REVIEW: LENOVO X1 CARBON, ONLY THE BEST

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Want the best Windows laptop available ? We found it.

The Lenovo X1 Carbon Ultrabook 2014 edition is simply the fastest best built Windows laptop. From the classic soft black ThinkPad finish to the military spec ruggedness, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a seriously good device. It hit me while sitting in a coffee shop working on the Lenovo X1 Carbon. No one takes you as seriously as they do when you are working on a ThinkPad.

Aesthetics

The first thing you will notice about the X1 Carbon is the svelte matt black colour, which has been with the ThinkPad range since day dot. On the X1 Carbon it covers a magnesium alloy shell which gives it a solid and sturdy feel which rivals the MacBook Air.The rest of the X1 Carbon is the most exquisitely engineered device I have ever used. From the feeling and feedback of the keyboard, to the hinges that move the touch screen – there is nothing that I have used that comes close to rivalling the feeling of quality and precision that the X1 Carbon has.

Lenovo has introduced an adaptive row of touch keys just above the physical keyboard. This changes functionality depending on what application is being used. For instance, if Internet Explorer or Chrome is open the adaptive keyboard gives options best suited for browsing the internet – like a snipping tool and screen brightness adjust. But if Microsoft Word is open the adaptive keyboard gives F1, F2 etc. options best suited for document editing.After a short learning curve, the adaptive keyboard, coupled with the excellent regular keyboard make for excellent aesthetic feedback and overall make using the X1 Carbon super productive.

This high level of aesthetic quality is continued in both the touchpad and the touch screen. Both of which are responsive, accurate and work brilliantly with the latest Windows 8.1 update.Finally, the X1 Carbon is an impressively svelte device. It has maximum thickness of 18.9mm and weighing in at just 1.36 KG due to the carbon-magnesium frame and shell. All in all not much larger than a MacBook Air – and considering the power packed into the X1 Carbon with a full inch bigger screen and the Intel Core i7 processor, it makes the current MacBook Air look like the slow kid of the class.

Hardware

The X1 Carbon is an extremely powerful laptop, available with a range of options best suited to corporate work and travel.

Starting with the touchscreen, which is of a very high resolution. This results in text being presented cleanly and videos and pictures coming across beautifully. Further, the colour accuracy is spot on. Sadly though, is the vertical viewing angle is somewhat poor making it necessary to adjust the angle of the screen every so often if someone else wants to see something on your screen.Moving to the battery life, Lenovo quote 9 hours of use. This is a slight overstatement, but not by much. If the screen is dimmed to minimum brightness, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned off and only word processing is done, 9 hours is possible. But in reality the X1 Carbon will give 6 to 7 hours of general use. The battery does have a fantastic feature of being able to charge to 80% capacity in 35 minutes which is a real bonus.

In terms of processing power, the model we tested was equipped with an Intel Core i7 1.5GHz to 2.1GHz, with 8Gb of RAM and a 256Gb SSD. This results in the X1 Carbon being a very serious laptop. Everything from large PDF files to most image editing is handled smoothly and easily. Any business function and even some less than casual gaming worked exceptionally well on the X1 Carbon.

Conclusion

The Lenovo X1 Carbon is the best built, most tightly feature packed, smoothest operating, brilliantly engineered laptop currently on the market. It is designed for corporate use, with all the required security and manageability features coming standard. As a general laptop it will never disappoint, offering a combination of quality and user experience that is hard to match. The only drawback is the price, as configured it will retail for around 28,000 ZAR. There are great lower cost laptops available, but none have the Lenovo X1 Carbon combination of quality and specification. If price is not an issue, and only the best will do, then the Lenovo X1 Carbon gets our unqualified recommendation.

For more information www.lenovo.co.za 

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