Lenovo announces world's thinnest Ultrabook, ThinkPad X1 Carbon

By Lee Kaelin on May 15, 2012, 9:30 AM

Lenovo announced a wave of notebook updates this morning, including new range of ultrabooks set to run Intel's brand new third-generation Ivy Bridge processors. Among the models released is a new 14-inch ultrabook, the ThinkPad X1 carbon, which the Chinese firm claims is the "thinnest ultrabook in the world."

It's very light as well, at just three pounds (1.8kg) and just 18.8 millimeters thick at its thickest point, which is no doubt helped by liberal usage of the exceptionally sought after material, carbon fiber, one of only a few materials that manages the feat of simultaneously being thin, super lightweight and incredibly strong.

"We crafted the ThinkPad X1 Carbon with premium carbon fiber material in order to make it incredibly thin and light, yet durable," said Lu Yan, senior vice president at Lenovo Think Product Group, when speaking to Maximum PC. "Our new ThinkPad laptop portfolio embodies much of the innovative thinking exemplified in the X1 Carbon, such as a backlit keyboard, super-bright high definition display, Dolby Home Theater, and rich communications features that balance business performance with personal use."

Those that love the natural weave look of carbon fiber will be disappointed though, as it appears to have been used for the chassis, and all the external pieces are covered in a fingerprint resistant matt "soft-touch" rubber-like finish. The keyboard has been changed as well, moving away from the traditional style to the much newer backlit chiclet-type keyboard.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon uses a brand new Ivy Bridge processor of unknown specification. It's quite possible this ultrabook is powered by a yet to be announced processor which would explain why Lenovo were so tight lipped about it during the unveiling.

For its size, the ultrabook is well equipped, with two full-size USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, a Mini DisplayPort, headphone port, SD card slot, 720p HD webcam with face tracking and a fingerprint reader. The display is 14-inch in size with a resolution of 1600x900 pixels, offering 300 nits of brightness and Lenovo promises it offers wide viewing angle.

It also features Lenovo's rapid charge option which appeared on the previous X1, allowing for the battery to charge around 80% inside just 30 minutes. For those that want cellular connectivity, the ThinkPad X1 has an integrated 3G solution available as an optional extra. There is no word on pricing yet, but it's expected more detailed specifications will be revealed ahead of its intended release sometime this summer.

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