Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon review (2021): portable, powerful and cheap

Lenovo X1 Carbon It is one of the best laptops you can buy. It weighs 2.5 pounds, is light, thin and very portable. It provides sufficient power for most tasks, full-day battery life, and unlike the competition, it provides ample ports for all your accessories.

We reviewed Linux version of X1 Carbon Last year, all the content in this review also applies to the updated version of the machine. The main change for the 2021 X1 Carbon is the shift to the 11th generation Intel processors.Oh, and the new slightly taller screen, which now has an aspect ratio of 16:10, just like Dell XPS 13.

Carbon core

The new X1 Carbon is not a design revolution. However, this is a good thing, because the design has been done very well and does not need to be modified. It is lighter than most competitors, especially business-class laptops like Dell Latitude, and the soft carbon fiber surface is the hallmark of Thinkpad at this point. I think it depends on your personal aesthetics, but compared to aluminum and titanium notebooks, I have always liked the look and feel of Thinkpad carbon fiber.

All the familiar and well-deserved Thinkpad elements are here: the keyboard is very good; the red pointer is located between the G, H, and B keys; there are three buttons on the top of the trackpad.

There are many ports.Unlike other ultra-portable devices-I am looking 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 only thing missing is the SD or microSD card slot. Nevertheless, one dongle is better than the six required for other laptops.

The most significant change in Gen 9 X1 Carbon is the new 16:10 screen size.As I made in Dell Same changes to XPS, You wouldn’t think it’s a big deal, but it’s really obvious in your daily work.

The extra half-inch screen means more vertical space for documents, web pages, and spreadsheets, which means less scrolling and generally makes life more enjoyable. When I sent the X1 Carbon back to Lenovo, the 16:9 screen of my X250 suddenly felt more cramped. Compared with the 16:9 model, the difference in body size and weight is negligible, and any extra screen you can get from the laptop is a win for the user.

The model I tested has an FHD+ (1920 x 1200 pixel) panel, but you can also choose 4K if you need it. However, the 1080p version has a matte panel, which is a plus if you are working in a bright environment. It can only reach a brightness of 365 nits, which is not industry-leading anyway, but it is bright enough to sit outside and work in the sun in summer. Unfortunately, there is no OLED screen, which is disappointing.

In addition to the lack of an SD card slot, the biggest disappointment may be the 720p webcam. None of the Lenovo I have used has a great webcam, but this camera is bad enough, and my colleagues commented on how bad I used it at Zoom meetings. Considering the number of Zoom meetings attended by ordinary corporate employees today, this seems to be a huge oversight for Lenovo.To be fair, it seems that no computer manufacturer is willing to put a decent camera in a laptop, so if you really need high-quality video, you It is best to use a third-party webcam.

Photo: Lenovo

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