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Lenovo revs up the ThinkPad X1 line with Intel 8th-gen, HDR displays, and Alexa

Image used with permission by copyright holder
Lenovo’s ThinkPad line remains one of the most iconic family of notebooks, with a recognizable design and a penchant for quality. The company already introduced its ThinkPad T, L, and X updates for 2018, and now it’s time to see what’s new in the premium ThinkPad X1 lineup. The X1 Carbon, X1 Yoga, and X1 Tablet are all newly updated, and Lenovo has also introduced a new ThinkVision X1 display to go along with them.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (6th gen)

Key Specs

  • Up to Intel eighth-generation Core i7
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Up to 16GB RAM, up to 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Battery life up to 15 hours
  • Optional 14-inch WQHD (2,560 x 1,440) display with Dolby Vision HDR
  • Starting at 2.49 pounds
  • 12.7 x 8.54 x 0.62 inches
  • 2 x USB-A 3.0, 2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, 1 x HDMI, microSD card reader, nanoSIM slot

First up is the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, a premium clamshell notebook that retains its basic styling for the sixth generation. That means it’s a thin and light chassis built with carbon fiber and engineered to meet the MIL-STD 810G standard for durability and protection from the environment.

What is new this time around is a host of features and upgrades that offer significantly improved performance and functionality. Everything starts with a transition to Intel’s newest quad-core eighth-generation Core processors up to the Core i7, mated with up to 16GB of RAM and up to a 1TB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD). Lenovo promises up to 15 hours of battery life.

The display remains at 14 inches, but it received some significant upgrades. First, resolution in the high-end configuration runs at WQHD (2,560 x 1,440 or 203 PPI) and adds Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) support for dynamic colors. Brightness has also been cranked up to 500 nits. The Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 or 157 PPI) resolution display option now offers a touchscreen without adding weight or thickness.

In terms of security, Lenovo built in a new ThinkShutter Camera Privacy feature that lets users close off the webcam to avoid privacy concerns. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon retains its fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello password-less authentication and adds in facial recognition support via infrared camera.

Connectivity has also been enhanced, with a new USB-C mechanical side docking port, which adds to the already extensive connectivity options including dual USB-A 3.0 ports, two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3, a full-size HDMI port, and a microSD card reader. An available Global LTE-A wireless option provides truly portable connectivity.

Finally, input has been expanded with 360-degree far-field communication microphones for Wake on Voice, voice control, and web calls. Glance eye tracking support allows for enhanced navigation with multi-monitor configurations. Lenovo has also integrated Amazon Alexa to allow for hands-free access to music, news, smart home controls, and all of the greater than 15,000 Alexa skills.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon starts at $1,710 and is available in January.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (3rd gen)

Key Specs

  • Up to Intel 8th-gen Core i7
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Up to 16GB RAM, up to 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Battery life up to 15 hours
  • Optional 14-inch WQHD (2,560 x 1,440) display with Dolby Vision HDR
  • Starting at 3.08 pounds
  • 13.11 x 9.01 x 0.6 inches
  • 2 x USB-A 3.0, 2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, microSD card reader, nanoSIM slot

Next up is the third-generation ThinkPad X1 Yoga, Lenovo’s premium 360-degree convertible 2-in-1. This machine also retains its basic design, which includes a unique retractable keyboard that pulls into the as the display is swiveled and an integrated ThinkPad Pen Pro that slides into the chassis. As before, MIL-STD 810G conformance promises superior durability and environmental protection than the typical 2-in-1.

An update to Intel’s eighth-generation Core CPUs is also on hand for the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, which retains its 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD maximum specifications. As with the X1 Carbon, Lenovo estimates 15 hours of battery life.

The major changes to the X1 Yoga 3rd Gen model are also similar to its more conventional cousin. The high-end 14-inch WQHD touch display also offers Dolby Vision HDR support with up to 500 nits of brightness. There is also a Full HD touch display for those who don’t need such high resolutions and dynamic colors. There is no word yet if the OLED display makes its way from the previous generation.

The new X1 Yoga also gains the same security features, including the ThinkShutter Camera Privacy feature and an optional infrared camera for Windows Hello facial recognition. The machine retains the same fingerprint scanner that is present in older models.

Connectivity remains the same as with the previous generation, with two USB-A 3.0 ports, two USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, an HDMI port, and a microSD card reader. LTE is optional, to go along with the Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Input has also been enhanced with 360-degree far-field communications microphones supporting Wake on Voice and Amazon Alexa functionality.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 3rd Gen starts at $1,890 and is available this month.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet (3rd Gen)

Key Specs

  • Up to Intel 8th-gen Core i7
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Up to 16GB RAM, up to 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Battery life up to 9.5 hours
  • 13-inch 3,000 x 2,000 3:2 touch display
  • Starting at 1.9 pounds (tablet) and 2.79 pounds (tablet + keyboard)
  • 11.45 x 8.24 x 0.34 inches (tablet)
  • 2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, microSD card reader, nanoSIM slot

Finally, Lenovo is also refreshing its detachable tablet 2-in-1, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet. This time around, however, the company has engaged in a complete redesign, turning what we found to be a merely capable tablet into one that sounds far more compelling.

The changes start with the new 13-inch display size, around with a more modern and svelte chassis is built. The display now comes in the 3:2 aspect ratio that Microsoft championed with its Surface line, at a 3,000 x 2,000 (277 PPI) resolution that offers even more sharpness than the Surface Book 2 13.5-inch version. Like its siblings, the X1 Tablet’s display supports Dolby Vision HDR and extreme brightness, promising incredibly dynamic colors.

The X1 Tablet’s chassis has been redesigned to be roughly the same size as the previous model in spite of its larger display, and it’s only slightly heavier at 1.9 pounds for the tablet alone (2.79 pounds with the keyboard). It’s the same robust design, however, retaining its testing according to MIL-STD 810G. The kickstand now swivels up from the center as with most other detachable tablets, which is a change from the previous model’s kickstand with its hinge at the bottom of the chassis. Lenovo also boasts of an improved design for the detachable keyboard.

Connectivity has been changed up, dropping the USB-A port in favor of offering two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. That offers better support for the futuristic standard but does require a dongle for legacy support. The microSD card reader and nano SIM slots have been retained from the previous generation, to go with the optional LTE radio and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

In terms of input, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet now supports the latest Lenovo Pen Pro technology with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. A new infrared camera offers facial recognition for Windows Hello support to go with the fingerprint scanner that makes its way over to the updated model.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet starts at $1,600 and is available in January.

ThinkVision X1 Display

Key Specs

  • 27-inch 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS anti-glare
  • 350 nits maximum brightness
  • 178-degree viewing angle
  • 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 3M:1 dynamic contrast ratio
  • 99 percent sRGB color gamut support
  • DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 3
  • USB hub with 4 x USB-A 3.0 ports

Lenovo rounds out its CES 2018 ThinkPad X1 announcement with a new display, the ThinkVision X1. This 27-inch monitor offers 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160 or 259 PPI) resolution with 350 nits of brightness, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, and a 3M:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Color support is strong at 99 percent of sRGB, and viewing angles are wide at 178 degrees.

The ThinkVision X1’s design fits the notebooks’ aesthetic with the same black colors and similar angular lines, and the near-borderless bezels provide a modern appearance. In keeping with the ThinkPad line’s focus on visual security, the webcam is mounted on a motorized arm that raises and lowers it at the push of a button, letting users protect against unauthorized spying.

The ThinkVision X1 supports a variety of connectivity options, including DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, and USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 support. An integrated USB hub adds in four USB-A 3.0 ports.

The Lenovo ThinkVision X1 display starts at $800 and is available in January.

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