Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook

Trackpoint nubs (or dots) used to rule first-world laptops before as the main pointing device. Its technology has been widely claimed to introduce touch-sensitive controls. However, a decade or two back, this technology which gave companies like IBM and Fujitsu a solid face and reputation was numerically wiped out of the market, especially when touch pads took place to enhance pointing experience. And not long ago, multi-gesture has been introduced to notebooks for a faster, smarter cursor handling. Puzzling as this may seem, but Lenovo must have thought of something to give the company a strong push to put this trackpoint nubs back. Can you guess any valid reason? I hardly can, at least.

Lenovo’s new ThinkPad X1 Carbon has just been unleashed from the cage of antiquity. I said it that way because, on the first glance, this new design from the ThinkPad series is seemingly a concrete bridge between the vintage laptops up to the post-modern ultrabooks. The design is, in bird’s eye view, a pure solid black frame, and… that’s it. When you open the lid, you see extra tablespoons of physical structure, which includes the red tracking device in the middle of the board.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon boasts of the carbon fiber roll cage. This is among the best innovations introduced this year for ultrabooks, and it’s capable of steel-equivalent durability but with just a 1/3 weight compared to aluminum. Plus in this protective layer is the almost-perfect fingerprint-resistant finish—though not glossy—that is rubberized for an extra amount of protection against scratches and even bumps.

The design of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is also sharp in terms to edges, but gets only a fraction of the total physical dimension and weight compared to 13.3” netbooks on the market. To further understand this, this ultrabook brags its elegant dimension of 13.03×8.9×0.74” but with a screen diagonal size of 14”. Much more surprising is its less-than-2kg. weight, which is too little if you base on how sturdy it looks. It is also exceptionally thin (and probably the thinnest ultrabook these days), but with a lot of ports (or holes) on both sides.

There are 2 USB ports available in the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon –one 3.0, and the other, 2.0. There’s also a mini-DP, a storage card reader, a combo audio jack, and a very unique Ethernet USB dongle (because the Ethernet port will not fit in a depth this thin). The company also puts its best foot in this model by equipping a relatively long battery life, powered by the skyrocketing rapid charge technology, which can milk this device for up to 5 hours of battery life in just 35 minutes. And more with the hardware, there’s no optical drive, but there is a 4.0 Bluetooth, WWAN and Wi-Fi connectivity features.

The new glass-topped multi-gesture touchpad of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is an innovation also, however, not the best one. This sturdy pad is wide enough for basic operations, but since it is with a glass covering, it is quite hard to get a very fine stroll around the pad. Clicks are not that fun, and may take you a lot of time to get used to it. Nevertheless, the wider-capped smile-curved island-type keyboard is fun and sticky for everyday use without the strain. Plus in the keyboard is its backlight that doesn’t cause any glare for you while you type in a dark room.

Priced at around $1499 to $1799 depending on configuration package, the model can accommodate processor of up to Intel Core i7—third generation with Ivy Bridge, a Sandisk SSD of up to 256GB, a common graphics card, RAM of up to 8GB, and a fingerprint scanner. More with the Lenovo’s new model is the faster boot speed, wide viewing angle with the 1600x900p HD display that can tilt for almost 180 degrees, and a very quiet, discreet chassis.

As for my verdict, I solely confirm Lenovo as among the top providers for high-performing ultrabooks especially these days, but not really among the list of those who provide fashionable notebooks. This ThinkPad X1 Carbon is good with the physical and internal structure, but not a superstar in terms to gaming and extreme graphic performance. The red trackpoint can also be removed since I don’t think a lot would need it, and a separate optical drive must be included in the package to make the price worth it.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook Price in Singapore Dollar (SGD): Approximately S$ 1,700.00

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