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CNET First Look
Lenovo's X1 Carbon adds a row of smart function keysThis ultralight 14-inch laptop has a few new keyboard tricks, plus a better-than-HD display.
Hi. I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Of course, a sequel to last year's X1 Carbon, which was a sequel to the year before its original X1. Lenovo says this is the lightest 14-inch laptop on the planet. I'm inclined to agree. It's a hair over 3 pounds if you get the optional touchscreen, which you should. It's a hair under 3 pounds if you don't. One of the great upgrades this year is an optional 2560 x 1440 screen that seems sort of better than HD screen that you see on something like the MacBook Pro with Retina display or the Toshiba Kirabook, or Lenovo's own IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro. There are two other things that make this new version notable. One, they've upgraded the touchpad so that even though you still have that Lenovo TrackPoint in the middle, you don't have the big buttons on top of the touchpad anymore. All the buttons top and button are just sort of built-in click pad style, and they've made a couple of changes to the keyboard. I still love the Lenovo keyboard, best in the business feel-wise, but they took the backspace key and kind of make a splitted space with the delete key, I found that very distracting, and over here the caps lock is now a home and end key, good luck finding those if you're trying to touch type and navigate your way around a page. Possibly the most notable new thing is what they call an adaptive keyboard, which is really just this strip up here that replaces the function key row. It's backlit. It has about four different modes and depending on what app that you open whether it's a web browser or Skype or an office document, you'll actually get a different row of functions and that's actually kind of a cool idea and it works well in the applications that it works with. I'd love to see a future version maybe letting you let's say customize your function key row and tie it to a specific app, but they don't have that yet. Of course, all of this does not come cheap. This is the premium end of the ThinkPad line, starts about $1,400 goes up to 2,000. I'm kinda good in the middle about 1,679 build that has a core i5, 8 gigs of RAM, 128-gig hard drive, and most importantly that upgraded 2560 x 1440 touch screen which I think is really the big selling point here. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon.