January 9, 2013
- Solid, lightweight design
- Backlit keyboard
- Responsive touch screen
- Good overall performance
- Slightly below average battery life
- Very limited port selection
Yet another Windows 8 Ultrabook touch screen notebook is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch. It has a 14-inch display with an attractive design, a backlit keyboard and a responsive touch screen. It does suffer from below average battery life and is light on ports.
The design of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch is almost a carbon copy to the previous Windows 7 version that lacked a touch screen. The chassis is made of carbon fiber while the keyboard deck and bottom are magnesium. This provides a very sturdy exterior that will certainly survive some bumps and will look good too.
The notebook measures 13.0 x 8.9 x 0.7-inches (wdh) and weighs just 3.3-pounds, which is very lightweight and compact. We can definitely see this Ultrabook being used by on-the-go people on a daily basis, like business people or college students.
Lenovo chose an island-style keyboard that is also backlit, which is fairly standard with today's laptops. We felt the keys were a little light on feedback, but this is actually hardly worth mentioning because our experience typing was a good one. Keeping with the ThinkPad tradition, you get both the TrackPoint pointing stick and a touchpad. The touchpad is a glass one that is large in size. It is multitouch enabled and we had no troubles performing the Windows 8 gestures.
The 14-inch display on the X1 Carbon Touch has a 1600 x 900-pixel resolution, which is a little bit more than the average 1366 x 768-pixels. As a result, you gain some space on all sides of the screen. Touch screens typically have a very glossy display, but Lenovo did a good job at keeping the glossiness to a low level, which helps to cut down on glare. While watching streaming HD video, we felt the display produced good-looking contrast and colors. Viewing angles were about average too.
In terms of how the touch screen worked, we found it to be very responsive and extremely accurate. The panel is multitouch with 10-touch point support and supports all of the necessary Windows 8 gestures and swipes.
The port selection this Lenovo Ultrabook offers includes one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, DisplayPort-out and an SD card reader. There is no HDMI output, VGA-output or Ethernet port. While we understand the laptop's small size limits the port availability, we would have wanted at least one of those.
The laptop's internals include an Intel Core i5-3472U (1.8GHz) CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB solid-state hard drive and integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics. Because of the solid-state drive, the X1 boots into Windows 8 in about 15 seconds and also really improves file transfer times. On a PCMark 7 benchmark, the laptop earned 4,798, which is over 1,000 points higher than the Windows 8 Ultrabook average.
Battery life clocked in at around 6-hours, which is about 30 minutes to 1-hour lower than some other Windows 8 Ultrabooks, but it is still within the lower end of the category average.