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Lenovo announces ThinkPad X1 Carbon, calls it the world's lightest 14-inch ultrabook (hands-on)

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Lenovo announced the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, an ultrathin carbon fiber business laptop.

Gallery Photo: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon hands-on pictures
Gallery Photo: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon hands-on pictures

Lenovo unveiled a blitz of refreshed ThinkPad laptops today, each sporting a redesigned keyboard and Intel Ivy Bridge chips, but it had one surprise in store: the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. As you'd guess, the carbon stands for carbon fiber, that exceptionally desirable material that manages to simultaneously be thin, light, strong, and stiff, and thanks to Lenovo's carbon fiber chassis, the company's crafted a 14-inch laptop that weighs just three pounds and is 18 millimeters thick at its thickest point.

Despite all that, it's got a surprisingly deep backlit ThinkPad keyboard, and both a smooth trackpad and an eraserhead pointer with real mouse buttons for each. There's a pair of full-size USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, a Mini DisplayPort socket, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an SD card slot and a fingerprint reader. (If that's not enough ports, you could give Lenovo's USB 3.0 dock a look: it adds five more ports and the Ethernet and DVI video sockets that the X1 Carbon is missing.) The whole chassis is coated in a fingerprint-resistant matte soft-touch rubber that feels great, and while we weren't able to get a look at the final display, it's a 1600 x 900 resolution panel with 300 nits of brightness, and Lenovo's promising wide viewing angles.

It runs on an Intel Ivy Bridge processor, though they company wouldn't say which: "certain Ivy Bridge CPUs are under embargo," a friendly representative reminded us. There's also optional integrated cellular connectivity and a SIM card slot to connect with, and it's outfitted with the same Rapid Charge option as the original X1, which should allow you to fill 80 percent of the battery in just 30 minutes. Lenovo won't tell us how much the X1 Carbon costs and we have a feeling our pocketbook is better off not knowing the answer, but the company says the laptop will ship in the next two months.