The ThinkPad series of laptops in the Lenovo lineup address the business users. ThinkPad X1 Carbon series was introduced in 2012 and is updated yearly. The X1 Carbon takes the ThinkPad design philosophy and adds a bit of finesse to it. So you get a thinner, lighter laptop which offers ThinkPad basics such as spill resistant keyboard, track point, powerful internals and so on. This time around the X1 Carbon is in its fourth generation, so let us see how it fares.
Build and Design: 8 / 10
There are few names in the Windows laptops ecosystem that command as much respect in the build quality and design segment as the ThinkPad series. Meant purely for business users, the ThinkPad series has over the years evolved in terms of it design language making itself attractive to non-business users as well. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon uses carbon fibre and magnesium in its construction, which gives it that sturdy feel, while at the same time ensuring that the weight is kept manageable. At just 1.17kg and just 16.5mm thick, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is quite light and portable 14-inch laptop.
The all black body still has some ThinkPad design elements. The top flap is clean except for the ThinkPad logo with an LED backlit dot over the i. There is a blink and you miss it Lenovo branding along the top left hand corner. On opening the flap, you get the familiar chiclet keyboard which we will talk about in detail below. The palm rest area is sufficient and just above the ThinkPad branding on the right hand side palm rest area, you have the finger-print scanner for added security.
Hinge mechanism is quite sturdy and can take the display 180 degrees flat. The bezel around the matte display is somewhat thick and has a slightly coarse finish as compared to the rest of the body. The 720p webcam is located in the centre on the top. The power button is located on the top right hand corner with a green LED present in the centre indicating that the laptop is powered on.
Coming to the ports, on the left hand side you have the power port, Lenovo OneLink+ docking port, a mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0 port. On the right hand side from the top, you have an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports and an audio jack. On the rear side you have a flap which hides the SIM card slot and microSD card slot. A full size ethernet port and an SD card slot are conspicuous by their absence. The base has two round rubber feet towards the base and rectangular rubber feet up top thereby giving just enough space for the air intake from the base.
Keyboard and Trackpad: 8/10
ThinkPad has always been at the forefront of setting the standards for Windows laptops and the story is no different for the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The 6-row chiclet keyboard has scalloped keys with a good amount of travel on them. It does lack a full-size number pad though, and the top row of Function keys are shared with quick action keys. The keyboard is backlit and also offers the spill resistance that is a norm with ThinkPad keyboards.
Also present is the red-coloured track point between the BGH keys with accompanying left,right and centre click buttons just below the space bar. The trackpad is also wonderfully responsive and has a nice feedback to it. Once you are use to the trackpoint, you will barely go for the trackpad, although new users will take some time getting used to it. But once mastered, it is the most convenient way to interact with the laptop, as the mouse click buttons are placed quite ergonomically.