Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Ultrabook Review and SSD Performance Analysis

It might seem a bit odd displaying the X1 in such a fashion for our opening shot, however, this ranks high in the list of unique qualities of the Lenovo X1 Carbon.

In fact, if you are like I and spend a great many hours on the road typing articles in the passenger seat of a vehicle with the X1 resting on your knees, this characteristic alone is enough to make one seriously consider this purchase. Add on the lightning speed of the SSD and it becomes a no brainer.

If I were to be completely frank, I have never been much of a Lenovo fan for reasons of style and that little red button that I still don’t quite understand. They ranked right up there with Apple products for the longest time and, well, we know where I ended up there now don’t we?

Conversely, Lenovo quality and workmanship has always been beyond reproach as has their success in the business environment, Lenovo easily being the laptop choice of business for some time. Can they jump from that arena with the X1 Carbon and into consumer ultrabook success though?


Lenovo claims that the X1 Carbon is the lightest 14″ ultra on the market and, at 2.99 lbs and 0.71″ thick, they present quite the challenge. To accomplish this, the exterior of the X1 is carbon fiber which is stronger than the most commonly used aluminum finish and at only 1/3 of the weight. In the picture below right, the X1 Carbon is shown on the bottom with the Toshiba Z830 and MBA on top, providing a bit of a size comparison with respect to the thickness of each.

Add to this that the X1 also has embedded 3G connectivity with a backlit island style keyboard and the X1 Carbon increases it’s value in both business and consumer environments significantly. It’s screen is thin, keyboard very comfortable to use and the X1 feels solid when being held or moved around.

The screen of the X Carbon  is of an anti-glare coating, has a 1600×900 HD display with a wide viewing angle and capable of a maximum 300nit brightness. The X1 also includes includes a shatterproof glass trackpad, 720p webcam, USB 3 and has up to 8.2 hours of battery life.

Peripherals on the left side of the X1 include the power port, air vent, USB port and a speaker switch while there is a Kensington lock, USB port, display port, SD card reader and headphone/mic jack on the right.

Configuration options have always been vast for Lenovo systems and our sample X1 Carbon included an Intel Core i5-3427U processor @ 1.8Ghz, 4GB RAM and integrated Intel 4000HD graphics. The RAM can be upgraded at the time of purchase but not after the fact as the memory is also integrated into the system board.