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Laptop Review Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Laptop Review Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon Laptop has been a known entity since May, when the company gave us a look at the 14-inch, Ivy Bridge-packing Ultrabook. Up until now, though, the successor to the ThinkPad X1 laptop remained somewhat shrouded in mystery, with no pricing or specific availability information to its name. But no more — Lenovo’s just raised the official curtain on the Carbon, announcing a pricing scheme of $1,399 and up and targeting an on-sale date of August 21st at Lenovo.com. The entry-level model will run a 1.7GHz Core i5-3317U CPU with 4GB, and it includes a 128GB SSD and Intel’s HD integrated graphics. Like on the ThinkPad X1, 3G connectivity will be an optional feature. Head past the break for more info on the business-centric Ultrabook.

Configuration

CPU
1.8-GHz Intel Core i5-3427U
Operating System MS Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
RAM
4GB
RAM Upgradable to
8GB
Hard Drive Size
128GB
Hard Drive Speed
n/a
Hard Drive Type
SSD Drive
Display Size
14
Native Resolution
1600×900
Optical Drive
None
Optical Drive Speed
n/a
Graphics Card
Intel HD Graphics 4000
Video Memory
64MB
Wi-Fi
802.11 a/g/n
Wi-Fi Model Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205S
Bluetooth
Mobile Broadband
Touchpad Size 4 x 2.4 inches
Ports (excluding USB)
Combo Headphone/Mic Jack; Mini DisplayPort; USB; USB 3.0
USB Ports
2
Card Slots
4-1 card reader
Warranty/Support
Size 13 x 8.9 x 0.74 inches
Weight 3 pounds

Performance

With a 1.8-GHz Intel Core i5-3427U processor under the hood and integrated graphics, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop is has all the power you need for productivity tasks such as crunching spreadsheets and transcoding videos. On PCMark07, a benchmark that measures overall performance, the X1 Carbon scored a solid 5,297, well above the 2,854 ultraportable average. This score also beats the 13-inch MacBook Air (4,380), which has the same CPU, and the ZenBook Prime UX31A (4,989).

The 128GB SanDisk SSD booted into Windows 7 in about 30 seconds, 12 seconds faster than the category average, but slower than other Ultrabooks such as the ZenBook Prime (23 seconds) and the Fujitsu LifeBook U772 (27 seconds). It woke from sleep in 2-3 seconds, which is typical for Ultrabooks.

The drive took a modest 1 minute to complete the LAPTOP File Transfer test, which involves copying 4.97GB of mixed-media files. That’s a rate of 84.8 MBps, which is about 50 percent faster than the 56 MBps category average, but slow compared to some other SSDs. The MacBook Air completed the test at a rate of 159 MBps, while the Fujitsu LifeBook U772 managed a rate of 121.2 MBps.

When it comes to performing productivity tasks, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop is no slouch. It took a mere 5 minutes and 37 seconds to complete the LAPTOP Spreadsheet Macro test, which involves matching 20,000 names with their addresses in OpenOffice calc. That time is significantly faster than the 8:08 category average, but behind the 2.6-GHz Core i5-3320M-powered ThinkPad X230 (4:29) and the 1.9-GHz Core i7-powered ASUS ZenBook Prime (4:59).

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon can transcode video in the blink of an eye. It took the system just 12 seconds to transcode a 5-minute HD video into iPod touch format using Cyberlink Media Espresso. That’s nearly 10 times faster than the 1:57 category average and 18 seconds faster than the ASUS ZenBook Prime UX31A.

Verdict

With its lightweight, durable design, fantastic display and long battery life, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon sets a new standard for business ultraportables. A few sacrifices–namely Ethernet and VGA–had to be made in the name of thinness, but we think it’s worth the tradeoff. If you want the best business Ultrabook around, the ThinkPad X1 is worth the premium.

Buy ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 (129127U) 13.3″ LED Notebook – Core i5 i5-2520M 2.50GHz – 4G DDR3 160G SSD (Windows 7 Professional) – Black