Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015 Review - Performance, Heat, Noise and Battery Life Review

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon – Performance

Lenovo’s latest includes a

Core i7-5600U processor that easily trumps the Dell’s Core i5-5200U

chip: it’s 400MHz faster, has more L3 cache and can stretch further with

Turbo Boost. The difference between the chips is highlighted in

benchmarks: the Carbon’s PC Mark 7 result of 5,393 is around 500 points

better than the Dell.

There’s clear ground between the Lenovo and

the Dell, but the Carbon can’t keep up with the Macbook. That’s

initially surprising, because Apple’s machine only has a Core i5

processor, but closer examination reveals the Macbook’s chip is 100MHz

faster and has Intel Iris 6100 graphics that overpower the Lenovo’s HD

Graphics 5500 chipset.

Blows are traded between the two machines

in other benchmarks. The Lenovo’s Geekbench score of 5,194 couldn’t

match the Macbook’s 7,010, but the Carbon scored 17.1fps in the Unigine

Heaven gaming test, which snuck ahead of the Apple’s 17fps pace.

Lenovo X1 Carbon

The

Carbon improves on the Dell and competes with the Macbook, but the

bottom line is that this machine has reasonable speed for work – office

applications and photo editing tools will run without complaint, and

only the most demanding software will see the Carbon struggling.

The

Lenovo falls behind its fruit-themed rival in storage tests. The Carbon

comes with an M.2-based Samsung SSD, but its sequential read and write

speeds of 482MB/s and 256MB/s are underwhelming, though still far

quicker than a normal hard drive. Apple’s machine, conversely, deploys

flash storage that returned read and write speeds of 645MB/s and

1.2GB/s. When it comes to application and system boot times, it’s no

contest.

We didn’t experience any issues with heat or noise. The

processor’s maximum temperature of 68 degrees is far short of its

thermal limits, and little heat made it to the outside of the Carbon;

the right-hand side of the base got a tad toasty, as that’s where the

processor is located, but it wasn’t hot enough to cause discomfort.

Lenovo X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon: Battery Life

The

ThinkPad’s battery lasted for ten minutes short of ten hours in our

standard 40% brightness battery test. That’s a fantastic result, but the

competition lasted a little longer. Dell’s XPS 13 took almost eleven

hours before it ran out of juice, and the Macbook Pro lasted for twelve

hours in a similar light-use benchmark. As ever, it’s another area where

the Carbon is very good – but its competitors are just that bit better.