Reviewers say the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a nearly ideal business laptop, mixing an abundance of enterprise-oriented features with customizable component configurations and a slim, sleek design. The few drawbacks are minor: Experts wish for more free space on the solid-state drive and the port selection is fairly skimpy. They like Lenovo's touch-screen version, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch (*Est. $1,500 and up) , even better.
Solid for everyday use. This laptop is built for business, not pleasure. The low-voltage Core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB solid-state drive provide an ample punch for most business uses, intense video editing aside. The SSD has only 54 GB free after the operating system and numerous bloatware programs are installed, however, so you may want to opt for a version with more storage. Battery life ranges from OK to outstanding in testing, while a bevy of business-centric features should keep road warriors happy.
All business, for better or worse. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon's backlit keyboard, comfortable touchpad and trackpoint stick are simply superb, reviewers say, while the carbon fiber design makes the Ultrabook both lightweight and durable. Port selection is more of a mixed bag, including connections such as mini-DisplayPort and USB 3.0 but lacking HDMI and an Ethernet port. Lenovo tosses in a USB-to-Ethernet adapter, though.
Clad in carbon fiber. The carbon fiber exterior does more than just reduce the ThinkPad's weight; experts say it gives the laptop a soft feel and amazing look that few Ultrabooks can match. The speakers hold up well and the matte, 14-inch 1,600-by-900-pixel display proves colorful, although a few reviewers wish for a 1,080p option.
There when you need it. Lenovo's basic one-year warranty is nothing special, but the company offers service and protection plans for up to three years. ThinkPads are known for their reliable build quality, and Lenovo has a sterling customer service record if you do run into a problem.
Business or pleasure? Consumers might be attracted by the solid build and capable performance, but the abundant enterprise-oriented features mean the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon shines bright for business users. The X1 Carbon Touch adds a touch screen but is otherwise identical. If you don't mind a bit more thickness and weight to get those missing ports and more configuration options, the Lenovo ThinkPad X230 (*Est. $950 and up) is a compelling alternative.
Review Credibility: Excellent Santo Domingo finds several minor flaws in the ThinkPad X1 Carbon -- small available storage space, lack of port selection and more -- but the strength of the overall package leads him to give the notebook an Editors' Choice award. "It's the ultrabook you want if you're thinking business," he says.
Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Joel Santo Domingo, Aug. 9, 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent Here the ThinkPad X1 Carbon receives another "Excellent" rating. The specter of a missing HDMI port and a few other qualms are raised, but the solid performance, superb keyboard and incredibly light design help the notebook shine.
Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review, Dan Ackerman, Aug. 9, 2012
3. Computer Shopper
Review Credibility: Excellent ComputerShopper.com gives the Lenovo laptop 4 stars out of 5, an Editors' Choice award and a Good for Business award after a lengthy review. "The thinnest and lightest ThinkPad we've seen, this 3-pound, 14-inch ultrabook is pricey but perfect -- okay, near perfect -- for business execs and IT managers," Grevstad says.
Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review and Ratings, Eric Grevstad, Aug. 10, 2012
4. PC World
Review Credibility: Very Good The X1 Carbon's skimpy port selection bothers Case, as does the "ho-hum screen." He nevertheless appreciates the overall design, especially the carbon fiber exterior and abundant business features.
Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review: Exotic Case, Ho-Hum Screen, Loyd Case, Aug. 22, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good Pierce dislikes Lenovo's abundant bloatware, but the X1 Carbon's strong performance, stronger keyboard and eye-catching design win him over. "It's one of the most attractive laptops I've ever used, and the combination of light, thin and excellent materials makes for a device sure to get some jealous looks," he says.
Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review, David Pierce, Aug. 13, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good HotHardware.com posts an incredibly detailed, multi-page review of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, complete with benchmark test after benchmark test. "With the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, style and substance aren't mutually exclusive but rather complementary," Altavilla writes before giving the laptop a rare Editor's Choice award. "Good stuff, Lenovo."
Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook Review, Dave Altavilla, Aug. 17, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good Engadget.com's dissection of the Lenovo laptop is as or more detailed than HotHardware.com's lengthy tome. "If you're looking for a durable, fast Ultrabook that won't weigh down your bag -- and that won't scream 'look at me!' while you're checking in from the coffee shop -- this is absolutely it," Stevens says.
Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review: The Definitive Ultrabook for Pros, Tim Stevens, Aug. 14, 2012
Review Credibility: Good The same port, bloatware and low-resolution screen bugaboos remain in TechRadar.com's review, but Stables loves virtually every other aspect of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. He gives it 4 stars out of 5.
Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review: A High End Ultrabook That Only Scrimps on Performance, James Stables, Oct. 24, 2012
9. PC World (Australia)
Review Credibility: Good Plastiras gives the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 4 stars out of 5, but not without complaining about the poor viewing angles of the screen and the somewhat limited vertical viewing angles. "If you're in business (or even if you're not and you just want a top-notch Ultrabook), then the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a good one to go for," he says.
Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (type 3444-2NM) Ultrabook Review, Elias Plastiras, Oct. 15, 2012