Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 Review
There are plenty of business laptops in the market, but there’s one laptop line that has stood the test of time, and that is the ThinkPad. One ThinkPad model we have right now is Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8. Is this the business laptop for you? Find out in our review.
Design and Construction
We always have this kind of expectation for Lenovo’s business notebooks that bear the letter X in its name. We’re expecting a machine with a subtle, straight-to-the-point design, but still premium and attractive. Kind of like a person in business attire. It’s not here to play around.
And that’s what we got when we first took it out of the box. What you’ll mostly see is the lid and chassis made of carbon fiber and magnesium. We expected a carbon fiber design, but we got a matte finish instead, which can help repel some fingerprints. Lenovo says that there’s a Carbon-Fiber Weave design, but it’s reserved for the 4K HDR400 model.
The ThinkPad badge is found on the upper left corner. The dot on the small letter ‘i’ is backlit and glows red when the laptop is in use or sleeping.
Lift the lid, and you will see the 14-inch screen with slim side bezels. We have a Full HD resolution with an IPS panel and a brightness of 400 nits.
Found in the top bezel is the 720p webcam with ThinkShutter privacy cover, which should be a common feature in laptops nowadays, and microphone.
Below the display, but just above the keyboard, are two upward-firing tweeters. The two down-firing woofers are found at the bottom. It’s a Dolby Atmos Speaker System, so the sound is great.
For the keyboard, it has a white backlight with two levels of brightness. It is spill-resistant and features a new FN row with dedicated buttons for Airplane mode, accessing Lenovo Vantage, and answering and ending calls on Skype. There’s also a dedicated Page Up and Page Down buttons beside the arrow keys. The keyboard is great, and the typing experience is excellent as it has good tactile feedback and plenty of travel. It’s comfortable that most laptop keyboards I’ve used in the past.
Long-time ThinkPad fans will be glad that the TrackPoint is still here, placed just above the B key, as well as the left, right, and scroll keys above the trackpad. Found beside the trackpad is the fingerprint scanner.
Speaking of the trackpad, it’s tiny and sometimes feels cramped if you’re used to large trackpads. But once you get the hang of the space, you’ll be able to navigate with it and comfortably use finger gestures smoothly.
On the left, we have the USB-C Thunderbolt 3 (always on), which can be used for charging, another USB-C Thunderbolt 3, network extension for the Ethernet adapter included in the package, USB-A 3.1 (Gen 1), HDMI 1.4, and 3.5mm headphone/mic combo.
On the right, we have the power button, USB-A 3.1 (Gen 1), vent, and Kensington lock slot. For a slim device, we’re impressed at the number of ports this notebook has.
Found at the bottom are more vents, two woofers, and four rubber nubs to keep the notebook stable.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 is cool to the touch and feels metallic. It’s light at 1.09 kg and thin at 14.9mm. You can easily lug it around, and will easily slide into a bag. It also has a small footprint so that it won’t take up much space on your desk. It’s also tough as it is tested against 12 military-grade requirements and more than 200 quality checks. It can handle spills, drops, and extreme temperatures.
Display and Multimedia
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 sports a 14-inch Full HD IPS display with 400 nits of brightness. It is sharp, bright, with good viewing angles. The display can be tilted up to 180-degrees, so you can easily adjust it to maximize your viewing experience. The bezels are thin, especially on the sides. However, the top and bottom are not as thin as those you find on new ultrabooks. Still, the viewing experience is immersive enough for casually watching Netflix series or YouTube during breaks.
When it comes to audio, it is powered by the Dolby Atmos Speaker System. We’re impressed with the quality as the sounds are loud and clear and don’t sound distorted at high volumes. The bass is a bit weak, though, but the stereo sound is rich enough for some binge-watching. It’s great, though, when it comes to delivering vocals, which is essential if you’re frequently on online meetings.
OS and Features
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 runs on Windows 10 Pro with only the Microsoft 365 trial and Lenovo Vantage Service pre-installed. The latter is the unique software feature found in Lenovo laptops.
From here, you can check for system updates, view warranty options, see your system’s condition, check your device’s settings, and activate WiFi Security for safe browsing. It even has a threat locator to determine the safety of the networks around you. Storage-wise, we get a 1TB SSD with 952GB as usable.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 unit that we have is an Intel Core i7-10610U CPU, 16GB LPDDR3 RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, 51Wh battery, and Windows 10 Pro. The configuration is good enough for productivity tasks, including handling presentations, documents, heavy Chrome use with plenty of tabs in the background, and entertainment using streaming platforms. The Intel UHD Graphics 620, however, won’t be enough for applications that require some assistance from a dedicated GPU. Check out the benchmark scores below:
• PCMark 10 Extended – 2,926
• 3DMark – 1,236 (Fire Strike), 488 (Time Spy)
• Geekbench 5 – 1,161 (Single-Core), 4,043 (Multi-Core), 5,323 (OpenCL)
• Cinebench R20 – 1,568 (CPU), 391 (CPU Single-Core)
• CrystalDiskMark (SEQ1M Q8T1) – 3,567.88 MB/s (Read), 3,019.04 MB/s (Write)
Connectivity and Battery Life
For wireless connectivity, we have WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. For wired, we have two USB-C Thunderbolt 3, two USB 3.1 Type-A, a full-size HDMI, a 3.5mm headphone/mic combo, and a network extension for ethernet. For biometric security, we have a fingerprint scanner. This makes the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 a good laptop for those looking for a device with plenty of ports.
Battery-wise, it has a 51Wh battery with support for 65W charging. It was able to keep up with our 10-hour workday with around 20% left remaining. Our video loop test involves playing a 1080p video on loop in Airplane mode at 50% brightness and volume in Better battery mode, and it got us 14 hours of playback.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 is a tough, reliable and capable laptop with a light and slim body, nice display, excellent keyboard, generous connectivity, good performance for its class, and decent battery life. However, it’s not for everyone though, given the high starting price tag of PHP 129,990. It’s a serious business laptop meant for corporate people with serious money. But if you’re just a regular person who needs a capable ultrabook for work and entertainment, there are more affordable options out there.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 specs:
14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, low power, 400 nits
Intel Core i7-10610U CPU
Intel UHD Graphics 620
16GB LPDDR3 RAM
1TB PCIe SSD
WiFi 802.11 AX
2 x USB-C Thunderbolt 3
2 x USB 3.1 (Gen 1)
Network extension for Ethernet/side mechanical docking
Headphone / mic combo
HD 720p with ThinkShutter privacy cover
Spill-resistant backlit keyboard
Dolby Atmos Speaker System
4 x 360-degree far-field microphones
Fast Identity Online (FIDO) authentication capabilities
Match-on-chip fingerprint reader
dTPM 2.0 chip
ThinkShutter camera cover
Kensington lock slot
Windows 10 Pro
51Wh battery w/ 65W charging (supports Rapid Charge)
323 x 218 x 14.9 mm