After months of contemplating, going back and forth and researching, my long search for a laptop came to an end. My search was for a brand new laptop with at least 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD and integrated graphics to top it off. But, all these were super expensive. The market had a minimum of Sh. 78,000 for a laptop with such features.
While standing at one of the shops and having to make a decision by the end of the day, Lenovo’s fifth-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which appeared to be the benefactor of a perfect confluence of circumstances, turned these assumptions on their heads.
There was a catch, this laptop looked brand new, but it wasn’t, it was an ex-UK and the price was well, inviting.
The model I’m examining cost me Sh50,000 and has an Intel Core i5-5300U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB NVMe SSD, which is a nice increase over the standard X1 Carbon. That storage drive is twice as large and twice as quick as the entry-level model, and it runs on the PCI Express bus rather than the more common SATA.
The build quality remains consistent across all X1 Carbon models. It’s fantastic. There is no creaking or flexing of the keyboard to be found. The black surfaces feature a soft-touch feel that resists fingerprints and other blemishes brilliantly (this laptop is also available in silver). The hinges are a marvel of metal beauty: they open completely 180 degrees and seem sturdy enough.
The 2017 ThinkPad X1 Carbon, also known as the 5th Generation X1 Carbon, is a little slimmer than its predecessor, with a thickness reduction of 0.65 inches and a weight reduction of 2.6 to 2.49 pounds. Unlike most previous ThinkPads, the X1 Carbon comes in two colors: silver and black.
The texture of this model is pleasant to the touch. The somewhat rubbery texture of the X1 Carbon’s palm rest makes it feel like a soft gel pad, while the lid and bottom are a pleasure to touch and grip.
The laptop comes with a full size HDMI port, an ethernet port, Two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (USB 3.0, one Always On) – one on either side and a head phone jack.
Towards the back of the laptop is a MicroSD card reader and a SIM tray.
Keyboard and TouchPad
During my research, I had come across much fuss on the Lenovo keyboards, in general. On this particular model, that is something I adore as well. Each key is a beautiful island, properly designed and placed to provide me with the best typing experience possible. The key travel is incredibly deep for a laptop as slim as this ThinkPad.
I am not a touchpad fan but this feels responsive and smooth. The clicks are smooth enough with a rubbery feel on the press.
The X1 Carbon has the usual ThinkPad TrackPoint – the red nub in the centre — and it works nicely, if you’re really into that stuff.
At first, while comparing this to the HP Pavilion 14 X360 availed to me at the shop, I thought, this is not bright enough.
But, it’s more than enough to offer me a sharp image, and I enjoy that it’s more battery-friendly than the current trend for high-resolution screens everywhere. For the price, I assumed that, the resolution is more than good enough for what I was looking for. The laptop is able to give me up to around 4-5 hours of battery life in heavy use, with the display at its brightest and maximum resolution. With light tasks such as browsing and writing stuff, I could get it to around 6-7 hours. Perfect for me.
A plus, it is a touchscreen display.
Make multimedia presentations or view videos on the X1 Carbon, but don’t bring it to a dance party. The front-mounted speakers on the laptop provided mainly accurate audio that was loud enough to fill a medium-sized room.
I am yet to find a perfect webcam on any laptop.
The 720p sensor in the X1 Carbon, like most built-in laptop webcams, captured passable but unimpressive photos. It will do for your Zoom conference calls but you’ll need some proper lighting conditions in your house, lol.
I tried to take this photo at the oddest of hours, at least to see it’s low light capabilities. Not bad.
Speed and Performance
This evaluation version of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with a fast Intel 5th Generation Core i5-5300U vPro Edition CPU and 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB NVMe SSD. Performance was smooth whether I was running many tabs in Chrome, watching an offline video, composing a document, or utilizing formulas in a spreadsheet.
I also edited a video from an external hard drive at 1080p and was pleased. There were no lags when previewing the timeline and the export speeds were great.
Look no further than the ThinkPad X1 Carbon for the best blend of business portability and usability. It has a larger screen, a more sturdy structure, and the spartan appearance of a business machine. But it’s also slender, light, and, in some eyes, attractive. This is a laptop computer meant to satisfy practically all laptop needs, and what’s astonishing is how well and frequently it succeeds. Lenovo’s design decisions are overwhelmingly accurate, and this PC represents the refinement and near-perfection of a day-to-day use computer, in my opinion.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Specs
|CPU||Intel Core i5-5300U – vPro|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|Hard Drive Size||256|
|Hard Drive Speed||n/a|
|Hard Drive Type||NVMe SSD|
|Highest Available Resolution||2560 x 1440|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Thunderbolt, HDMI, Ethernet|
|RAM Upgradable to||16GB|
|Size||12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches|
|Touchpad Size||3.9 x 2.2 inches|
|Warranty/Support||One year – Brand new|
|Wi-Fi Model||Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8265|
Lenovo X1 Carbon 5th Generation
This laptop has got a great screen, durable build, and spartan looks of a business machine. But it’s also slim, light, and, in some beholders’ eyes, handsome. This is a computer designed to serve almost all laptop purposes, and the surprising thing about it is how well and how often it succeeds.
- Great display
- Nice keyboard
- Light and portable
- Average webcam
- Battery life is just okay