Whether you’re a corporate executive in a large company, a small business person or a prosumer, there’s a lot to like about the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8). It is funny that we are living in 2020 and notebooks manufacturers are still using 1996 webcams ... Avram in this X1 Gen 8 review did you test the model with the IR Camera? Keep an eye on your inbox! That’s about 10 percent faster than my typical score with a similar error rate. Two upward-firing tweeters and two downward-firing woofers pump out above-average sound, with plenty of volume and a modest amount of bass; highs and midtones are clear and it's easy to distinguish overlapping tracks. With the Core i7 processor, the ThinkPad got an average score of 1,308 with an average clock speed of 2.5 GHz and an average temperature of 83 degrees Celsius with a maximum of 99 degrees Celsius. However, the tiny button is annoyingly hard to locate by feel and it’s so small that you have to be very deliberate about finding and pressing it. Supplied Dolby software lets you switch among music, movie, dynamic, game, and voice presets or play with an equalizer. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8) is available with five different screen options and we tested both the base model, 1080p non-touch screen and the high-end 4K HDR screen (also non-touch). New York, This year is no exception, though we're sad Lenovo keeps sending us relatively modest Core i5 models. Colors don't quite pop but are rich and well saturated. Though the lightest of Lenovo's three 14-inch business notebooks (under the 2.8-pound ThinkPad T14s and 3.2-pound ThinkPad T14), the Carbon isn't the lightest on the market; the Asus ExpertBook B9450 is just 1.91 pounds. The soft-touch palmrest added another level of comfort as I rested my wrists on it and racked up a strong 108 word-per-minute score (5 percent error rate) on the 10fastfingers.com typing test. Designed to add more utility than what the standard row … Lenovo probably does this to avoid accidental presses, but it’s still a pain in the butt. https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/lenovo-thinkpad-x1-carbon-gen-8-2020, Good array of ports and configuration options, Formerly editor-in-chief of Home Office Computing, Eric Grevstad is a contributing editor for PCMag, where he earlier served as lead laptop analyst. The only one of these screens to come close was the optional 4K panel on the XPS 13, which topped out at 81.3%. The lid of most configs is plain back, but if you opt for the 4K display, you get a carbon fiber cross-hatch pattern, which adds a unique dose of style I wish was standard. Thank you for signing up to Tom's Hardware. While we haven’t always gotten (or expected) outstanding audio from Lenovo ThinkPads, the X1 Carbon (Gen 8) is an exception. It hasn't gotten Intel's 11th Generation "Tiger Lake" processors yet, but there's no more desirable ultraportable than Lenovo's 2.4-pound ThinkPad X1 Carbon. If you plan to do a lot of video conferencing, it’s always a good idea to get one of the best external webcams. There are lots of good laptops, but it's rare to find one repeatedly described as the best laptop you can buy. Except for the Fn and Control keys being in each other's place at bottom left (you can swap them with the provided Lenovo Vantage software, which combines a handful of utilities with system updates and Wi-Fi security), the backlit keyboard is faultless. There are three USB 3.0 ports rather than two as … If you don’t care as much about the keyboard and don’t require a business laptop with MIL-SPEC-grade durability, consider the Dell XPS 13 (9300) or HP Spectre x360, both of which offer about two hours longer battery life and slightly better performance, thanks to their 10nm Ice Lake processors. However, at least right now, the only two VoIP apps these work with are Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, so if you don’t have either of those installed, the buttons simply launch the Windows 10 notification panel and Lenovo ThinkVantage utility respectively. Because the lower-end panel is matte, I saw no reflections and image quality didn’t degrade at all even at a full 90 degrees to the left or right. You can swap out the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8)’s M.2 NVMe SSD by simply loosening the five Philip’s head screws on the bottom panel, prying the panel off and then unscrewing and pulling out the drive. According to Lenovo, the Thinkpad X1 Carbon is constructed of four layers of carbon fiber, together with a magnesium alloy roll-cage. Its slightly larger screen, slightly preferable keyboard, and HDMI port put us on Team X1 Carbon instead of Team XPS 13, but you can't go wrong with either. The T14s and its Radeon Graphics integrated silicon led the way in this contest, but even it is blown away by almost any gaming laptop with a discrete GPU. Another, always-on USB-A 3.2 port is at the right, along with the power button and a Kensington cable-lockdown slot. You only live once. A bent paper clip removes a tiny tray at the rear that holds the optional SIM card. Fine details are as sharp as the 1080p resolution permits and viewing angles are broad. Our review unit was the X1 Carbon, which contains the most recent 8th-gen Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. The result is a proprietary score indicating a PC's suitability for processor-intensive workloads. HP’s Elite Dragonfly is an appealing business 2-in-1 with a gorgeous blue chassis and longer battery life, but it is still only available with older, Intel 8th Gen Core CPUs. MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Air: Which 13-Inch Apple Laptop Is Best for 2020? The ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8) delivers all day battery life with its 1080p non-touch screen, as it lasted 10 hours and 45 minutes on our battery test, which involves continuous web surfing, video streaming and OpenGL tests over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. Lenovo backs the ThinkPad X1 Carbon with a standard one-year warranty on parts and labor. As with last year’s model, the power button is located on the right side of the laptop, rather than above the keyboard; this allows you to turn the laptop on even if the lid is closed and it’s docked. Cinebench stresses the CPU rather than the GPU to render a complex image. Next is Maxon's CPU-crunching Cinebench R15 test, which is fully threaded to make use of all available processor cores and threads. Email him at, How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone or iPad, How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill, How to Find Free Tools to Optimize Your Small Business, How to Get Started With Project Management, Testing the X1 Carbon: The Executive Elite, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 (2020) Specs, Read Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7 (2019) Review. 1 year ago. For our benchmark comparisons, I matched the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 against four other 14-inch business laptops ranging from Lenovo's own ThinkPad T14s (whose eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 Pro processor makes it the favorite in our CPU tests) to the Dell Latitude 7410 and abovementioned Acer TravelMate P6 and Asus ExpertBook B9450. Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen, 2020) models on the market. However, you can pay to extend the warranty up to five years or get added benefits such as on-site service. It, too, is a tough test for multi-core, multi-threaded CPUs; lower times are better. Configurations of ThinkPad X1 Carbon The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is available in a wide variety of configurations and, if you purchase it from Lenovo.com, you can even custom configure it, … On Geekbench 5, a synthetic benchmark that measures overall performance, the Core i7 config of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8) scored a bit less than some competitors, namely the Dell XPS 9300 (4,848) and the HP Spectre x360 (4,074), both of which have 10nm Ice Lake, Core i7-1065G7 CPUs. However, it lacks some necessities, like an SD card reader, or upgradable memory. The laptop’s excellent tactile keyboard and precise pointing stick / touchpad will help you work faster and make fewer typos while the svelte design makes it easy to use on your lap or throw in a bag where you may not even feel the weight of carrying it. However, both competitors are heavier and the XPS 13 lacks USB Type-A ports. The eighth generation of Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon (starts at $1,331; $1,888 as tested) carries that history, having racked up more rave reviews and awards than any notebook we can think of except possibly the Dell XPS 13. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. All configurations of the X1 Carbon come with a privacy shutter that lets you physically block your webcam and some SKUs also have an IR camera for facial recognition. PCMark 8, meanwhile, has a storage subtest that we use to assess the speed of the system's boot drive. When I played Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September,” there was a clear separation of sound with some notes and instruments appearing to come from the right side while others streamed in from the left. The Good Incredibly light for a 14-inch laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is ruggedly built, and has a better keyboard than any ultrabook-style … CPU Performance: Intel Core i7-10510U . You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. The screen bezels are thin, with a webcam with sliding shutter above the display; the face-recognition camera and a small fingerprint reader beside the touchpad give you two ways to skip passwords with Windows Hello. We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, Best PC Builds for Gaming, Streaming and Productivity, Intel Wi-Fi 6 (2 x 2), Ethernet (with dongle), 2x Thunderbolt 3, 2x USB Type-A, HDMI, 3.5mm, 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches (323 x 217 x 14.9 mm). Unlike some other ultralights, the magnesium-reinforced-with-carbon-fiber ThinkPad doesn't feel flimsy; there's no flex if you grasp the screen corners or press the keyboard deck. Both times are faster than all of its competitors but the Dell XPS 13 9300, which completed the task in just 15 minutes and 40 seconds. When I took a picture of myself in a room with plenty of sunlight, colors were muted but mostly accurate and my features were a little blurry but visible. The configuration with the 4K panel was less impressive, lasting only 7 hours and 23 minutes. In addition to the 4K and 1080p non-touch screen options, there’s also a 1080p touch screen with 500 nits and Privacy Guard, a 1080p 400-nit touch screen and a 2K, 300-nit screen. It's a breeze to stash in any briefcase. Cursor jockeys can as usual choose between the buttonless, slightly small touchpad and three-button TrackPoint embedded mini joystick, both of which are perky and precise. The ultimate in lightweight productivity, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8) combines a best-in-class keyboard with a stunning screen and strong endurance. The main utility for all ThinkPads, Lenovo Vantage, helps you keep drivers and firmware up-to-date while also giving you some control over the system’s power and cooling policies. Perhaps the most noticeable and important change to the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is what Lenovo calls the Adaptive Function Row. While not everyone appreciates its greatness, the little red nub provides more precise navigation around the desktop and doesn’t make you lift your hands off of the home row in order to move the pointer. The top row combines function keys for volume and brightness with shortcuts for answering and hanging up on calls in Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, as well as dedicated Home and End keys (Page Up and Page Down are next to the cursor arrows). Long workdays, transcontinental flights, and catch-up evenings in business hotels will be no problem. Still, at 0.59 by 12.7 by 8.5 inches the Lenovo is impressively compact (the Acer TravelMate P6 measures 0.65 by 12.8 by 9.1 inches). Built for business, but great for anyone who wants to get work done, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon has long been one of the best ultrabooks you can buy. Using an early 2018 release of the Creative Cloud version of Photoshop, we apply a series of 10 complex filters and effects to a standard JPEG test image. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen, 2020) CPU variants. With stacks of as-you-like-it configuration options, it picks up PCMag Editors' Choices as regularly as punching a time clock. We would, however, recommend buying the X1 Carbon with 16GB of RAM rather than 8GB, because if you’re doing heavy multitasking or just have a lot of tabs open, it’s very easy on any PC to exceed 8GB. Its quad speakers (two on the bottom and two below the bezel) provide sound that’s loud enough to fill a room and rich enough to dance to. Dolby Atmos Speaker System allows you to change audio profiles and adjust the equalizer. At that weight, it’s quite a bit lighter than the Dell XPS 13 (9300) (2.8 pounds), the Asus ZenBook 13 (2.7 pounds) and the HP Spectre x360 (2.7 pounds) and even a little lighter than the HP Elite Dragonfly (2.5 pounds). This 14-inch business system combines an unbeatable screen and keyboard with MIL-STD 810G toughness to pass torture tests involving shock, vibration, and environmental extremes, yet it weighs just 2.4 pounds, less than the XPS 13 and many other ultraportables. NY 10036. The F10 and F11 keys have telephone icons on them as they can be used for VoIP call answer or hang up functions. The eight-core AMD CPU of the ThinkPad T14s dominated these events, but even as a Core i5 going up against Core i7's, the X1 Carbon did very well. The 4K display returned a strong 498 nits of brightness on our light meter while the 1080p screen hit a respectable 364 nits. This way you can decide for yourself which Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen, 2020) model is the best bang for your buck. The aesthetics of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon haven’t changed much over the last several generations, but why mess with a good thing? 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