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Full Review Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 With Intel Tiger Lake i7


hey everybody it’s lan seidman we’ve got another thinkpad to take a look at today it is the x1 carbon gen 9. this is a very lightweight full-sized flagship laptop from lenovo and we’re going to be taking a closer look at what it’s all about in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this is on loan from lenovo so we’re done with this it goes back to them all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this laptop is all about now the price point on this is around fifteen hundred dollars or so for the entry model the one they sent us looks like it’s a little bit higher up the line now this is available with a pre-installed linux option if you want to go that route they offer fedora and umbuntu as your pre-installed options so it’s really nice to see that there is a linux path on this that’s supported by the manufacturer officially so that’s cool this one of course is just running with windows 10.

Now this model the one we’re looking at today is configured with their 4k display they call this the uhd plus it is a 14 inch display running at 3840 3840×2400 this is a 16×10 display so it’s a little taller than your 16×9 display might be so it’s better for document editing and web browsing because you do have a little bit more vertical screen real estate and i really prefer that and it’s funny we’ve been getting a lot of these 16 by 10 laptops in for review in this current generation of laptops and it’s always kind of jarring now to go back to a 16×9 because they are a lot more narrow than what these are so it’s nice to see that additional vertical real estate making its way out into a majority of the current laptops now the display here is nice and bright it runs at 500 nits on the 4k model it also supports dolby vision the 4k display though is very glossy as you can see it really will reflect a lot of light back at you so if you’re not a fan of these glossy displays you might want to look at some of the other display options that they have the other ones are running with a full hd resolution that runs at 1920 by 1200 also 16 by 10 and even the lower res will look pretty nice in a 14 inch form factor here so whatever display you choose should look pretty good but the 4k one is really good now the review loader we have here is running with an 11th generation intel tiger lake chip an i7 1165 g7 this has their iris xe graphics also known as evo by the sticker down there and that delivers

great performance not only for doing your web browsing and everything but also casual photo and video editing too a lot better than prior generation chipsets could deliver and you can even play some aaa games on this at somewhat respectable frame rates which we’ll take a look at a little bit later in the video this model has 16 gigabytes of ram on board it is not upgradable it is soldered onto the main board the wi-fi chipset is running with wi-fi six that is also soldered on but you can open it up and swap out the internal nvme ssd and this one is equipped with a 512 gigabyte nvme solid-state drive now like other x1 carbons this is a very lightweight laptop it comes in at 2.49 pounds or 1.13 kilograms they call it carbon because they integrate a carbon fiber magnesium alloy into the chassis here and that keeps it very rigid but very lightweight at the same time i did notice that the keyboard deck here does pick up fingerprints very easily so you’ll be wiping that down quite a bit i don’t like to clean laptops up before i review them so you can see what they actually look like after you’ve been using it for a couple of days and this is a good example of what you might expect from it but it really is a very high quality feeling device this one with the uhd plus display has a special carbon fiber lid that i think looks pretty nice here i’m trying to give you some detail on it you can see it’s got that carbon fiber checkered pattern to it so it’s got a nice amount of rigidity on the lid as well i don’t believe the lower end displays have that carbon fiber top but it’ll have the same material as the rest of the laptop now the webcam on this is only running at 720p nothing spectacular there but it’s good enough to get your zoom calls done and that sort of thing you do have a manual shutter here at the top like you do on many other lenovo laptops to block the lens so you don’t need to put tape in front of it if you want to keep yourself

private this also supports windows hello so you can use facial recognition to log into the machine if you want to go that route now the keyboard here is very nice like it is on all think pads the key travel on this is 1.5 millimeters so it might be a little less deep than some of the other think pads we’ve looked at recently but it’s still got a very nice thinkpad tactile feel it’s got a great trackpad here that’s very precise and nice to use good firm click on that you also have of course the tracking nub that’s been on these think pads forever so that feels pretty nice too the keyboard is backlit so you can see it in the dark if you need to it also has a fingerprint reader here integrated into the power button now this laptop has both upward and downward firing speakers so you do have a set here on the top on the keyboard deck and then on the bottom there are a pair of downward firing woofers and these sound pretty good i was expecting a little more bass out of it but there’s a really nice degree of spatiality to the audio thanks to the atmos system they have on board and i also found that the sound was very crisp and precise especially for singing and spoken word things that you might be listening to along of course with your web conferences so the audio quality is very good it’ll of course get better if you plug in a pair of headphones or use some bluetooth headsets or whatever but overall the

sound quality very nice on this just not as bassy as i expected it to be on the side here we’ve got a number of ports let’s take a look at the overhead view and see what we’ve got so this has two thunderbolt 4 ports on board these are very useful ports because they are of course compatible with usb devices these are also how you charge the laptop so these can be used for power they can be used for video output and they can be used for data devices and if you have a docking station they can do all three out of one port so they’re very useful that way and you can also hook up a lot of high performance thunderbolt devices to this as well and a lot of people like to hook up external gpus to increase the graphical output very easy to do just plug it into the thunderbolt port and you’re off and running you’ve got a usb a port here a full size one that’ll run at usb 3 speeds next to that you’ve got a full size hdmi output that will support 4k displays at 60 frames per second so a lot of display output options if you want to use all three ports you also have a headphone microphone jack here another full size usb a port and a kensington lock so nobody walks away with your fancy laptop here but all together pretty simple device here very lightweight and a really nice overall design now the battery life on this one i’m gonna write at around eight to ten hours that will vary though based on what you’re doing on the laptop of course if you’re just browsing the web and watching a movie or two that won’t be as power consuming as playing a game or doing photo editing the other factor is the display that you choose so the 4k display here will consume more power than the lower resolution displays but in either case you’re going to want to keep that display brightness down pretty low to keep your battery going as long as possible but it does charge up pretty

quick with the 65 watt power adapter that it comes with it cools itself of course with fans you’ve got your fan intake on the bottom here and it pushes the air out underneath the display here the fans aren’t too loud a little higher pitched because they are fairly small and we’ll take a look at its thermal performance a little bit later in the video but you can of course shift it into a lower power consuming mode to keep those fans off i found generally it’s not going to kick the fan on unless you really start pushing things either with a heavy duty web application or with something like a video game or whatever but generally it’s a very quiet laptop on the desk all right let’s take a look now and see how it performs we’re going to begin with the basics of course and that is web browsing we’ll look at the nasa.gov homepage as expected this loads up very quickly here as you can see and renders very quickly even with the 4k display we are running it of course scaled so we’re making things a little bit larger here but everything is super crisp on here and you can see it is super responsive as well so let’s take a look and see how it does with 4k video now i’ve got my youtube channel up here playing a 4k 60 frames per second video and i got a bunch of drop frames right when it got started when i was going full screen but after that it’s been able to keep up just fine with this file so it looks like a

video playback here on youtube and netflix and other video services should be just fine now one thing you’ll note here with this video playing full screen is that you do get some letterboxing you’ll get black bars on the top and bottom and that’s due to the 16×10 display being a little taller than a 16×9 display would normally be so youtube and netflix and other services will center the content when you’re full screen and you’ll just have these black bars top and bottom that is normal it’s just the aspect ratio differences here and you’ll get used to it pretty quickly but just bear that in mind when you buy a 16 by 10 laptop but all in youtube performance is just fine and i think you’ll have an equally good experience with netflix prime video and others and if you download the netflix app from the windows store you can take advantage of the dolby vision that this display offers and on the browserbench.org speedometer test we got a score of 178 pretty much on par with what we’ve seen out of other intel chips from this generation all right let’s take a look now at some games as i mentioned earlier these tiger lake chips are actually very good for gaming if you keep your expectations in check so here is red dead redemption 2.

We were running this at 1080p at the absolute lowest settings and as you can see here things were very smooth and responsive i was getting about probably about 30 to 40 frames per second give or take sometimes dipping a little below 30 but it was a very playable experience and this was on par with what we’ve seen with other tiger lake laptops that we’ve been looking at recently so that’s great no man’s sky here is one of my favorite games this one is often challenging because the game environment changes all the time and every planet is different but we were generally able to maintain around 30 frames per second both in the ship and on the ground and this is running at 1080p with the standard settings again very playable a few little hits here and there but that’s kind of normal for this game we also took a look at an older one the witcher 3 this one is very demanding of course we ran this one at 1080p at the absolute lowest settings and we were getting around 30 frames per second most of the time it was above 30 although occasionally you’d have a small hit and it would jump into the high 20s but again very very playable and typically these business laptops have not been great for gaming at all but now you can start loading up triple a titles and generally getting 30 frames per second out of them at least right now as games get more advanced of course that will change but for now this is a very fun little casual gaming device in addition to something you might assign to the corporate ceo to get his or her work done and on the 3dmark time spy benchmark test we got a score of 1745 that puts this laptop on the higher end of what we’ve seen out of this generation of tiger lake chip it’s very close to the dell xps 13 as you can see there so they’re definitely getting the most out of the tiger lake chipset with the x1 nano here we also ran the 3d mark stress test which measures how well this computer does

under heavy sustained loads and as you can see we got a passing grade of 97.6 percent and that tells me this computer’s performance will remain pretty consistent throughout the different types of tasks that you’ll throw at it now one thing to note is that when we first got this in back in the may june timeline the games were running more erratically but since that time there was a bios update and a few driver updates that came down and after i installed everything and ran the games again things were much smoother with this and it was on par with many of the other tiger lake devices we’ve looked at recently so i am very comfortable recommending this one it is a very nice laptop definitely a nice flagship laptop there is of course a linux option available as we mentioned at the outset so you can get it pre-configured and ready to go with ubuntu or fedora so really nice to see some adoption of alternative operating systems here as well so that’ll do it for our look at the thinkpad x1 carbon and until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lawn dot tv supporters including gold level supporters chris allegretta tom albrecht jim callagher hot sauce and video games and brian parker if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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