The venerable ThinkPad brand will turn 25 this year, and Lenovo's new ThinkPad X1 devices will kick off celebrations with a slew of upgrades including sexier designs, faster processors, and screens with thinner borders.
The new ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop (starting at US$1,349), ThinkPad X1 Tablet (starting at $949) and ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2-in-1 (starting at $1,499) are smaller, thinner and lighter than ever before. In addition, the devices have much longer battery life.
Many of the advances come thanks to the upgrade to Intel's 7th Generation Core processors code-named Kaby Lake. The integrated GPUs are faster and provide the capability to support 4K video processing.
Additionally, an intriguing optional offering for the ThinkPad X1 devices will be LTE-Advanced modems from Qualcomm, which are typically found in smartphones. Lenovo believes cellular connectivity is a must as devices become thinner and lighter. LTE connectivity is also good for where Wi-Fi isn't available.
The ThinkPad X1 lineup is becoming popular and will push the brand into the future, said Dilip Bhatia, vice president for global PC design at Lenovo.
Lighter, but with bigger screens
After staying backstage in previous years, the X1 Carbon is at the front and center of the new upgrades. The 14-inch laptop has shrunk considerably, and is now in the frame of a 13.3-inch laptop, much like the Yoga 910. That's partly because of a new screen with thinner borders, which helped reduced the size of the laptop. It's not exactly an edge-less display like the XPS 13, but it's still extremely thin.
A webcam is placed in the thin border on top of the screen. The laptop does not have a "nosecam," said Bhatia, taking a jab at Dell's XPS 13, which has an oddly placed webcam under the screen.
Reducing the laptop's size has other benefits. The X1 Carbon is lighter than before at 1.14 kilograms and also boasts a longer battery life of 15 hours. Users can configure the laptop with up to 1TB of SSD storage and up to 16GB of DDR3 DRAM. The screen options include full HD or the higher resolution 2560 x 1440-pixel screen. A 4K screen option isn't available, Bhatia said.
The laptop has two USB 3.0 and a USB 2.0 ports but no USB Type-C port.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon will start shipping in February.
Since its introduction last year, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga has gained popularity and has received a big upgrade with a host of new features. The new version, which will ship in March with a 14-inch screen, doubles the storage capacity. It is also lighter, thinner, and offers more battery life.
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga can be used as either a laptop or a tablet. The maximum storage capacity is 1TB, growing from 512GB in the previous Skylake version. It offers battery life of up to 16 hours, an improvement from 11 hours in its predecessor. The device weighs 1.42 kilograms.
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