Notebookcheck

Face Off: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon vs. HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 vs. Dell Latitude 14 E7470

Just for work. At well over $1000 USD with configurations surpassing $1500, these small notebooks don't come cheap and aren't very powerful in terms of raw performance. Instead, these models offer better reliability and features that are beyond the reach of cheaper consumer notebooks. Which of these three will get the job done faster?

Lenovo, HP, and Dell are the three biggest and most popular choices for office computers and workstations. They separate themselves from most other manufacturers by offering extensive IT and warranty services for their products to attract businesses and large-scale purchases. Thus, it's no surprise that they offer some of the best business notebooks available.

Our comparison this week focuses on the fourth generation X1 Carbon against the third generation EliteBook Folio 1040 and much more mature Latitude E7470. At 14 inches each, this size category is the middle ground between netbook-sized solutions that may be too small and larger solutions that may be too bulky.

We encourage users to check out our dedicated review pages below for more data and detailed analyses of each of the three models. This comparison is by no means a replacement, but a condensed aid for those on the fence.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Dell Latitude 14 E7470

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Case

Case quality is very good between the notebooks as each utilizes either carbon fiber, aluminum, magnesium, or a combination thereof. The Dell notebook is exceptionally dense and is the toughest of the three in terms of rigidity and sturdiness. The HP is slightly weaker as its base can be more easily twisted while the Lenovo is comparatively weaker than its thicker ThinkPad T460s alternative. The hinges on the latter notebook tend to teeter more than the HP and Dell as well. Otherwise, all three notebook are MIL-STD 810G approved for better resistance against dust, vibrations, and other environmental factors than a standard consumer Ultrabook.

The Latitude E7470 takes this round, but not without some drawbacks worth taking into account. The Dell system is noticeably heavier and thicker than both competing models. Thus, users who prefer lighter notebooks for more comfortable use when traveling may have no problems sacrificing a little rigidity for better portability.

Winner: Dell Latitude 14 E7470

334.9 mm / 13.2 inch 232 mm / 9.13 inch 19.4 mm / 0.764 inch 1.7 kg3.83 lbs337 mm / 13.3 inch 234.5 mm / 9.23 inch 15.8 mm / 0.622 inch 1.4 kg3.19 lbs333 mm / 13.1 inch 229 mm / 9.02 inch 16.5 mm / 0.65 inch 1.2 kg2.62 lbs

Ports in Comparison

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Dell Latitude 14 E7470

Connectivity

A healthy number of ports and options are available on each notebook considering the small screen size including SIM support, HDMI, and multiple USB 3.0 ports. There are, however, some exceptions to keep in mind. For example, the Lenovo notebook is missing a Smart card reader, the HP is missing both a SD reader and mini-DisplayPort, and both the Lenovo and Dell do not have USB Type-C ports. While all models have dedicated docking ports, we expect that these manufacturers will eventually drop these proprietary connectors for the more universal USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 port in future revisions. Dell, for example, has told us that it will begin phasing out its docking port as the USB Type-C port allows for thinner and lighter designs.

It's also worth noting that while the HP unit is the only model with the reversible USB port, it is only Gen. 1 and offers no performance benefits over a standard USB 3.0 Type-A port.

There is no objective winner in this category due to the many non-overlapping advantages one notebook has over the other.

Winner: Tie

Ports and Connections

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 Dell Latitude 14 E7470
USB 3x USB 3.0 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.0 Type-C 3x USB 3.0
Video-out 1x HDMI 1.4, 1x mDP 1.2 1x HDMI 1x HDMI, 1x mDP
Audio 1x 3.5 mm combo 1x 3.5 mm combo 1x 3.5 mm combo
Other MicroSD reader, SIM slot, OneLink+, Kensington Lock SmartCard reader, SIM slot, Docking port, Kensington Lock SD reader, SIM slot, SmartCard reader, Docking port, RJ45 Ethernet, Kensington Lock
Storage Bays 1x M.2 1x M.2 1x M.2

Input Devices

The keyboards of all three notebooks offer better than average feedback and travel with the X1 Carbon being the best. Key travel here is slightly shallower than on the ThinkPad T460s, but is still deeper and crisper than on both the Folio 1040 G3 and Latitude 14 E7470. This also means that the X1 Carbon is a tad louder and with more clatter, but this is mere nitpicking. Frequent users of the Arrow keys may want to avoid the HP as its Up and Down keys are much smaller and softer than the other two.

As for the touchpads, the notebooks here diverge significantly. The Lenovo system includes both a touchpad with integrated mouse keys (clickpad) and three dedicated mouse keys right above it while the HP uses just a simple clickpad. The Dell is the best of both worlds as it includes a standard touchpad with all five dedicated mouse keys surrounding it. This setup is more accurate than the HP as users will not need to rely solely on the clickpad while granting users more options than the Lenovo. The slight downside is that the Dell touchpad is a bit smaller than on the Lenovo (10 x 5.4 cm vs. 10 x 5.8 cm). Otherwise, the touchpads on all three notebooks are smooth with the staple TrackPoint nub available on two of the models.

Winner: Keyboard -- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

              Touchpad -- Dell Latitude 14 E7470

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Dell Latitude 14 E7470

Display

The WQHD displays on each of the three notebooks offer excellent clarity and sharpness, but there are some notable differences between them as the panels are not all identical. First, the Lenovo notebook carries the dimmer backlight while the Dell notebook can be much brighter at 380 nits. The Dell display also has the deeper black levels and subsequently higher contrast than both the Lenovo and HP. Color coverage is nearly identical between the three models at about 95 percent of sRGB.

We've also provided data from our X1 Carbon FHD SKU in the table comparison below as it is worth noting that its display backlight is almost 20 percent brighter than on the WQHD SKU without sacrificing contrast. Gamut, however, is comparatively narrower on this lower resolution SKU.

Winner: Dell Latitude 14 E7470

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Displays at a Glance

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon WQHD HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Size 14-inch IPS matte 14-inch IPS matte 14-inch IPS glossy
Native Resolution 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1440
Pixel Density 210 PPI 210 PPI 210 PPI
Panel ID Panasonic VVX14T058J00 AUO1136 AUO B140QAN
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUSLenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGEHP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
47.2 (18.8, 28.4)
44 (17, 27)
46.4 (16.4, 30)
48 (15, 33)
Response Time Black / White *
27.6 (4.4, 23.2)
24 (5.2, 18.8)
26.4 (6.8, 19.6)
27 (7, 20)
PWM Frequency
220 (90)
Screen
Brightness middle
321.7
272
327
380
Brightness
301
268
316
354
Brightness Distribution
89
95
87
81
Black Level *
0.294
0.32
0.35
0.26
Contrast
1094
850
934
1462
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.96
2.61
4.39
3.11
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
6.69
6.43
7.27
6.73
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.15
3.31
4.69
4.35
Gamma
2.34 94%
2.35 94%
2.15 102%
2.37 93%
CCT
7082 92%
6360 102%
7101 92%
6771 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
53.8
63
62.52
62
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
82.7
95
96.71
96
Total Average (Program / Settings)

* ... smaller is better

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon FHD color profile
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon FHD color profile
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Dell Latitude 14 E7470

Performance

CPU Performance

Lenovo, HP, and Dell all offer multiple CPU options beyond what we have here, so this comparison is only between the configurations on hand.

The three dual-core ULV Skylake processors in these systems have very few differences between them. In terms of performance, their base and maximum Turbo Boost clock rates are quite close with nearly identical Lx cache sizes. Still, the slightly faster Core i7 in the Dell just barely edges out both the Lenovo and HP according to CineBench benchmarks.

See our dedicated CPU pages on the i7-6500U, i5-6300U, and i7-6600U for more benchmarks and comparisons.

Hardware at a Glance

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 Dell Latitude 14 E7470
CPU 2.5 GHz Core i7-6500U 2.4 GHz Core i5-6300U 2.6 GHz Core i7-6600U
TDP 15 W 15 W 15 W
RAM 8 GB LPDDR3-1866 MHz, Dual-Channel, Soldered 16 GB DDR4-2133, Dual-Channel, Soldered 8 GB DDR4, Single-Channel, 2x SODIMM slots
GPU Intel HD Graphics 520 Intel HD Graphics 520 Intel HD Graphics 520
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
128 Points ∼59%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
124 Points ∼57%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
142 Points ∼65%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
310 Points ∼7%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
303 Points ∼7%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
334 Points ∼8%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
1.47 Points ∼60%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
1.61 Points ∼66%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
3.46 Points ∼8%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
3.58 Points ∼8%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
642.835 Seconds * ∼3%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
4944 Points ∼15%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
4790 Points ∼15%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
5130 Points ∼16%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
3484 Points ∼9%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
3326 Points ∼8%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
3727 Points ∼9%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
42292 Points ∼49%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
40584 Points ∼48%
PCMark 7
System Storage (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
5271 Points ∼74%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
5419 Points ∼76%
Computation (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
15755 Points ∼56%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
15101 Points ∼53%
Creativity (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
9776 Points ∼68%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
9272 Points ∼64%
Entertainment (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
3732 Points ∼35%
Productivity (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
4376 Points ∼40%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
4374 Points ∼40%
Lightweight (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
5239 Points ∼72%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
5235 Points ∼72%
Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
5350 Points ∼58%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
5194 Points ∼57%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
4342 Points ∼67%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
4241 Points ∼65%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
4543 Points ∼70%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
4150 Points ∼39%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
4058 Points ∼38%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
3385 Points ∼56%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
3305 Points ∼54%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
3344 Points ∼55%
X264 HD Benchmark 4.0
Pass 2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
20.31 fps ∼1%
Pass 1 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
108.62 fps ∼40%

* ... smaller is better

GPU Performance

While raw CPU performance is slightly in Dell's favor, GPU performance is more of a mix up between the three notebooks with no objective winner. The processors all use the same HD Graphics 520 GPU under the same 15 W TDP, so there is little headroom for any notable GPU advantages that the faster Core i7-6600U may bring over the i7-6500U or i5-6300U during real-world gaming conditions.

Nonetheless, it's worth noting that our Dell test unit was running on single-channel RAM compared to the dual-channel setups on our Lenovo and HP. This generally impacts the performance of any integrated GPU that does not have access to dedicated VRAM, albeit the hit should be minimal.

See our dedicated GPU pages on the Intel HD Graphics 520 for more benchmarks and comparisons.

Cinebench R15 - OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
43.68 fps ∼17%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
40.26 fps ∼16%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
37.26 fps ∼15%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
959 Points ∼2%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
900 Points ∼2%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
744 Points ∼2%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
7516 Points ∼4%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
6708 Points ∼4%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
5819 Points ∼3%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
88058 Points ∼17%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
38151 Points ∼5%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
1386 Points ∼3%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
1377 Points ∼3%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
1264 Points ∼2%

Stress Test

To test system stability, we run both Prime95 and FurMark to simulate maximum stress. These unrealistic conditions do not represent daily workloads, but are instead meant to put both the CPU and GPU at 100 percent capacity.

Both the Lenovo and HP systems will throttle their respective CPUs quite dramatically to a stable 1.3 GHz clock rate. Their GPUs, however, continue to operate in the steady 800 to 850 MHz range, so the two systems will prioritize their GPUs over the CPUs if both are stressed simultaneously. Core temperatures average in the low to mid 70 C range.

The Dell system runs exceptionally well as its CPU throttles by only 100 MHz while the GPU maintains an even higher 1000 MHz clock rate compared to the Lenovo and HP. Additionally, its core temperature averages at just under 65 C, which is noticeably cooler as well.

Winner: Dell Latitude 14 E7470

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Dell Latitude 14 E7470
CPU and GPU Clock Rates Under Stress

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Rated GPU Core Clock (MHz) 300 300 300
Stable GPU Core Clock on FurMark (MHz) 850 800 1000
Rated CPU Core Clock (GHz) 2.5 2.4 2.6
Stable CPU Core Clock on Prime95 (GHz) 1.3 1.3 2.5
Average CPU temperature 76 C 72 C 64 C
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Dell Latitude 14 E7470

Emissions

System Noise & Temperature

When idling or running low loads, all three models are essentially inaudible as the system fans remain inactive. Users benefit from silent web browsing and word processing without the annoyance of pulsating fans that may occur on more powerful notebooks. When running medium or light gaming workloads, fan noise is loudest on the Lenovo at around 37 dB(A) compared to 33 dB(A) and 31.9 dB(A) on the HP and Dell, respectively.

Running very demanding loads will bump fan noise up to 38 dB(A) on both the Lenovo and HP. Surprisingly, the Dell system remains very quiet at just under 32 dB(A). The system is notable for being one of the quietest notebooks with an ULV Core i7 Skylake CPU.

Surface temperatures are lowest on the Dell and correlates well with our stress test results above. The HP notebook runs significantly warmer on average due to its longer heat pipes that dissipate heat across more of the surface.

Winner: Dell Latitude 14 E7470

Average Fan Noise and Surface Temperature

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Fan Noise when idling 29.1 dB(A) 29.1 dB(A) 31.2 dB(A)
Fan Noise under high loads 35.6 - 38.1 dB(A) 32.6 - 37.8 dB(A) 31.9 dB(A)
Average surface temperature when idling 27.3 C 28.9 C 24.3 C
Average surface temperature under high loads 31.1 C 37.2 C 30.5 C
Ambient temperature 21.2 C 20.5 C 21.0 C

Battery Life

Runtimes are notably longer on the Lenovo compared to both the HP and Dell by as much as two hours under real-world WLAN conditions. Battery capacity is lowest on the HP and the Li-ion polymer battery packs in all three notebooks are not accessible without first removing the bottom panel. The Lenovo system is overall more energy efficient than its two competitors.

Winner: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
52 Wh
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
46 Wh
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
55 Wh
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
942
530
WiFi v1.3
429
309
346
Load
115
131
112

Verdict

The Latitude E7470 is the more well-rounded solution at the heavy cost of weight. The X1 Carbon is lighter, longer lasting, and more portable, though its backlight could have been brighter.
The Latitude E7470 is the more well-rounded solution at the heavy cost of weight. The X1 Carbon is lighter, longer lasting, and more portable, though its backlight could have been brighter.

We can say right off the bat that the performance differences between these notebooks are insignificant compared to the features and displays that each model offers over the other. Thus, users may want to decide on a notebook based on its hardware qualities and less on the processor that powers it.

With that said, the Latitude 14 E7470 is easily the sturdier, quieter, and brighter notebook. Its single biggest drawback is its weight, so users will need to weigh its many benefits against this one disadvantage holding it back.

The Folio 1040 G3 runs warmer overall and with the shortest battery life. It doesn't necessarily offer anything that the Lenovo or Dell does better, and so is the middle-road solution in most aspects. It is, however, the thinnest with a standard USB Type-C port. It's lack of any kind of SD reader is an odd omission on HP's part.

Lastly, the X1 Carbon is the lightest with the longest battery life. The only major quality holding back the Lenovo from being the unanimous choice for outdoor use is its dimmer backlight compared to both the HP and Dell. We recommend the FHD SKU for this reason if comfortable outdoor usability is of utmost importance.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 CarbonHP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3Dell Latitude 14 E7470

+ Lightest in weight; Carbon fiber chassis

+ MicroSD reader

+ Longer runtimes

+ More comfortable keyboard keys

+ Thinnest

+ USB 3.0 Type-C Gen. 1

+ Sturdiest; very rigid design

+ Ethernet port; full-size SD reader

+ Brightest display backlight; deeper contrast

+ Excellent performance under stress; less likely to throttle

+ Cooler operating temperatures

+ Quieter fan noise

- No full-size SD reader or USB Type-C

- Slightly weaker hinges

- Dimmer display backlight

- Louder under heavy loads

- No mDP or SD reader

- Higher surface temperatures

- Shorter runtimes

- No dedicated mouse keys; clickpad only

- No TrackPoint

- Thicker, heavier

- No USB Type-C

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Pricecompare

HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3

Pricecompare

Dell Latitude 14 E7470

Pricecompare

See more quick comparisons in our Face Off series:

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Face Off: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon vs. HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 vs. Dell Latitude 14 E7470
Allen Ngo, 2016-05-16 (Update: 2019-04-30)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.