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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon – Battery Life, Value and Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon - Battery Life

Battery life is the bane of many a slim Ultrabook, but again the X1 Carbon acquits itself well. It managed just over seven and a half hours in our standard mixed productivity test – a marked improvement over the original Lenovo ThinkPad X1’s three and a bit, and in line with the best of the rest.

Battery

(40 percent screen brightness, wireless radios disabled, mixed productivity)

452 minutes

Mind you, if you use wireless radios (especially 3G) this figure is likely to go down steeply and, unlike for its predecessor, there’s no optional slice battery. Still, with careful use it should last you through a working day, and thanks to Lenovo’s RadipCharge tech, plugging it in for just half an hour will get you up to five hours’ use.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon - Price

When it comes to value, this ThinkPad holds up pretty well. Sure you pay a premium over the average consumer Ultrabook, but you’re getting superb build quality, unmatched ergonomics, a pretty decent screen, good battery life and a host of essential business features like TPM and V-Pro, along with a class-leading three year warranty.

If buying direct from Lenovo, we would definitely recommend upgrading the screen resolution even if you opt for the ‘base’ model, meaning you’re looking at £1,252. Adding 3G takes this up to £1,320.

Compared to the other big-name 14-inch premium Ultrabook on the market, the £980 HP Envy Spectre 14, you’re getting similar specs, the same screen resolution and at least as much style from the HP. However, it’s a consumer-oriented machine and lacks the ruggedness and hardware/software security features of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, not to mention 3G. It’s also far thicker and heavier, a real fingerprint magnet, and not as nice to use, plus you can’t upgrade it to the same impressive specs.

Another inevitable comparison will be the MacBook Air 13-inch. Again though, the Air is simply not a business machine and, aside from the benefits mentioned above, the Carbon gives you more screen real estate, a superior typing experience, and a more pleasant finish without the sharp edges. If you are after something more consumer-oriented, the Samsung Series 9 is definitely worth checking out.

Verdict

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is everything the original X1 should have been. Though its TN screen doesn’t quite match up to the premium style, build and features of this stunning Ultrabook, in every other regard it’s easily the best business ultraportable around. Its soft-touch chassis is a pleasure to carry or rest your hands on, and despite being stuffed with features, it retains an incredibly slim and sleek profile for a 14-inch machine. The Carbon’s keyboard quite simply offers the best typing experience of any Ultrabook. And though it packs some serious specs, it’s remarkably quiet even under load.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 8
  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Performance 9
  • Screen Quality 8
  • Value 8

Repelsteeltje

December 4, 2012, 8:02 am

A lot of people seem to complain about a "screen door effect" in the display used for the Carbon X1, and some have returned it because of that.

As I haven't seen the Carbon anywhere yet to check for myself, do you notice this "screen door" or anything abnormal about the pixel spacing – especially with light backgrounds?

TechVegan

December 4, 2012, 11:24 pm

Thanks for your comment. Yes I did notice it, which is why I mention "visible pixel structure" in the review.
TBH this is something you'll see on many laptops and is easy enough to live with. Try checking out other laptops that suffer from the same effect in a store if you want to see it in the 'flesh'.

pgchamberlin

December 13, 2012, 2:46 pm

It seems screens are the only downside to Lenovo machines these days. I've got a U300s which is gorgeous except for its less than perfect display. Sounds like the same is true of the Carbon X1. It's not a deal breaker for me though, I'd love one of these!

Rob

January 23, 2013, 7:15 am

What's the story with the battery when it reaches the end of its service life? Can it be replaced or does the whole laptop get discarded (or returned to the manufacturer for a whole laptop replacement - like the Mac?).

Dom Jolly

February 22, 2013, 2:00 pm

The complaint about the Fn and Ctrl keys being the "wrong" way round isn't really applicable with a ThinkPad - you can map them the "right" way in the BIOS. Obviously the labels will still be wrong, but it's not as big of an issue as with other laptops where that's not an option.

royan naimi

April 12, 2013, 9:09 am

mantap gan, nice info...

Booo

November 7, 2013, 8:29 pm

Really nice laptop aesthetically BUT the sound doesn't work randomly for like no reason and even the IT guys at work can't figure it out - it's a common problem apparently with other machines at work too. Also, I use a USB wireless keyboard and mouse that always worked just fine with my old T41 but now with the x1 carbon the mouse jiggles about like it's running out of battery and when typing, the keyboard misses out letters... Very annoying! The battery isn't running low btw and I've tried changing USB ports etc - it's a commonly reported problem at work too with these laptops. Such a shame as I was expecting so much!

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