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Christmas Gift Guide

Trim and light

Left connectors

Right connectors

Fingerprint reader

Getting used to it

Light

Trackpoint stick

Trackpoint buttons

Vents

Follow the red dot

Delete

vPro

Keyboard

Lap comfy

Another lap view

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.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The laptop runs very cool and quiet.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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