Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review: Pros, Cons & More

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon


Value for Money Score


Reliability Score


Performance Score


Specifications and Features Score


Design Score



  • Extra Security with Touch Finger sensor
  • 2560 x 1440 Stunning display
  • Storage options are ultrafast with SSD
  • Powerful performance with Intel Core i5
  • Ultra book which is light and uncompromisingly thin


  • Slower SSD compare to other Ultrabooks
  • Uses new AC adapter format
  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • Bit Expensive
  • Mediocore webcam


We would rather say that its graphics performance is somewhat mediocre, not so ideal for playing graphically rich PC games.

On this ground, the laptop can upset the enthusiast gamers. But if we gauge its features from business & corporate-level perspectives, we will find it amazing than the former generations of ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

It is not only ruggedly built, but strikingly lightweight and portable too. The X1 Carbon is highly sufficient for every professional by each metric.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon & Variant Laptops Price


To start the discussion, we can give a suitable title to ThinkPad X1 Carbon 3rd Generation laptop – “a brilliant Ultrabook for day-to-day users”. Honestly, this is not an exaggeration, this is a real fact.

Unlike Apple MacBook or Huawei MateBook, the current laptop sports 14-inch business-class display, being larger enough to match your needs.

It has been the best attempt from the brand to make such a powerful business-oriented Ultrabook.

However, the previous two versions were not so much successful while having unreliable battery life as well as touch-sensitive keyboard.

But the latest 3rd Gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop has made its appearance with a number of changes to be a convincing device for all sorts of users.

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon

Buy for: Stunning display, supports Ubuntu and light weight.

Beware of: Only one USB 3.0 port and average webcam.

Best uses for: Working on Photoshop, small business, doctors, data science and data analysis, PhD students for scientific research, photography, finance students, investment banking, office work, robotics engineering and other purposes.

The alternatives:



If you indulge in slight experiment by asking every tech expert about the best laptop brands prevailing these days, most of them will undeniably cite the name, Lenovo.

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Yes, such is the widespread obsession of Lenovo laptops. One cannot refuse their immense contribution to the global computing industry.

The company stays involved in nonstop endeavor to add some ultra-modern and innovative features to their laptops, in order to make them more work-efficient and powerful than their former creations.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 3rd Generation is such a flagship product of this leading brand. It comes with several useful & user-friendly features to appear as a perfect Ultrabook as well.


Being an ultrabook, ThinkPad X1 Carbon contains a wide array of configurations. It sports Intel Core i7-5600U 5th Generation processor to produce speedier & fluid performance.

Relevant tests have established that it performs incredibly far better than other i7- powered laptops or ultrabooks.

Even it has undergone different productivity tests and scored very well to satisfy every user mind. Its 2.6 GHz processor has 4M Cache and Turbo Boost 2.0 of 3.2GHz to handle heavy workloads.

This quickest Core processor leads the entire charge of the system and ensures top notch & uninterrupted performance all the time.

Obviously ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a workstation laptop, but that doesn’t mean you cannot refresh your mind at the intervals.

The laptop is equipped with Intel HD Graphics 520 to support various gaming titles and provide you utmost delight between meetings.

It packs an integrated graphics card instead of dedicated one, but still handles demanding PC games at mediocre frame rates.



1. The Single-Core score of the Intel Core i5 5300U, in the Geekbench 5 scale, is 604, and its multi-core score is 1316. If we observe the single-core performance list on geekbench.com, then we can locate it at a very low place.

So we can’t consider it as a very popular and updated processor. Now, let us compare it with others of the same class. Intel Core i5-5350U’s single-core score is 653 and its multi-core score is 1432.

So, in both the tests, the Core i5-5350U, is better than our Intel Core i5 5300U. Eventually, we can say Lenovo Thinkpad T450s performs better than Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon because it is equipped with Intel Core i5-5350U.

The Intel Core i5-5250U is another popular version of i5 processors. The single-core score of this processor is 592, whereas its multi-core score is 1234.

So such a laptop that has Intel Core i5-5250U, can’t deliver as powerful performance as the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon can. An example of such a laptop is Apple MacBook Air MJVM2LL/A.

2. On CPU Benchmarks, the ‘Average CPU Mark’ of the Intel Core i5 5300U, is 2745. Its overall rank is 1772. It is not a very popular processor because, in the chart of ‘CPU Mark Relative to Top 10 Common Laptop CPUs’, it has taken the last position.

But if we consider the ‘CPU Value’ of this processor, then we can conclude it is a good value for money product as it has taken the 4th position of the ‘CPU Value’ chart of cpubenchmark.net.

On the performance chart, it has taken the last position. So, it is not a very good choice for the high-end users of this generation.


1. According to VideocardBenchmarks, the Average G3D Mark, of the Intel HD 520, is 865. The ‘Average G2D Mark’ of it is 211 and its overall rank is 943. This GPU is not a very powerful one.

And it is very rarely used in modern devices. As a result, it is not able to take any good position in the list of ‘G3D Mark Relative to Top 10 Common Videocards’ of videocardbenchmark.net.

2. The average bench of the Intel HD 520, in userbenchmark is 4.25%. It has taken 398th place out of 681. For gaming and workstation purposes, this internal GPU’s performance is very low.

But for running some casual HD content on a desktop or laptop it is a good choice.


Design of a specific laptop is something which creates huge impact in the mind of any user.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon has certainly got a trendy outlook to become your perfect companion during business hours.

As clear from its name, the laptop is reinforced with premium material of carbon fiber.

Its design and build include a graceful combination of rock-hard plastic and carbon fiber, while the bottom surface is made of aluminum and magnesium.

Such a classic & magnificent design has made this ultraportable laptop extremely professional as well as an all-back device. The design is tough enough to withstand fingerprints as well.

The reason behind using carbon fiber in the build of ThinkPad X1 Carbon is strong indeed.

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According to the statement of Lenovo, carbon fiber is equally sturdy as aluminum is but weighs too much less than the latter material.

At the same time, carbon fiber is highly able to work at high & low temperatures and can resist sand, humidity & shock to a great extent.


One more excellence of ThinkPad X1 Carbon lies in its 1080p display. In terms of size, the 14 inch screen of the laptop is large enough to implement a variety of business projects or having some fun by PC gaming.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Laptop Display

More excitingly, it is Full HD Non-Touch anti-glare display with 400:1 contrast ratio.

It is having the resolution of 1920×1080 pixels to offer extreme picture quality and crystal-clear vibrancy.

At 300 nits, the display in the ThinkPad X1 is truly bright & lustrous all around.

Those who are having absolute obsession with bigger and vivid laptop screen will surely avail plenty of benefits from this premium model.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon with Full HD screen and standard display resolution sincerely manages to offer a great amount of detail in images as well as videos.

The display also shows maximum sRGB color range to beat other FHD display based laptop variants.

Its flat display is an interesting feature too, for turning the device much more handy.


ThinkPad X1 Carbon features 256 GB solid state drive as storage option. Such storage capacity assures pretty quick performance of the system. Download Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon manual.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 SSD

But its file transfer rate is not satisfactory to make your job easier. On the other hand, ThinkPad X1 Carbon packs 8GB PC3-12800L RAM for incredible multitasking.

Being a business-level laptop, it ensures lag-free performance & smooth multitasking with such ultra-high RAM, even if you run multiple browsers and play your favorite games at a single time.

Battery Power

As far as battery life is concerned, ThinkPad X1 Carbon has ample power to perform throughout an entire day.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Battery

Its single Lithium ion battery can last for longer hours in case of light work like web browsing, documents editing etc. This is finer than any other high-rated workstation laptops.

The long-lasting performance of ThinkPad X1 Carbon is more because it is having a non-touchscreen.

Several tests and experiments have proved its excellent battery life and workability as well.

This Ultrabook remains pretty cool or normal temperate to the touch. Even after working for several hours, the device does not tend to get warmer a while.

Additional Specs

Before launching the 3rd Gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Lenovo has brought dual changes in it – the conventional Function row has undergone a modification along with the presence of dedicated mouse buttons as for TrackPoint.

These changes have made this new 3rd Gen X1 Carbon laptop more comfortable than its predecessors.

The backlit keyboard of this portable laptop is very much ideal for outing at any time. Such keyboard offers utmost work convenience under any lighting condition.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Keyboard

It is exactly what you anticipate from a Lenovo Ultrabook at all. The well-spaced keys feel a desktop-like sense and extreme comfy. They are little bit spongy too.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon sports a large and smooth touchpad. Its offered multi-touch gestures simply create no issue at all.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Trackpad

The 3.2 x 2.2-inch glass touchpad delivers proper cursor navigation and hassle-free scrolling.

At the same time, the smart & superior TrackPoint helps to move the cursor to and fro easily and quickly than using touchpad as well.

The device consists of a fingerprint reader on the right panel of its keyboard, which paves the way for logging in safely.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fingerprint Reader

You can easily prepare fingerprint recognition with the help of Lenovo Fingerprint Manager Pro and log in to Windows via fingerprints only.

The laptop includes other safety features like Trusted Platform Module for encrypting data.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with dual speakers to produce clear and detailed sound. More interestingly, the audio never gets harsh at the topmost volume setting.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Speaker

At maximum audio setting, one can hear distinct sound and clear voices without any noise distraction, even at time of watching videos or movies.

The audio features are reinforced with Dolby Digital Plus software as well.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with all the essential ports and jacks for high-end connectivity option.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Ports

The left side is the home to an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, a DisplayPort to get connected with monitors, TVs or projectors and a headphone or microphone jack as well.

Whereas the right side contains an Ethernet Extender port to connect to wired networks and another USB 3.0 port.

It is very unfortunate to mention that ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop has no SD card slot and hence creates a bar for file & picture transfer.

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You can check out the convenient ports which will deliver you to get the best of it. You can try out with the different options which will comfort.

More interestingly, the audio never gets harsh at the topmost volume setting. Read more about lenovo thinkpad ultrabook x1 carbon user guide.

What Do Users Think?

Our experts have talked to few users and compiled their opinion about this product.

What were the reactions of them who have acquired dissimilar experiences from Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon?

Since Lenovo is a reliable name in the electronics industry, innumerable users and tech experts have expected the best from this particular laptop.

However, they are not disillusioned at all. They have achieved one of the best business laptops with high-fidelity display and excellent battery life.

To some of them, ThinkPad X1 Carbon is pretty much sleeker and lighter for their portable convenience.

Although it comes with Windows 10 Professional, it does not include Microsoft Office, which is utterly essential for business activities.

A number of users are totally dissatisfied with its limited hard drive expansion. For a versatile laptop as Lenovo has claimed ThinkPad X1 Carbon to be, the RAM size and expansion capacity of SSD are just average, as many users set their critical reviews.

However, the overall performance of this Ultrabook is suitable for fastest handling of important projects.

Our Testing & Analysis Report

Measuring the performance of the Intel Core i5 5300U processor the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop on the Geekbench 5 scale, we found that its single core performance score is 604 points and the multi-core performance score is 1316.

The average CPU mark on the CPU Benchmarks of the processor was found to be 2745.

We concluded from these results that the CPU is quite efficient but not powerful enough to handle the demands of high-end users and their CPU intensive tasks.

We also tested the integrated graphics card of the laptop and found that, according to Video Card Benchmarks, it has an average G3D Mark of 865 and G2D Mark of 211.

On the UserBenchmark, its average bench score was found to be 4.25%, all of which does not indicate very powerful performance.

The display of the laptop however seems to have a pretty good contrast ratio of 400:1 to display clear and vibrant images of high-quality and rich color.

On our colorimeter and color accuracy and variation tool Delta E 2000, we found that it beats other displays in our database in terms of sRGB color space coverage and supports about 300 nits of brightness, which is reasonably higher than the average standard of 250 to 275 nits.

The keyboard and trackpad appeared to be just good and nothing exceptional in offering typing experience. The key travel and tactility are decent and the trackpad was pretty smooth and responsive.

On our battery rundown test, with a few tabs open, videos streaming continuously, and a few computing tasks performed in Word, Excel, and Paint, it lasted for about 6 to 8 hours on test conditions, depending on the display and other power saving settings.

Questions & Answers:

Is the ThinkPad X1 Carbon worth it?

If portability and style are the major considerations for you then you can go with this device. There is no doubt that this product can smoothly perform any multitasking task. But if you are a high-end user or you need a powerful PC to do your office projects, then it is good to find an updated alternative.

Once, this device was considered a very powerful system. With time, new updated options came to the market. Considering the current scenario you can’t consider it a powerful system.

How old is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon?

The first edition of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon was launched in the first half of August 2012.

Is the storage section of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon upgradable?

Yes, you can increase the capacity of the SSD of this device. But there is another edition of this model that comes with a 512 GB SSD.

Is the RAM section of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon upgradable?

No, unfortunately you can’t upgrade the RAM section of this laptop. This device is available in two options. One is with 8GB RAM. And the other one is with 16 GB RAM. If anyone needs higher RAM capacity on his PC, then he can go with the 16 GB edition.

Does the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon have Thunderbolt 3 facility?

Yes, this laptop comes with one USB Type-C port, and that has Thunderbolt 3 facility.

About Puja Chatterjee

Puja ChatterjeePuja Chatterjee is a technical writer with extensive knowledge about computers. She graduated from BIMS. Her expertise includes technology writing and client relationship management gained through over 12 years of experience. Follow Her at Linkedin.

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