Lenovo’s X1 Carbon is among the greatest laptops you should purchase. At 2.5 kilos, it is light-weight, skinny, and really moveable. It affords loads of energy for many duties, all-day battery life, and—not like its competitors—loads of ports for your whole equipment.
We’re reviewed the Linux model of the X1 Carbon final 12 months, and every little thing on this overview applies to the up to date model of the machine too. The primary change to the 2021 X1 Carbon is the transfer to Eleventh-generation Intel processors. Oh, and the brand new, barely taller display, which now has a 16:10 side ratio, similar to the Dell XPS 13.
The brand new X1 Carbon isn’t a design revolution. That is a great factor, although, as a result of the design has all the time been very effectively achieved and does not want a makeover. It is lighter than many of the competitors, particularly the enterprise class laptops just like the Dell Latitude, and the smooth carbon fiber floor is a Thinkpad hallmark at this level. It relies on your private aesthetics, I suppose, however I’ve all the time a lot most well-liked the Thinkpad carbon fiber feel and look to aluminum and titanium laptops.
All of the acquainted, and deservedly well-known, Thinkpad components are right here: The keyboard is superb; the pink pointer nub is between the G, H, and B keys; and there are three buttons on the prime of the trackpad.
There are additionally loads of ports. In contrast to different ultraportables—I am taking a look at you, XPS 13 and MacBook Air—there are two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, a headphone jack, and a Kensington lock slot. The one factor lacking is an SD or microSD card slot. Nonetheless, one dongle is healthier than the half dozen you want with different laptops.
Essentially the most noticeable change within the Gen 9 X1 Carbon is the brand new 16:10 display dimension. As I stated when Dell made the identical change to the XPS, you would not assume this is able to be that massive of a deal, but it surely actually is noticeable in day-to-day work.
That further half inch of display means there’s extra vertical room for paperwork, net pages, and spreadsheets, which implies much less scrolling and customarily makes life extra nice. Once I despatched the X1 Carbon again to Lenovo, my X250’s 16:9 display immediately felt extra cramped. The physique dimension and weight distinction in comparison with the 16:9 mannequin is negligible, and any further display you possibly can eke out of a laptop computer is a win for the consumer.
The mannequin I examined had the FHD+ (1920 x 1200-pixel) panel, however there is a 4K choice accessible if you need it. The 1080p model has a matte panel, although, which is a plus in the event you’re working in brightly lit conditions. It solely will get to 365 nits of brightness, which is not industry-leading by any means, but it surely was a lot vivid sufficient to sit down outdoors on a summer time day and do some work within the sunshine. Sadly, there isn’t any OLED display, which is disappointing.
Maybe the most important disappointment, apart from the lacking SD card slot, is the 720p webcam. No Lenovo I’ve used has had an impressive webcam, however this one is unhealthy sufficient that my colleagues commented on how unhealthy it was after I used it for a Zoom assembly. Given the quantity of Zoom conferences the typical company employee is doing today, this looks like an enormous oversight on Lenovo’s half. To be truthful, no computer-maker appears to be keen to place an honest digital camera in a laptop computer, so if you really want high-quality video, you are higher off with a third-party webcam.