Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon review: The world’s lightest ultrabook

Lawrence Jones

Monday 16 October 2017

The market for ultralight business laptops is a competitive space, but the ThinkPad has certainly established itself since the first iteration in 1992. When Lenovo acquired the ThinkPad brand in 2005, it found the sweet spot with a sleek style, processing power and durable exterior. Now into its fifth generation, we take a look at the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon – Lenovo’s fastest, most powerful and portable lightweight laptop.

When unboxing the Lenovo ThinkPad, it quickly becomes clear that this attractive laptop was designed with business in mind.

Absolute Geeks reviewer Khalid Hussain likened it to a “stealthy and sleek supercar”, which is a fair comparison considering most supercars are also made from carbon. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s durable chassis is made from four layers of satellite-grade carbon fibre, while the outer shell is moulded around a magnesium alloy roll cage for extra protection.

At just 1.13kg, Lenovo claims it’s the lightest 14-inch ultrabook on the planet. It’s small too – only 15.95mm thick, which is 8 per cent thinner than older generations.


Its diminutive size doesn’t hide any compromises. A 2K (2560 x 1440) anti-smudge, anti-glare display comes as standard, meaning your images and films will be clear, crisp and vibrant.

The full-size sunken, backlit keyboard is responsive, and the touchpad is accurate. The HD webcam and Dolby audio speakers (located at the bottom of the laptop) are perfect for making Skype calls or streaming movies, but you may need something more powerful if planning a party.

Stuffed in bags and carried across the world, most ultrabooks endure a hard life, so when developing its latest generation, Lenovo put the ThinkPad through military-grade tests. It came out on top in conditions of extreme heat, dust, altitude and humidity – and endured more than its fair share of knocks.

So you can take it for granted that the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is built to last.

Power and performance

Lenovo’s ThinkPad range has always boasted impressive hardware specs, and this fifth-generation is no different.

The seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processor is the heart of this powerful machine. And a solid 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 500GB SSD ensure the ThinkPad can easily run multiple intensive programmes simultaneously.

If you need extra storage, Lenovo even offers a 1TB SSD option, which is more than enough for most users.

The laptop runs Windows 10 Pro, an efficient and pared-back OS that has more built-in security than previous versions.

Staying connected

Battery life is a constant concern for ultrabook owners, but Lenovo claims you’ll get up to 15.5 hours of operating time on a full battery. In real-world conditions that figure will be slightly less, but the battery life compares favourably against similar laptops on the market. 

Somehow, Lenovo has found space to pack in two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, a native RJ45 port and a headphone socket. LTE-A connectivity is available, which means 4G can keep you connected to your data and apps in the cloud.


The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is an impressive machine that further establishes itself as one of the leading ultrabooks on the market. It’s the perfect balance of ample connectivity, solid specs and standout performance, while its light weight and impressive battery life make it a great choice for business or pleasure.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon should be purchased directly from an official outlet. Find your nearest official dealer in the Middle East or Africa.