Lenovo X1 Carbon review: An Ultrabook for old pros

The slim, light, and solid X1 marks the spot for classic-laptop-loving business users

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Less impressive is the host of support software crammed into the system. Lenovo's ThinkVantage-branded package of apps controls everything from the sophisticated power-management and battery-conservation functions to the software updating for ThinkVantage itself. The SimpleTap application places a conspicuously large status icon in the Taskbar; when tapped, it brings you to a full-screen Lenovo Solution Center menu with status information about system backups, software updates, virus protection, and many other things you may or may not want to know about. Be prepared to spend your first day with the Carbon X1 swatting away one nagging reminder after another.

Some of the third-party stuff is genuinely useful. I liked the network access manager tool, which lets you create multiple location profiles and define default network connections (Wi-Fi, mobile broadband, WiMax), browser home pages, network security settings, and even default printers for each of them. There's even a built-in mobile hotspot feature, which allows you to share your ThinkPad's Internet connection with other devices and users.

Among the other third-party preloads are a trial edition of Norton Internet Security 2012, a Lenovo-branded SugarSync cloud storage account, and a trial of Absolute Software's Absolute Data Protect -- a data-security system that allows remote wipe and device tracking. BYODers and road warriors will appreciate many of these add-ons if they don't already have equivalents.

The Lenovo X1 Carbon is a slender and well-built business-class Ultrabook that wasn't designed to hop on board the Windows 8 bandwagon. The X1 Carbon might annoy some people with its choice of on-board software, but the hardware is nearly beyond reproach.

Lenovo X1 Carbon at a glance

PriceStarts at $1,499
ProcessorIntel Core i5-3427U @ 1.8GHz (as tested; other processor options available)
Memory4GB (8GB available)
Storage256GB SSD (128GB SSD available)
Weight2.998 lbs. (1.52 kg)
DimensionsHeight: 0.31 to 0.74 inch. Width: 12.48 inches. Depth: 8.9 inches.
Display14 inches, 1,600 by 9,00 pixels
Battery45 watt-hours
Ports1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 4-in-1 card reader, 1 Mini DisplayPort, 1 combo audio, Ethernet via USB dongle
RadiosIntel Centrino Advanced-N 6205S, Bluetooth 4.0, optional 3G WWAN (Ericsson H5321gw)
Multitouch UINot supported
Management featuresTPM, Intel AT
Sandra 2013 score4.13kPt

This article, "Lenovo X1 Carbon review: An Ultrabook for old pros," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in computer hardware and mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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