The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 ($1,229 to start out) is a strong mid-range enterprise laptop computer that’s a bit too costly for what you get.
Although it lacks the ability to be a correct gaming laptop computer, it’s succesful sufficient to juggle a number of work duties with out slowing you down. It additionally boasts good audio system for a enterprise laptop computer, a minimal quantity of bloatware, a responsive keyboard and unimaginable battery life.
Nonetheless, the show leaves one thing to be desired, the 720p webcam is subpar, and there are too few USB ports. These faults, mixed with the excessive worth, make the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 a tough promote regardless of its optimistic qualities. On this overview I’ll present you why that’s, and show you how to determine whether or not that is the correct laptop computer for you.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 overview: Value and availability
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 is on the market for buy proper now through Lenovo’s web site (opens in new tab) or third-party retailers like Walmart. The entry-level mannequin sports activities an Intel Core i5 processor, although you possibly can pay further to improve it as much as a Core i7. Nonetheless there’s no choice to put a discrete graphics card on this laptop computer, so that you’re restricted to Intel Iris Xe built-in graphics. The bottom mannequin comes with 8 GB of reminiscence and 256 GB of storage, although you possibly can improve that as much as 1 TB of storage and 36 GB of reminiscence.
Our overview unit arrived packing an Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. To purchase the identical laptop computer direct from Lenovo would value you roughly $2,153 at time of publication.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 overview: Design
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is outfitted with a smooth carbon fiber and magnesium chassis that’s extraordinarily skinny and unbelievably light-weight. This mannequin measures at 0.59 x 12.38 x 8.72 inches and weighs 2.5 kilos, that means it’s thinner and lighter than laptops just like the Dell XPS 15 OLED, HP Spectre x360 14, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano, and the MacBook Professional 2021 (14-inch).
The 14-inch show on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is enhanced by the skinny bezel surrounding it, which maximizes the display house. The highest bezel additionally has the webcam, which has a bodily swap you should use to make sure privateness.
Identical to the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano, the X1 Carbon encompasses a keyboard that extends almost the complete breadth of the laptop computer, with two audio system on both facet of it. Embedded within the heart of the keyboard is Lenovo’s trademark crimson TrackPoint nub for pointer management, and beneath the keyboard you’ll discover a touchpad with a fingerprint reader to the correct.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 overview: Ports
Not like the X1 Nano, the X1 Carbon has a good choice of ports. On the left facet you’ll discover two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports, one among which is designated for charging the laptop computer, in addition to a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port and an HDMI out.
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On the correct facet is one other USB-A port, the headphone jack and a nano SIM compartment you possibly can ignore in case you’re not planning to place a SIM card on this laptop computer.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 overview: Show
The X1 Carbon has a 14-inch HD (1,920×1,200 pixels) show, with anti-glare. It’s a formidable show that also falls in need of the competitors, which is actually a difficulty contemplating the value.
In line with our exams, the X1 Carbon produced 98.6% of the sRGB spectrum, which is barely higher than the non-OLED Dell XPS 13 (97.9%), however worse than XPS 13 OLED (117.3%), the XPS 15 OLED (120.1%), and even the X1 Nano (101.1%).
The exams additionally confirmed that the X1 Carbon’s show achieved a median brightness of 335.8 nits, peaking within the heart at 349 nits. That’s a lot decrease than the X1 Nano (430 nits) and the HP Spectre x360 14 (365 nits).
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 overview: Efficiency
I examined our Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon overview unit configured with an Intel Core i7-1185G7 and 16 GB of RAM and located it greater than succesful for on a regular basis use, together with work. Even a check run of over ten YouTube tabs actively taking part in movies didn’t decelerate the machine.
As for the Geekbench 5.4 multi-core CPU benchmark check, the laptop computer scored a greater than respectable 5,181. This beats out each the HP Spectre x360 14 (4,937) and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano (5,155) however loses fairly handedly to the Dell XPS 13 OLED (5,420) and the 16-inch MacBook Professional 2021 with M1 Max (12,683).
In line with our video encoding check, which occasions how lengthy the laptop computer takes to transcode a 4K video right down to 1080p utilizing Handbrake, the X1 Carbon took 14 minutes and 11 seconds. That rating beats out each the X1 Nano (16:15) and the HP Spectre x360 14 (17:00), however is almost twice as gradual because the Dell XPS 15 OLED (8:10) and over 4 occasions as gradual the 16-inch MacBook Professional 2021 (4:48).
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 overview: Audio
Each the sound quantity and high quality of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9’s audio system had been fairly good. I examined each whereas listening to Beethoven 9 carried out by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the extent of readability and quantity made me genuinely really feel that I used to be listening to the efficiency reside. Each the principle and secondary devices might be clearly heard and not one of the sound was muffled or drowned out.
That appears fairly a bit higher than the audio system on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano, which sounded uninteresting and skinny to our reviewer.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 overview: Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard encompasses a good quantity of house for its small dimension. I discovered that coming from my far bigger gaming laptop computer, I used to be shortly capable of alter to this keyboard and kind usually for each work and leisure functions. The one factor I missed having was the numerical pad, however compensating for it took little time.
The touchpad beneath it’s clean, responsive, and simple to make use of. It additionally works nicely with two-finger scrolling and different Home windows gesture controls. The left and proper mouse buttons are situated on the prime of the pad as an alternative of the underside, which additionally takes time to regulate to. The TrackPoint is within the heart of the keyboard as with previous Thinkpad fashions and it’s simply as responsive as you’d come to anticipate of the characteristic.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 overview: Webcam
The 720p webcam is greater than satisfactory for work-related duties comparable to the typical Zoom assembly, however lacks the sharp image and shade high quality of its competitors. Moreover, the main target is missing and can even imply a barely blurry image high quality. It’s greatest to spend money on among the finest webcams in case you want one thing larger high quality.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 overview: Software program
A whole lack of bloatware has (fortunately) been the norm for Lenovo laptops for years now, however that makes it no much less refreshing to seek out the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 arrives with no extraneous pre-installed software program. This contributes to speedy efficiency and ensures that extra of your reminiscence and space for storing is freed up for applications you really want.
A number of applications of notice are pre-installed, together with OneDrive, a trial model of the Microsoft Workplace Suite, and different commonplace fare. The ever helpful Lenovo Fast Clear app additionally makes a return, letting healthcare professionals lock the keyboard whereas wiping it and the keyboard down.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 overview: Graphics
If you happen to’re eager about gaming, the X1 Carbon is first rate sufficient for the duty so long as you keep away from demanding 3D video games. The Intel Iris Xe built-in GPU will play many video games, although extra taxing fashionable or 3D video games like Dragonball FighterZ will battle to hit a strong 30 frames per second (FPS) even underneath medium settings. The graphics, nevertheless, are nonetheless crisp and wonderful.
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm additionally struggled to run nicely on this laptop computer, hitting a median of 24 FPS at 1080p decision and 26 FPS on the native 1,920×1,200 decision. So in case you’re seeking to do some critical gaming, this isn’t the laptop computer for you.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 overview: Warmth
This laptop computer doesn’t have any noticeable overheating points and I by no means seen any uncomfortable warmth whereas testing the laptop computer myself.
After we tasked the laptop computer with taking part in HD movies for at the very least quarter-hour after which swept a warmth gun throughout it, we found the touchpad reached a mere 75 levels Fahrenheit, whereas the keyboard bought as much as 81.5 levels, and the laptop computer’s common underside reached 87.8 levels. The most well liked level we measured is the rear-center underside, which bought as much as 100 levels. Although that sounds a bit alarming, I personally by no means encountered this subject throughout my very own check run of the laptop computer.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 overview: Battery life
The battery is likely one of the greatest options of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, as it will probably final over 14 hours on a single cost. In our battery check, which occasions how lengthy it takes the laptop computer to expire of juice whereas endlessly browsing the online over Wi-Fi with its display set to 150 nits of brightness, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 lasted 14 hours and 25 minutes. This soundly beats out most of its competitors together with the X1 Nano (12:00), the Dell XPS 15 OLED (6:50), and the HP Spectre x360 14 (12:11). Solely the MacBook Professional 2021 (15:31) compares to the X1 Carbon’s battery life.
This makes the X1 Carbon excellent for lengthy work hours and compliments the portability, as you possibly can carry it round actually the entire day with no need to be tethered to an outlet.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 overview: Verdict
Total the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 is a strong mid-range laptop computer that’s completely suited to the typical working individual. Its efficiency throughout is nice, with a superb battery and air flow. It additionally has remarkably good audio system, particularly when you think about its dimension.
Nonetheless, the webcam high quality is common and the show can be a bit disappointing, as you will get aggressive laptops that ship extra pixels at a better brightness than the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 for roughly the identical worth. The Dell XPS 15, for instance, may be configured with a beautiful OLED show and aggressive specs for roughly $2,400, which isn’t far more than what you’d pay for a kitted-out ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9.
Nonetheless, it’s onerous to beat a Lenovo ThinkPad once you need one thing that’s constructed for enterprise. If you’d like an ultraportable with a snug keyboard, good audio system and wonderful battery life, this can be a nice alternative.