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.

User Comments: 7

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slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Let's hope the keyboard is decent unlike on most ultrabooks, Lenovo are usually exceptional in that aspect.

It's a bit heavy compared to the competition though, even though it's made out of carbon fibre.

nazartp said:

Pricing is the question. Anything that costs more than MacBook Air would be a hard sell.

Guest said:

How is it the thinnest? The Macbook Air is 17.2 mm at the thickest point.

Guest said:

Oh, I want this so much. If its <$3000 with all the extras, warranty and such, I'm game. My current Thinkpad T500 is set to self destruct in about two years, now I just need to befriend a Lenovo employee to get employee discount :)

Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

@Guest, I have to assume the answer to your question is that the MacBook Air is not an ultrabook, per Intel's own terms.

Guest said:

Nice laptop but it's definitely not the thinnest Ultrabook, maybe the thinnest 14 inch Ultrabook

HP Spectre is 0.69 inches = 17.5mm


I am sure the Samsung Series 9 and Asus Zenbook UX32VD are also thinner. Things are going to get interesting once Apple launches next generation MBAs, with upgraded specs and possible price drops. Considering Apple laptops have awesome resale value and Parallels just costs $80, that makes MBAs enticing even for Windows users, especially since they have unmatched construction quality, screens and trackpad.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well hello sexy.... Hey T430u, you have major competition, from within no less. This will surely be an exciting summer/early fall for me~

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