Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon review

Lenovo's updates its business Ultrabook with a handful of office-friendly features - but is it enough to convince you to part with over £1,000?

Upgrades and options

The Core i5-based model here costs a reasonable 1,134 exc VAT and offers decent power levels but, as usual, a variety of specifications are available.

The base model, at 866 exc VAT, includes a lesser i5-3317U processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, and next up the range is the 965 exc VAT version, which includes the improved i5-3427U processor.

Top of the line is the 1,108 exc VAT model, and it's the only ThinkPad X1 with a Core i7 processor. The chip of choice is an i7-3667U, and it's partnered with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. The SSD can be doubled in size for an extra 80 exc VAT but, aside from that, there's little chance to upgrade the internals.

The warranty options aren't particularly extensive, either. The standard package is a 3yr return-to-base warranty, and upgrading to a 3yr next business day option costs 50 exc VAT. Switching to a carry-in repair and accidental damage-protected warranty is 59 exc VAT more, and the most extensive option is a next business day offering that also has accidental damage protection that adds 105 exc VAT to the price. Unlike more traditional ThinkPads, there's no option to mix and match warranty options, or extend the deal for four or five years.

Conclusion

Limited upgrade and customisation choice aside, there's very little wrong with Lenovo's latest Ultrabook. It's taken the mediocre X1, fixed all of the problems, and the result is excellent: the screen is good, the ergonomics reach the high standards we've come to expect from ThinkPads, and it's exceedingly slim and light. MacBook Airs are similarly priced but, with a business-focused specification, this is a better option for the office.

Verdict

Lenovo’s first ThinkPad Ultrabook wasn’t up to scratch, but the firm has addressed criticisms and nailed it second time around. The familiar ThinkPad design and build quality mean it’ll stand the rigours of the office, the trackpad and keyboard are superb, and the screen’s better than ever thanks to an improved resolution and matte finish. It’s powerful enough, reasonably priced, and our only qualm is a minor lack of versatility when it comes to upgrades and warranty choices. Still, if you’re after a business Ultrabook, none are better.

DISPLAY: 14in 1,600 x 900 STORAGE: 256GB SSD CONNECTIVITY: 802.11n dual-band WiFi, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth 4 PORTS: 1 x USB 3, 1 x USB 2, SD card reader, mini DisplayPort DIMENSIONS: 331 x 226 x 19mm WEIGHT: 1.36kg OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit as reviewed (now Windows 8 Pro) WARRANTY: 3yr RTB

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