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The Lenovo X1 Carbon laptop review

Saturday, January 11, 2014

/ by Srikanth Eswaran


 



After the introduction of the macbook air, many laptop makers tried hard at emulating apple’s flagship portable laptop. While some succeeded to some extent, some just could not meet the thickness levels (or shall we say thinness levels) of the Air. Hard at work were lenovo and with the subsidizing of solid state drives (SSD) it was only a matter of time before they also tried the same experiment. The result of Lenovo’s efforts culminated in what we now know in the market as the X1-Carbon. With up to an 8GB of RAM, and a 256 GB of SSD its only about 0.7 inches thin. That is about 0.02 inches more than the macook Air and with the X1 carbon, Lenovo finally has managed to be part of th elite crowd of thin laptop makers. Made with a carbon body which they claim is virtually indestructible, a matt finish display and business security included this laptop also comes in two screen versions a 10 point multitouch screen for windows 8 and a normal screen for window 7 business users. The laptop charges in less than 1 hour to 80% and roughly gives anywhere between 3.5 to 5 hours on a single charge. Though lenovo claims the laptop stays cool at all times, it was noticed that there is a mild warming up on the left side which is expected for heat dissipation. There was a time when the laptop did not go to sleep properly when the lid was closed and it had reached an alarming level of heating by the time I could reach office from home. Usually such occurrences are mostly due to devices not allowing the system to shut down properly and is more to do with windows OS rather than the hardware itself. This is perhaps where Apple scores better owing to both hardware and software design in house. One of the things I liked most is the back lighting which is split into two levels of brightness which makes it very useful to work in a really dark room with typical household adults doing the work at home when kids sleep in the same room. The small orange dotted LED displays for audio mic and speakers mute with a neat volume increase/decrease button at the center makes it looks extremely business like. The wireless and bluetooth are always on by default. The green lit circular power button is also cool to look at in terms of design. A comparison with the Lenovo T410 business laptop from the year 2010 clearly shows Lenovo's progress in laptop design.




  The keyboard is the Lenovo’s famous chiclet keyboard design which is ergonomic to use, though I personally am a fan of the Mac keyboard which is highly accurate. The X1 carbon also boasts of a very accurate track pad unlike its poorer cousin the G680 series which was known for its horrible track pad. This clearly shows you get more for the money paid. The laptop also features a fingerprint scanner which is more of a commodity nowadays. The power cable is unique to this model and those with older power cables cannot use those here. Also the laptop has done away with full sized ethernet and display ports. To add to the features missing there are only two usb ports which one needs to make do with for using external mouse and ethernet connections. The expectation is that one uses Wifi more than ethernet on this model as this is more suited for lightweight users and travelers. There is a SD slot for card reading and an audio output socket which also adapts to mic/headphone combined models of hardware. The laptop also features a micro sim slot which is useful to make calls from the machine itself and makes its true business purpose more prominent. Instead of a full fledged display port we have to make do with the mini display port / hdmi port instead. Frankly for casual users this is not the most needed anyways.




  The processors being offered go all the way up to the fourth generation core-i7 which makes this hardware a compelling proposition to go for. The boot up times and shutdown times are very quick making it for a pack and go travel companion. At about 1300 dollars in the usa, this works out to close to 1,00,000 indian rupees including taxes and shipping. This is slightly on the higher side but the money paid is well worth it in terms of usage satisfaction. The laptop also comes with optional dock which provides more usb ports for connecting other devices. I did not find an option where the laptop could be powered through the dock itself.



  Overall if Lenovo can make these models more mainstream and introduce the cheaper processors in the same form factor, they have a winner in their hands and their sales could see the much needed upswing. Just like how the MacBook Air defines Apple’s design prowess for portable laptops, the X1 brings in its bouquets for Lenovo.   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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