Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10) First Impressions

Posted on July 16, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile, Windows 11 with 2 Comments

I barely had time to unpack the 10th-generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon before we left for the Alaska cruise. But I wanted to at least supply some first impressions before we go.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it appears to map very closely to the ThinkPad X1 Yoga I’m currently reviewing—assuming no connectivity issues on the cruise, that review will be up very soon—with similar 12th Gen Intel Core processor, display, touchpad, and webcam upgrades. But the X1 Carbon is, if anything, even more iconic and classic than the X1 Yoga, and for many, it represents the apex of the business-class laptop. Point being, you don’t mess with success.

All these years later, I still love the black carbon fiber and magnesium alloy design of the X1 Carbon, and because it’s a traditional 14-inch laptop and not a 2-in-1, it’s even thinner, at 14.95 mm, and lighter, at 2.48 pounds, than the X1 Yoga. Right, it’s just about perfect from a form factor perspective.

Like the Yoga, the X1 Carbon can be had with Core U-series (15-watt) or P-series (28-watt) processors, and it meets the new, more stringent 3rd-generation Intel Evo requirements for thin and light portable PCs. The review unit is a predictably high-end SKU, with a 12-core Core i7-1260P processor, 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and a 512 GB PCIe SSD drive.

Lenovo is offering several 16:10 display panel choices this year, with Full HD+ (1920 x 1200), 2.2K (2240 x 1400), and 4K+ (3840 x 2400) IPS options and a single 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED option. The 4K+ displays offer Dolby Vision HDR capabilities, and there are touch and Privacy Guard capabilities on some panels. The review unit came with what I’d order: a Full HD+ low-power panel with 400 nits of brightness, antiglare, and Eyesafe.

The ports situation looks identical to that of the X1 Yoga: there are two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports, a full-sized USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, and an HDMI 2.0b port on the left. And then there’d another USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port and a headphone/microphone jack on the right. A nano-SIM card slot is available as an option.

Intriguingly, Lenovo has finally started updating its scalloped-shaped keyboard keys on this year’s X1 Carbon: the keys are now more squared off, and while Lenovo says this design is cleaner and more closely matches the X1 aesthetic, I’m curious if it will improve the typing experience. I’ll find out. Also new this year, the X1 has air intakes under the keyboard for improved thermals. And the touchpad, like that of the X1 Yoga, is a bit wider but still small like I prefer.

Also like the X1 Yoga, the X1 Carbon moves to a Full HD (1080p) webcam with a manual privacy shutter, user presence sensing, and IR for Windows Hello facial recognition. It’s housed in what Lenovo calls a communications bar, which is essentially a slightly bumped-out area at the top middle of the display panel’s top. It’s not obnoxious looking and nicely integrates with the laptop’s design.

I believe that all X1 Carbons offer Dolby Atmos sound and Dolby Voice, and the 4K+ panels bring Dolby Vision HDR as well. Like the X1 Yoga, it provides an array of four 360-degree microphones with spatial capture capabilities that can isolate your voice in a noisy room.

There’s a lot more going on here, of course, but I need to head out. Once I finish up my ThinkPad X1 Yoga review, I’ll move on to the X1 Carbon.

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Comments (2)

2 responses to “Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10) First Impressions”

  1. ianbetteridge

    I've had an X1 Carbon Gen 9 for a year or so and it's absolutely my favourite laptop. Robust, fast, reliable, and because I got an education discount it's ridiculously over-specced for what I need right now, but that means it will last me a long time.

  2. will

    The X1 Gen 10 I used for a short time was getting poor battery life. Like 4-5 hrs tops. Maybe it has improved but part of me thinks the new 25w processors are to blame.