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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2018, 2019) - An overview of all rumours, dates, configurations, and reviews

Benjamin Herzig (translated by Alex Alderson), 10/09/2018

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is Lenovo’s flagship for business users and enthusiasts who have the highest expectations of their ultra-portable laptops. This article covers all important information about the current ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018 and any speculations or rumours about successors.

Changelog

10.09.2018: Current information about the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019 added.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019 (expected) (ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019 Series)
Memory
16384 MB 
, LPDDR3
Display
14 inch , 2560 x 1440 pixel 210 PPI, LTPS-HDR, glossy: no
Storage
,  GB 
, up to 1 TB PCIe-SSD
Battery
Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Additional features
Keyboard Light: yes, 36 Months Warranty
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Rumours, Dates & Release

Lenovo released the ThinkPad X1 Carbon in 2012 and marked the introduction of the first true “Ultrabook” in the venerable ThinkPad series. Since then, the X1 Carbon has been at the cutting edge of the ThinkPad series’ ultra-portable offerings and is now on its sixth iteration. 

Lenovo launched the sixth generation of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon in spring this year, shortly after announcing the device at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2018. 

The timing of the sixth generation’s announcement is typical of X1 Carbon launches too. Lenovo has announced all previous iterations of the device at CES except for the first generation, so it would make sense for the seventh X1 Carbon to be announced at CES 2019 in January next year. Speculatively, we expect to see Lenovo unveil the X1 Carbon 2019 in Las Vegas between January 8-11, 2019.

Concrete rumours about the connectivity of the next X1 Carbon are still scarce. Lenovo will likely equip the device with a choice of Intel’s latest “Whiskey Lake” generation processors, probably either the Core i5-8265U or the Core i7-8565U. Notably, these 15 W CPUs will pick an integrated Wi-Fi module, the first Intel Core processors to do so.

Aside from a probable CPU upgrade, Lenovo could also introduce a new design. Lenovo last redesigned the X1 Carbon in 2017, with the 2018 model being more of an updated X1 Carbon 2017. It could be possible that we see another iteration based on the 2017 design, but Lenovo has until now never relied upon the same X1 Carbon design for more than two years. Hence, it is time for a newly designed X1 Carbon.

Current Rumours

Rumor

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018 Reviews

The X1 Carbon 2018 has been reviewed extensively, being one of the most attractive models in the ThinkPad series. We have currently reviewed two variants of the device; the base model with an Intel Core i5-8350U processor and a Full HD display along with the Core i7-8550U and QHD HDR display equipped flagship model.

Historically, the X1 Carbon has had excellent input devices. The sixth generation excels in other ways too, particularly with its robust yet lightweight case and its plentiful ports. The X1 Carbon 2018’s selection of ports is even more impressive too considering that it is a 14-inch notebook.

Moreover, the 2018 edition has numerous displays options including a Full HD touchscreen option and the excellent, albeit gloss, QHD HDR display. The device makes good use of its processors too, while the ample battery life leaves little room for criticism. There are drawbacks though like the awkwardly placed microSD card slot, the absent WWAN ready option and the lack of a full-size RJ45 Ethernet port. We also criticised the Core i7-8550U model for its high temperatures under load and its overzealous fan. By contrast, the Core i5-8350U equipped model has neither of these issues.

Notebookcheck reviews

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018 (matte WQHD, i7) Laptop Review

90% Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018 (matte WQHD, i7) Laptop Review

The best display for the X1 Carbon? We already tested the sixth generation of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon several times, and now we also take a look at a model with the matte WQHD display. Is this possibly the best compromise?
Intel Core i7-8550U | Intel UHD Graphics 620 | 14" | 1.1 kg
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018 (WQHD HDR, i7) Laptop Review

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Great display, but high temperatures. Lenovo has upgraded its flagship ThinkPad X1 Carbon for 2018. The new model sports both a quad-core ultra-low voltage (ULV) processor and a very bright WQHD HDR display. We have just got the device into our editorial department to give you our first impressions. Update: HDR, fan noise with BIOS 1.27, Thunderbolt dock with eGPU
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Intel Core i5-8350U | Intel UHD Graphics 620 | 14" | 1.1 kg
Aug 20, 2017
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Display Check: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017 (i5, WQHD) Laptop

Jun 23, 2017
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91% Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017 (Core i5, Full HD) Laptop Review

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Design & Features – Pictures and Videos

Undoubtedly, the most notable change of the last two X1 Carbon generations compared to previous models has been the dramatically smaller display bezels. The X1 Carbon is currently the most compact 14-inch ThinkPad device that Lenovo sells and weighs 1.13 kg thanks to its use of lightweight and premium materials like magnesium and a carbon fibre plastic composite. The X1 Carbon 2018 is the lightest 14-inch business notebook that we have tested and weighs the same as the smaller 12-inch ThinkPad X280.

Lenovo has particularly focussed on the X1 Carbon’s display options with the release of the sixth generation with previous models typically having disappointingly few display options. The 2018 edition has an impressive 14-inch QHD HDR display that has vivid colours and high maximum brightness, although the panel has a glossy finish. Lenovo also introduced a matte Full HD touchscreen display too.

Business features are also a large focus of the X1 Carbon including an optional WWAN module. All X1 Carbon models have Lenovo’s new mechanical side docking port, which is compatible with the same docking stations as those which the T480s and X280 support.

Model Variants & Pricing

There are two ways for the average consumer to buy a ThinkPad; either directly from Lenovo or one of the many third-party suppliers. Purchasing from Lenovo allows for greater flexibility as you can customise your device, while other suppliers stock just pre-configured devices. Lenovo separates X1 Carbon models by the processors and displays that are used. RAM is also an important consideration though as you cannot subsequently upgrade it; all models have RAM that is soldered to the motherboard. 

However, the M.2-2280 SSD is replaceable, as is the Wi-Fi card. Other differences between models include WWAN capabilities, a Windows Hello infrared camera and case colour; the X1 Carbon 2018 comes in either black or silver.

The X1 Carbon 2018 starts at €1,600 and rises to over €2,500 for the Intel Core i7-8650U model with a QHD HDR display, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD and WWAN capabilities.

Possible Configurations

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8250U, Core i5-8350U, Core i7-8550U, Core i7-8650U
  • RAM: 8 GB or 16 GB - LPPDDR3 2,133 MHz
  • SSD: 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB PCIe M.2-2280 SSD
  • Display: 14-inch IPS LCD – Matte options: Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) Full HD touch or QHD (2,560 x 1,440); each 300 – Glossy option: QHD HDR Low Temperature Polysilicon (LTPS)
  • OS: Windows 10 Home (64-bit) or Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)
  • Warranty: Three-years standard with on-site service, extendable up to five-years

Pricecompare

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2018, 2019) - An overview of all rumours, dates, configurations, and reviews
Benjamin Herzig, 2018-10- 9 (Update: 2018-10-10)
Benjamin Herzig
Benjamin Herzig - Editor