Lenovo's ThinkPad series has long been a business staple. Known for their conservative design and cushiony keyboards, they're perfect for both business and educational environments. While they're not as stylish as the Dell XPS 13 (2018), I wouldn't judge a book by its cover. The latest ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2018), with its powerful internals and brilliant display, is pretty darn swanky and tics off a lot of boxes.
About the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2018)
The new X1 Carbon, available in black or silver, features an 8th-Gen Intel CPU, a physical webcam cover, and a super-bright HDR display. You can also get up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD PCIe. The $1,709 starting price is a bit high, though, so it may not be the best option for the budget-conscious buyer. Still, it's a meaty upgrade. Here are the specs at a glance:
CPU: Up to 8th-Gen Intel Core
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
Display: 14-inch HDR IPS (2560 x 1440) display
Memory: Up to 16GB RAM
Storage: Up to 1TB SSD PCIe
Ports: USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, micro SD card reader, microphone/headphone combo jack
Weight: 2.49 lbs
What We Like
The physical webcam cover provides additional protection
If you're afraid of government agents using your webcam to spy on you, don't fret, the new X1 Carbon now has a physical webcam cover. Just slide the plastic bit to the right when you want to cover your webcam and left when you want to be seen. The red dot means you're safe (well, safe is a relative term) from prying eyes. It's a miniscule feature, but good things often come in small packages. While I'm not afraid of being "spied-on," per se, as my life isn't all that interesting, I appreciate the extra security.
You'll drool over the display
The 14-inch (2560 x 1440) IPS display supports Dolby Vision HDR, so you can expect vibrant colors and high brightness. I didn't watch any videos, but I did scroll through a couple of still images and, boy, were they gorgeous. One photo depicted an old temple sitting atop a mountain and the yellow light from the falling sun was so freaking crisp. The display is so bright that I had a hard time seeing the webcam on top of the screen.
What We Didn't Like
If you're working with a flexible budget, cool. If not, the $1,709 price tag is real steep. The Dolby Vision HDR display is great for photo editing, but if you can live without it, we'd recommend the New Dell Inspiron 13 7000 (2017). The base configuration starts at $779 and you can upgrade to a touchscreen or 2-in-1 hinge (or both!). They all start off with 8th-Gen Intel i5 CPUs, too.
Should You Buy It?
If you've got the extra cash to spend, sure
It's a good choice for creative professionals, given the high-quality display, but the lofty starting price may deter a lot of buyers. Aside from this nitpick, the new X1 Carbon has a lot to offer. The webcam cover is cool, especially if you really value your privacy, but the real star of the show here is the superb display. Unfortunately, I can't speak to how it performs because I haven't run it through the proper tests. The new X1 Carbon will be available later this month, so make sure you check out Lenovo's main page.