Lenovo has announced updates to its ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop and X1 Yoga convertible, bumping the processors to 8th-gen Kaby Lake on each model and adding universal USB-C charging capability. But there are a pair of new features that we’re seeing for the first time on laptops here at CES 2018: Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, and support for the Dolby Vision HDR format.
Both laptops have far-field microphones to enable Alexa, meaning you should be able to talk to them from across the room. A separate feature lets you wake the laptop up with your voice. One caveat: Alexa won’t be available on the X1 machines at launch, instead coming with a software update some time in the first half of 2018.
Dolby Vision support is a first for PCs, but it’ll also only come with a future software update. It is, of course, also dependent on compatible content and services, so you may need to wait for providers like Netflix to add specific support for Dolby Vision on Windows 10. Lenovo isn’t saying anything about the possibility of HDR10 support.
What I can say, though, is that both X1 machines look great when showing HDR content. In side-by-side comparisons of Dolby Vision-encoded images and video, the newer screens were much more vibrant and dynamic. Unfortunately Lenovo no longer offers an OLED option on the X1 Yoga — the hit to battery life was too big, according to a company rep, and we found the same in our review — but HDR could go some way to making up for that loss. At least when you’re watching movies, anyway.
The X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga are both available this month from $1,709 and $1,889. As previously mentioned, though, you’ll have to wait for software updates to enable the new marquee features.