The Next ThinkPad X1 Carbon Looks Incredible

Posted on December 30, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 29 Comments

It’s not clear whether Lenovo actually meant to reveal its next-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon ahead of CES. But they did.

So let’s take a look.

At first glance, the new X1 seems a lot like it predecessors. But there are some important differences.

First, this new X1 Carbon can be had in two colors: the traditional black that has graced most ThinkPads, and all X1s, and a new “modern” silver color. Frankly, I think black is the way to go, but this is an interesting development.

Second, Lenovo is advertising that the X1 Carbon comes with something called Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Signature Edition. What they really mean is that this is a Signature PC, meaning no more crapware. (Not that ThinkPads were ever drowning in crapware, but this is a very positive development.)

Next up is the new USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, which Lenovo is now using for docking as well. That means no more OneLink+, and better bandwidth across the board. But not only does the X1 have two of these ports, it somehow fits two full-sized USB 3.0 ports in there too.

The rated battery life is truly impressive at 15.5 hours. Obviously, the real world results will likely be less than that, but it also features rapid charging capabilities, another big plus: According to Lenovo, you can achieve 80 percent battery life in just 60 minutes.

It includes built-in LTE-A cellular data capabilities, thanks to a new Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 cellular modem.

And best of all, it’s incredibly light at just 2.5 pounds. This is for a 14-inch Ultrabook with WQHD IPS (2560 x 1440) and Full HD (1920 x 1080) choices. That’s really impressive. (Like other PC makers, Lenovo is putting bigger displays in smaller chassis, so this is like a 13-inch Ultrabook body with a 14-inch screen.)

Beyond that, the specs are what you should expect: 7th generation Intel Core processors, up to a Core vPro i7-7600U, up to 16 GB of RAM, 128 GB SSD up to 1 TB SSD with PCIe TLC OPAL2, Windows Hello touch fingerprint reader and web cam, dual-band Wi-Fi, tri-band WiGig, Bluetooth 4.2, and optional NFC.

I cannot wait to test this one.


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Comments (29)

29 responses to “The Next ThinkPad X1 Carbon Looks Incredible”

  1. 9522

    I'm still hoping that taller screens catch on. 

    The 3:2 of the surface pro >=3 is as tall as a 14" 16:9, and I've never missed the width,  because I really can't side by side multitask on that small a display.

    Nice looking device otherwise though. 

  2. 5072

    Not really sure it matters how good any Lenovo is.  After three major security "oopses" (including one bootkit(!)), I doubt that I could ever trust any of their products any time soon.

  3. 5057

    Thinkpad X1 Carbon, I had been sporting this model since the first roll out around 2011 and after I moved on to another company I moved on to a different brand.  We have had our share of hardware issues with X1 Carbon, not so much hardware wise, more in the order that the i7 in the beginning would not support 8GB or more RAM.  This has all been worked out and corrected and the latest model is now able to use PXE booting, has better TPM integration and offers a wider range of screens.  It took "courage" to push out a super thin laptop that had nothing but a different power connector, issues with USB3 in the early models and no touch screen until revision 3 in 2014.  Still, the keyboard and the layout of the laptop itself made it one of my best experiences.  

  4. 5361

    I have an X1 Carbon as my daily driver.   Best laptop I have ever owned.  And yes I do use the touch screen from time to time.  

    Also for the record that red thing... the "Nubby" as Paul calls it is called a trackpoint.  IBM TrackPoint

  5. 6319

    Will Lenovo finally get rid of the shimmery screen covering in this version? That shimmer totally ruins the X1 for me.

  6. 850

    I only wish it has a 3000X2000 touch screen. I own an X1 Carbon (2Gen) and got a little excited reading this until I saw the specs for the WQHD.

  7. 1753

    This video is private... Guess it has been blocked.

  8. 8834

    If they've really bumped the battery life from 11 hours to 15 hours while reducing weight a bit, that's awfully impressive.  

  9. 794

    OLED screen?  NIT brightness? Touch ? Can it do a back flip over like the Yoga? Trying to compare this new X1 Carbon vs. the recently updated X1 Yoga late 2016 model. 

  10. 5485

    "Why anyone might consider a MacBook Pro over this baffles me. "

    Because its not just about the machine?

  11. 5602

    Paul, is the 1920x1080 display also IPS ? The way you wrote that sentence, it's not clear -- the position of the word "IPS" in that sentence makes it ambiguous.

  12. 131

    Why anyone might consider a MacBook Pro over this baffles me. But they will. 

    • 5361

      In reply to wbhite:

      One word... Marketing.... Apple is a fashion brand and what all the cool kids are running.   Or so they want you to think.  Apple will make several million this year on watch bands.   Literally, watch bands.


    • 316

      In reply to wbhite:

      Some people might say "because I know the touchpad and screen are going to be good". I can't understand why anyone would pick a MacBook Pro over the X1 line, either, but up until recently you could be pretty well assured that buying a MacBook meant a good overall package. The recent MacBooks all seem to be undoing that assumption, however.

      I really like the ThinkPad line, but their touchpads and displays have not historically been that great. Hopefully by adopting Precision Touchpad with this new line, at least one of those will improve in consistency.


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  14. 9562

    "Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Signature Edition. What they really mean is that this is a Signature PC, meaning no more crapware."

    Wait, so can I finally uninstall Cortana, the windows store, telemetry, ads, forced updates, bejeweled, fischer-price tiles, the crashfest Edge browser, etc?  

    No? Then its not crapware free.