When it comes to finding a quality laptop, one of the toughest issues is hunting down a machine that will appeal to both business users and regular consumers.
With the ThinPadX1 Carbon Gen7 PC, Lenovo has straddled these two categories with style and economy. The laptop has a price tag of $1,179, which makes it a bargain for business but still affordable for consumers.
This laptop basically preserves the essential ThinkPad concepts. It’s lightweight with a comfortable keyboard, plus it has some serious security features as well as the iconic red TrackPoint button in the middle of the keyboard.
The security features include facial recognition, and some models can recognize fingerprints as well. As for the display, the 4K screen may not be essential for business users, but its a definite bonus for consumers who value entertainment-oriented options.
Based on this combination feature set, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7 PC is already an award winner, having been named the best high-end business laptop by PC Magazine.
For Lenovo, this computer is the seventh generation of this particular laptop line, but visually there isn’t much difference between this model and its predecessors. The features you’ll recognize include the rugged-looking black chassis, the red TrackPoint button, and the slanted ThinkPad emblem on the back.
The difference in Carbon Gen 7 is the combination of size, weight, and materials. At 2.4 pounds, its the lightest laptop in this category, and this weight actually makes it an ultraportable that’s even lighter than the MacBook Air and the Dell XPS 13.
The materials include a magnesium underside and a carbon fiber lid, a combination that gives the machine a rugged, sturdy feel. That feeling is reinforced by the fact that it meets MIL-STD 810G, which is remarkable given the lightness of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7.
Cosmetically, the big changes are in the styling of the lid, which now features a carbon-fiber weave that makes it more distinctive and adds a little flash to the design.
There are two other screen options as well. You can get a 1080p touch screen with a matte finish, or choose what the company calls the WQHD 2560 x 1440 pixel screen that offers the matte without any touch support.
The brightest display choice is the 4K version, which also supports Dolby Vision for HDR images and videos. The base model is solid for viewing text documents in office environments, but it lacks flash when it comes to videos in a home entertainment setting.
The keyboard features have sculpted, backlit keys that are very stable, but the touchpad came up short in some reviews. It was criticized as being cramped with stiff action, and the sensitivity adjustments often didn’t help with that.
The speaker system has been redesigned to meet requirements for video meetings, with woofers that fire downward and the tweeters near the display hinge. The sound is adequate, but not as good as that of the MacBook Pro, which has speakers that fire upward. The webcam was reviewed as being decent, but some reviewers were disappointed at having to purchase a special proprietary Ethernet attachment for $35 that hasn’t been bundled for some reason.
Overall, though, these are minor quibbles for a high-end machine that gets head of the class awards, and it should meet the needs of both business users and consumers.