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Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon floats into 2017

Carbon fiber makes this laptop one of the lightest in its class.

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Lori Grunin
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1 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Trim and light

The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon isn't the most avant-garde-looking laptop, but it has the clean, classic lines of a traditional business notebook, making a great travel companion.

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2 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Left connectors

From left to right, the X1 has a USB-C Thunderbolt/charging connector, USB-C/Thunderbolt, USB 3.0 Type A, full-size HDMI port and a mini Ethernet connector.

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3 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Right connectors

In addition to the vent, the X1 has a headphone jack and always-on USB 3.0 Type A connector.

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4 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Fingerprint reader

Lenovo has moved the fingerprint reader from last year; it used to be between the arrow keys and the logo. The X1 didn't like my fingerprint, though; it took a while before it would register, and it never recognized me on the first try, and freqently not even on the second.

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5 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Getting used to it

My left forefinger naturally rests on the lower left corner of the trackpad -- ready to click-drag, captain! -- but the Carbon interprets that resting position as a click. As a result, I get weird cursor jumpage when I'm trying to navigate with the touchpad. I've had to train myself to rest over and use the left Touchpoint button instead.

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6 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Light

It feels light enough that I occasionally had to visually check my bag to confirm it was in there.

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7 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Trackpoint stick

I never liked it, but some people are addicted. Different strokes, folks.

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8 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Trackpoint buttons

For those who aren't familiar with Lenovo's input devices, the center button here can work in conjunction with the Trackpoint Stick for scrolling.

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9 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Vents

The laptop runs very cool and quiet.

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10 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Follow the red dot

I think my favorite design detail on the ThinkPad is the red dot over the "i" which illuminates when it's powered on or charging.

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11 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Delete

This Home-End-Insert-Delete configuration was controversial when Lenovo first changed the layout -- it's impossible to distinguish them from each other without looking. I hate it, too.

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12 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

vPro

As it's a business-focused device, the X1 uses the vPro version of the Intel Core i processors, which provide more administrative features.

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13 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Keyboard

The keyboard is a little updated from last year. For instance the Enter key is smaller (but still big enough) and the keys are labeled with text rather than icons. I like the FnLock button, but it's a little counter-intuitive that it lights up when it's not engaged.

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14 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lap comfy

It's pretty comfortable to work on in your lap.

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15 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Another lap view

It runs cool, so I didn't worry about lap-burn.

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