In the business world, the ThinkPad brand holds legendary status for durability, reliability and performance. At CES 2020, Lenovo has just unravelled the 8th iteration of its flagship ultraportable productivity powerhouse, with signature Mil-Spec build quality and smarter features to boot. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 is part of Intel’s Project Athena innovation programme, which means a couple of things: excellent responsiveness, battery life and instant wake.
At first glance, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 looks strikingly similar to its predecessor. It, in fact, shares the same chassis with almost identical dimensions and weight. The Gen 8 is just marginally wider but remains 14.9mm in thickness and tips the scales a tad heftier at 1.09kg. Still, the notebook retains its title of the thinnest, lightest, commercials 14-inch ultrabook on the market.
Offered in signature ThinkPad black finish all round, there’s a sexier Carbon Fibre Top Cover option for those who want to understatedly stand out in the crowd.
Speaking of which, to distinguish the Gen 8 over the Gen 7, at least aesthetically, Lenovo has moved the X1 logo from the bottom right of the top cover and placed it directly under the ThinkPad logo.
In terms of display, the Gen 8 offers the same number of options as its predecessor—from the base 400-nit 14-inch FHD IPS to the top-of-the-line 500-nit 4K IPS with Dolby Vision HDR400 (10-bit). There’s also a 500-nit FHD IPS PrivacyGuard Touch AG option. PrivacyGuard prevents onlookers from seeing your data.
Sitting on top of the display is a ThinkShutter camera, part of the ThinkShield security suite that keeps your data and device protected at all time. The suite includes dTPM 2.0 chip, Match on Chip, touch fingerprint reader, and ThinkPad Privacy Guard with PrivacyAlert.
What you’ll find familiar is the spill-resistant, backlit ThinkPad keyboard with white LED lighting. This time around, Lenovo has added new unified communications (UC) functions on the F9 through F11 keys that let you make calls directly from the ThinkPad with just a touch of a button.
Under the hood, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 offers up to 10th Generation Intel Core U i7 vPro processors, with an optional 6-core i7. This is paired to integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, up to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM and up to 2TB PCIe SSD storage.
The 51Whr battery is borrowed from the Gen 7, offering up to 18.5 hours of use (on non-vPro version). It comes with a 45W power adapter, with support of up to a USB-C AC 65W charger with Rapid Charge. Rapid Charge technology enables the device to charge from zero to 80 percent in just one hour. Impressive.
In the audio department, the device features a Dolby Atmos Speaker System that includes two upward-firing tweeters and two downward-firing woofers for a more immersive sound experience. Similar to the previous generation, it includes quad 306-degree far-field microphones for instant-access to your favourite digital personal assistants like Alexa and Cortana.
Connectivity-wise, it’s a familiar array of essentials: 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports, 2x USB 3.1 Type-A ports, 1x HDMI 1.4, and a single 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack.
What’s new is the support for Intel’s WiFi 6 (WLAN 802.11AX), with Bluetooth 5.0 and optional NFC, LTE Cat.9 and Cat.6 (via WWAN slot).
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 runs up to Windows 10 Pro out-of-the-box.
Pricing and availability
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 is expected to be available later in 2020, with prices starting at USD1,499 (~MYR6,152).
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Photo credit: Lenovo