May 22 2020

Review: The New Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Is Designed to Delight Remote Workers

This 7th-generation notebook is loaded with technologies rarely combined in ultraportable designs.

Business users working from home or on the road must normally decide between power and portability when it comes to notebooks. The new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon bridges that gap, providing plenty of both with technology rarely seen in ultraportable designs.

Lenovo’s Carbon line has always featured its best ultraportable offerings. This year, the new X1 models deliver a lot more than just incremental changes. The entire case has been redesigned to be thinner and lighter than before, while the battery can supply up to 18 hours of power on a single charge. The X1 also has a rapid charge feature that can partially fill up the battery very quickly, which is perfect if users only have a few minutes near an outlet.

I found no business application that the X1 couldn’t handle, given its Core i7 processor and 16 gigabytes of speedy SDRAM. Complex spreadsheets and presentations in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint and detailed diagrams in Adobe Photoshop opened quickly with no delays. The fact that the 512GB hard drive is a solid-state model with no moving parts adds even more speed by eliminating disk-based read-write bottlenecks.

In a clever nod to user choice, Lenovo created three distinct displays to support different lines of business. The unit I tested had a 14-inch LED touch screen, which was highly responsive to touch-enabled applications. Another Carbon model has a brilliant 4K display, one of the first ultraportable units to feature one. The third’s display is polarized so that it can only be viewed head-on. Nosy neighbors to the sides see only black.

A Notebook Made From Tough Stuff

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon has also been ruggedized against the dangers faced by equipment on the road with business travelers. It is designed to resist heat and cold, plus vibration and damage from taking a tumble onto a hard surface or the floor. Units have even survived the military’s punishing testing regimen.

The new X1 Carbon notebooks ­provide workstationlike power in an ultraportable format that nonetheless stands up to the rigors of travel. All that makes the new seventh-generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon notebook one of the best choices for professional users doing serious business. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

It Keeps Your Work Confidential

Not only is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon a powerful and portable notebook computer, but it also comes packed with robust and layered security features.

In addition to power and performance, the other feature that most business users crave is confidentiality. Many carry financial, personal or sensitive company information on their devices, to say nothing of their own passwords and other data. To protect all of that, the new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon notebooks come with layered security.

It begins with the discrete Trusted Platform Module (dTPM) chip, which encrypts data to keep it out of the hands of unauthorized users. To validate that owners are who they say they are, the dTPM works with Windows 10 security and, optionally, with Windows Hello. When using Windows Hello, the system will recognize its owner using facial recognition and log them in automatically. Or users can combine the biometrics-based access with a password for easy two-factor authentication.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: Learn how to protect your organization's meetings from the global head of IBM's X-Force Red.

Secured With More Than a Password

There is also a fingerprint reader for yet another layer of biometric security alongside Windows Hello. If a user were to combine a password with facial and fingerprint recognition, he or she would have a solid three-factor authentication process, which is a higher standard than most government agencies require.

The camera has also been given extra security elements. For one, there is a hard lens cover called a ThinkShield that can be slid across the camera to disable and block all viewing. The shield is nice because, as a physical barrier, it can’t be bypassed by remote hackers.

There is also an optional security feature for the camera called PrivacyAlert. When activated, it puts the infrared camera on the X1 into scanning mode. If the camera detects that someone has crept up behind a user, which would give them a clear view of the screen, an alert pops up on the screen. This works exceptionally well with the ThinkPad model that comes with the privacy screen monitor that blocks all viewing past the center of the notebook’s screen.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

DISPLAY: 14-inch LED touch screen
PROCESSOR: Intel i7-8665U 1.9GHz
HARD DRIVE: 512GB solid-state drive
MEMORY: 16GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
DIMENSIONS: 12.7x8.5x0.6 inches
WEIGHT: 2.4 pounds

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