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

Lenovo’s flagship enterprise laptop computer, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, has attained its 8th era, and the hottest product carries on to push at the boundaries of efficiency and portability. It sports a 14-inch screen with up to 4K (three,840 x two,one hundred sixty) resolution, up to 2TB of SSD storage, and weighs a shade about 1kg. You can commit amongst £1,141.sixty six (ex. VAT £1,369.99 inc. VAT) and £1,716.sixty six (ex. VAT £2,059.99 inc. VAT) on an off-the-shelf configuration, or you can customise. 

In the US, rates commence at $1,331.40 and leading out at $two,207.40.

Last year’s seventh Generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon received plaudits for its capacity in a light, hard chassis. The X1 Carbon is not without competitors, of program, and this calendar year the vital rival is possibly Dell’s refreshed XPS line.

The Dell XPS fifteen I reviewed just lately packs a fifteen.6-inch screen into a chassis measuring 344mm extensive by 230mm deep by 18mm thick. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen) has a 14-inch screen in a chassis with a desktop footprint that is only marginally scaled-down (323mm x 218mm). Lenovo would do well to determine out a way to slender its screen bezels to rival Dell’s XPS. The bezels on the X1 Carbon are visible on the limited edges (calculated at 6mm), more so at the leading (calculated at 12mm) and even more so on the base (more tough to evaluate precisely, but at least 20mm). Dell’s InfinityEdge style increases screen peak, will allow for more screen in the chassis, and delivers what is, for me, the most effective screen usability knowledge I’ve experienced for a though. The base bezel on Lenovo’s flagship laptop computer looks huge in comparison. 

As pointed out, the Dell XPS fifteen is 18mm thick though the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 8th Gen is slimmer at 14.9mm. Also, the fifteen.6-inch XPS fifteen weighs 1.8kg, though the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 8th Gen has a a lot more bag-welcoming starting pounds of 1.09kg.


The 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen) is Lenovo’s top quality enterprise ultraportable, weighing in at just about 1kg.

Photographs: Lenovo

Inspite of its light pounds, Lenovo would make no compromises on develop high-quality. Lenovo says the X1 Carbon has passed 12 armed forces-quality needs, including for chilly, dust and liquid ingress. Although I didn’t examination all of these elements, I can say that the chassis feels robust, with just a slight amount of money of give in the lid.

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The black chassis with the ThinkPad X1 brand in a single corner of the lid, its purple light about the ‘i’ indicating the laptop computer is switched on, is extremely acquainted. Lenovo likes regularity in its branding, and outwardly this ThinkPad X1 barely differs from its new predecessors.

Internally too, you can find a lot that is acquainted. The keyboard is backlit, its two intensities toggled by the Fn vital/space bar combo. The QWERTY keys are significant, their pot-tummy offering them just a minimal little bit more of a focus on for the fingers than standard, and their marginally concave shaping and visible bounceback building for a cozy typing knowledge. They have a gentle-touch sense that adds to the constructive action and they click quietly. The Enter vital is significant, and Lenovo has even managed to make the arrow keys, which frequently experience on scaled-down keyboards, fairly sizeable by extending the keyboard spot beneath them a several millimetres into the wrist rest. The Fn vital row now includes a pair of keys for building calls — helpful for all those of us who are expending most of the time working remotely. This all adds up to a single of the most cozy laptop computer keyboard ordeals about.  


The style, structure and action of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s keyboard would make for a single of the most effective typing ordeals offered on a laptop computer.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Lenovo’s trademark TrackPoint sits in its standard household amongst the G, H and B keys, and you can find a 3-button array amongst the space bar and the touchpad for use with it. This suggests the touchpad by itself is marginally much less deep than standard, which does make employing it a minimal awkward. There is an NFC touch position crafted into it, and a fingerprint sensor to its correct.

Although it has a marginally greater chassis, the touchpad on the Dell XPS fifteen is proportionately a lot greater than the X1 Carbon’s, which feels cramped by comparison. I pointed out its smallish dimension in my assessment of previous year’s product, and arguably it truly is time for Lenovo to make the touchpad greater. Adhering to the Dell XPS knowledge, large is gorgeous when it comes to touchpads, in my impression.

The screen lays flat to a desk, but does not swivel any additional. If you want that, there are loads of 360-degree convertible options in the Lenovo secure. The screen in my assessment device was a 14-inch IPS panel with FHD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution, 400 nits brightness and an anti-glare coating. It is really awesome to have a non-reflective screen, and it goes loads vibrant ample for working indoors. Other options involve a 4K, five hundred nits shiny IPS panel with HDR400 and Dolby Vision, or an FHD anti-glare touch screen with 400 nits brightness.


Protection options involve the webcam’s ThinkShutter.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

There is a 720p webcam previously mentioned the screen with IR and Lenovo’s ThinkShutter, a handbook slider that covers the camera lens. This isn’t constant throughout all the preconfigured styles, so double-check if you want it.

SEE: Windows ten: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

Lenovo utilizes the Dolby Atmos 4-speaker method, which includes profiles for use cases including film, audio, voice and gaming, has a dynamic profiling placing that will regulate dependent on what you’re listening to, and will allow you to save 3 personalised profiles. Two grilles sit on the underside of the chassis exactly where they are in threat of getting muffled, and two are previously mentioned the keyboard. Audio output is amazing: I favored previous year’s speaker setup, and this calendar year I observed bass tones suitably bassy, spoken phrases obvious, and common streamed online video and audio extremely suitable. As prior to, fidelity does fall if you push the volume to a hundred%, but at 80% it truly is fantastic, and I hardly ever felt the will need to go increased.

Lenovo equips the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen) array with processors up to a 10th-era Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM and a alternative of two batteries, with the increased-capability a single in all of the pre-configured styles. Lenovo promises that this 51Wh battery delivers up to 19.5 hrs of lifetime. All styles have built-in Intel UHD 620 Graphics and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax).

ThinkShield safety is an optional excess and includes PrivacyGuard, which decreases the screen’s angle of vision so that anybody sitting down future to you would have trouble peering at its content material. It also includes PrivacyAlert — software program that operates with the IR camera to issue a pop-up alert if someone is hunting about your shoulder. 


Left facet (leading): USB-C Thunderbolt three (constantly on) USB-C thunderbolt three and community extension for Ethernet dongle/dock USB three.1 HDMI three.5mm audio in/out. Right facet (previously mentioned): electric power button USB three.1 Kensington lock slot.

Photographs: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The electric power switch, on the correct edge of the chassis, has a minimal white LED to enable you know it truly is on, and pulses if you shut the lid without powering down (just like the purple dot about the ThinkPad logo’s ‘i’ on the lid). There are two USB-C Thunderbolt three ports (a single of which doubles for charging the laptop computer), two USB three.1 ports, a comprehensive-dimension HDMI port, and a three.5mm combo headphone/mic jack. A proprietary connector caters for an RJ-45 Ethernet dongle. Cellular LTE broadband is built-in into some styles.

The preconfigured styles commence at £1,141.sixty six (ex. VAT £1,369.99 inc. VAT). Not all options are detailed underneath — just the least and most high priced, and my assessment device, which falls amongst the two at £1,399.99 (ex. VAT £1,679.99 inc. VAT).

  • Intel Core i5-10210U, Windows ten Home, 14.-inch 1,920 x 1,two hundred anti-glare 400 nits non touch screen, Intel UHD Graphics, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
    £1,141.sixty six (ex. VAT £1,369.99 inc. VAT)
  • Intel Core i7-10510U, Windows ten Pro, 14.-inch 1,920 x 1,two hundred anti-glare 400 nits non touch screen, Intel UHD Graphics, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
    £1,399.99 (ex. VAT £1,679.99 inc. VAT)
  • Intel Core i7-10610U, Windows ten Pro, 14.-inch 1,920 x 1,two hundred anti-glare 400 nits non touch screen, Intel UHD Graphics, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
    £1,716.sixty six (ex. VAT £2,059.99 inc. VAT)

As pointed out before, Lenovo promises 19.5 hrs of battery lifetime for the high-capability 51Wh battery, which I suspect would be a little bit of a extend to attain in day-to-day use. As standard, I streamed online video as a result of various typical working classes, jogging a regular productivity workload involving producing into website apps and examining web-sites. Monitor brightness was routinely set to 80%, which I observed fantastic. 

Soon after 3 hrs the battery fell from a hundred% to 63%, on which foundation quite a few employees could possibly attain all-working day battery lifetime. However, that 19.5 hrs looks relatively hopeful. The superior news is that the battery costs immediately: Lenovo says it can go from -80% in an hour.


Graphic: Lenovo


Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon carries on to evolve, and continues to be an excellent ultraportable laptop computer for enterprise end users. The keyboard is a enjoyment to use, you can find a superior array of screen options, sound high-quality is up there with the most effective laptops, and mobile professionals will respect the array of safety options on offer.

The only problem marks encompass the screen bezels and the touchpad: Lenovo desires to contemplate how it could possibly shrink the previous and increase the latter.

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