Just this weekend, I saw at least two women working with their laptops in strange situations – the first was sitting on a footpath near a roadside tea seller, while the other was on a bench in a crowded Noida mall. Interestingly, both were using ThinkPads, which made me conclude that these people were doing serious stuff. That is the perception the Lenovo ThinkPad brings in, that it means business. The new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon taps into this legacy, adding a layer of new features that equip the user for the needs of the hour. Here is what I thought of this new laptop after using it for a couple of weeks.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon review
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a ThinkPad in every sense of the design, from the all-black body to the standout logo on the shell with its glowing red dot and the carbon finish that makes it a joy when working on it for long hours. In fact, I loved the feel of the laptop during the winter mornings, switching from the cold metal of my MacBook. The new ThinkPad X1 carbon just weighs 1.3KG (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan / Indian Express)
How lightweight is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon?
The device is not exactly size zero but at just about 1.3 kg, this is a very lightweight and handy device. Every gram matters when it is a device that you will carry with you all the time, as an extra kilo in your backpack can lead to long-term issues like back pain – trust me on that one. But despite the lightweight, this is a full-size laptop with a 14-inch OLED display and a well laid-out keyboard. It has all the ports you would need – 2x USB-C, 1x HDMI and 2x USBA.
How good are the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s display and audio?
The display is bright and works well in all kinds of conditions, and that includes having to quickly edit something while you are in the park, under the bright North Indian winter sun. But if at the park you are in the mood to wind down a bit, then the Dolby Atmos speakers on this one ensure you enjoy every bit of the Leonard Cohen playlist or the Glass Onion replay.
What is special about the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon keyboard?
I have always loved ThinkPad keyboards, and this one was no different. The keys offer the perfect amount of travel, which I cannot appreciate enough as someone who is writing all the time. The spacing between the keys is also perfect, making the switch from the MacBook much easier than otherwise. The trademark ThinkPad trackpad tries to draw your attention from the middle of the keys, but that will take some getting used to, as it’s not something I would use otherwise while working. There are also mouse-like left-right keys above the trackpad, making selection even easier and giving you more control even without an extra mouse. The physical camera shutter is one of the unique features of this laptop (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan / Indian Express)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon: Some features I loved
Before we come to the performance, it is important to highlight a few unique features. First is the physical shutter on the front camera, which is a good feature, especially if you are a bit extra careful about your security. But this is among the few laptops that offer a FullHD webcam, and I’m not sure you want to keep it shut all the time.
Then there is the communication bar on the top of the screen, which houses the four 360-degree microphones powered by Dolby Voice, which offers a crystal clear voice to whoever is on a call with you. This combination sure made me stand out on the few calls I attended using the new X1. It is sad that, at least for me, video calls are being replaced by physical meetings.
There is also the super-fast fingerprint scanner above the keys, which makes it easier to log on to the computer every time, though it is still not as fast as the MacBooks. And unlike Apple, Windows does not yet let you log into services with your fingers, which is a shame. Windows Hello is there too, and it works really fast. Normally, the X1 is unlocked even before your hand has reached the fingerprint scanner. One aspect I loved about the X1 Carbon is the sim slot, a feature I have been dying to see on laptops for years. And this is clearly one place where Lenovo has an edge on competition from Apple devices at the moment. The laptop can handle heavy workloads like processing an Excel sheet with 50,000 rows of content (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan / Indian Express)
How powerful is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon?
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1255U 1.70 GHz processor with 16GB of RAM. So this is a real powerhouse of a device that can handle anything. My testing took me through the heaviest Excel Sheet I work on, with data of close to 50,000 rows at over 200MB. The X1 made it easy to work on this sheet, even as I listened to music on Spotify. The X1 did not struggle or heat up even a bit with whatever I was doing. Lenovo’s Intelligent Cooling ensures the laptop knows how to pace itself when needed. It is slimmer than the MacBook Air (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan / Indian Express)
How long does the battery last on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon?
The battery life is good at about five hours with regular usage. With power save mode on, you might be able to squeeze in an extra hour. But when the MacBooks with M series processors are pushing double this in their worst-case scenario, it might be time for the Windows world to start thinking beyond their existing comfort zone. Remember, this is still a laptop that needs a power adapter and can’t be charged using the regular USB-C phone charger you might have in your bag.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon runs Windows 11 Pro which on a device like this works very smoothly. There are loads of new features and tweaks that make it more smartphone-like in its approach to settings, etc. For instance, the widget panel reminds you a lot of the discover screen on most phones these days. But still, I would have preferred this to load the tab a bit faster to make it feel more natural.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon: Should you buy?
At Rs 1,23,588, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is certainly among the best Windows devices one can buy. It has the right amount of power to be able to handle Windows well and gives all the features needed to navigate the pressures of hybrid work we all find ourselves in. I would recommend this to those who value their work.