Lenovo has announced a touch-enabled version of its Thinkpad X1 Carbon ultrabook. Originally released in August 2012, the refreshed model is much the same as its predecessor, but should provide business laptop users with an optimal experience on Microsoft's new finger-friendly Windows 8 operating system thanks to a 10-finger, 14-inch HD+ touch display running at a 1600×900 pixel resolution.
Besides the new display and pre-installed Windows 8 the only other difference is a 2mm thickness increase to 20.8mm and a minute bump in weight from 2.99 to 3.2 pounds. That's still pretty light by thin and light laptop standards thanks to Lenovo’s use of carbon fiber materials for the chassis.
The base model starts at $1,499 on Lenovo’s website -- though the company says the X1 Carbon Touch will be priced from $1,399 through partners -- and comes equipped with an Intel Core i5 3427U processor and integrated HD 4000 graphics, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive. You can upgrade that to a Core i7 3667U, 8GB of RAM, and up to a 256GB of flash-based storage for an extra ~$150.
Both models offer one mini DisplayPort, a couple of USB ports (one is 3.0), a 4-in-1 SD card reader, and Ethernet via a USB dongle to keep the thin profile. Other features include a backlit chiclet-style keyboard, a large trackpad, up to 8 hours of battery life, optional 3G, 720p HD webcam and a fingerprint reader.
Those who want to stick with Windows 7 or don’t want a touch display can save ~$150-$250 and buy the original model, which now starts at $1,250 on Lenovo’s website.