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Lightweight Machines For Heavy Workloads (Part 3) - Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Touch

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Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Touch

Lenovo refreshed its Thinkpad X1 Carbon in March this year and now claims it is the thinnest 14-inch Ultrabook on the market; the assertion is at least true compared to the other two 14-inchers in this comparison.

Only two complaints marred my experience with the X1 Touch. Foremost is battery life. While I managed to score an extra half hour of video playback versus the old X1, at 3.5 hours of running time, it is still at the bottom of the heap of Windows 8 laptops when it comes to longevity.

Only two complaints marred my experience with the X1 Touch. Foremost is battery life. While I managed to score an extra half hour of video playback versus the old X1, at 3.5 hours of running time, it is still at the bottom of the heap of Windows 8 laptops when it comes to longevity.

The most prominent update - and strongest feature - is its keyboard. Lenovo removed the entire top row of keys and replaced it with a touch panel with different functions depending on the app that is active. You can cycle through four interfaces by touching the Fn key on the extreme left. Options include F1 to F12 keys, volume adjustment, display brightness adjustment, keyboard backlight toggle, monitor/project setup, window switching and access to Lenovo’s own settings panel for voice recognition and camera gestures.

As a result, the Home and End keys now sit at where the Caps Lock key usually is, and you have to double tap the Shift key to activate Caps Lock. The Insert key is gone, and the Delete key is located at the top right corner next to Backspace, increasing the chance of pressing one when you meant the other. Overall, the keys have good spacing but we would prefer more friction, instead of a fingerprint attracting glossy plastic. The X1 Carbon also includes Lenovo’s signature red Trackpoint, and a consumer-style clickpad, rather than the conventional trackpad buttons.

The display has been bumped up to an ultra-sharp WQHD resolution at 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, giving it a distinct edge in screen clarity. The anti-reflective coating is both great at reducing glare and fending off fingerprints. The IPS screen has excellent viewing angles, allowing easy reading even from an almost perpendicular position. Whether this is a plus point depends on individual needs though, especially if you often work on confidential documents.

With the rather obviously named ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch, Lenovo brings its flagship ultrabook into the Windows 8 era, adding a touchscreen to the package but leaving most of the rest of the device unchanged. If you were enthralled by the Carbon during its first go-round late last year and are prepared to add touchability to your routine, it’s definitely a laptop to consider.

With the rather obviously named ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch, Lenovo brings its flagship ultrabook into the Windows 8 era, adding a touchscreen to the package but leaving most of the rest of the device unchanged. If you were enthralled by the Carbon during its first go-round late last year and are prepared to add touchability to your routine, it’s definitely a laptop to consider.

Lenovo has upgraded both USB ports to USB 3.0, with one on each side of the machine. Other ports include full-sized HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, a duo headphone/mic jack and Lenovo’s own OneLink power connector on the left; a Kensington Security Slot and an Ethernet adapter port on the right. There is no SD card slot this time around, but it has a microSIM card slot at the rear for 4G connectivity.

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