Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8. Generation) im Test

Our verdict

Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8) brings faster performance to the best business notebook around.

To the

Slim, lightweight design

Bright, vibrant 1080p and 4K display options

Class-leading keyboard

Fast performance

Decent battery life (on 1080p model)


fingerprint magnet

Weak graphics

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon specifications


: $1,745 (1080p);$2,123 (4K)


: Intel Core i5-10310U;Core i7-10610U


: IntelUHD




: 256GB;512GB


: 14 inches, 1080p or 4K


: 10:45 (1080p);7:23 (4K)


: 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches


: 2.4 pounds

Reviewing the same laptop every year can get boring. You want to see improvements, whether it's new features, an updated design, or faster performance. However, that's not the case with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. I'm perfectly happy with that Lenovo has updated the chips in this laptop and kept everything else the same as was the case with the new 8th Gen version.

Everything that the previous model for

best business laptop

returns;The new Thinkpad X1 Carbon offers fantastic 1080p and 4K display options, an unrivaled keyboard, a slim yet sturdy body and a generous selection of ports.

With new rivals like that

HP Elite Dragonfly


Asus ExpertBook B9450

Because Lenovo offers longer battery life in a similarly portable body, unless it breaks Lenovo's approach may not be as successful next time. But for now, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon remains the best laptop for business users and one of the

best laptops

in the market, period.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8) (512GB 8GB RAM) at Amazon for $949

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon price and configuration options

The base model ThinkPad X1 Carbon can be bought on Lenovo's website for $1,553. It comes with a 1080p display, an Intel Core i5-10210U CPU, 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD.

I used Lenovo's complicated website to price our review units. The lower-end model I tested has a 14-inch, 1080p display, Intel Core i5-10310U (vPro) CPU, 8GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, and some optional upgrades (IR camera, Windows 10 Pro) ended up at $1,745.

Our 4K model with a Core i7-10610U (vPro) CPU, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD costs $2,322. It's one of the most expensive options, just cheaper than the 1TB configuration, which costs an additional $268 costs.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon design

The X1 Carbon is a stylish, featherweight laptop that brilliantly combines modern aesthetics with practical features.

Almost identical to the early 7th generation models, Lenovo has only made a few subtle tweaks to give its flagship business notebook a consumer-friendly facelift. A new logo on the lid puts a large "X1" stamp under the iconic brand ThinkPad. Don't worry, the "i" is still red.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Everything else is the same. There are two speaker grilles on the deck, flanking two hinges. The distinctive red ThinkPad hue emphasizes the pointing stick (or TrackPoint) and left- and right-click buttons, and there's a diagonal on the right side of the touchpad ThinkPad logo next to a tiny one

fingerprint sensor


Lenovo sent us two models to test, the standard version with a matte black finish, and the Carbon Edition with a carbon fiber weave on the lid that accentuates the materials used. The interior of both versions is a solid matte black with a pearlescent sheen under certain lighting conditions.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Improved fingerprint resistance is one of the improvements I would like to see in future models. The laptop looks good until you touch it and leave smudged fingerprints. The bezels around the X1 Carbon's display (particularly the bottom bezel) could do as well be shortened a bit.

Despite these minor concerns, the X1 Carbon has one of my favorite laptop designs, rivaled only by the new HP Elite Dragonfly in the business space. I love the X1 Carbon's sleek form and understated finishes, but its stunning blue rival has one irresistible attraction.

The X1 Carbon remains remarkably light for a 14-inch laptop, even weighing less than some 13-inch models. But it's no longer in a class of its own. The use of magnesium alloys has seen a trend towards lighter laptops with the featherweight

Acer Swift 5


LG grams 14

comes in at about 2 pounds.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Unlike some of these competitors, the X1 Carbon feels sturdy. The carbon-fiber-reinforced X1 Carbon doesn't flex at the keyboard, creak at the hinges, or show scratches after a light brushing.

At 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches, the 2.4-pound ThinkPad X1 Carbon is about the same size as the ExpertBook B9450 (0.6-inch, 2.2 pounds) and Elite Dragonfly (11.9 x 7.8 x 0.6 in, 2.5 lb).The

13 inch MacBook Pro

(12 x 8.4 x 0.6, 3.1 pounds) is much heavier than these laptops.

Durability and security of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Like every ThinkPad, the X1 Carbon will compete against 12 . tested

Military standard durability testing

, meaning it can survive harsh conditions like high altitudes, freezing temperatures, and even splashes and falls.

The protection of the interior of the X1 Carbon is a

dTPM 2.0 chip

, which ensures sensitive data is encrypted before transmission. The X1 Carbon also has one

webcam cover

, or ThinkShutter so you can cover your lens without using ugly tape. It's also nice to see the fingerprint sensor as a standard feature, even if it's small and blends into the deck.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Optional security features include an IR camera for

windows hello

Login and a ThinkPad PrivacyGuard, a screen privacy filter that intentionally reduces viewing angles. You can also configure the X1 Carbon with Privacy Alert, which alerts you when someone is looking at your screen and automatically turns on PrivacyGuard.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon connectors

I beat Lenovo for removing the SD card slot from the previous X1 Carbon. I still resent it, even if I was a bit harsh. For such a portable laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon offers a generous selection



(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

On the left are two

flash 3

ports, a

USB 3.1 port

and an HDMI 1.4 input, headphone/mic jack and network extension for Ethernet and mechanical docking.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

On the right are a

lock slot

and a second USB 3.1 Type-A input. If I'm picky, I wish the two Thunderbolt 3 ports were split on each edge of the laptop so you can charge from either side.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Display

We tested both the 1080p and 4K models of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Let me get that out of the way: both 14-inch


are excellent.

As much as I enjoyed watching videos on the 4K screen, I'd go with the Full HD panel; it's a high quality screen and more energy efficient than the UHD option (more on that later).

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

If you don't mind being tethered to an outlet and you watch a lot of shows or movies on your laptop, go with the

4K screen

Or consider the intermediate option, a 1440p panel with 300 nits of brightness.

I was surprised at how much more vivid the colors were on the 4K panel than on the 1080p screen.Daniel Craig's eyes shone a brilliant aquamarine on the 4K screen when I watched a trailer for No Time to Die.The blue tint looks stunning It's anything but matte, but it doesn't stand out that much on the matte 1080p panel.

The 1080p display in the shade on a sunny day

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Even more surprising was his skin tones, which appeared orange/pink on the UHD screen compared to the grays and peach tones I saw on the FHD panel. It was like standing in a dark room on the 1080p screen and the 4K display shone a warm light onto his face, bringing out rich colors. Likewise, a security guard's dark skin tones were more radiant on the 4K panel, but appeared more natural on the FHD screen.

1080p display (left) vs 4K display (right) captured outdoors on a bright day

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

When I showed my fiancee a head-to-head comparison, she preferred the 1080p screen over the 4K panel and compared the differences accordingly to photos taken with a Pixel and Galaxy smartphone. The former captures more true colors and the latter gives you vibrant ones , saturated tones that are easy on the eyes. And while the 4K display is a bit sharper (I could see more detail in the scars running across Rami Malek's face), the 1080p screen's matte finish is better at dissipating reflections.

According to our colorimeter, the 1080p panel covers 101% of the sRGB color space, while the 4K screen covers 135%. The displays of the X1 Carbon's competitors - the ExpertBook B9450 (117%), the Elite Dragonfly (117%) and the MacBook Pro (114%) - falls between these values. The average for premium laptops is 122%.

Laptops with the brightest screens

Both X1 Carbon screens get bright enough to view in direct lighting. The 1080p display emits a brightness of 364 nits, while the 4K panel hit 498 nits. These compare to the ExpertBook B9450 (302 nits) and the previous X1 Carbon (336 nits for 1080p; 432 nits for 4K). The Elite Dragonfly (373 nits) shared those marks, while the MacBook Pro (495 nits) dwarfed the competition.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Keyboard, Touchpad and TrackPoint

If you want to know why ThinkPads have such a cult following, start with the keyboard. I just checked the wifi

ThinkPad TrackPoint Keyboard II

, so my attraction to these keys is no secret. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon particularly impresses me because it offers a satisfying typing experience in such a small body.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The X1 Carbon's keys are snappy and tactile, rewarding you with a weighty nudge at the end of each keypress. My fingers gently hopped from one key to the next while the springy switches under the keycaps assisted them. I also like having two backlit settings for the Choices, and conference call hotkeys on this new model are a welcome addition; you can now quickly answer or reject calls with a single tap.

While this is arguably my favorite laptop keyboard, it won't be for everyone. These keys have some resistance that takes some getting used to. Also, the swapped fn and ctrl keys need some rearranging.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

I typed at 118 words per minute with 99% accuracy on the 10FastFingers.com typing test. That's barely off my 119 wpm average, but better than my usual 5% error rate.

The 3.9 x 2.2-inch touchpad isn't particularly large, but the glass surface feels great and the reliable Windows Precision drivers kept my cursor up to speed with erratic swipes and gestures, such as pinching. B. Three-finger swipe to switch between windows.

Don't worry ThinkPad die-hards, your TrackPoint is safe and sound, nestled between the G, H and B keys. It's the same one Lenovo has used for ages, so you know what you're getting here. which accesses the touchpad directly, I'm admittedly not the best at knowing this little rubber dome. And yet, after a little practice, I had no trouble moving my cursor accurately or using the middle click button to scroll down a page.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Audio

A major complaint we had with previous X1 Carbon models was their poor speaker quality. Lenovo fixed this issue last year by upgrading to a quad-speaker setup. Now audio comes from two speakers on the deck and two more under the laptop.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Those two extra speakers make all the difference. Tora's "Mother Forgot" filled my entire upper floor with clean, punchy sound. Vocals were detailed and there was no distortion in the highs at maximum volume from a decent sub, but the slim X1 Carbon pulls through.

The speakers had a harder time listening to Phoebe Bridger's "Kyoto". My ears fought against some piercing upper frequencies and the instruments became a muddy mess during the chorus. The sound quality improved significantly when I turned the volume down to 70% have.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon performance

I tested a ThinkPad X1 Carbon with a

Intel Core i5-10310U with vPro CPU

and 8GB


and a high-end model with a Core i7-10610U with a vPro CPU and 16GB of RAM.

Both performed well, but I experienced more lag on the Core i5 model. There were some brief lags on the cheaper option when I opened two dozen websites in

Google Chrome

, streamed music on

youtube music


and played a pair of 1080p


Videos. The occasional stutter wasn't too annoying and the laptop just kept going as I added more tabs. The Core i7 model handled this heavy workload without any sluggishness. However, if you're a power user, especially if you're using surf the web with the RAM-hungry Chrome browser, consider shelling out an extra 16GB of storage.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Both models did a good job on our synthetic benchmark tests. The Core i5 version scored 3,597 on Geekbench 5.0

overall performance

test, while the Core i7 scored 3,939 points. These scores beat the ExpertBook B9450 (2,960, Core i7-10510U), the Elite Dragonfly (3,101, Core i7-8665U), but lagged behind the MacBook Pro (4,399, Core i5) and the category average (4,294).

Laptops with the best CPU performance

Interestingly, the new X1 Carbon (15,467 for Core i5; 16,958 for Core i7) scored almost identically to the previous 7th Gen model (15,649 for Core i5; 16,545 for Core i7) on the Geekbench 4.2 benchmark.

In the Handbrake video transcoding test, we tasked the ThinkPad X1 Carbon with converting a 4K video clip to 1080p resolution. The Core i5 model completed the task in 19 minutes and 51 seconds, slightly slower than the Core i7 version (18:29). Both models left the ExpertBook B9450 (28:24) and the Elite Dragonfly (22:23) behind, but were surpassed by the MacBook Pro (12:43). Here, too, the previous X1 Carbon (16 :52 for Core i5; 17:40 for Core i7) to keep up with the new model.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Luckily, the 8th Gen X1 Carbon has much faster storage. The 256GB SSD in our cheaper unit converted a 5GB file in 6.5 seconds for a transfer rate of 783 megabytes per second


in the Core i7 configuration, it hit a rate of 997.9 MB/s in 5 seconds.

Both outperform the ExpertBook B9450 (771.1MBps, 1TB SSD), the Elite Dragonfly (424.1MBps, 512GB SSD) and the previous X1 Carbon (424.1 for 256GB SSD; 508.9 for 512GB SSD ).The MacBook Pro, on the other hand, is an unassailable speed demon (2060.2 Mb/s, 512 GB SSD), while the premium laptop averages at 552.4 Mb/s.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon graphics

Don't try to play

graphically intensive games

on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The laptop is too thin for a decent discrete GPU, so it relies on

integrated UHD graphics

instead of this.

You'll be able to run your day-to-day programs with ease, but when we ramped up the Dirt 3 benchmark the X1 Carbon was only able to hit our threshold of 30 frames per second, which leaves no room for error when you're speeding around a hairpin turn .For comparison, the ExpertBook B9450 (23 fps, Intel UHD) performs even worse than the X1 Carbon, while the Elite Dragonfly (31 fps, Intel UHD) and 7th Gen X1 Carbon (31 fps, Intel UHD) were dead.

Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm was a sluggish mess when played on the X1 Carbon; the game stuttered at an unplayable 8 fps, which is even worse than the MacBook Pro's uninspired effort (18 fps, Iris Plus).

In synthetic tests, the X1 Carbon scored 1221 points on the Fire Strike Ultra benchmark. Again, the ExpertBook B9450 (734 fps) struggled, while the Elite Dragonfly (1125) almost matched the ThinkPad.

If you like what the ThinkPad X1 Carbon has to offer but need more graphics power, you should wait for the upcoming version

ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3


Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon battery life

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon with 1080p display lasts all day with a battery life of 10 hours and 45 minutes. You won't get the same endurance from the 4K model, but it did a decent job on ours

battery life

Test (surfing the Internet via WLAN with 150 cd/m²), duration 7 hours and 23 minutes.

Laptops with the best battery life in 2020

- longest-lasting laptop batteries

These are great results, but hardly remarkable. New competitors like the ExpertBook B9450 (16:42) and the Elite Dragonfly (12:25) last significantly longer when charging than even the FHD ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The current MacBook Pro (10: 21) achieves about the same runtime as the Lenovo, both of which top the class average (9:03). I'd like to see a few more hours with the X1 Carbon, particularly the 4K model, but these are still solid results.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon webcam

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon's 720p webcam captures decent photos and videos in the right lighting conditions. A stray strand of hair was visible in a selfie I snapped in my dimly lit office. However, my face was covered in a blanket of visual noise and my complexion looked pale and lifeless.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

My face was rejuvenated when I moved outside; in better lighting, the lens captured my dirty-blond hair and even the subtle pink sunburn on my face from a characteristically unsuccessful attempt at tanning. But even at its best, the camera was neither

best external webcams

, like the faithful

Logitech HD Pro C920

I've used for conference calls for the last few years.

Our test unit featured an IR camera for facial recognition login via Windows Hello. The feature worked flawlessly and logged me into the laptop immediately, even while wearing my UT Austin (Hook 'em!) hat. I highly recommend spend the extra $36 to upgrade to the IR camera.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Heat

Our 1080p and 4K units stayed relatively cool under heavy workloads, although the latter reached slightly higher temperatures after playing a 15-minute Full HD video.

The touchpad on the 1080p and 4K models stayed at a comfortable 73 degrees and 79 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Our fingers also stayed cool, as the center of the keyboard is below our 95 on both the FHD (86 degrees) and UHD (89 degrees) systems -degree comfort threshold remained.

The hottest area of ​​the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the deck near the bottom display bezel, reached 102 degrees on the 4K model. That's quite warm, but not too worrisome.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon software and warranty

Lenovo Vantage is the only branded software that comes preinstalled on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, and it's worth sticking around. Vantage lets you download the latest BIOS updates, check your warranty status, and change your standby and power settings, among other things .

Also taking up space on the X1 Carbon is Miraxmax, an attention-sensing technology that uses the IR camera to recognize your face, eyes and gaze. It can automatically lock your screen to protect sensitive documents when you walk away or Let you know when someone is looking over your shoulder.I was impressed with the software after using it for a full day.

How to use Windows 10

The only other app of note is the Dolby Atmos Speaker System, which lets you choose from audio presets including music, movies, and games.

Our ThinkPad X1 Carbon runs

Windows 10 Pro

, which was surprisingly spared from unnecessary programs (no Candy Crush, hooray!).

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with a one-year warranty. See how Lenovo in our

Best and worst brands


Technical support showdown

special reports.

bottom line

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The 8th Gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a small update of an already amazing laptop. The new 10th Gen Intel vPro CPUs offer a slight performance boost, but not enough to recommend an upgrade if you already have the 7th Gen model.

When your business laptop is getting sluggish and it's time for a new one, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon should be at the top of your list. It has an ultra-slim yet durable chassis, great display options, a best-in-class keyboard and fast performance. The X1 Carbon also has good battery life (on the 1080p model), although competitors like the Elite Dragonfly and ExpertBook B9450 charge even longer.

Although the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 8th Gen is virtually identical to the previous version, it maintains its position as the best business notebook on the market - at least for now.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen) Specifications


12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches


14 inch, 1080p


Intel Core i5-10210U (vPro)


Intel UHD Graphics 620


2.4 pounds