Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 Review: Slim and Long Battery Life

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Lenovo is on a roll in bringing in multiple models of their ThinkPad series into the Philippines to cover the entire market in varying options in performance. This time around, we will be taking a look at the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 which one of the more deluxe options in the market at PhP 129,990. Powered by Intel’s 10th Generation Comet Lake platform does its price point justify its performance?

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

CPUUp to Intel Core i7-10610U
GPUIntel UHD Graphics 620
OSWindows 10 Pro
RAMUp to 16GB LPDDR3
Display14.0-inch IPS, 1920x 1080, 400nits
StorageUp to 2TB PCIe SSD
I/O Ports2x Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C, 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A, HDMI 1.4, Ethernet Extension, MicroSD Card Reader, 3.5mm Combo Jack
ConnectivityDual-Band WiFi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0
BatteryUp to 19.5 hours, 65W Rapid Charge
AudioDolby Atmos Speakers, 4x 360-degree Far-Field Microphones
Others720p Webcam with ThinkShutter Privacy Cover, Fingerprint Scanner, dTPM 2.0, Split-Resistant Backlit Keyboard
WeightStarts at 1.09kg
Dimensions323 x 218 x 14.9mm
ColorsBlack

Display and Design

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

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The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 can be outfitted with a 4K display, but for this review, we received the 14.0-inch IPS 1920 x 1080 resolution. While its resolution is nothing to write home about, the screen can deliver a crisp and colorful viewing experience.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Colors produced by the display are vibrant regardless of the content shown. Blacks are quite deep but pales in comparison compared to OLED panels found on other notebooks. Color shifting is a non-issue thanks to the IPS panel. You can expect good color reproduction in any angle you view the display.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The chassis of the X1 Carbon is made out of magnesium and reinforced by carbon fiber to allow for a lightweight experience while still being relatively durable. It seems that Lenovo has succeeded in this regard as the notebook is incredibly light at just above a kilo and rarely has any kind of detectable flex while in use.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The exterior of the notebook is matte to the touch, which lends to a luxurious feel to the hands. The matte finish, however, is susceptible to fingerprint and smudges over time. But based on what we have seen so far, there’s probably minimal risk that the chassis material shining overtime unlike ABS plastics used on other notebooks.

Just at the top of the display is a 720p camera, which should suffice in any meeting or Zoom hangouts you want to participate in. In it also comes with a physical privacy cover that’s easily toggle via the slider at the side to protect you from prying eyes that might come to reside in the notebook.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard found on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one of its strong points, which is especially advantageous for those who sit in front of a notebook and type all day. It has a fairly standard 70% chicklet keyboard with secondary functions accessed via the Fn key at the bottom left. You can also switch the function of the F keys at the top via the BIOS or Lenovo Vantage software.

Keys on the keyboard are slightly concave to give fingers a more comfortable resting position. There is around 1.5mm of key travel before the key bottoms out. The tactility offered by the notebook’s keyboard is great and allows for an engaging typing experience instead of a mushy one.

Right at the middle of the keyboard is the TrackPoint. This essentially acts as a joystick that controls the cursor. This can be easily used instead of a mouse to make quick adjustments on the fly without lifting your hand from the keyboard.

The touchpad below the keyboard is a bit small for our liking but is incredibly smooth with clearly defined edges and tracks properly in use. Just at the top are three buttons that corresponds to the left, right, and middle click found on a separate mouse. All have decent tactility but can be soft at times.

Input and Output Ports

Like most high-end Lenovo notebooks launched the last year, the X1 Carbon employs a more modern approach to its I/O solution. At the left-hand side are two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports – one of which doubles for charging with 65W Rapid Charge support. We also find here an Ethernet extension, a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port, a single HDMI 1.4 port, and a 3.5mm combo jack.

The right-hand side is more spartan with the choices. From here you only have access to a single USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port. The exhaust for the system is also located here as well as its power button. Franky, the power button could have been located on the keyboard instead of the side to improve ergonomics, at least in our opinion.

Software

We have already seen the Lenovo Vantage software before and it does not change its implementation on the X1 Carbon. Its automatically installed on the notebook and allows users access to additional options like keyboard function switching and battery consumption.

Those who like automatic updates can also let Vantage to handle system updates. Important driver and BIOS updates are done with a single click on the program aside from the odd dialog box that needs closing.

Performance and Benchmarks

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 uses the Intel 10th generation Comet Lake platform. The unit we have for review came with a 4-core, 8-thread Intel Core i7-10610U with 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM. Its CPU is part of Intel’s U series which means that it focuses more on power savings and portability instead of sheer computation and thus its low TDP of around 15W.

Our notebook came with a 1TB Samsung MZVLB1T0HBLR-00L7 NVMe SSD. It uses the PCIe 3.0 bus to reach transfer and read speeds of up to 3000MB/s and 3500MB/s, respectively. A run of CrystalDiskMark shows the Samsung’s measurements are right on the money in 4GiB workload. Sequential read and write speeds rea8ched 3555MB/s and 2970MB/s, respectively. Random 4K with multiple queues are respectable as well at around the 200 – 300MB/s mark.

Let’s move on to our main set of benchmarks now that we know how the X1 Carbon’s storage performs. Our suite of tests include synthetic, rendering, and gaming benchmarks to see the performance of the device.

Synthetic Benchmarks
CPU-Z Benchmark 17.01.64

7-Zip 16.04

wPrime v2.10

Cinebench R15

Cinebench R20

Blender 2.82a

Though the Intel Core i7-10610U found on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon isn’t particularly geared for sheer performance, it comfortably rests near the middle of our charts. It’s impressive what kind of performance Intel and Lenovo can bring with a notebook that focuses more on mobility and low power usage.

Gaming Benchmarks
3DMark Fire Strike

Rainbow Six Siege

Without a dedicated GPU, the notebook only relies on its measly Intel UHD Graphics 620 iGPU for graphics processing. It won’t be running any triple A games soon as shown by our charts but it can run graphically-lenient games like Rainbow Six Siege but not optimally. Thanks to its support to Thunderbolt 3, however, you could plug in an external GPU to help you properly play games.

Temperature and Battery Life

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The thin design of the notebook’s chassis brings little help to regulate the temperature produced by the Intel Core i7-10610U. Thermals start off pretty low at around 54°c on average, which should be a comfortable experience when you are just browsing or typing on the laptop.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Putting heavier loads can be a bit uncomfortable for the system. A Fire Strike loop reveals that the CPU will reach 89°c. CPU-focused rendering tasks like Blender will put immediate thermal stress onto the system at a blistering 97°c on average.

Battery performance, however, is one of the strong suits of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. It is powered by a 51Whr battery that lasted us around 12 hours with medium load that consisted of work and watching videos throughout the day.

The notebook supports 65W charging through one of its Type-C ports. Charging should take around just longer than an hour from empty. The notebook also supports powerbanks with USB PD charging should the notebook find itself out of juice in the middle of the day.

Conclusion

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 marvelously combines minimalist design, decent performance, and great battery life in a thin and lightweight chassis. It does, however, have a steep asking price of PhP 129,990 in the Philippines.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

This might not be the notebook for everyone especially those who only want an affordable notebook to do spread sheets or write papers. But those who are in a position of power that prefer to have minimal downtime for their company or business and are always on-the-go might just be the perfect audience for the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8.

 

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