Lenovo Kicks Off CES 2016 with new ThinkPad X1

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As you may recall, I regard the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon as the very best Ultrabook from any PC maker. So it is with some sense of excitement that I can reveal Lenovo is now expanding the X1 lineup to include a tablet and a 2-in-1, and is of course releasing a new X1 Carbon as well.

I was briefed about these and other new new devices back in December, and Lenovo is now showing them off publicly at CES in Las Vegas. For now, here’s a quick rundown of the ThinkPad X1 ultrabook news. I’ll be looking at the ThinkPad X1 Tablet and ThinkPad X1 Yoga in a separate post.

Hold onto your butts.

Following up on the terrific ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2015)—which I described as the best Ultrabook I’ve ever used, a sleek, thin and light wonder with a gorgeous screen, a stellar keyboard, and good battery life—Lenovo is announcing a new X1 for 2016.


The new X1 arrives amid an interesting new marketing goal for ThinkPad, to “reload” the ThinkPad heritage and dial-up the strengths of its high-end PC lineup, which is aimed at business professionals. As such, you can expect a lot of superlatives around the new X1:

  • The world’s lightest 14-inch business ultrabook at just 2.6 pounds (!) where the previous model was a bit over 3 pounds


  • Thinner, lighter, and more powerful than any previous X1


  • Customer-centric improvements include more display options, more RAM, and more storage capacity, plus improved connectivity and portability

To put a bit of meat on those claims, consider that the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is (or can be) configured with:

  • Up to 1 TB of high-density, low-power Samsung M.2 NVMe SSD storage offers performance up to five times faster than SATA SSD
  • A Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE modem with 4G LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation provides support for up to 300 Mbps download speeds
  • WiGig wireless docking capabilities for a cable-free desk environment. Yes, Lenovo makes a wireless dock too.


  • Touch Fingerprint reader and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) security chip for Windows Hello sign-ins
  • New accessories including the ThinkPad X1 Wireless Touch Mouse, ThinkPad X1 In-Ear Headphones, X1 Sleeve, and a ThinkPad 65W Micro Adapter that is 58 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter than standard power adapters.


Here are some things you won’t see immediately in the specs:

No more touch. Lenovo has removed the touch options from the X1 Carbon, so if you want/need touch you will have to get a new X1 Yoga, which I’ll be writing about separately.

That fingerprint reader? It’s touch-based. You know, like on iPhone. Previous versions were swipe-based.

Expansion. Despite the addition of WiGig wireless docking, the new X1 also supports the normal ThinkPad OneLink+ port for hardware based docking, plus 3 USB 3.0 ports, miniDisplayPort, HDMI, microSD, and a 3.5mm combo headset jack.


Battery life. It’s rated at 11 hours.

Here’s a product tour video.

And, hell yes, I’ll be reviewing this.


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