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ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch review

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ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch

The X1 Carbon Touch adds touchscreen support for Windows 8 to Lenovo's business ultrabook line. Like the existing X1 Carbon, it is rugged and light but lacks some corporate features such as Ethernet and docking support.

Pros:

Thin and light, rugged carbon-fibre casing, touchscreen support for Windows 8

Cons:

Pricey, sealed unit makes for poor serviceability, no Ethernet port, no dock connector

Overall Rating:

3 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £1,525

Manufacturer: Lenovo

Lenovo's X1 Carbon Touch updates the firm's ThinkPad ultrabook with a touch-enabled screen to make it a better device for Windows 8, but is otherwise pretty much the same as the ThinkPad X1 Carbon we tested out last year.

In other words, the system is a thin-and-light but sturdy laptop with the characteristic ThinkPad styling, designed to appeal to the business market.

However, it also shares the drawbacks of the original X1 Carbon, such as its sealed design that makes maintenance or upgrades difficult, non-removable battery and the lack of a docking connector for linking to desktop peripherals when in the office.

With a starting price of £1,525, the X1 Carbon Touch also seems very expensive, costing £250 more than its predecessor for little more than the addition of touch capability.

This does not mean that the X1 Carbon Touch is unsuitable for corporate use, but these drawbacks detract from what is otherwise an excellent system. It should be noted that many other ultrabooks share the same shortcomings, due to their slimline form factor.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch

Design and build
Announced in December and available through resellers such as Insight UK now, the X1 Carbon Touch delivers the performance of Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors alongside its vPro security and management technology, and fits these into an ultrabook format along with a 14in HD+ touchscreen.

The X1 Carbon models get their name from the use of carbon fibre material in their construction, which is intended to provide strength and durability for mobile use. It certainly feels the part, with very little give evident in the casing, which is coloured Lenovo's signature ThinkPad black.

Like its X1 Carbon predecessor, the 14in screen size means the X1 Carbon Touch has a larger footprint than many other ultrabooks. While this model is slightly heavier, at 1.55kg versus the 1.36kg of the X1 Carbon, it does not seem heavy for its size.

Next: Design and display.

Model: ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch
Display: 14in, 1,600x900, multi-touch input
Processor: Intel 1.8GHz Core i5-3427U dual-core
RAM: 4GB (max 8GB)
Storage: 128GB or 256GB SSD
Wireless connections: 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional 3G mobile broadband
Ports: USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Mini DisplayPort, SD Card reader slot, combo audio jack
Camera: 1MP webcam (720p)
Dimensions: 331x226x21mm
Weight: 1.55kg

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Daniel Robinson
About

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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