Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon 14" Ultrabook has been a hit since the first version hit shelves a few years back. Folks have been eagerly awaiting the 4th generation Intel Haswell refresh, and Lenovo took quite some time to release it since other changes were in the works. From the outside, it looks no different from the previous model- sure it's a little thinner and a little lighter, but otherwise it's the same matte black slim and attractive (in a ThinkPad sort of way) skinny laptop we know and love. Inside, Lenovo added more ports, which is no small feat given the reduced height of the machine. The most significant change is the keyboard that ditches the standard Fn row keys for a capacitive adaptive strip that changes context depending on what program you have in the foreground. Messing with the iconic and best of breed ThinkPad keyboard is risky business, and we can't deny that Lenovo is willing to take daring chances with this staid line.
The 2014 X1 Carbon weighs 2.8 lbs. (non-touch screen model) and 3.15 lbs. for the touch screen model. Interestingly, if you want the trendy super high resolution WQHD 2560 x 1440 IPS display, you’ll have to get the touch screen. The non-touch is 1600 x 900 TN only. The display is 14”, and those weights are quite light for a 14” Ultrabook with a durable carbon fiber polymer and magnesium aluminum alloy body. As you’d expect, the X1 Carbon is rigid and strong, despite its fairly slim 0.73” thickness.
The laptop is available with Intel Core i5 and i7 dual core U series CPUs and it uses Intel HD 4400 graphics like most all Haswell generation Ultrabooks. RAM is soldered on board and you can order it with 4 or 8 gigs of DDR3 memory. Lenovo offers a variety of M.2 SSD drives from 128 to 512 gigs, and there is no HDD option. Our review unit has Intel 7260AC dual band WiFi with Bluetooth 4.0 and you can get 3G/4G LTE with a micro SIM card slot via the $280 GOBI 5000 modem option. As you’d expect from a ThinkPad, there’s a fingerprint scanner, and it’s compatible with Lenovo’s OneLink and OneLink Pro docks.
Compared to the last generation X1 Carbon, Haswell brings the expected battery life improvements, and we averaged 2 to 2.7 hours longer runtimes. The 45 Whr battery remains unchanged from the last generation model. The Ultrabook has two USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet via included adapter (it doesn’t use a USB port), full size HDMI, mini Display Port and 3.5mm combo audio. Pricing starts at $1,200 for the non-touchscreen model and $1,300 with a WQHD touchscreen.
Here’s our Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2014 model video review: