Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS Notebook Review

Carbon footprint. We compare our second more affordable Core i5 FHD SKU against the pricier Core i7 WQHD SKU to see if it's worth saving some few bucks for less pixels and performance power.

Now in its fourth generation, the super-thin ThinkPad X1 Carbon has proven to be a popular compromise between the more feature-heavy but thicker ThinkPad T460s and a thinner but more barebones Ultrabook. The X1 Carbon is still one of the few Ultrabooks with integrated WWAN, which should appeal to travelers and business users.

We recently published on the higher-end SKU with the Core i7-6500U CPU and WQHD (2560 x 1440) resolution panel. Our latest test unit is one configuration down with a Core i5-6300U CPU and FHD (1920 x 1080) resolution panel. All other factors remain equal save for the slight change in the NVMe Samsung SSD models between our two units. What drawbacks and benefits are there in this less expensive Core i5 FHD SKU compared to the Core i7 WQHD SKU?

We recommend checking out our previous review on the fourth generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon for more pictures and details on the chassis, input devices, and other hardware features.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS (ThinkPad X1 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 520, Core: 300 MHz, Memory: 933 MHz, 20.19.15.4380
Memory
8192 MB 
, LPDDR3, dual-channel, 10-10-10-28, 1066.7 MHz maximum
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, IPS, Name: Lenovo B140HAN01.7, ID: LEN40A9, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Skylake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm headset, Card Reader: MicroSD, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-LM (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 16.5 x 333 x 229 ( = 0.65 x 13.11 x 9.02 in)
Battery
52 Wh Lithium-Polymer, integrated
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p fixed focus
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo (2x 1W), Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Lenovo ThinkVantage Tools, Lenovo PowerEngage, Lenovo PC Experience, Lenovo Companion, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.189 kg ( = 41.94 oz / 2.62 pounds), Power Supply: 346 g ( = 12.2 oz / 0.76 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The latest X1 Carbon is thinner than the outgoing generation (16.5 mm vs. 19 mm), but is actually slightly bigger in length and width. The magnesium and Carbon fiber matte chassis still looks fantastic and professional as any ThinkPad should. Though not a unibody construction, its base and lid are both very rigid and resistant to twists and depressions. That's not to say it's impossible to twist and bend the notebook, however, but any warping is minimal with no creaking when applying moderate force. From this perspective, the notebook is a tad weaker than the latest Dell XPS 13 9350. We can observe no manufacturing defects or gaps between materials just like on our original WQHD test unit.

The thinner size means less protection against bumps and the elements compared to the thicker T460 alternative. Despite this, the X1 Carbon still meets eight of the nine MIL-SPEC requirements and feels noticeably sturdier than full-fledged consumer Ultrabooks like the Zenbook. The hinges are just tight enough to prevent the lid from teetering when typing.

Connectivity

Available interfaces are relatively plentiful considering the size of the notebook including 3x USB 3.0, dual video-out ports, MicroSD slot, and Micro-SIM slot. The proprietary OneLink+ port provides even more options for the notebook with the optional OneLink+ Dock. This port, however, now feels extraneous as we would have preferred the more universal USB Type-C port with integrated Thunderbolt 3 instead. Dell, for example, is already moving in this direction with its latest XPS and Latitude series of notebooks.

Front: no interfaces
Front: no interfaces
Left: power adapter, OneLink+, Mini DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0
Left: power adapter, OneLink+, Mini DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0
Rear: MicroSD slot, SIM slot
Rear: MicroSD slot, SIM slot
Right: 3.5 mm audio, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, Kensington Lock
Right: 3.5 mm audio, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, Kensington Lock

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Communication

WLAN is provided by the dual-band Intel 8260 M.2 module for up to 802.11ac connectivity with integrated Bluetooth and WiDi. We experienced no recurring connection drops or other issues with our Linksys AC2600 test router.

Micro-SIM is supported for WWAN 4G LTE-A connectivity and GPS.

Accessories

Included extras outside of the power adapter are limited to a setup guide. Proprietary extras exist to make use of the OneLink+ dock for VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, and others.

Maintenance

The bottom panel is relatively easy to remove with a simple Philips screwdriver. Loosening the nine screws underneath will reveal core motherboard components most of which are covered by a protective layer of plastic. Upgradeability is limited to the M.2 2230 WLAN module, M.2 2280 M.2 SSD, and BIOS battery. Our test unit carries the exact same battery capacity as the WQHD SKU despite having a lower resolution panel.

Warranty

The standard one-year warranty applies with plenty of options as expected from Lenovo. Users can extend coverage to up to five years with accidental damage protection.

Easy serviceability. WLAN and M.2 modules are underneath the plastic cover
Easy serviceability. WLAN and M.2 modules are underneath the plastic cover

Input Devices

Keyboard

The spill-resistant chiclet keyboard is one of the best for its size class. This is largely due to the fact that key travel is so much deeper than on most other Ultrabooks, so each press has weight to it with firm feedback and almost no clatter. The slightly concave keys are raised visibly higher from its base compared to most other Ultrabooks for this reason. The Enter and Space keys have just the right level of feedback and clatter and we can find no major complaints in terms of comfort. 

Touchpad

The touchpad (10 x 5.8 cm) and its integrated mouse keys are also very good in terms of gliding, feedback, and precision. Dedicated mouse keys and a TrackPoint are provided as well, which aren't always the case for smaller notebooks. The feedback of the keys here are a bit of the soft side, so that may take users a bit of time to become accustomed to.

Display

The matte 1080p screen provides a clean and very crisp picture without the need for any glossy overlays. Similar B140HAN01.x panels can also be found on a number of 14-inch notebooks including the Acer TravelMate P645, Gigabyte P34G, and some Clevo barebones. When compared to the WQHD panel on our previous ThinkPad X1 Carbon test unit, this FHD panel is brighter while keeping contrast levels roughly the same.

Minor backlight bleeding is present on our test unit near the top right and bottom left corners. The uneven lighting is noticeable only when on maximum brightness against a dark picture, so it can be largely ignored during everyday use.

Minor backlight bleeding
Minor backlight bleeding
Subpixel array at 157.35 PPI
Subpixel array at 157.35 PPI
288.7
cd/m²
306.5
cd/m²
297.7
cd/m²
295.4
cd/m²
321.7
cd/m²
287.9
cd/m²
297.4
cd/m²
310.4
cd/m²
299.7
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 321.7 cd/m² Average: 300.6 cd/m² Minimum: 2.379 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 321.7 cd/m²
Contrast: 1094:1 (Black: 0.294 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.96 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 3.15 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
82.7% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 53.8% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.34
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
14, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
14, 2560x1440
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
14, 2560x1440
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga 20FQ-000QUS
14, 2560x1440
HP ProBook 440 G3
14, 1920x1080
Response Times
10%
10%
5%
2%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
47.2 (18.8, 28.4)
44 (17, 27)
7%
35.6 (17.2, 18.4)
25%
38 (15.2, 22.8)
19%
46 (24, 22)
3%
Response Time Black / White *
27.6 (4.4, 23.2)
24 (5.2, 18.8)
13%
29.2 (14.4, 14.8)
-6%
30.4 (6, 24.4)
-10%
27.6 (11.2, 16.4)
-0%
PWM Frequency
220 (90)
220 (90)
219 (99)
Screen
2%
-15%
-27%
-62%
Brightness middle
321.7
272
-15%
257
-20%
284.7
-12%
246
-24%
Brightness
301
268
-11%
248
-18%
272
-10%
215
-29%
Brightness Distribution
89
95
7%
94
6%
89
0%
84
-6%
Black Level *
0.294
0.32
-9%
0.26
12%
0.383
-30%
0.5
-70%
Contrast
1094
850
-22%
988
-10%
743
-32%
492
-55%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.96
2.61
34%
4.59
-16%
5.24
-32%
8.6
-117%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
6.69
6.43
4%
9.72
-45%
11.22
-68%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.15
3.31
-5%
6.38
-103%
7.32
-132%
9.36
-197%
Gamma
2.34 94%
2.35 94%
2.51 88%
2.22 99%
2.39 92%
CCT
7082 92%
6360 102%
6238 104%
6277 104%
11226 58%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
53.8
63
17%
65
21%
70.17
30%
37.8
-30%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
82.7
95
15%
98
19%
94.68
14%
59.1
-29%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
6% / 3%
-3% / -11%
-11% / -22%
-30% / -50%

* ... smaller is better

Color coverage is roughly 83 percent and 54 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively, to indicate a high-end panel in use. This is slightly narrower than the gamut of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon SKU with the higher resolution WQHD panel, so users opting in on this FHD SKU will lose out on both pixels and color accuracy. Colors are still significantly better than less expensive TN panels such as the one found on the HP ProBook 440 G3.

vs. Lenovo ThinkPad T460s WQHD
vs. Lenovo ThinkPad T460s WQHD
vs. HP ProBook 440 G3
vs. HP ProBook 440 G3
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB

Measurements with an X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal that grayscale and color accuracy are both already very good out-of-the-box. A quick calibration will improve the display even further, but color accuracy still decreases with increasing saturation levels due to imperfect sRGB coverage.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
27.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.4 ms rise
↘ 23.2 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 58 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
47.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18.8 ms rise
↘ 28.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 77 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8929 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor usability is average under shade and poor under direct sunlight as the backlight is not bright enough to overcome the intense ambient light. The matte panel helps tremendously in reducing glare and both the 180-degree hinges and underlying IPS panel definitely come in handy if sunlight cannot be avoided.

Viewing angles are excellent with no yellowing and just minor contrast and brightness dips at extreme angles.

Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under direct sunlight
Outdoors under direct sunlight

Performance

Turbo Boost up to 3.0 GHz
Turbo Boost up to 3.0 GHz

Unlike the dual-core 2.5 GHz Core i7-6500U in our previous X1 Carbon SKU, our current SKU carries the slightly weaker dual-core 2.4 GHz Core i5-6300U with Turbo Boost up to 3 GHz and 2.9 GHz for single-core and multi-core processes, respectively. Both models carry the same HD Graphics 520 GPU, but graphics performances will not be the same since GPU power will depend on the CPU it is paired with. Thus, the Core i7-6500U configuration should come out slightly ahead in both CPU and GPU benchmarks.

8 GB LPDDR3 RAM is installed with no DDR4 option. Memory is non-expandable and is soldered onto the board in dual-channel mode.

 

Processor

The ULV processor performs in the same ballpark as other ULV CPUs in the Skylake family. Overall performance is not significantly better than even older processors like the i5-4200U according to CineBench benchmarks. The single-threaded performance of our Lenovo configuration in particular is slow at just 91 points even after multiple re-runs for a better score. The CPU appears to be unable to maintain its maximum 3.0 GHz Turbo Boost and will instead run at 2.9 GHz for almost the entire benchmarking duration.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i5-6300U for more comparisons and technical information.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
91 Points ∼42%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
128 Points ∼59% +41%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Crucial MX200 M.2 CT250MX200SSD4
150 Points ∼69% +65%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P4N86EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
118 Points ∼54% +30%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
99 Points ∼45% +9%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
91 Points ∼42% 0%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
301 Points ∼7%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
310 Points ∼7% +3%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Crucial MX200 M.2 CT250MX200SSD4
684 Points ∼16% +127%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P4N86EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
292 Points ∼7% -3%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
223 Points ∼5% -26%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
257 Points ∼6% -15%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
1.1 Points ∼45%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
1.47 Points ∼60% +34%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Crucial MX200 M.2 CT250MX200SSD4
1.7 Points ∼70% +55%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P4N86EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
1.32 Points ∼54% +20%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.14 Points ∼47% +4%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1.03 Points ∼42% -6%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
3.38 Points ∼12%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
3.46 Points ∼13% +2%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Crucial MX200 M.2 CT250MX200SSD4
7.52 Points ∼28% +122%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P4N86EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
3.23 Points ∼12% -4%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2.49 Points ∼9% -26%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2.83 Points ∼10% -16%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
4573 Points ∼42%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
4882 Points ∼45% +7%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Crucial MX200 M.2 CT250MX200SSD4
5529 Points ∼51% +21%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P4N86EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
4399 Points ∼41% -4%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3725 Points ∼34% -19%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
4168 Points ∼38% -9%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
7812 Points ∼16%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
10958 Points ∼22% +40%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Crucial MX200 M.2 CT250MX200SSD4
20383 Points ∼41% +161%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P4N86EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
10020 Points ∼20% +28%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
7580 Points ∼15% -3%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
6550 Points ∼13% -16%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
504.835 s * ∼6%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Crucial MX200 M.2 CT250MX200SSD4
330.303 s * ∼4% +35%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P4N86EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
566.013 s * ∼7% -12%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
790 s * ∼9% -56%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
567.765 s * ∼7% -12%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
753.883 Seconds * ∼3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
642.835 Seconds * ∼3% +15%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Crucial MX200 M.2 CT250MX200SSD4
544.856 Seconds * ∼2% +28%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P4N86EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
712.173 Seconds * ∼3% +6%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
849 Seconds * ∼4% -13%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
818.369 Seconds * ∼4% -9%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
4173 Points ∼22%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
4243 Points ∼23% +2%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Crucial MX200 M.2 CT250MX200SSD4
8861 Points ∼48% +112%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P4N86EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
3055 Points ∼16% -27%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3204 Points ∼17% -23%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
3300 Points ∼18% -21%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
7976
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
7812
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4573
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
33.1 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.38 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.1 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
39.03 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
301 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
91 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark 8 ranks our X1 Carbon in the same ballpark as competing 14-inch notebooks with ULV Skylake processors. Final scores are consistently below our previous X1 Carbon model by slight margins.

We experienced no hardware or software issues specific to our test unit.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
3944 Points ∼61%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
4342 Points ∼67% +10%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
4275 Points ∼66% +8%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
4543 Points ∼70% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
4442 Points ∼68% +13%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
3989 Points ∼42%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
4150 Points ∼44% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
4338 Points ∼46% +9%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
3237 Points ∼53%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
3385 Points ∼56% +5%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
3231 Points ∼53% 0%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
3344 Points ∼55% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
3542 Points ∼58% +9%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3237 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3989 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3944 points
Help

Storage Devices

Sole M.2 slot adjacent to fan and partially covered.
Sole M.2 slot adjacent to fan and partially covered.

Only a single NVMe M.2 2280 slot is available for internal storage. Performance easily outclasses any SATA III solution including those in RAID 0 with sequential read and write rates reaching four-digit numbers. While the 512 GB Samsung SM951 in the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a bit faster than the 256 GB Samsung SM951 in our ThinkPad X1 Carbon test unit, users will likely not be able to notice any speed discrepancies during use.

See our growing table of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmarks and comparisons.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CDM
CDM
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T8X41EA
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga 20FQ-000QUS
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
AS SSD
-31%
20%
-45%
-57%
Copy Game MB/s
597.8
791.43
32%
236.38
-60%
Copy Program MB/s
354.91
421.86
19%
196.5
-45%
Copy ISO MB/s
708.94
1135.44
60%
258.42
-64%
Score Total
1976
1125
-43%
2439
23%
1068
-46%
913
-54%
Score Write
552
436
-21%
621
13%
382
-31%
283
-49%
Score Read
960
447
-53%
1218
27%
449
-53%
417
-57%
Access Time Write *
0.036
0.034
6%
0.033
8%
0.046
-28%
0.04
-11%
Access Time Read *
0.043
0.053
-23%
0.041
5%
0.058
-35%
0.113
-163%
4K-64 Write
338.29
290.83
-14%
366.01
8%
261.92
-23%
170
-50%
4K-64 Read
731.49
355.85
-51%
968.26
32%
369.15
-50%
336.08
-54%
4K Write
103.66
98.64
-5%
114.4
10%
75.65
-27%
85.05
-18%
4K Read
43.72
41.29
-6%
45.41
4%
30.35
-31%
30.91
-29%
Seq Write
1098.63
464
-58%
1407.23
28%
447.47
-59%
283.73
-74%
Seq Read
1850.69
498.62
-73%
2039.37
10%
490.13
-74%
495.53
-73%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Sequential Read: 1720 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1263 MB/s
512K Read: 1223 MB/s
512K Write: 1249 MB/s
4K Read: 49.65 MB/s
4K Write: 123 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 464.6 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 354.7 MB/s

GPU Performance

The integrated HD Graphics 520 is only about 10 to 15 percent ahead of the HD Graphics 515 in the fanless MacBook 12 according to 3DMark Cloud Gate and Fire Strike. Even the very low-end Nvidia 920M GPU is roughly 30 to 40 percent faster than our Lenovo, so this system is clearly not made for 3D gaming outside of the usual top-down MOBA titles and other less intensive titles.

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

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
1227 Points ∼2%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
1386 Points ∼3% +13%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
1748 Points ∼3% +42%
Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Apple SSD AP0256
1186 Points ∼2% -3%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
HD Graphics 4400, 4600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
831 Points ∼2% -32%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
764 Points ∼1% -38%
1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
1396 Points ∼4%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
1553 Points ∼5% +11%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
1823 Points ∼6% +31%
Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Apple SSD AP0256
1277 Points ∼4% -9%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
HD Graphics 4400, 4600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
945 Points ∼3% -32%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
829 Points ∼3% -41%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
826 Points ∼2%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
959 Points ∼2% +16%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
1162 Points ∼3% +41%
Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Apple SSD AP0256
735 Points ∼2% -11%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
HD Graphics 4400, 4600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
716 Points ∼2% -13%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
539 Points ∼1% -35%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
772 Points ∼3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
892 Points ∼3% +16%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
1045 Points ∼4% +35%
Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Apple SSD AP0256
682 Points ∼3% -12%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
HD Graphics 4400, 4600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
641 Points ∼2% -17%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
510 Points ∼2% -34%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
7031 Points ∼4%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
7516 Points ∼4% +7%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
7095 Points ∼4% +1%
Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Apple SSD AP0256
6078 Points ∼3% -14%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
HD Graphics 4400, 4600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
5861 Points ∼3% -17%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
3317 Points ∼2% -53%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
5659 Points ∼10%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
5978 Points ∼10% +6%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
4926 Points ∼8% -13%
Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Apple SSD AP0256
4446 Points ∼8% -21%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
HD Graphics 4400, 4600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
4787 Points ∼8% -15%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
2071 Points ∼4% -63%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
43466 Points ∼6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
38151 Points ∼5% -12%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
35690 Points ∼5% -18%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
41809 Points ∼20%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
38666 Points ∼18% -8%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
32719 Points ∼15% -22%
3DMark 11 Performance
1396 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
57713 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
5659 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
772 points
Help
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 47.627.124.86.6fps

Stress Test

We stress the notebook with Prime95 and FurMark to observe for any throttling or system stability issues. The notebook is able to maintain a clock rate of 2.7 GHz (or 200 MHz below its rated maximum) when running Prime95 with core temperature averaging 75 C. Running both Prime95 and FurMark will throttle the CPU to just 1.4 GHz in what appears to be an attempt to maintain core temperature in the mid 70 C range. The system performs much better under Unigine Heaven load with the CPU and GPU running above their respective base clock rates and at a stable temperature of about 70 C.

Running on battery power will not throttle the CPU or GPU, so users can use the full power of the notebook even if not connected to mains. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries results in Physics and Graphics scores of 4159 points and 1256 points, respectively, compared to 4173 points and 1227 points when connected to an outlet.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Unigine Heaven stress

CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (C)

Prime95 Stress

2.7 -- ~75

FurMark Stress

-- 900 ~75

Prime95 + FurMark Stress

1.4 850 ~74

Unigine Heaven Stress

2.6+ 950 ~70

Emissions

System Noise

The thin and short heat pipe with a barely active system fan are apparently sufficient for the lone ULV Intel CPU. The system runs silently when running low-medium loads or even when gaming for the first few minutes before the fan decides to pick up speed. At worst, fan noise will be as high as 36 dB(A) under unrealistically stressful conditions. Extended gaming will cause fan noise to hover pretty close to its maximum at around 35 dB(A). Perhaps unsurprisingly, fan noise and behavior are almost identical to that of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga.

Single 40 mm system fan
Single 40 mm system fan
Quiet fan noise (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Quiet fan noise (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga 20FQ-000QUS
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
Noise
-2%
-9%
-1%
0%
-2%
off / environment *
28.8
29.1
-1%
31.2
-8%
29.2
-1%
28.8
-0%
31.2
-8%
Idle Minimum *
28.8
29.1
-1%
31.2
-8%
29.2
-1%
28.8
-0%
31.2
-8%
Idle Average *
28.9
29.1
-1%
32.1
-11%
29.2
-1%
28.8
-0%
31.2
-8%
Idle Maximum *
28.9
29.1
-1%
33.1
-15%
29.2
-1%
28.8
-0%
31.2
-8%
Load Average *
35
35.6
-2%
36.2
-3%
33.7
4%
35.2
-1%
31.9
9%
Load Maximum *
35.8
38.1
-6%
37.8
-6%
38.5
-8%
35.2
2%
31.9
11%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
28.8 / 28.9 / 28.9 dB(A)
Load
35 / 35.8 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.8 dB(A)

Temperature

The small cooling system means a more concentrated point heat source. The warm spot near the upper center of the notebook is noticeable even when the system is idling. Fortunately, this never becomes uncomfortably warm when surfing the net or gaming.

Very high loads for extended periods can cause surface temperatures to rise as high as 40 C or 43 C on the top and bottom sides, respectively. The palm rests and front half of the notebook in general will always remain comparatively cooler with warmer keys toward the center. The similarly sized ThinkPad X1 Yoga can become even warmer at almost 50 C under the same extreme conditions.

Maximum stress (Top)
Maximum stress (Top)
Maximum stress (Bottom)
Maximum stress (Bottom)
Max. Load
 33.4 °C
92 F
40 °C
104 F
29.2 °C
85 F
 
 26.2 °C
79 F
32.6 °C
91 F
26.8 °C
80 F
 
 23.8 °C
75 F
23.6 °C
74 F
24.6 °C
76 F
 
Maximum: 40 °C = 104 F
Average: 28.9 °C = 84 F
30.2 °C
86 F
42.8 °C
109 F
34 °C
93 F
26.2 °C
79 F
29.4 °C
85 F
27.4 °C
81 F
24.4 °C
76 F
26 °C
79 F
25.8 °C
78 F
Maximum: 42.8 °C = 109 F
Average: 29.6 °C = 85 F
Power Supply (max.)  36 °C = 97 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 28.9 °C / 84 F, compared to the average of 29.4 °C / 85 F for the devices in the class Office.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 33.9 °C / 93 F, ranging from 21.2 to 62.5 °C for the class Office.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 42.8 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 36.4 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24.2 °C / 76 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 24.6 °C / 76.3 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(+) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.3 °C / 82.9 F (+3.7 °C / 6.6 F).

Speakers

The 1 W stereo speakers are strong but lacking in bass reproduction as revealed by our microphone measurements. This makes the internal speakers less ideal for multimedia use such as video and music playback. External solutions through HDMI or the 3.5 mm audio port are recommended for extended media use.

Stereo speakers near front corners
Stereo speakers near front corners
Weak bass reproduction (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise, Gray: White noise)
Weak bass reproduction (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise, Gray: White noise)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Power demands are generally low at just under 10 W when idling on the highest brightness setting. Gaming loads will bump the system to around 24 W while Prime95+FurMark will bump it even higher to just over 30 W. The small power adapter itself (10.5 4.5 x 3 cm) is rated for 65 W and 20 V, so Lenovo is playing it very safe with the large overhead. Similarly sized competitors with ULV Skylake processors also clock in roughly 30 W when under stress.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga 20FQ-000QUS
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
Power Consumption
4%
15%
-2%
-19%
-2%
Idle Minimum *
7.6
3.8
50%
3.8
50%
3.8
50%
6.82
10%
5.1
33%
Idle Average *
9
7.1
21%
6.3
30%
7.1
21%
8.21
9%
8.5
6%
Idle Maximum *
9.6
7.7
20%
6.8
29%
7.8
19%
17.55
-83%
10.1
-5%
Load Average *
24.5
30.2
-23%
34.4
-40%
36.3
-48%
28.81
-18%
35.2
-44%
Load Maximum *
30.3
44.7
-48%
28.3
7%
46
-52%
34.07
-12%
31
-2%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.2 / 0.22 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 7.6 / 9 / 9.6 Watt
Load midlight 24.5 / 30.3 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

Runtimes from the non-removable 52 Wh battery pack are above average. Users can expect just under seven hours of constant WLAN use at a brightness setting of 150 nits (75 percent). This is over an hour longer than the ThinkPad T460s under the same conditions, but still behind the HP EliteBook 840 G3.

Charging from near empty to full with the included charger will take roughly four to five hours. The charge is very slow as typical charge times normally come in at under three hours.

Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
52 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
52 Wh
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
46 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
49 Wh
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga 20FQ-000QUS
52 Wh
Battery Runtime
6%
20%
-20%
1%
Reader / Idle
776
942
21%
1020
31%
833
7%
922
19%
WiFi v1.3
411
429
4%
453
10%
340
-17%
356
-13%
Load
123
115
-7%
146
19%
62
-50%
120
-2%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
12h 56min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
6h 51min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 03min

Pros

+ no CPU or GPU throttling on battery power
+ excellent keyboard and touchpad
+ slim design; strong chassis
+ respectable battery life
+ easy serviceability
+ brighter backlight
+ WWAN support
+ quiet fans
+ no PWM

Cons

- Unable to maintain maximum rated TUrbo Boost speeds
- Narrower color gamut than the WQHD SKU
- hinges could be more taut
- fingerprint magnet
- no USB Type-C
- slow charging
- soldered RAM
- pricey

Verdict

In review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS. Test model courtesy of Lenovo US.
In review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS. Test model courtesy of Lenovo US.

With strong alternatives available like the MacBook Air or XPS 13, the pressure has been hard on Lenovo to keep the ThinkPad X1 Carbon series going strong. The latest model feels better than ever as detailed in our previous review of the unit and its WWAN options will be sure to attract a lot of interested buyers.

Does the Core i5 FHD configuration offer noticeably longer runtimes and lower temperatures than the Core i7 WQHD configuration? Battery runtimes are not significantly different than the pricier SKU and while surface temperatures are a bit lower, it will only be a couple of degrees at best. These minor differences between the two SKUs mean that users can opt in on the costlier model for its faster performance, more accurate colors, and denser display without sacrificing much in the way of battery life.

The performance of the Core i5 is lower than expected, in particular in single-core operations. Perhaps the most noteworthy difference is that this FHD configuration does not utilize PWM for brightness control in contrast to the WQHD configuration. Thus, users who are sensitive to screen flickering may prefer the FHD model in lieu of a faster processor.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS - 05/13/2016 v5.1
Allen Ngo

Chassis
86 / 98 → 87%
Keyboard
92%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
67 / 80 → 84%
Weight
73 / 20-67 → 100%
Battery
89%
Display
90%
Games Performance
56 / 68 → 82%
Application Performance
79 / 92 → 86%
Temperature
93%
Noise
94%
Audio
63%
Camera
53 / 85 → 62%
Average
79%
90%
Office - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2016-05- 5 (Update: 2016-05- 6)
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.