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Lenovo’s flagship ThinkPad X1 Carbon gets a smaller build and longer-lasting battery life

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Still the ThinkPad to beat

Vlad Savov

Last week Lenovo said that it was modernizing its heavy-duty ThinkPad laptops in a variety of ways. Turns out some of those improvements are coming to its ThinkPad X1 Carbon, X1 Yoga, and X1 Tablet computers as well, which fall into Lenovo’s "ultraportable" business line.

The new, fifth-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop looks a lot like the previous model but is actually smaller, weighing less than 2.5 pounds (compared with the earlier 2.7-pound model) and cramming a full HD, 14-inch diagonal display into a 13-inch carbon fiber body. It runs on a new Kaby Lake processor and has a Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE modem.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon hands-on gallery Vlad Savov

The new ThinkPad X1 Carbon also boasts a whopping 15.5 hours of battery life; reviews of the previous model had it maxed out at around 10 hours. And it supports Microsoft’s Precision Trackpad, which the other newer ThinkPads now have as well. In terms of ports, it still doesn’t have an SD card slot, but it does have two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, and an HDMI port. It charges via USB Type-C.

It starts shipping in February for $1,349 and up. It’s hard to say without testing it first whether the 2017 ThinkPad X1 Carbon lives up to all of Lenovo’s claims, but after getting a first look earlier today, it looks like this one could again be the ThinkPad to beat.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon hands-on gallery Vlad Savov

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptop, which bears the name of Lenovo’s "bendy" or multi-mode laptops, is also getting some updates. The new $1,500 model will also have a new processor and a Microsoft Precision Trackpad, will be available in both silver and black, and will have a fully retractable keyboard. The previous model had a retractable keyboard tray as well, but now the keys are designed to lie flat individually when the laptop is folded, rather than having a sunken tray. And finally, the $949 ThinkPad X1 Tablet is being updated with longer battery life.

Lenovo’s ThinkPad line is the company’s biggest money maker, with the overwhelming majority of ThinkPads being sold to large businesses. But because of the portability of the X1 Carbon and the multi-mode X1 Yoga, these models have appeal for business-focused consumers, as well, and Lenovo says it sells a fair number of ThinkPad X1 laptops directly to consumers.

Photography by Vlad Savov.