first benchmark is PCMark 10, which measures performance on everyday computing work including office productivity tasks, website browsing, and đoạn phim chats. The X1 Carbon finished first among the Intel-based systems here but well behind the pace phối by the AMD-based HP Pavilion Aero. Still, a score above 5,000 indicates that the X1 Carbon is well equipped to run Office & other productivity apps và able to lớn manage a variety of multitasking scenarios.


The X1 Carbon also finished behind the HP Pavilion Aero & ahead of the other hãng intel machines on our HandBrake test, which involves encoding a large 30GB đoạn clip file. It can perform some media editing, but more processing cores và threads would make quicker work of such a task.


If our HandBrake thử nghiệm is a marathon, then Cinebench is a sprint. This thử nghiệm renders a complex 2 chiều scene over a brief period of time. Again, the X1 Carbon proved itself capable, but more cores and threads shorten the time spent rendering.


Don’t let its first place showing on our 3DMark thử nghiệm fool you. None of these laptops, all of which rely on integrated graphics, posted a score indicating much in the way of 3 chiều graphics capacity. Although Intel’s Iris xe integrated graphics is surprisingly good, as our tests have shown, we have yet to lớn reach the era where an integrated GPU will catch the attention of gamers.


To test a laptop’s battery life, we loop a 4K video using Windows 10’s Movies & TV app, with the laptop set khổng lồ Airplane mode & earbuds plugged in. We mix the screen brightness at a relatively bright 250 nits to 260 nits, which is a good brightness for watching a movie in an office with the lights on. The X1 Carbon’s 4-cell, 57 Whr battery lasted nearly 13 hours on our battery-drain test, which is competitive & will get you through the longest of workdays. That said, it’s still roughly 1.5 hours less than the runtime we saw from the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1.

The display height is perfect for getting work done

Lenovo made some significant changes to the ThinkPad X1 Carbon ren 9 while also knowing when and where lớn leave the good bits alone. The new 16:10 display gives you more room to work with and barely adds any additional weight. The new display hinge is smooth & steady và allows for rear cooling vents that keep the máy tính xách tay quiet & cool. And the new speakers produce shockingly good máy tính audio. With these changes, you still get the ThinkPad keyboard that remains the standard against which all Windows laptops are measured. Và the X1 Carbon’s sleek yet rugged case makes it eminently portable while also being able lớn withstand the abuses heaped upon it during daily business travel. Really, our only gripe is the slightly cool display và mediocre webcam. In this era of Zoom meetings, Lenovo needs lớn upgrade it to a 1080p or 1440p resolution or at least offer a resolution higher than 720p as an tăng cấp option.

Minor nitpicks aside, it’s a great máy tính xách tay for business professionals. The battery life will last you throughout the work day & the keyboard is both quiet và soft, which is perfect if you’re in a meeting. It’s fantastic for travel, too. The máy vi tính is super rugged, as it’s built with high chất lượng materials, but it’s not overly bulky or heavy. That makes it tough enough to lớn withstand any accidental bumps but also light enough to lớn take with you on an airplane. If you’re looking for a máy vi tính that can travel well and has decent performance, this is the one to lớn pick.