With the latest iteration of its ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook, Lenovo has corrected most of the shortcomings of previous versions. The third-generation machine combines a durable, lightweight design with excellent performance and battery life, making it one of the most enticing business notebooks around. You also get great extras such as Lenovo's TrackPoint pointing stick, as well as security features such as a built-in fingerprint scanner. But it's on the pricey side, starting at $1,079, with premium versions going up to $1,754. While you wait for our full review, here's a quick rundown of the notebook's pros and cons for work.
- Long battery life: The X1 Carbon lasts pretty long on a charge; the 1440p touch-screen model lasted about 8 hours in a test conducted by a sister site, Laptop Mag. That's longer than the 7:27 average for ultraportable notebooks, and the non-touch version should last even longer. That makes the X1 Carbon a good option if you need a machine that can last through the end of the workday.
- Lightweight design: It also won't weigh you down on your daily commute. In fact, the X1 Carbon is the lightest 14-inch laptop we've seen, weighing in at 3.07 lbs. The notebook's carbon fiber construction helps reduce its weight.
- Top-notch keyboard: If you plan to do a lot of typing, the new X1 Carbon is better than most competing machines. That's because the keys offer more travel and greater feedback when pressed, giving the keyboard more of a desktop feel, and making it more comfortable for extended typing sessions. You also get two control options, including a big, responsive trackpad and the TrackPoint stick, which lets you move the mouse while keeping your hands on the keyboard.
- Pricey: Depending on which configuration you choose, the X1 Carbon can be relatively expensive. On the other hand, it's easy to save money by ditching unnecessary components like a touch screen. Our ideal configuration for business users, which includes an Intel Core i5-5300u processor and a quad-HD display, costs $1,440.
- No SD card slot: The X1 Carbon lacks an SD card slot, so you can't expand its internal storage after the fact.