Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon: Broadwell Versionby Jarred Walton on January 4, 2015 10:13 PM EST
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- CES 2015
Lenovo has a whole slew of announcements coming out over the next few days, but let’s start at the top with the updated X1 Carbon. The latest iteration upgrades the CPU to Intel’s latest 5th Generation Core processors, with support for up to Core i7. This is the Broadwell-U line of CPUs, which means we can’t disclose specifications just yet, but it should be comparable to the Haswell-U processors – we’d expect a 5-10% performance increase in most workloads. Lenovo also rates the latest X1 Carbon at up to 10.9 hours of battery life with a 50Wh battery, compared to the previous version’s 8.6 hours.
Most of the remaining design elements are similar to last year’s X1. The LCD is a 2560x1440 IPS touchscreen display (there may still be a lower resolution option), it ships with up to 8GB RAM, and the dimensions are the same 331mm x 226.5mm x 17.7mm (13.0” x 8.9” x 0.7”) with a starting weight of 1.31kg (2.88 lbs). Storage has also received an update to M.2 PCIe with up to 512GB, and WiFi is again 2x2 802.11ac.
There’s nothing particularly surprising with the update, but then there weren’t any major issues with the old X1 Carbon. Battery life is better, performance is better, and storage is better; everything else basically stays the same. There are some differences in the keyboard and touchpad that warrant mention, however: dedicated function keys are back (the adaptive touch panel is gone), and the clickpad now has dedicated buttons above it once more (for use with the TrackPoint). Pricing and availability have not yet been announced, but the new model should take over from the previous generation when it launches.
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sciwizam - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - linkThank God they ditched the zero-button trackpad and went with dedicated TrackPoint buttons
TrackSmart - Monday, January 5, 2015 - linkAnd thankfully ditched the adaptive function keys. I think the lack of real function keys was problematic for a sizable subset of business users.
Oyster - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - link"... but then there weren’t any major issues with the old X1 Carbon."
Really? Please read the shitty reviews of the keyboard LCD strip and the unusable trackpad... the two most sought after functions. I can't tell from your pictures, but seems they have now included a dedicated function key strip at the top?
Oyster - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - linkWow... wasn't even done making my point: http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/04/lenovo-thinkpad...
JarredWalton - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - linkNote the word "major". ThinkPad users can be quite resistant to change, but the core design is basically the same as before -- but I updated the text to specifically call out the function key and touchpad "updates" (or rather, return to the old way).
madwolfa - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - linkReally? For me as a long time Thinkpad user, the shortcomings of the previous generation were glaring.
close - Monday, January 5, 2015 - linkAnd maybe this year's model won't have LCD burn-in issues on the top-end ~2500E model. I mean at a certain point you stop caring about the CPU, RAM and Fn buttons and that point is the one when you can see you browser's address bar burned into the LCD for a couple of hours after just 30 minutes of being displayed. And it's not an isolated case.
MarcusMo - Monday, January 5, 2015 - linkAs a developer or professional user the productivity difference in having real f-buttons and real mouse buttons are VERY substantial. Your statement of it boiling down to "resistance to change" is quite ignorant. The core problem was that lenovo was trying to push consumer style gimmicks to a professional user base, which meant that they either did not know their target market, or they were trying to shift it towards regular joes. Both of which were disturbing, hence the outrage. This new version gives me hope that it was an honest mistake and that all is not lost at lenovo.
JarredWalton - Monday, January 5, 2015 - linkI definitely will agree that the function key "dynamic strip" was a mistake, but the lack of physical buttons is only an issue if you use the TrackPoint. TrackPoint of course ends up being very much a personal preference sort of thing. Some people need it, of course, but I've never been much of a fan. (Cue the flames....) I'd much rather have a good touchpad so for me the lack of physical buttons for the TrackPoint wasn't at all a deal breaker.
At the same time, one of the few things that separates "business" laptops from consumer models these days is the presence of TrackPoint and similar pointing devices. So if you're one of those users that buys a business laptop specifically because you like TrackPoint, obviously it's a huge problem.
But again speaking for myself, I have no issue whatsoever with a business laptop not including a pointing stick by default. Heck, I've had more than a few cases where the little foam/rubber nub has gone missing, which isn't something that happens to my touchpads. A good touchpad in my book trumps the pointing stick every time... unless you're trying to control the mouse pointer while wearing gloves, which is something that does occur for a few niche use cases.
MarcusMo - Monday, January 5, 2015 - linkAfter reviewing all those awful ergonomic keyboard contraptions, one would think that you of all people would see the benefit of not leaving home row :)