Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon


The first Ultrabook within Lenovo's X-Series. Thin and light, but not really a "true" ThinkPad. Its RAM is directly soldered to the mainboard, the battery internal and the case seems the comparatively flimsy. Yet competing Ultrabook where often worse, having the battery not only internally, but actually glued in. Some had proprietary SSD modules or soldered wifi modules.
  • released: 06/12
  • bought: 12/17 in slightly worn condition
  • usage: backup, testing

Actually, all X-series (as well as T- and W-series) ThinkPads after the X230 where build similar flimsy, allowing them to be thin and light.
It also lacks a "classic" keyboard (gone after the X220) as well as real touchpad Buttons (gone after the X240). It also lacks a decent display option. The best one can get is a HD+ TN panel, which is at least quite OK for TN panel. All in all a bit of a shame, since otherwise i really like this thing. Granted, partly because of the (in my opinion) awesome looks ;)
Anyway, i can live with the flaws. The battery IS changeable, my model has 8gb of ram (which i consider enough for the foreseeable future), a USB3 dock should work and display and keyboard are not too bad. Although it seems flimsy it does not flex and feels sometimes sturdier than my X250.
I use it mostly as a backup device and for experimenting with alternative operating systems

System

  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1, 2012 14.0" Ultrabook, 1360g
    • BIOS Boot / UEFI Boot ?
    • ACPI events , ACPI keys
    • S2R , S2D ?
    • power consumption ~8W
    • 45Wh internal battery
  • Intel Core i5-3317U (1.7GHz, 17W TDP) # Alternatives: i5 up to 1.8GHz and i7 (all 3rd gen)
    • cpufreq # Via pstates
  • Intel QS77
    • SATA
    • Gigabit Ethernet
    • USB 3.0 , 2.0 # 1 Port each
    • Headset connector ?
    • Microphone ? / Speakers # Speakers sound thin but not too distorted and are quite loud
    • Fan control ? # A bit whiny under high load, very quiet otherwise
    • 8GB RAM soldered onboard
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000 # 523 points in 3DMark 11 GPU
    • Acceleration: GUI , Video ?, 3D ?, OpenCL ?
    • Brightness control
    • MiniDP ?
  • 14" matte HD+ TN # Only TN, but at least a decent one
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205S (802.11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0)
    • WiFi / Bluetooth / kill switch ?
  • Ericsson N5321gw (GSM/GPRS/EDGE/HSPA+, GPS) # Not sure if i have it...
    • LTE ? / GPS ? # should work
  • SD card reader ?
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Webcam 720p


Quirks


The Device performs pretty well. But it has some drawbacks. Most are minor issues:
  • The rubbery coating is rather delicate and gets scuff mark from just about everything
  • The battery is internal, memory is soldered
  • The fingerprint reader appears to be unreliable, although i did not test it with different software


Input Devices

  • The Touchpad is a bit iffy: it lacks real buttons, the thing as a whole can be clicked on the lower part, leading usually to cursor movement while clicking. Insufferable.
    • Setting AreaBottomEdge to around 9000 (either via synclient or xorg.conf.d) disables the lower few mm of the touchpad. Now the "buttons" can be used quite ok.


Verdict


Weeeell, a tough one. I really like it, despite its technical shortcomings. No socketed ram, no toll less changeable battery, no IPS panel. But its light and flat and really nice looking. So meh. The panel is good enough, the ram is plenty enough, the battery can be changed although it needs tools. The keyboard is ok too.
And Linux runs well, nothing to say so far. Except the wonky fingerprint recognition.

total: 118.5ms (include: 2.53, request: 0.77, trace: 0.44, init: 3.28, load: 0.01, parse: 107.53, menu: 1.16, template: 2.68, minify: 0.09)