Several weeks ago I placed an order for the laptop that ticked all of the boxes on what I was after from such a unit. Happy to say that the Lenovo X1 Carbon is that unit, and whilst it does have some thorns it really does perform exceptionally well.
This is not an exhaustive review of the X1 Carbon, there's plenty of them on notebook review sites, but it's my view as a developer who seeks performance, quiet operation, and portability. Here we go!
HardwareThe chassis is made of carbon fibre and feels solid and sturdy, I see myself using this laptop for a good 2-3 years. I'm sure it'll last more but with the advancements of tech these days I'm sure I'll outgrow it within that timeframe. The keyboard is absolutely awesome, the best that I've ever used. The spacing between the keys and the depth of the keys is perfect. I'm a touch typer and I was up and running at my maximum in no time.
TrackpadThe trackpad is good enough. The trackpad on my MacBook Air is fantastic in that I can be completely productive without the use of a mouse, I guess I've been spoilt (and this is the only Air comparison I will make!). I had some initial setup issues and needed to increase the sensitivity to almost the maximum for it to be useful.
Here's a short video to demonstrate the issue before the fine tuning.
Screen Door effectOver at the Lenovo forums (here and here) there's been much discussion about the screen door effect of the display. If you look closely you can see a grill-like effect that can be quite distracting. However, it does seem to be getting better or my eyes are adjusting towards it, as it's less visible now after a couple of weeks using it. Lenovo offers 14-days for you to return the unit which is what I suggest you use to see if the screen bothers you or not, as unfortunately there's nowhere in Australia that you can actually see the unit before buying it.
The maximum resolution (of the screen) runs at 1600 by 900 pixels which is sufficient for development work (I run Visual Studio 2012 and a bunch of text editors).
PerformanceI configured my unit with the i7 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD drive. This unit flies! The Windows Experience Index scores it a 5.3, the lowest rating being that of the Graphics (5.3!) but has the following impressive stats as well:
- Processor - 7.1
- Memory - 7.4
- Primary hard disk - 8.1
When a guy like Scott Hanselman says that is next machine is going to be an ultrabook you know that it is a machine like this is what he is talking about.
All up I'm very impressed with the unit, I'll take out extended warranty for some piece of mind but really expect (and hope!) that this unit will be with me for a long time.