Folks who need a portable workstation should look no further than the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. It's a sleek-looking, lightweight, and powerful laptop for professionals that you can depend on. Notably, you can kit out the device with advanced audio, stunning displays, capable modern Intel processors, and LTE connectivity for truly wireless computing. As great as the laptop is, though, your experience with it can be made even better with the addition of some handy accessories. Here's a list of our favorites.
We've recommended this expensive dock time and time again, but it's well worth the money if you want to create a workstation with your X1 Carbon. It connects with but a single Thunderbolt 4 port on the laptop, adding 18 ports, including five USB-A, three USB-C, three Thunderbolt 4, Ethernet, SD card readers, and audio jacks. The CalDigit TS4 can also provide up to 98W of charging to the X1 Carbon, which is fantastic.
Waterfield makes all its products by hand in San Francisco, and they come with a generous warranty, so you can be sure this is a quality sleeve. It's made to fit precisely around the X1 Carbon, and it's available in either waxed canvas or ballistic nylon. Choose from vertical or horizontal orientation, and add a strap if you'd like to sling it over your shoulder.
Ink on Windows
If you have a touch-enabled display on your X1 Carbon, a Wacom AES 2.0 pen — like Lenovo's Pen Pro — will let you take advantage of Windows Ink features. This pen can last for more than 150 hours on a single charge, has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, and three buttons that can be configured.
Cut the cord
The X1 Carbon includes a touchpad and a ThinkPad TrackPoint system, but a wireless mouse can still increase productivity and precision. We rate the Logitech MX Master 3 as one of the best wireless mice thanks to ergonomic design, up to 70-day battery life, a precise Darkfield sensor that works on any surface, and connections over Bluetooth or a 2.4GHz receiver.
Better typing ergonomics
The keyboard isn't the most ergonomically designed accessory, especially when all keys are aligned in rows like the standard layout. The X1 Carbon has an excellent keyboard, but using one all day can harm your wrists. The Logitech Ergo K860 Keyboard is one that helps fight against fatigue thanks to its inverted V-shaped layout and elevated "hump" in the center.
If you're on a tighter budget, but would still like to protect your Carbon X1 against damage, Tomtoc's sleeve keeps it basic with an affordable price. Included is a main zippered pocket with thick padding and a soft fleece lining, as well as secondary zippered pouches on the front for your smaller accessories. The exterior fabric is water-resistant, and you also get a few colors to pick from as well.
Lenovo's own ThinkVision T27p-10 is an excellent monitor that we highly recommend if you want to hook your X1 Carbon up to a larger display. 4K resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, a gorgeous color gamut, and a 4ms response time make it very compelling for use as a complementary display for the X1 Carbon. If your laptop screen feels a little restricted, try this panel out.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a decent gaming machine. It won't blow you away since it uses integrated Intel graphics, but you can enjoy less-intensive PC games like Minecraft while on the go. The best way to do this is with a wireless Bluetooth Xbox controller. Note that you can also use the USB-C cable included in the box to use the controller with a wired connection.
Making the right choice
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All the accessories listed in this collection will complement the Lenovo X1 Carbon, allowing you to get more done on the go. However, if you're not too sure about where to begin, we can lend a hand here.
The big recommendation here is the Thunderbolt 4 dock. The CalDigit TS4 is an excellent choice should you need several more ports for hooking up additional hardware to your X1 Carbon. The sheer number of USB-A, USB-C, and Thunderbolt 4 ports you get is incredible, and SD card readers, audio jacks, and an Ethernet slot also ensure you can take full advantage of expandable storage, quality headphones, and a rock-solid internet connection. You can also pair the dock and the laptop with the excellent Lenovo ThinkVision T27p-10, allowing you to enjoy 27 inches of 4K goodness.
Laptops are also portable PCs, and you should treat them as such, making full use of Windows 11 wherever you go. If you find yourself frequently taking the X1 Carbon out your front door, you'll want to consider some protection. Waterfield's sleevecase is a premium choice for additional shielding against bumps and drops while looking as premium as the price. Tomtoc's bag is a less protective, but more affordable option that we also recommend if you're on a budget.
Keep in mind that there are tons of other phenomenal accessories on the market as well, and if none of the peripherals on this list is a good fit for your needs, you shouldn't hesitate to search for alternatives. Check out our roundup of the best accessories for new laptop owners if you're interested in exploring other options.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.