No one really wants to lug around a notebook computer with them for work. It’s why manufacturers continue steadily to create laptops that give attention to maintaining your productivity up while reducing size and weight. The seventh-gen Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is an ideal example: a 14-inch business notebook computer that’s thinner and lighter than last year’s model while also increasing battery life and without sacrificing performance.

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Last updated on May 22, 2022 9:50 am

At 2.4 pounds (1.1 kg), you’d never utilize the word “lug” when commuting or traveling with the X1 Carbon. It’s only 14.9mm thick (0.6 in.), too, to help you slip it in and out of your bag flying in a middle seat in coach without elbowing your neighbors. And despite having a more substantial display than many ultraportables, it’s still tray-table size. You can also get the X1 Carbon with among Lenovo’s PrivacyGuard displays to greatly help block out what’s on your own screen when viewed from the sides.

Prices currently start at only significantly less than $1,300 and quickly ratchet up from there — that is Lenovo’s flagship business ultraportable, in the end. My review notebook computer sells for $2,499, but it’s practically maxed out on elements including an ultra-HD-resolution display with HDR400 support and includes a new carbon-fiber design on its lid. Basically, it has all of the appeal (and price!) of reduced ultraportable for consumers together with Lenovo’s latest privacy and security features for business, easily rendering it among the finest in its class.

The X1 Carbon is a normal clamshell and does not have the dual 360-degree hinges and the active pen of its X1 Yoga linemate. The screen does open 180 degrees, gives you a good amount of positioning versatility and helps it be better to share your display with others at the table.

Lenovo offers five display options upon this model, three which are 1,920×1,080-pixel resolution. Additionally, there are a WQHD (2,560×1,440 pixel) and the UHD display (3,820×2,160 pixel) I tested, although the latter doesn’t seem to be to be a choice when buying direct from Lenovo. The UHD display is nice to have, specifically for entertainment, but you will likely have to calibrate when you obtain it. Mine was just a little pink from the box.

Regardless of your decision, the webcam squeezed in to the frame above it really is fitted with a physical shutter that slides to block the camera. The laptops mics can be cut for greater privacy. Lenovo offers two newer privacy features upon this model: PrivacyGuard and PrivacyAlert. The former helps it be difficult for folks to the sides of your display to see what you are looking at it from at once. The latter will in actuality pop-up a notification on your own screen if someone is shoulder surfing as long as you’re working. PrivacyGuard is sadly only available on among the four display options and PrivacyAlert requires an optional IR camera in the laptop.

Light, but still tough
For better or worse, business laptops still have a reputation to be black slabs of boring. As the X1 Carbon doesn’t shout “look at me” like HP’s Spectre x360, it’s certainly stylish and durable, too. Lenovo says it meets 12 military-grade requirements and undergoes a lot more than 200 quality checks.

The keyboard is spill-resistant and is considered to be just about the most comfortable keyboards you will discover on a notebook computer this thin and you likely won’t need to adapt to using it. It includes a two-level backlight aswell. Tucked among the G, H and B keys you will discover Lenovo’s TrackPoint pointing stick, and the left, right and scroll mouse buttons below the area bar. Although many will probably wrap up using the laptop’s reliable Windows Precision Touchpad, I find the TrackPoint will come in convenient in cramped plane, train or bus seats.

The X1 Carbon has two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, two USB 3.1 (gen 1) ports and a full-size HDMI 1.4 output. Sitting directly next to 1 of the USB-C ports is a connector for Ethernet using an included dongle, but also an optional side mechanical dock. There’s a combo headphone/mic jack, too. Also, if you want to stay linked wherever you are, you may get LTE-A mobile access with the X1 Carbon.

For the longest battery life, skip UHD
Performance on my X1 Carbon was excellent, which isn’t a lot of a surprise given its maxed-out configuration: 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8665U vPro processor, 16GB of 2,133MHz RAM and a 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD. For day-to-day office chores like email and word processing, though, you will be fine with the entry-level config owning a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8265U. If your days will often have you handling more intensive tasks — such as for example employed in large databases or spreadsheets or creating multimedia presentations — or you merely want more headroom for future years, go on and get the i7.

Battery life, though, is a lttle bit disappointing. Lenovo claims up to 18 hours, but that isn’t for the better configuration I tested with the UHD-resolution display which ran for 6 hours, 21 minutes inside our streaming video test. With power and screen brightness adjustments, you can obtain more work periods of it, but basically, if you wish the very best battery life, miss the UHD HDR display. If you aren’t too worried about the battery life, you can at least take delight in the laptop’s quick-charge capability that brings it up to 80 percent in mere an hour — simply perfect for recharging on those airport layovers — or you can run the X1 Yoga off an external battery power.

Ready for the airline lounge
The seventh-gen Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a best-in-class ultraportable that combines premium design appeal with business-grade privacy and security features. The excess sturdiness is obviously nice to have on something so thin and light. You’ll have to focus on what configuration you go with to get the very best battery life possible. The same applies to its privacy features — PrivacyGuard and PrivacyAlert — which are optional.