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The Lenovo ThinkPad series is already well-known for its business appeal. For the sixth-gen 2018 model the company has ramped up design to look even more suave and sophisticated standards, while cramming in features that many other laptops can only dream about.
Principal among these features is an ultra-bright High Dynamic Range (HDR) screen with Dolby Vision optimisation. So not only can you look good on the job, you can enjoy premium content during downtime too.
Thing is, with that HDR screen configured, the 2018 X1 Carbon is a pricey slice of laptop, pushing a penny shy of £1,880 (it's just over $2,000 in the US, yowch). That's around £600/$1000 more than many obvious high-end competitors, so does the latest ThinkPad proposition stack up?
Design and connectivity
- 2x USB 3, 1x Thunderbolt 3, 1x 3.5mm jack, 1x HDMI, 1x docking connector
- Dimensions and weight: 324 x 217 x 15.95mm; 1.13kgs
- Black or silver finishes, new blacked-out ThinkPad logo
- ThinkShutter camera slide for added privacy
- Embedded fingerprint reader
The design manual for stylish and slim laptops was written years ago and has become a bit of a bible from which only the bold stray. It says: "maketh your laptops slim, maketh them out of aluminium and maketh sure everyone's going to know it's aluminium when they look at or touch it".
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon tears up the manual, instead showing off its carbon construction in a different, subtle, yet standout way. It probably goes without saying that the X1 Carbon is, indeed, constructed from a carbon shell (carbon fibre reinforced magnesium alloy, as it happens). In practical terms this build makes for a lightweight laptop that's soft to the touch, not cold or sharp like metal.
You might not know it's carbon, though, as there's no carbon fibre-like flecks to be seen anywhere, instead the whole laptop looks coated in a sort-of plasticky like finish. This also likes to attract fingerprints, while that black/grey finish (there's a silver one too) is a bit of a dust magnet. But if you're going to spend two grand on a laptop then you'd best have the feather duster to hand to keep it looking ship shape.
To say it's not slim would be unfair, though, as just like the 2017 model the X1 Carbon has shaved a few millimetres off the older designs, with smaller screen bezels being on area of space saving. At just under 16mm thick, however, it won't outsmart an Acer Swift 7 - but then the ThinkPad is the quieter, better cooled and longer-lasting option, so it's a case of practical rather than overly show-offish.