Should you buy the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon?

We've had some time with the Thinkpad X1 Carbon and are amply impressed, but when it comes to making a final purchasing decision, we want to provide you guys with a broad range of reviews. Here you'll find a quick run-down of what the Thinkpad X1 Carbon costs, what the critics have to say about it, and what owners in our community have experienced. Despite the whole Superfish fiasco, Lenovo still makes a mean laptop.

Being 2.9 pounds and 0.6 inches thick, the X1 Carbon is well-suited for working on the road. The classic red tracking nub is dab smack in the middle of the keyboard, and clicking trackpad buttons have returned. You can get up to an i7 3.2 GHz processor and 8 GB of RAM if you need serious horsepower. 512 GB of SSD storage is available, depending on model. There's also an option for a fingerprint scanner if you're concerned about security, and touch access on the display. The 14-inch display starts at 1920 x 1080 and goes up to 2560 x 1440 with upgrades.

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We Like

  • Light, durable build quality
  • Slim bezel
  • Excellent keyboard

We Don't Like

  • No SD card slot
  • High price point
  • Middling graphics performance with no 16 GB RAM option

Critic Reviews

Our take

If you're regularly on the road for business, the Lenovo X1 Carbon is hard to beat. Starting at $1,199.99, however, you'll need to have a budget for the best in class.

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Simon Sage
  • But is has more than one port! Which makes it better than the new Macbook. And its just as pricy. And it runs Windows which makes it even better!
  • And you will never know what they replaced revealed spyware with. I don't believe they are not. Not that kind of human. Just will hide spyware more efficiently.
  • superfish was an issue only on Lenovo's consummer PC. Enterprise grade like ThinkPads doesnt even come with bloatware.
  • How can you be so sure in this? Maybe for enterprise they using something more serious? They are people without sense of respect and shame. So i don't believe they didn't installed something wrong at this device too, we just don't know it.
  • People are so concerned about their "privacy" yet they are 1) on a forum, 2) use a search engine, and 3) have a cell phone. Give it up, privacy is a concept that isn't practical.
  • People are dying , it's ok if somebody will kill them for money by your logics.
  • So "people without sense of respect and shame" do you mean Chinese? I don't think you want to go down that road. Let's just say that they made a mistake, and to keep a loyal customer base they have reconciled that mistake. I'm hoping you're not attempting at being a racist on a post about computers, but I don't think Lenovo is going to make the same mistake again.
  • I mean international company with USA roots (too) Lenovo. I see you are racist?
  • We have these at my job and I work in the IT department. We wipe and reinstall vanilla windows on everything.
  • AND they got rid of the adaptive touch buttons strip and are offering an actual keyboard this time around compared to the last one. These are incredbile machines.
  • It is an incredible machine, and very sturdy. That said this doesn't offer so much more than the cheaper dell xps13. Both can have their ssds replaced, similarly specced, though I personally think the dell trumps here. Again, personally, I think the keyboard isn't as good as on the older think pads. But then it's sexy machine and I'm glad we've got such excellent choice!
  • The Dell is an incredible machine (especially for the asking price!), but it's a consumer laptop. The Cabon X laptops, like the Dell Latitudes, fall in the business grade lineup. So they have perks like super durability, a liquid drain hole under the keyboard, and more robust keyboards, etc. Considering all those things, this one's price is on par with the rest of business line computer.
  • Superfish
  • Sure - though they're saying they've put a stop to this practice, I'd wipe the drive, if not just change it. The chassis is good.
  • Who will prevent them to silently install spyware via any app or driver you will need on this laptop? They said "sorry" and that's all the've done. People who installed Superfish to laptop still in Lenovo and still do all they did before, Lenovo even didn't fired them, it's sign of approval of spying in future.
  • This errant monetization of everything, leading to then thinking they should offer purchasing advice and take a cut - this I do not like. it is a disturbing trend. I buy the product, that's all I'm after. But then, whenever I buy a laptop, I also factor in an extra ssd, ram and os. Not everyone can afford that, nor should they have to. But then, soon enough, this scam will be forgotten anyway. Incidentally, I don't believe the think pad/Enterprise lines had the malware anyway. Not that I'd trust anyone too suggest otherwise. It's a quandary. Personally I fresh install as I have Enterprise licenses. Perhaps I'm showing my age but I'm actually more concerned about the soldered ram - between that and the mobo battery anything could be on there :/
  • Any self respecting IT dept (like myself) wipes the device upon delivery and images it with their own image. I have deployed about 9 Carbon's dating back to before they had the OneLink option. They are solid devices and work great and are fairly durable. They are a little more money but they are quality. You want crap buy cheaper, you want something that will last longer and give you better ROI then buy Carbon's.  Yes they cost more but good stuff is worth it, go ahead and buy cheaper, you will end up replacing sooner.  hence the loss of benefit for cheaping out.
  • Even an Asus eeepc with an Atom is way better than a useless-os gaypple.
    Anyway I would buy the new bezel-less Dell :)
  • a developer of some great apps, don't go slating Apple products in a fanboy kind of way. It just looks really silly.
    The Macbook/Air are excellent machines - with the best reliability in the industry. I prefer Windows - but to say an Atom eeepc is better than a Macbook is utterly ridiculous.
    Stay classy venetasoft. Please
  • Your 3rd line is as well. Reliability is worse of those machines running here. Anyway, looking at the comments on the internet in general, you know a reply like yours doesn't do anything anyway. Better stride the apple fanboys ;)
  • Less homophobia would be great (and classy) as well.
  • I have a Gen 1. Still boss. Still amazing.
  • Priced too high. Too many tradeoffs for a slim design.
    A ThinkPad for the envious entrepreneurs :)
  • No, because i don't have Money even for a lenovo with dual core
  • Hahaha.. I love these Laptop articles which make readers go mad ! :P
  • Would buy over the Dell. True story. The TrackPoint cannot be beat. It's so handy one you've used it for many years.
  • Ciolbreezw78 YEP, won't buy a laptop without a TrackPoint.
  • Can we stop with the advertisement? Especially when branding Chinese products?
  • And what's wrong with Chinese brands
  • I believe the US DoD or NSA suggests not using them due to an off chance they be used for spying. However, he was most likely not referencing or implying that.
  • That or the fact I lived in China for the last 10 years and know first hand that quality doesn't matter in the least. You think the US companies know how to only care about profits? China takes it to a whole new level...
  • Apple products are from... China.
  • Yeah, with major extreme regulations. If you assemble apple products or anything like that in china. You don't leave the compound. Unless you quit. You live there. A volunteer prison.
    P.s. Plus apple sucks. I got tired of old tech years ago...
  • Or maybe they suggest not using them because Chinese manufacturers refuse to tap into and transmit the data to NSA lol These conspiracy theories.
  • And besides, the point was it's still advertising. They just transitioned advertisements into looking like an actual article. That is how advertising is going to go these days...
  • See what I wrote after "However..."
  • Yeah. Got it. Sarcasm. Thanks for definitely identifying it now. Privacy is dead. Has been for quite awhile. Lesser of two evils then, US spying or Chinese spying. I know what choice I would be taking.
  • Nope. If it's a paid post, we label it as such. We're just expanding our laptop coverage and doing these kinds of articles for all high-profile laptops.
  • Maybe, if I wanted stealth adware preinstalled on my pc. :D
  • From now on I will skip these "articles"
  • I have one. It gets the job done. Battery life is okay. Build quality could be a little better (mine makes a squeaky plastic sound if you squeeze the frame)
  • Does the keyboard kinda bow out? I'd gladly trade in sorry build quality for a few squeaks. Sadly ASUS has failed me badly in this regard.
  • You know I can't understand people always complaining about the stories that aren't targeted to them. Just do like I do which is skip the crap I don't like. I see a story on snap chat I don't bite but it doesn't bother me it's there. Now if I see a story on a Hero phone I know it's meant for me :). You should just skip reading about the high end stuff if the lust is too much for you. I know I can't afford it all but I like to read about it until I can pull the trigger and make it mine, lol.
  • Preach it brotha
  • I know right?? I was looking for condo*s that glow in the dark and have QR charging but they won't post about it. :/
  • I don't know about stories.
    But I know whom you are targeting :P
  • You're confused. It's not a story or article. It's an advertisement. That is how corporations advertise these days. Articles and stories are fine. But selling products in the form of advertising is BS.
  • Never, never ever Lenovo. I feel like a raging bull thinking about the last person I had to help with Superfish and crapware. Lenovo is a PC killer for me now. You can love the keyboards all you like, Lenovo is a symbol of pure waste of time for regular to business customer. And THNX to god, friends and businesses around ME are leaving Lenovo, some of them loyal users.
    Crapware destroyed this company among other things.
  • FYI Superfish never touched their Thinkpad line. It was on the junky consumer line (IdeaPad, etc). I know, doesn't matter - guity by association and all, so carry on.
  • FYI i know.
  • I already have it!! :p
  • Not a fan of the changing function row. Have seen 4 of these laptops all lose their rubber feet within a month. Hate the touchpad, terrible. But, it is very durable, and the keyboard is unbeatable as far as key travel on a laptop goes.
  • This can very well be the best Windows 10 upgrade machine. Fingerprint. High res. High performance. High everything.
  • Why don't people buy Macbook Pros and just dual boot Windows? You get excellent hardware and 2 operating systems to choose from. Hate one? Then erase the other.
  • Its simple because in the bracket the MacBook is competing with regards price you have immense choice. The MacBook typically makes comprimises and is in effect just another laptop manufacturer. When I look for a laptop in the £800 range I have huge choice so its not really suprising that most people choose another model. In that middle space I could buy a Zenbook, a Surface pro, HP Spectre, Lenovo Flex a MacBook Pro 13, heck I could even buy the 2nd generation carbon. The real qustion why would sombebody buy a MacBook without first looking at the competition. ... Just a thought.
  • That's a good thought.
  • Because Macbooks are overpriced and underpowered. You can get far more "bang for your buck" buying something not made by Apple. Oh and you're in completely the wrong place to even suggest someone here use MacOS!
  • Because the driver situation on a Macbook running Windows is horrible. Janky trackpad, poor power, etc. It's nice to have the option but comprimises ahoy.
  • What is this? An article for people who are too lazy to read the full review? This "article" lacks a lot of explanation and just points you to other articles about the X1 Carbon: Graphics performance gets listed as a con, but there's no word about it in the text above, not even a slight mention.  Furthermore, in the review from Michael Archambault here on WindowsCentral he clearly states that the X1 Carbon is capable of playing games from World of Warcraft and Hearthstone (not quite the graphical elite) to FPS like Team Fortress, Counter Strike (no word on which one) and CoD (same as CS). Also, it's a freaking business machine! You do business work on it (Office!!!). Why would it need a ton of RAM and a GTX 980M in it? The keyboard - despite the usual good build quality - gets criticized for having a new layout which some might dislike. Listing it here as a pro feels like telling only half of the truth.  
  • You're right that this isn't meant to be an in-depth review, and yeah, it's much more of a quick look for those that either don't want to go through a review, or need a launching point into reviews. I wouldn't go so far as to call those people lazy, though.
  • It is funny how people think ThinkPad ever had Superfish... But honestly windows central helped to make them think that when every Superfish article had ThinkPad in the heading. :-(
  • They didn't? What PC did then?
  • Only consumer products = Idea brand. No commercial Lenovo product (Think brand - ThinkPad, ThinkCentre, ThinkServer, ThinkStation etc.) ever had Superfish.
  • Wizaard is right, Thinkpad is Lenovo's enterprise range of devices and Superfish was 'only' installed on consumer devices like the Y70 I almost bought. It's not surprising that people, including me, are going to be wary about any Lenovo product from now on. Lenovo have the reputation of producing really good PCs and never whined about Microsoft like Acer did. They of all OEMs should have understood Superfish and given it wide birth. OEMs should understand that they don't have the expertese to improve upon Windows and leave the OS alone. They can differentiate their devices through hardware innovation and providing good aftersale service for when things go wrong. What people want is good value and reliability, not advertising and certainly not undermining HTTPS.
  • It doesn't seem to be available in a Signature Edition, so I'd be wary. I almost bought a Y70 late last year, but decided I didn't need another laptop, so I avoided Superfish and Komodia by luck alone. I had thought so highly of Lenovo for having the courage to innovate and was thinking about a Yoga 3 Pro later this year. Instead, I think a Surface 4 will be on the cards. Superfish is not the sort of differentiation I am looking for. The best thing Lenovo can do now is put all thier models into the Signature Editions program.
  • Lenovo? How about Le-NO? I do hope Lenovo representatives or employees can see those comments.. If they do, PUT YOUR COMPUTERS IN AN AQUARIUM.
  • I like Lenovo laptops. Couldn't care less about this fish bs, Google spies on you every day, and you keep on using it.
  • Lenovo is shit. Not an opinion, more like a fact.
  • I didn't ask you anything. Lenovo is the best brand ever.
  • Sure it is, if you are a retard I guess. : J
  • Lenovo makes the best buisness laptops and ultrabooks (thinkpads) They have a great repuation. We use them at work. Lenovo isn't the best brand ever but they do make a quality product. If there is a standard that every company should strive for it is the thinkpad line.
  • If you want something that's slim but do a lot of heavy typing for school or work, then I think the x1 carbon is the way to go. No other keyboard on an ultraslim laptop can compare, and I think its very rugged as well.
  • Off topic: Permission to comment please. Why cant I connect to any online games at windows phone? Currently using Nokia Lumia 730 dual sim. Thanks.
  • I don't want any carbon footprints thank you very much
  • Does it have a stylist like the think pad yoga does?
  • Spectre X360 for me.
  • Not bad and much as folks rip on the Chinese vendor, they do make impressive machines.
  • "Gets nearly all the basics right while adding a few new twists, including a function key row that changes app by app." That quote from Cnet is only for the 2014 version, the adaptive key-line at the top is not available on the 2015 model, and thats a good thing.
  • Good eye, thanks!
  • No, they put spyware on their laptops... never will buy one
  • No SD no sell. Especially out of a business oriented laptop. Especially at that price.
  • I have a ThinkPad and I never turn it off like almost never as long as I have power source.
  • I will be primarily using Quickbooks 2015 pro -  it says minimum 2.4 GHZ.  Do I need to get the i7 processor?  Lenovo Carbon X1 or Dell XPS or Samsung 9plus  -  also thinking about Company and durablity - business class.  Also a person mentioned that Quickbooks is not compatable with IPS displays - is this true? I do not see anything listed about it on specifications.  Thanks
  • I do like my Carbon but we deploy far more T440 laptops.You get more computing power and more bettery life for less cost. Comparing them side by side reveals that there's very little size or weight difference as well. We've also had higher failure rate with the Carbons - and the Carbons don't dock. This probably doesn't affect many of the consumers/students on this site but the Carbon is just not a very good large scale business device. Maybe for the boss who wants look a bit more sleek carrying it between conference rooms - until she has to plug it in because it won't last more than three hours.
  • The carbon 2015 should last you at least 6 hours. Thanks for the advice on the T440, I am gonna check it out :)
  • No you should not get one. The hardware is junk the build quality is abysmal. Mine had a dead USB port and audio jack out of the box.