Lenovo X1 Carbon Ultrabook: Holy Crap

The Lenovo X1 Carbon arrived at our office a few days ago, and while the full review will be up early next week, we wanted to give you our first impressions of Lenovo's ruggedised ultrabook. So far: Really good.

This is the best touchpad I've ever used on a Windows laptop. It's not quite perfect, but it's responsive, smooth, and works. And while some people still aren't sold on Lenovo's island keyboards, this is still one of the best keyboards you can use. Way better than the crap on Lenovo's U310, at least.

There are some issues we're figuring out -- it's been taking a long time to wake up compared to other ultrabooks, but we'll mess with some settings and see what happens -- but this is a really, really exciting machine. It's light, it's tough, it looks and feels cool, and has most of the good stuff you associate with "business" laptops, and only some of the dumb stuff.



    My worry with a carbon fibre chassis is heat dissipation. I've noticed in photos that it seems to have a huge grille on the left side, does that mean noisy fans? And I don't know why you'd care how the trackpad is when it has a trackpoint. Trackpoints are an order of magnitude better pointing devices. In fact, I reckon it is a feature that could easily sway me in a shopping comparison, even over something like an Asus Taichi with a touchscreen. I've been using my Vaio P Series a bit lately and, like my Dell M4400, I never feel like I need to attach a mouse, unlike every trackpad-only machine I've ever used (yes, that includes a 17" MacBook Pro).

      I'm with you there on the trackpads/trackpoint - except I am certain on the swaying power. I flat out will not buy a laptop that only has a trackpad. Just a shame that they're so hard to come by.

    Why do they persist with the terrible red mid keyboard joystick mouse.

      'Cause people that do intensive typing find it much faster - don't have to move the hand to a mousepad.

        Except for when you need to click...

          Look again, the mouse buttons are directly underneath the space bar, specifically placed to be in range of your thumbs.

      Because a lot of people really like them, and they are an iconic part of the Thinkpad range back from when IBM still owned the PC/laptop side of things (rather than Lenovo now).

      Apart from the occasional mouse pointer drifting with old clitoris mouse devices, I think they are much better than a trackpad. If I have both options I will disable the trackpad in favour of the trackpoint. There is no fault with the trackpoint with mouse clicks while typeing that always occur with an active trackpad.. I agree with motourmouth. I would choose this model just based on that feature over another without.

        Nothing beats a trackpoint on a laptop. No need for carrying around a separate mouse and a hell of a lot easier and accurate than using a touchpad.

        Really? My netbook doesn't even have the option of disabling the track pad and I honestly don't think I've ever accidently "clicked" while typing on it.

      As I said, that is a killer feature for me. It is one thing that would make me buy that laptop over another of similar specs. If it was a $100 option, I would see the value in paying for it. OTOH, I'd pay extra to get a laptop without a trackpad, because they are useless and get in the way.

    Please Lenovo, change that god forsaken Thinkpad logo or get rid of it all together... It takes your products and makes it look like someone pooped all over them...

      I don't mind it. Like the styling, it is truly distinctive. I think it's great that they have kept a basic design theme that means anyone can instantly identify a ThinkPad laptop from pretty much any angle, yet there is far more variety in the actual shapes than you realise. It's a really neat trick.

      I agree. The Thinkpad logo is butt ugly. And you have to see it twice. Lid and palm rest. If I bought the thing I would know it's a Thinkpad and don't have to be reminded at all times. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Anyone that likes the logo is mentally stuck in the 80s. Definitely turns a cool work laptop in to an old business man's machine. I guess that's their market though. Seriously Lenovo, it's been what, 20 years. Hire a marketing company to design a new logo and enter the new millennium. Or heck, just stick with Lenovo. It's already there.

    That looks awesome....bet it has a nice price tag. :(

    Lenovo, please change the order of the left CTRL and FN keys and get rid of the mouse cursor nipple thingy. Yes, we know you can change the CTRL and FN in the bios settings but it's nicer when it's physically labelled as that. I've had problems with curor nipples going out of control too.

    Just my 2 * 2c.

      Sorry, hit submit early, the bios change is really simple. IIRC they did a user survey about this issue a while back and the majority of users preferred the current location. That being said, I do the Bios switch because i prefer control on the outside.

    You can change the Ctrl fn keys with a quick bios edit that Lenovo builds in

    I have owned a thinkpad since IBM was making them. I have used the new keyboard on other Lenovo laptops that other people in my family own and must say that it is very significantly worse. It is bad enough that my current Thinkpad will be my last. The new keyboard does not have the same responsiveness when typing and has a noticeably shorter key press. If I wanted a bad chiclet keyboard, I could have bought any computer from any company. I also dislike the move away from the bottom mouse buttons. they are the primary buttons that I use. Thinkpad made their brand off of having a consistent business machine, it is a shame that Lenovo has turned the brand into an Apple knockoff. If I was going to spend this much money on an Apple knockoff, I would just buy a Mac.

      That's pretty self-contradictory there; you complain about the positions of the buttons, then accuse them of copying a company who don't have any buttons on their trackpad. But I think you are wrong on both counts, as I've read in other reviews that the Trackpad itself is clickable, like most these days. The buttons are there specifically for the TrackPoint, so their placement makes excellent sense.

        @MotorMouth, They removed buttons make it more like a Mac. If you had used a thinkpad before you would know that it had three buttons on top of the trackpad and another two below it. My problem isn't the position of the buttons, i want both the buttons that they kept and those that they removed. Clickable trackpads are horrible and not replacement for actual buttons. They are moving the design in the direction of apple and dropping what made the brand successful. If I wanted the features that they are adding I could get them from every other brand. Thinkpads had a cult following for a good reason, that reason is now gone.

          "Cult following"? Really? This is the first I'm hearing of it. When I worked at Autodesk everyone else had them (I had a Dell Precision for product demo purposes) but I can't recall anyone who actually loved theirs. Whenever I needed a new demo machine they always made me spec up one (I think they had a contract with IBM) but there was never one that had all the features I needed. I'm seriously tempted by this, though.

    Where is the full review? We've been waiting patiently.

    Looking forward to the full review dudes........

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