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The ThinkPad Goes Ultrabook — ThinkPad X1 Carbon Tested

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the made-from-charcoal dept.

Portables 278

MojoKid writes "The venerable Lenovo ThinkPad, with its little red TrackPoint nub, has gone the way of the Ultrabook. If there's one small dig ThinkPads have taken with regularity over the years, it's that though there's a ton of quality and substance built into these machines, style was not a hallmark of the brand. The all new ThinkPad X1 Carbon could very well change the utilitarian stereotype of Lenovo's business-backed line-up, however. As the name suggests, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is built from carbon fiber material throughout its chassis and internal rollcage. Its 14-inch display drives a native resolution of 1600x900, and its keyboard, arguably one of the nicest features of the ThinkPad line, is backlit and even more refined with contoured key caps. Battery life hits a max of about six hours on a full charge, and the machine weighs in at 3lbs and .31-inches at it thinnest dimension."

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278 comments

Shiny? (-1, Troll)

UniTasker (2533914) | about 2 years ago | (#41043301)

Not quite shiny enough. Can they make it look more like a MacBook Air and then I'll buy one?

Re:Shiny? (1, Informative)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 2 years ago | (#41043307)

I kinda wish it had an LED backlit screen for that kind of money...

Re:Shiny? (1, Informative)

itsme1234 (199680) | about 2 years ago | (#41043613)

And it doesn't?!
Even netbooks from 2008 have LED backlit screen, possibly by now it isn't even worth mentioning.

Re:Shiny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043615)

It has an LED backlit screen....

source: lenovo's press release

Re:Shiny? (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#41043427)

Can they make it look more like a MacBook Air and then I'll buy one?

They could, but that would mean, yet another lawsuit, which we certainly already have enough of . . .

Re:Shiny? (4, Insightful)

dwater (72834) | about 2 years ago | (#41043475)

Please, no. If I wanted a MacBook Air, I would get a MacBook Air; but I hate that style and love the more macho Thinkpad style.

I'm so glad it doesn't have a shiny screen too.

Re:Shiny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043743)

... macho ...

Disarming honesty.

Re:Shiny? (2)

Carewolf (581105) | about 2 years ago | (#41043787)

It is TOO shiny, please for the love of god, make one with a proper matte screen.

Thinkpads have their OWN style. (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#41043309)

Many customers, self included, prefer it.

Re:Thinkpads have their OWN style. (0)

dwater (72834) | about 2 years ago | (#41043487)

Right!

Style != fashion

fashion is just what other people thing is good

Re:Thinkpads have their OWN style. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043841)

Thinkpads are matt black computing engines, built as working machines for working folk ... Thinkpad users leave the pretty stuff for the 'creative' crowd.

Terrible keyboard layout (0)

eviljav (68734) | about 2 years ago | (#41043311)

They changed the keyboard layout.
It's terrible now, they moved page up/page down to the bottom right, and messed up the others that go in the top right corner.

For a laptop who's main appeal is the keyboard, I don't understand why they changed it into something worse.

Re:Terrible keyboard layout (3, Informative)

loosescrews (1916996) | about 2 years ago | (#41043359)

I got a Thinkpad X230, which has the same keyboard layout and a very similar keyboard. The biggest problem is the odd placement of the Print Screen key. It is where the right click menu key should be. In addition, the keyboard is rather mushy without much travel. I am sure it is much better than a normal chiclet keyboard, but the layout is inexcusable. I really like the backlighting, and the trackpoint is, of course, excellent. While I agree that the keyboard is a draw, I think that the trackpoint is a big one too. At least they didn't ruin that yet.

Re:Terrible keyboard layout (1)

lisabeeren (657508) | about 2 years ago | (#41043757)

what about the layout of the bottom left control key? using a thinkpad is the most frustrating experience imaginable, because they put a different key where the control key (ctrl-c anyone?) used to be!

Re:Terrible keyboard layout (3, Informative)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#41043901)

I have an x220 and I *LOVE* the reversed Fn and Ctrl Keys (bottom left is Fn -> Ctr -> Super -> Alt -> Space -> ...). I actually got so used to it I had to set up my other machines to switch them as well. The Ctrl key is a VERY commonly used key, and having to stretch your hand to the left to use it (like most keyboards) wears your hand out VERY quickly. But if you REALLY need the Ctrl key on the far left, there's a BIOS option to change it.

Re:Terrible keyboard layout (2)

loosescrews (1916996) | about 2 years ago | (#41044161)

You can switch fn and left ctrl the keys in the BIOS on most Thinkpads. Sure, the keys would then be mislabeled, but if you always hit the wrong key anyway it wouldn't matter.

Re:Terrible keyboard layout (4, Insightful)

guises (2423402) | about 2 years ago | (#41043583)

I'd rather have page up/page down there than the back/forward buttons that were there before - I've hit the back key and lost everything that I was typing into a webpage far too many times with those damn things. Aside from that though, the layout isn't really that important, you'll get used to it. The big problem with the keyboard here, and the keyboards on these really thin laptops in general, is the stroke depth. They're just far too shallow. I'm sure that's why they moved to the chicklet style, it's better suited to a laptop with no vertical space, but it's still crap.

Tip for other laptop designers (or designers of any product): figure out what your product is best known for, the good stuff, and when you're doing your redesign don't screw with that. What are the selling points for Thinkpads?

1. Solid, durable construction
2. A no-nonsense utilitarian aesthetic
3. Excellent keyboards that are comfortable to type on

If it has to be a little thicker to accommodate a good Thinkpad (TM) keyboard, that's not a drawback - that's a selling point.

Re:Terrible keyboard layout (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 2 years ago | (#41043953)

This is the main thing I would change, as I prefer the PgUp, PgDn keys to be Home and End.

Re:Terrible keyboard layout (3, Interesting)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 years ago | (#41044125)

You just inspired a thought - they could make it so the keys rise up slightly when the lid is opened, providing longer travel. In fact I would love to see a true shift-lock key again, that stays down when it's engaged. And a pony, of course.

Re:Terrible keyboard layout (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41043815)

They changed the keyboard layout.
It's different now, they moved page up/page down to the bottom right, and changed up the others that go in the top right corner.

For a laptop who's main appeal is the keyboard, I don't understand why they changed it into something different.

There, FTFY.

Re:Terrible keyboard layout (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about 2 years ago | (#41043877)

It's less like a desktop PC keyboard now. And that's sad.

Re:Terrible keyboard layout (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043941)

Yeah, it is terrible and not just for the reasons you mentioned.

- Fn to the left of Ctrl. I don't care if they've been doing it forever, it's ridiculous. Ctrl is one of the most important keys and it needs to be in an easily accessible and predictable place.

- PrtSc instead of the Menu button. They started doing this lately, I think. Maybe not everybody uses the Menu key, but for those of us who do, this is a huge annoyance.

Otherwise, I kinda like their laptops, but I wish they would have a sane keyboard layout.

Apple Thinkpad (1)

subreality (157447) | about 2 years ago | (#41043319)

With apologies: No 7-row keyboard. No docking connector. Lame. :)

Always loved the thinkpad style (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#41043323)

still do, though its a bit pricey, smaller screen same cpu, half the ram and over twice the price of my shiny new dell that work bought me .... dunno

Re:Always loved the thinkpad style (2)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#41043339)

Soldered-in RAM and non-user-serviceable battery aren't impressive either.

Re:Always loved the thinkpad style (2)

Alarash (746254) | about 2 years ago | (#41043509)

No built-in RJ-45 is a show stopper for me. There's no way I want to use a USB dongle for that. But then again I'm a network engineer so that stuff probably matters to me more than it should.

Re:Always loved the thinkpad style (-1, Troll)

Carewolf (581105) | about 2 years ago | (#41043791)

Soldered-in RAM and non-user-serviceable battery aren't impressive either.

Neither is a 1366x768 glare screen. It is outright offensive.

Re:Always loved the thinkpad style (2)

bigmadwolf (1411635) | about 2 years ago | (#41043807)

Neither is a 1366x768 glare screen. It is outright offensive.

It has a 1600x900 matte screen.

Re:Always loved the thinkpad style (1)

Carewolf (581105) | about 2 years ago | (#41043997)

That is nice. I a saw a review linked in a different post where they complained about the shiny 1366x768 screen.

I tried to buy a ThinkPad Edge last year, and had to give up because the latest models only came with extremely reflective 1366x768 screens. Let us hope Lenovo has learned the lesson then.

Re:Always loved the thinkpad style (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about 2 years ago | (#41043383)

But it will probably last twice as long....

Re:Always loved the thinkpad style (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#41043505)

yea but I have 16, 20 25 year old laptops ... do I really care

Re:Always loved the thinkpad style (4, Interesting)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about 2 years ago | (#41043557)

The day I bought my first thinkpad was the day I stopped replacing broken laptops.

Re:Always loved the thinkpad style (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 years ago | (#41044163)

My Z61m, bought in 2007 and used for a couple of hours on a typical day since then, is now getting very rickety but still runs fine. I replaced the hinges once two years ago, and now they are getting dicey again. The keys are almost completely worn clean of any clue to the letters, and the little navigation bumps on f and j are long gone. The screen shows wear from five years of cleaning and general abuse. I replaced the fan a year ago and it has started to make noises again (possibly I just didn't get the alignment right). The trackpad hasn't worked since I replaced the fan, because I accidentally yanked on the flexible flat connection wire/board thingie when I was putting it together.

So, it's time to take the plunge again. This new one might be a candidate. The Z61m has the 1680x1050 screen, and I want to get something at least that good, but faster. I run Compiz with a transparent cube.

I might take this old thing and turn it into a dedicated video front end - remove the screen and connect directly to the TV somehow. Taken out of its case it might not even need a fan most of the time.

A long line... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41043327)

IBM has offered quite a few thin-and-light optical-drive-removed models over the years, albeit generally at a somewhat uncomfortable premium.

I have very fond memories of my Thinkpad 570 (stolen, alas) and the X series has more recently occupied the niche.

The really tragic thing is that Lenovo has been churning out assorted thin-and-lights without trackpoints! If you have to use a touchpad, you might as well just not bother.

Re:A long line... (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | about 2 years ago | (#41044021)

The really tragic thing is that Lenovo has been churning out assorted thin-and-lights without trackpoints! If you have to use a touchpad, you might as well just not bother.

Those are probably their IdeaPads or other lines. AFAIK, even the ThinkPad EDGE has the red nub

not particularly excited... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41043333)

I never got on with Thinkpad keyboards. The "Trackpoint" (I always called it the GHB Clitoris) got in the way.

Re:not particularly excited... (1)

dwater (72834) | about 2 years ago | (#41043389)

me too, though I just pulled the rubber off and that solved the problem

Re:not particularly excited... (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#41043443)

I just pulled the rubber off

Doing that, is what got Julian Assange into all that trouble . . .

Re:not particularly excited... (4, Funny)

dwater (72834) | about 2 years ago | (#41043483)

alledgedly

Re:not particularly excited... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043767)

No no, he really IS in trouble!

Re:not particularly excited... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043453)

It's good for coding and stuff cause you don't have to leave the home keys.

Re:not particularly excited... (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 2 years ago | (#41043547)

It's even better for coding because one's thumbs don't brush up on trackpad causing the mouse to fly away. I generally refuse to use any laptop that has a trackpad.

Re:not particularly excited... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41043779)

mine's got an off switch on the trackpad... kinda handy, that.

Re:not particularly excited... (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#41043839)

It's even better for coding because one's thumbs don't brush up on trackpad causing the mouse to fly away. I generally refuse to use any laptop that has a trackpad.

You can easily disable the trackpad if it's a problem. I can type faster than most and the trackpad has never been a problem for me... at least on my current laptop. Some laptops i've seen have a trackpad with no tactile borders and is much bigger, which I might find to be a problem, but if I did i'd just disable it.

But given the choice between a correctly sized keyboard and a trackpad i'd choose the keyboard.

Fingerprint readers are what I find a pain. Who in their right mind would but a fingerprint reader right where your wrist brushes against. Madness. Although again, I don't use it so I just disable it, but it's still a pain when using someone elses computer. I guess their testing group doesn't know how to touch type.

Re:not particularly excited... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#41043923)

It's amazing, on all of my previous laptops, I had to continously turn the trackpad on and off when I was typing because I would ALWAYS hit it with my thumb. When I got my x220 (and installed Linux on it), I was VERY worried when I found out the mouse-toggle hotkey didn't work. I'm not sure if it's the physical buttons at the top of it (for the trackpoint), the bezel, the shape or something else entirely, but I've actually NEVER hit the trackpad by accident on this laptop, even when gaming!

Re:not particularly excited... (1)

Knuckles (8964) | about 2 years ago | (#41044187)

What OSes are you people using which don't automatically deactivate the touchpad when typing?

Re:not particularly excited... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043933)

As a long time Thinkpad(s) user, I notice Trackpoint causes screen abrasion in middle when pressed from outside (lid closed). This particular happens in backpacks when battery adapters press the lid.

Re:not particularly excited... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41044137)

Not having my Thinkpad with me and needing to login to an online account, so I used a friend computer. What a horrible experience that turned out to be, every time i would try to type something my palm would touch the touch-pad which would cause the cursor to jump around leaving broken text. I don't see how people can even use those touch-pad their painfully slow when your trying to accomplish things quickly. Track-point and Logitech "Cordless Optical TrackMan" http://www.logitech.com/en-us/mice-pointers/trackballs/cordless-trackMan-optical why settle for less.

P.S.
Thinkpad W500, dual-core, 6M of L2, 2.7Ghz, CPU max 25-watts, screen 1920x1200, battery life 13 max, etc...
Thinkpads or nothing else(used Thinkpads).

Correct me if I'm wrong (0)

Provocateur (133110) | about 2 years ago | (#41043337)

But is this the first time a Thinkpad keyboard featured the Windows logo? Wonder how much *that* product placement must have cost...

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (2)

virx (459384) | about 2 years ago | (#41043387)

My Thinkpad T60 already has Windows keys.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043393)

You are wrong
My 4 year old R61 has the windows logo as well

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

InlawBiker (1124825) | about 2 years ago | (#41043403)

No, the windows key has been there for a long time. The question is, how much did it cost them to run this thinly veiled press release disguised as an article on Slashdot?

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043515)

Wow, do you live under a rock or something? The WIndows compatibility stickers have been de rigeur for years.

Let me guess the price (-1, Offtopic)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#41043351)

Okay, the 13"/128GB/4GB MacBook Air is $1200. People here say the Apple Tax is about $600, right?

So this Thinkpad must be $600! WOW, that's quite a deal!!

Re:Let me guess the price (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043837)

Apple Tax is about $600, right?

No, no... You're thinking of the "Stupid" tax. That's $600. The Apple Tax is the other $600.

Re:Let me guess the price (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#41043879)

Comparing as close as possible specs, the 1.8GHz i5 with 128GB SSD and 4GB of RAM costs $1,199 for the MacBook Air and $1,499 for the ThinkPad. For the 2GHz i7, the MBA is $1,499, the ThinkPad is $1,849. However, the ThinkPad has a 14" screen instead of 13" (not sure if this is a pro or con in a portability-at-all-costs Ultrabook), integrated 3G (need a USB dongle for the MBA). The ThinkPad lacks Thunderbolt, so USB is the fastest peripheral interface. The ThinkPad is marginally larger in one dimension, marginally smaller in two more, so about the same volume and the weight difference between the two is under 0.1%. The ThinkPad comes with a 3-year warranty, but this costs extra for the MBA (unless you buy from the education store), which brings the cost quite a bit closer. The cost of upgrading to 8GB of RAM for the ThinkPad is not listed - it's not even clear that it's an option, which is a shame because that's something I'd be pretty sure to want.

Thinkpad Stinkpad Schminkpad (2, Interesting)

stkris (1843186) | about 2 years ago | (#41043373)

OP said " If there's one small dig ThinkPads have taken with regularity over the years, it's that though there's a ton of quality and substance built into these machines". Which is why when it was my turn to upgrade got a top of the line w530. Yes it is super fast. But the Thinkpad substance is on a decline. First of all the new chicklet keyboard design make me hit the wrong keys all the time. Especially the delete key! And this after two months of trying to get used to it. The old keyboard I could use without looking. But now they have removed all the physical clues. No more gaps between F-key-groups so I have no idea if I hit F5 or F4. Then they have removed the status lights for such things as caps lock and battery vs charging. And then the screen is 1 cm lower than my old T61 - which was 1 or 2 cm lower than my older 4:3 laptop. Each new machine give me fever lines of code to work with. I am not a happy customer any more. My productivity has taken a hit and my boss won't like that. But what can a girl do? Make my own?

Re:Thinkpad Stinkpad Schminkpad (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#41043949)

My x220 has spaced Fn keys, all the status lights work (well, they did before I turned my CapsLock into a backspace!) and it is very easy to tell when it is plugged in/charging. plugged in = no light, charging = 75% duty cycle flashing, running off battery = solid light, low battery = solid orange light. In fact, with the smapi kernel module, I can actually toggle/flash/control each light manually if I really want to. Best of all, the sleep light DOES NOT BLINK. You have NO idea how much of a godsend that is when your laptop is in the same room where you sleep!!!

a good start (0, Troll)

swell (195815) | about 2 years ago | (#41043377)

ThinkPad has always been a respected contender and this is a fine example. The main questions for buyers would be 1- how well does it handle OS X? and 2- can it fully implement BSD Unix? and the important issue for those who actually produce with their computers 3- Can it adroitly handle the entire Adobe suite of software?

It's to be assumed that some readers are more interested in hacking than actually producing, and may have quite different interests.

Re:a good start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043539)

Your trolling is meh.

Re:a good start (0)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 2 years ago | (#41043577)

lol !!!1

Where's the best place to buy a turtleneck sweater?

Re:a good start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043585)

You already get superior OS with thinkpads, why would you wanna ruin it with OS X crap? The worst OS in existence. For ultimate uberum you can install Linux besides Windows.

Fucking Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043391)

Once upon a time Slashdot stories were unique to Slashdot. Now it's just another Gizmo site. It has deteriorated into grabbing fluff pieces off the wire. They should rename it to Slashdot-Tabloid "Tech".

Build quality not impressive anymore (3, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 years ago | (#41043405)

If there's one small dig ThinkPads have taken with regularity over the years, it's that though there's a ton of quality and substance built into these machines, style was not a hallmark of the brand.

That was long ago, when IBM owned the brand. Lenovo kept the quality up to par for a while, but many people who've bought Thinkpads in the past couple years will attest that the quality isn't the best any longer. That they're going for styling now, just further suggests they're completely changing the brand, and it will no longer stand for quality and durability.

Re:Build quality not impressive anymore (3, Interesting)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | about 2 years ago | (#41043537)

Who would you suggest has the best build quality now, then? If you say Apple I will beat you silly with a chassis fan because I want to be able to have children, but anything else I'm genuinely curious to hear.

Re:Build quality not impressive anymore (1)

silly_sysiphus (1300705) | about 2 years ago | (#41043903)

I recently switched from ThinkPads (570, R51, T60, T520 etc) to an HP EliteBook (in my case, an 8460w). It's different than a ThinkPad in some of the design philosophy, but is built like a tank. You still get a totally modular design for easy parts swapping, as with a traditional ThinkPad. The keyboard layout isn't as good as the old 7-row ThinkPad setup, but that's seemingly gone for good anyway--and at least this one keeps scroll/pause dedicated keys ( numlock/break as alt functions) rather than burying that functionality into unlabeled alt-functions as on the new ThinkPads, not to mention keeping the prt sc on the top row, etc etc. It's a different beast, but don't be fooled by horror stories about HP's consumer lines--the EliteBooks are solidly built, and have three-year onsite warranties with US-based support. Not too shabby.

Re:Build quality not impressive anymore (1)

silly_sysiphus (1300705) | about 2 years ago | (#41043917)

Agreed. My T60p (designed by IBM, one of the first to ship under the Lenovo name) was built with top-notch materials, and felt like a premium product. The T61 was also very good (save the Nvidia problems, but that wasn't Lenovo (or Dell, Apple, etc's fault)). By the T400/500, they'd compromised on keyboard quality, and stopped reinforcing the lids like the T61, and by the time I bought my last ThinkPad, a T520, it was still a superior machine to the average consumer-grade junk, but no longer felt like it would last forever.

I prefer the penguin kind: ThinkPenguin.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043455)

:) It's a shame though that Lenovo stopped selling no-OS or systems without Linux.

Re:I prefer the penguin kind: ThinkPenguin.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043469)

:) It's a shame though that Lenovo stopped selling no-OS or systems without Linux.

Instead of wasting time here astroturfing, you should go improve your website and put more and better pictures of the products you are trying to sell.

Protruding lid edge (2)

temcat (873475) | about 2 years ago | (#41043457)

It looks like this laptop rests on the protruding lid edge when the lid is open instead of lying flat on the base. Not sure I like that design.

Re:Protruding lid edge (1)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about 2 years ago | (#41043507)

What bothers you about that? It seems a good idea to me, it should improve thermal dissipation. (if this is really the case, however, my next question is "why has no one thought of that before?)

seen it before (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#41043541)

I think the Samsung series 9 does the same...or maybe it was a Sony

Re:Protruding lid edge (1)

temcat (873475) | about 2 years ago | (#41043561)

It seems to me that this must increase stress on the lid-to-base joint leading to earlier failures.

Rather than moderate... (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#41044167)

I will just note that it depends on the design of the hinge. There is no "must" about it. But then, anybody whose view of economics is a simplistic as your sig presumably isn't too good at systems design.

Re:Protruding lid edge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043641)

repeat after me: air is a thermal *insulator*

Re:Protruding lid edge (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#41043777)

repeat after me: air is a thermal *insulator*

Not when it's moving, like when being pushed by a fan.

Re:Protruding lid edge (3, Informative)

itsme1234 (199680) | about 2 years ago | (#41043535)

In the video it looks like the lid raises the laptop only when opened quite wide, at larger angles than would be possible on many similar devices. At "regular" angles the laptop sits on it's own feet and the lid moves freely, once you open it too much it will hit the desk and you need to slightly raise the laptop and let it sit on the lid.

pricey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043459)

For the price of an ultrabook with a non-user-replaceable battery, I can buy a slightly thicker laptop and a tablet for ultraportability. But then again, I am not the target demographic for a $1,000+ laptop with no dedicated Ethernet port.

I'm switching to Mac after six ThinkPads (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043465)

I like my 4:3-aspect, 1400x1050 pixel, 12.1" display on my X61 tablet. It seems that Lenovo is not capable of producing ThinkPads with a decent screen resolution anymore, so I'm switching to the Macbook Pro Retina, although I don't like Apple.

Re:I'm switching to Mac after six ThinkPads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043693)

Have you looked at Asus Zenbook UX21A, UX31A or UX31VD ? They have 11.6 and 13.3 inch 1920x1080 IPS screens and the price is a lot more reasonable than Retina MBP.

Re:I'm switching to Mac after six ThinkPads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41044119)

Yes, I've looked at their specs. As I want to use my notebooks 4-5 years, 6 GB of RAM (what seems to be the maximum of the Zenbooks) simply aren't enough. My five year old X61 with 4 GB is limping. And I'll convert the higher resolution to more screen estate. I'm able to distinguish single pixels at 145 ppi, so I'll try the native resolution of the MBP at 220 ppi.

Re:I'm switching to Mac after six ThinkPads (4, Insightful)

silly_sysiphus (1300705) | about 2 years ago | (#41043937)

Hell, I miss my 1400x1050 14" T60p! It's pretty sad that the only way to get 1000+ vertical pixels is in a 1080p display, which is too high a DPI to be comfortable on less than a 15" screen, but a 15.6" 16:9 panel makes for an absolute monster. Lenovo could have kept making the 4:3 machines ad infinitum--see Panasonic and the ToughBook line. But they decided the extra profit was worth lessening the product. Sad. Unfortunately, so did everybody else. Heck, Apple's the only mainstream company that even uses 16:10 panels anymore.

UGLY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043601)

Just when I thought someone finally made a decent Air-alike, they saved the day by making it butt-ugly by way of ThinkPad-branding. Red ugly buttons and dots, horrible and prominent brand names (inside and out), useless clitoris-stick, and don't forget the trackpad buttons on the wrong side of the track pad, so you can't actually use it with just one hand.

Looks is not everything, but it's the only thing you can actually be different from everyone else, since the innards are all but identical to begin with. Why should I buy an ugly Lenovo when I can buy a pretty (but otherwise identical) Air for the same money instead?

Yet another ultra-proprietary power connector!!! (2)

itsme1234 (199680) | about 2 years ago | (#41043607)

What the heck is wrong with these companies? Are they really getting so much revenue in replacement power supplies that they have to screw everybody and their dog in the process?
Not only you can't change the (non-removable) battery but you also can't easily use any existent "power pack" (like powergorilla, not that I recommend that one but it's easy to google for and see what I mean). You can't just grab a "generic" laptop power supply (the one that comes with multiple voltages and a bunch of rounded tips) from any shop if you forgot/lost yours.
Also you can't consolidate on chargers/use your existent one, you can't efficiently charge it from an appropriate DC power supply without going via the inefficient route inverter->original power supply.
It seems these devices are designed more for executives with more money than sense than for people who actually travel and need the advertised portability.

Lenovo just might be screwing it up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043617)

I work in the janitorial field. We clean banks, IBM itself, and many software and commercial institutions that use laptops as work stations.
I can tell you that just about everyone has thinkpad lenovo docking stations. I think that removing the incredibly versatile docking feature would be suicide.

The 2008 thinkpads with core 2 duo procs run hackintosh like a dream and you can buy one dirt cheap used. Whereas a used 2008 MacBook will set you back 500-700 bucks and you can expect to spend another 120-150 on a new battery. So I have seen many software guys running multiboots on thinkpads as they are still the best bang for the buck by far.

I personally use an old T42 at home for writing music in complex notation with MuseScore and Mint Linux. Many people that see me easily doing things that normally are done only on a Mac Book pro are blown away with how robust and quick this old T42 is. Sure I rammed it up to 1.5 gig and put in a larger drive than the stock 40 gig. But removing all trace of windows software has made this laptop into something really special. So thinkpads are by far the best choice especially in the used market. I bought this one as government surplus for 75 bucks 3 years ago, and it has never let me down. You can still get a 9 cell after market as the t42 battery is compatible all the way up to the dual core releases which came 2 years later, so getting new batteries is easy and cheap...unlike many other brands like Apple!

Removing the docking feature will turn one hell of a lot of people off, and not being compatible with older docking stations is a serious mistake as most software people run multiple screens and run an intranet to the dock without internal wifi for security reasons. The new thinkpads look like a huge step in the wrong direction for Lenovo...either that or by including a windows key are instead bending over and taking it from behind for the sake of Microsoft. You can bet that their business sales will tank.

I'd pay more (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043637)

If Lenovo offered a computer equal to IBM's old Thinkpad build quality, I'd happily pay 3-500 USD extra. If the extra cost saves me two day's productivity 2 years from now, it is worth every cent.

Second, what is with the ultra wide screens? I use my computer for work, not watching movies. 900 pixels up and down is what you get on a cell phone. I'd like to be able to see more than 5 lines of code at one time thank you.

I have a T420s. When I run computationally intensive tasks with the CPU at 100%, it over heats and blue screens. Usually takes about 10 minutes. The thermal management sucks. It has a good CPU, Intel i5-2540M, but I can't use it for more than surfing the web. To do actual work I have to set the system clock down @ 60% to prevent overheating. The USB ports are flaky. Especially the USB 3.0 port. It doesn't work. It doesn't always go to sleep when you close the lid. If you put in a back pack without noticing sleep failed to kick in, it overheats in minutes. Another issue is that it randomly refuses to start. This isn't all bad. Each time it has this problem it scares me into doing a backup. Pulling the battery out, unplugging it and letting it sit for 2-5 minutes has always resolved the start-up problem.

That said, if you can place it on top of an A/C vent, when it's running, it's great. If you couldn't have guessed already, I also like Jaguars.

Thinkad regression (1, Insightful)

rduke15 (721841) | about 2 years ago | (#41043655)

So this new Thinkpad weighs the same as my X200, but has no Ethernet port (with a stupid adapter instead), no swappable/replaceable battery, soldered-on RAM, and a weird keyboard layout which puts the Home/End keys far away from the Page Up/Down keys.

If that's the new trend for Thinkpads, I'm afraid that after all these years with various X* models, I will I will have to look at other brands.

Brightness (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#41043657)

From the article:

It might not be the brightest LCD in the lab at 300 nits but it's bright enough [...]

Actually, 300 nits is damn bright. They probably couldn't crank the brightness high enough or for some reason had a unit with a lower spec screen. Most current laptops at max brightness are in the 200 nits (cd/m^2) ballpark. Notebookcheck.net even has the lab and they indeed confirmed the manufacturer rating in their Lenovo X1 review [notebookcheck.net] :

Information
Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 367 cd/m^2
Average: 330.9 cd/m^2
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Center on Battery: 348 cd/m^2
Black: 2.8 cd/m^2
Contrast: 124:1

128gb??? (1, Insightful)

unixhero (1276774) | about 2 years ago | (#41043667)

The year 2000 called, it wants it 128gb hardrive back.

Re:128gb??? (1)

Jeeeb (1141117) | about 2 years ago | (#41043697)

It's an SSD so not even comparable.

Also if I recall correctly in 2000 I was a Compaq PC with a 4gb HDD. I think around 2001 I added a 30gb drive to it and that seemed big. 128gb would have been considered huge in 2000.

Re:128gb??? (1)

Jeeeb (1141117) | about 2 years ago | (#41043703)

Also if I recall correctly in 2000 I was a Compaq PC with a 4gb HDD

Ahhh... I what a beautiful verb to have missed... Wish /. had an edit button

Re:128gb??? (1)

unixhero (1276774) | about 2 years ago | (#41043731)

Okay, so let's say mid 2001 then. Happy pappy? In fact you couldn't buy 128, but 120gb disks. I don't care about SSD. 128gb or even 256gb is not sufficient. This IS 2012. And don't get me started on going backwards in time with displays, wxga and wxga+ is not enough!!! aaaaaaaargh!.

Re:128gb??? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41043849)

I don't care about SSD.

Plenty of people do.

In my opinion, 128gb or even 256gb is not sufficient.

There, FTFY. I've got a 60gb SSD (soon to be upgraded to 120gb, but mainly because the write speed on that one is 5x faster) which is perfectly sufficient for me.

It's a laptop (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#41044193)

I cannot think of a single occasion when I'm mobile that I would need more than 128G in a laptop. I would rather have the extra capacity in a USB HDD (actually I have mine in a 1Gbyte Firewire drive, but I digress). I can backup the laptop to the FW drive, replace it cheaply every year (called "insurance"). This is a more reliable and easy to understand solution for people who use computers for business.

Keyboard backlight (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41043875)

From TFA
> Big love for the backlight, Lenovo. Big love.

Really, so there are still people born in the computer age who actually need to look at the keyboard? People who have been using a computer with a keyboard in there professional life? Why? /rant

mmm black.... (1)

pbjones (315127) | about 2 years ago | (#41043913)

I have a ThinkPad, they are very nice to use, and I'd buy the new one, but it comes with Windows....

Re:mmm black.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41044053)

Lenovo PCs and Windows® 7 are better together. Get the best computing experience possible with faster start-up and connection times plus more entertainment and security features than ever before.

I'll take modular design with lots of ports/slots! (2)

silly_sysiphus (1300705) | about 2 years ago | (#41043963)

One of my best friends is drooling over this, but I think the opposite direction makes a lot more sense--try 1.2" thick (really not that bad), in order to get ethernet, removable battery, optical drive (swappable for an extra hard drive, battery, etc), docking connector, etc. Oh, and latches to keep the darn thing shut, thanks. The whole thin==better thing really doesn't lend itself to longevity.

Nope (1)

frisket (149522) | about 2 years ago | (#41044091)

Apart from being wedge-shaped (so they'll get their ass sued by Apple), the moment I looked at the video and saw the huge block of a power charger, it was clear that this isn't the portable Air-slayer that it might have been. I want something I can take away without having to lug half a ton of support equipment with me.

But the show-stopper is that vertical resolution. 900px is strictly for the brain-dead. Manufacturers think all anyone ever does is watch videos. Some of us need portable computers to do (gasp) work, and that means being able to see a whole-page document at readable resolution without having to use a microscope and without having to scroll the page vertically. Even my old Dell 4:3 Inspiron has a 1400×1050 display, and the only competitor to that at the moment is Apple's Retina display, which I tested last week and find I can read perfectly. Yes, I know you can get screens up to 1080px high, but the quality is crap and the prices ludicrous.

So snooze on, Lenovo, you've got a lot of research to do yet. Have a Google for laptop vertical resolution [google.com] ...

No space for RJ45 (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 2 years ago | (#41044099)

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is so thin actually, that a standard RJ45 port couldn't be squeezed into its side edge, so Lenovo includes a USB Ethernet dongle with the machine.

This is starting to be a wider issue, so perhaps a more robust solution is in order. Some tablets apparently have proprietary connectors, where RJ45 can be plugged with a passive adapter. Could we agree on a smaller standard for such an electrically identical Ethernet connector? Maybe while we are starting over, we could avoid earlier design mistakes, like the plastic tongue that breaks off easily.

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