Lenovo’s ‘ThinkPad XI Carbon Touch’ – First Look

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Lenovo announced the launch of lightweight and ultra thin ThinkPad XI when people were skeptical about its acceptance and performance. However, today the markets are flooded with ultrathin notebooks, as the consumers seem to be lapping up what is offered.  Lenovo has stuck to the magic mantra, and kept the notebook ultra thin and stylish.

The 13-inch ThinkPad I has been transformed into an ultrathin notebook with a 14-inch screen and presented as the all-new ThinkPad XI Carbon Touch. It is known fact that the previous 13-inch version was not a great success for Lenovo as most people had already started shopping for an ultra thin notebook with the same sturdy features of a laptop that can perform well for business purposes.

The beauty with the new ThinkPad XI Carbon is that though it is a 14-inch notebook, it perfectly fits into the 13-inch footprint of the earlier version. Weighing around just 1.3 kg with a thickness of just 0.71 inches it conforms to the standards of Intel’s official Utrabook height requirements that specify that any 13-inch  display should not exceed  18 mm( 0.71 inches) and a 14-inch display should not exceed 21mm (0.82 inches) in height. The build quality of the Carbon XI is good and it appears to be durable and has the same roll-cage design though the magnesium fiber has been replaced with ones of carbon. The advantage of carbon fiber is that it weights just a third of aluminum though the strength is similar to that of aluminum.  So much so, that the ThinkPad XI Carbon passed MIL specs test with consummate ease. The tests included humidity, high and low temperature, altitude, sand, vibration, and shock. The ThinkPad can be opened fully so that the screen and body are at 180 degrees, in a straight line because of the hinges that accommodate such a move.

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All the major ports are featured on the left and right sides of the ThinkPad Carbon XI, though the number of ports is reduced when compared to the ones in the earlier version. There is a port reader that houses   USB 3.0, headset jack, and media card reader on one side and the Wi-Fi switch, USB2.0, and power jack on the other side. Though the number of ports is less when compared to a conventional laptop, the number is sufficient for a 14-inch ThinkPad.  Connecting any other device to the ThinkPad has to be through USB as there is no dedicated port for docking station.

The 14-inch HD+ screen has 1600 X 900 resolution and is a matte screen with a backlight with a 300 nits rating. The resolution has improved when compared to the earlier version that had just 1366 X 768. The matt screen is preferable to the glossy screen that may look better but throw back light reflections that can be harsh on the eyes. The matt screen absorbs most of the harsh light and is pleasing to the eyes to view. There is a bit of distortion when the screen is tilted forwards or backwards and one needs to constantly adjust the angle of the screen in order to get the perfect screen color.  Overall, the ThinkPad XI Carbon is a notebook that fulfils most requirements of today’s busy executive.

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