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Guru
Posts: 2,248
Registered: ‎04-17-2014
Location: US
Views: 1,899
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Battle of the ThinkPads: X1 Carbon vs. X1 Yoga!

Disclosure:  I received this device as a member of the Lenovo INsiders' program. All opinion are my own. 

 

I've been using the X1 Yoga (2nd gen) as my primary laptop for over a year. Now, I have a X1 Carbon (6th gen) that I've been using for about a month.

 

My X1 Yoga (2nd gen) has an Intel Core i5, 8GB of memory, a FHD touch display, and 256GB SATA SSD.

 

My X1 Carbon (6th gen) has an Intel Core i7, 16GB of memory, a FHD touch display, and 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD.


Hardware & Design
img-20190806-223137.jpgLeft: X1 Carbon. RIght: X1 Yoga.

These are both ThinkPad X1 laptops, which mean that they embody the thin-and-light ThinkPad DNA. Both laptops are Mil-spec tested, meaning it has passed durability tests including extreme temperatures, shocks, and vibrations. They both have soft-touch lids and decks, which feel very durable. My X1 Yoga has been in and out backpacks for over a year, and there are no scratches or smudges on the lid.

 

img-20190811-132545_orig.jpgLid of my X1 Yoga over 1+ year of use
There is little to no display or keyboard flex on either device, and they both feel sturdily built.

 

Even though both laptops have a 14 inch display, the X1 Carbon has a notably smaller footprint due to the extremely thin bezels around the display. I'm able to fit my X1 Carbon in a 13.3" laptop bag, while my X1 Yoga won't fit in the same bag.

 

img-20190811-133049_orig.jpgTop: X1 Carbon. Bottom: X1 Yoga


The X1 Carbon is also lighter, at two and a half pounds. The X1 Yoga, on the other hand, is a little over three pounds. It's a noticeable difference, but not enough to make carrying the X1 Yoga a burden compared to the Carbon.

 

The X1 Yoga is heavier because of the extra hardware involved with the 360 degree hinge design.

 

img-20190806-224954-1_orig.jpg


While the X1 Carbon can lie completely flat, the X1 Yoga is able to flip a complete 360 degrees into a tablet form factor. ​

 

img-20180124-145846-orig_orig.jpgThe X1 Yoga's hinge mechanism allow is to fold completely into a tablet.img-20190806-223628.jpgThe X1 Carbon's hinge allows it to lie completely flat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the X1 Yoga, there is an included ThinkPad Pen Pro that sits inside its own silo on the bottom right of the laptop. It also has Active Pen support for other Wacom pens.

 

The X1 Carbon does not have Active Pen support.

 

img-20190806-225133-1_orig


Some small details: The X1 Carbon that I have has a blacked out ThinkPad logo and a X1 logo etched on the lid. The X1 Yoga has a silver ThinkPad logo with a Lenovo logo etched on the lid.

 

The power button for the X1 Carbon is located near the keyboard area, while the power button for the X1 Yoga is located on the right side of the device. Not a big difference at all.

 

img-20190806-224023X1 Carbonimg-20190806-224904_origX1 Yoga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you're looking for a quintessential thin and light laptop, the X1 Carbon is for you. It is extremely portable, durable, and functional. If you're looking for all the features, including Pen support for all the artists out there, the X1 Yoga is for you. It's a well-built, classy machine that has all the bells and whistle.


Keyboard


In my X1 Yoga vs. Yoga 910 article, I raved about the amazing keyboard on the X1 Yoga... the keyboard "has spoiled me," and that typing on the X1 Yoga's keyboard was "an absolute godsend."

 

Well, it turns out there is a new keyboard champion, and that is the X1 Carbon. The X1 Yoga has 1.4mm of key travel, which is a great figure compared to the industry, but the X1 Carbon has 1.8mm of key travel, making it an even better typing experience. The X1 Carbon's keycaps also seem to be clickier than those on the X1 Yoga, making it even more satisfying to press. They are pretty close in overall typing experience, but I do prefer the X1 Carbon over the X1 Yoga for long typing sessions.

 

 

The X1 Yoga's keyboard does have one really cool feature the X1 Carbon doesn't have- it's able to retract the keyboard inside the chassis when the laptop is flipped into tablet mode. Plus, it's able to retract the keyboard when the lid is closed, preventing any oils from the keyboard from transferring to the display.

 

rise-fall-keyboard-x1-yoga-orig_orig

Overall, for the best typing experience, I would recommend the X1 Carbon, but for more versatility with the keyboard, I would recommend the X1 Yoga.


TrackPad & TrackPoint


To start, the TrackPoint between the two are identical - I love it and use it more often than the trackpad any day of the week.

 

If you're more of a trackpad user, you'll prefer the X1 Yoga because of the extra real estate on the trackpad. There is a longer trackpad surface on the X1 Yoga due to its larger form factor, and that make tracking a bit more comfortable. Both trackpads on the X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga have the same finish, which means it is soft and smooth to the touch and comfortable moving my finger around it.

 

img-20190811-162052_origX1 Carbonimg-20190811-162104_origX1 Yoga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Display


Both the X1 Carbon and the X1 Yoga have FHD touch displays, but they are vastly different.

 

For one, the X1 Carbon's display has a matte finish due to Lenovo's use of in-touch cell technology, which allows the touch technology to be on the same layer as the display panel itself. This means that there is little to no glare from sunlight or indoor lights. On the contrary, the display on the X1 Yoga is glossy, which means that there is more glare when under bright lights.

 

img-20190811-162134_origLeft: X1 Carbon. Right: X1 Yoga.


​But with the glossy finish on the X1 Yoga comes more details in colors and a bit more brightness. The X1 Yoga also has pen support, something the X1 Carbon doesn't have. ​

 

img-20190806-223845_origX1 Carbon in full brightnessimg-20190806-224726_origX1 Yoga in full brightness

​Odds & Ends


The battery life between the two are too similar for me to compare - the X1 Carbon has a 57Wh battery and the X1 Yoga has a 56Wh battery. Both laptops also support Rapid Charge, meaning up to 80% of charge in one hour.

 

The fingerprint sensor on the X1 Yoga is slightly bigger than the one on the X1 Carbon, but I haven't noticed any differences in regards to scan speeds. Both fingerprint readers are match-on chip readers, meaning the fingerprint storage and processing is all done on the same chip as the reader itself.

 

img-20190811-203555_origLeft: X1 Carbon. Right: X1 Yoga

Both laptops also share the same security features, including dTPM and vPro technology if equipped with the Intel i7 variant. ​
In terms of ports, the X1 Yoga has an extra USB port compared to the X1 Carbon, but it lacks the side docking connector that you'll find on the X1 Carbon.

 

img-20190811-203853_origTop: X1 Carbon. Bottom: X1 Yoga.img-20190811-203913_origTop: X1 Carbon. Bottom: X1 Yoga.


The X1 Carbon has Dolby Audio software pre-installed, which means I'm able to get better surround sound quality out of the speakers.

 

​The speaker quality itself are very similar between the X1 Carbon and the X1 Yoga, regardless of that Dolby software. The Dolby software will be most useful for headphones, where you can get Dolby Atmos surround sound.

 

The 6th gen X1 Carbon and 2nd gen X1 Yoga that I am reviewing today have just okay speakers. They're fine for audio conferences, podcasts, or voices, but I wouldn't enjoy using them for movies or music.

 

img-20190811-203739_orig


The latest generation of ThinkPad X1 products (7th gen X1 Carbon and 4th gen X1 Yoga have significantly upgraded speakers. The speakers on those laptops are positioned on the keyboard deck, as opposed to the bottom of the laptop where my review units are located.


annotation-2019-08-11-204719_origPicture credits: Lenovo.

 

The latest generation of ThinkPad X1 laptops (7th gen for X1 Carbon, 4th gen for X1 Yoga) have all the bells and whistles, including an upgraded sound system, more display options, and the latest Intel Core processors.

 

Of course, those latest features will cost you more since they were just released into the market not a long while ago.

 

If you're looking for an excellent business laptop and speaker quality isn't on the top of your priorities, I would highly give either the X1 Carbon or the X1 Yoga a look, especially at the discounted prices that they are at due to them being last generation products. They are still remarkable laptops with some of the best keyboards in the business.

Check out the latest X1 Carbon here!

​Check out the latest X1 Yoga here!

Check out the 6th gen X1 Carbon here!

Check out the 3rd gen X1 Yoga here! (the design for the 3rd gen is identical to that of the 2nd gen, minus some spec upgrades)

 

Thank you for reading!!!! Smiley Happy

 

thinkpad-social-gif_orig-min.gif


Regards,
Eric Xu

I'm a Lenovo forums advocate and brand advocate (Lenovo INsider). I'm a volunteer; I don't work for Lenovo.

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