March 4, 2024


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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen) review: Fantastic business laptop for frequent flyers and coffee-shop denizens

No one wants to lug around a laptop with them for work. It’s why manufacturers continue to create laptops that focus on keeping your productivity up while cutting down on size and weight. The seventh-gen Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a perfect example: a 14-inch business laptop that is thinner and lighter than last year’s model while also increasing battery life and without sacrificing performance.

At 2.4 pounds (1.1 kg), you’d never use the word “lug” when commuting or traveling with the X1 Carbon. It’s only 14.9mm thick (0.6 in.), too, so you can slip it in and out of your bag flying in a middle seat in coach without elbowing your neighbors. And despite having a larger display than many ultraportables, it’s still tray-table size. You can even get the X1 Carbon with one of Lenovo’s PrivacyGuard displays to help block out what’s on your screen when viewed from the sides.

Prices currently start at just less than $1,300 and quickly ratchet up from there — this is Lenovo’s flagship business ultraportable, after all. My review laptop sells for $2,499, but it’s nearly maxed out on components including an ultra-HD-resolution display with HDR400 support and has a new carbon-fiber design on its lid. Basically, it has all the appeal (and price!) of a premium ultraportable for consumers as well as Lenovo’s latest privacy and security features for business, easily making it one of the best in its class.


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The seventh-gen X1 Carbon is seriously slim.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen)

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen)
Price as reviewed $2,499
Display size/resolution 14-inch 3,820 x 2,160 HDR400 display
CPU 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8665U with vPro
PC Memory 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz
Graphics Inte UHD Graphics 620
Storage 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Opal2 SSD
Networking 802.11ac Wi-Fi Bluetooth 5.0
Operating system Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)

The X1 Carbon is a traditional clamshell and doesn’t have the dual 360-degree hinges and the active pen of its X1 Yoga linemate. The screen does open 180 degrees, which gives you plenty of positioning flexibility and makes it easier to share your display with others at the table.

Lenovo offers five display options on this model, three of which are 1,920×1,080-pixel resolution. There are also a WQHD (2,560×1,440 pixel) and the UHD display (3,820×2,160 pixel) I tested, although the latter doesn’t seem to be an option when buying direct from Lenovo. The UHD display is nice to have, especially for entertainment, but you’ll likely need to calibrate when you get it. Mine was a little pink out of the box.


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The X1 Carbon has a great keyboard for as thin as it is.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Regardless of your choice, the webcam squeezed into the frame above it is fitted with a physical shutter that slides to block the camera. The laptops mics can also be cut for greater privacy. Lenovo also offers two newer privacy features on this model: PrivacyGuard and PrivacyAlert. The former makes it difficult for people to the sides of your display to see what you’re looking at it from head on. The latter will actually pop up a notification on your screen if someone is shoulder surfing while you’re working. PrivacyGuard is unfortunately only available on one of the four display options and PrivacyAlert requires an optional IR camera in the laptop.

A fingerprint reader comes standard and it stores and processes your print on its own system-on-a-chip (SoC) for better protection of your system and print from hacks or malware. Other security features include self-encrypting SSDs and Intel vPro processors, discrete TPM 2.0 and FIDO authentication

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