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Community SuperMod
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Message 1 of 753

ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen X1C7 - first look

I am fortunate to enjoy an X1 Carbon 6th Gen, daily, for work and play and travel, so when Lenovo asked if I wanted a look at a new X1 Carbon 7th Gen, I jumped at the chance, and one landed on my desk! 
 
The X1C7 was announced in January:
AUGUST 2019 UPDATE: X1C7 with 10th Generation Intel CPU's announced in August, available in September:
 
I know you will ask "When can I buy one?". I'm reliably informed that Lenovo IS going to make its June target X1C7 shipping date, so watch https://shop.lenovo.com.
 
From here on I will refer to them as X1C7 and X1C6, because those long names are well... long.
 
This is a somewhat random walk, and not a scripted review. I've focused on what's different about this 2019 model. If you have questions or are interested in detail I didn't cover, ask!
 
Here's a table with the differences in the datasheets, and the configurations of this X1C7 on loan from Lenovo and my X1C6.
 
X1C7 Series X1C6 Series This X1C7 My X1C6
Up to 8th Gen i7 Up to 8th Gen i7 i7-8665U i7-8650U
Up to 16GB LPDDR3 RAM Up to 16GB LPDDR3 RAM 16GB 16GB
Up to 2TB PCIe SSD Up to 1TB PCIe SSD 2TB 1TB 
14” FHD IPS (400nit)  
14” FHD IPS Touch (300nit)  
14” FHD IPS PrivacyGuard (400nit)  
14” WQHD IPS (300nit) 
14” HDR400 UHD IPS (500nit) 10 bit
14” FHD IPSFHD IPS touch WQHD IPS
14" HDR WQHD IPS with Dolby Vision
14” HDR400 UHD IPS (500nit) 10 bit - 3840 x 2160 14" HDR WQHD IPS with Dolby  - 2560 x 1440
720p HD+IR Camera with ThinkShutter 720p HD Camera with ThinkShutter 
720p HD + IR Camera without ThinkShutter 
720p HD+IR Camera with ThinkShutter 720p HD Camera with ThinkShutter
4 x 360 degree microphones Dual array microphones 4 x 360 degree microphones Dual array microphones
Dolby Atmos Speakers Dolby Premium Audio / Stereo Speakers Dolby Atmos Speakers Dolby Premium Audio / Stereo Speakers
WWAN LTE Cat 9 & Cat16 WWAN LTE Cat 9 None WWAN LTE Cat 9
WLAN Intel Wireless-AC 9560 WLAN Intel Wireless-AC 8265 or 9260 WLAN Intel Wireless-AC 9560 WLAN Intel Wireless AC 9260
Bluetooth 5 Bluetooth 4.2 Bluetooth 5 Bluetooth 4.2
Black or Carbon fiber weave top cover Black or silver Carbon fiber weave top cover Black
51Whr battery, 18.3 hours MobileMark 2014 57Whr battery, 15hrs MobileMark 2014 51Whr battery 57Whr battery
Height 14.95mm Height 15.95mm Height 14.95mm Height 15.95mm
Weight starting 2.4lbs Weight starting 2.49lbs 2.39lbs on a kitchen scale 2.54lbs on a kitchen scale
  microSD slot   microSD slot
 
"Does the BIOS support Microsoft Modern Standby (S0)?" you ask. Yes! That's the default. Others will ask "Does the BIOS support S3 standby?". Yes again. Here what the setting looks like, and while we're looking at it note the X1C7's more graphical BIOS interface, as compared to the classic texty BIOS interface of the X1C6.
 
X1C7BIOSS3.JPEG
 
The immediate impression of the X1C7 Dolby Atmos speakers is LOUDER with more dynamic range and wider sound stage. Much less of a feel that the sound is coming from a point in a thin computer. This is better room-filling audio which does not distort even at max. There's a Dolby Atmos app with equalizer presets, or customize it yourself. Definitely an X1C7 step up.
 
X1C7Speaker.JPEG
X1C7ATMOS.jpeg
 
The power button moved to the side, to make way for the Atmos speaker.
 
X1C7PowerButton.JPEG
 
The Carbon fiber weave on the lid is understated. Glance at it and you might miss it, but look closely and you see the pattern, like the cloth of a business suit. Very elegant!
 
X1C7CarbonLidvsX1C6.JPEG
X1C7CarbonCloseUpvsX1C6.JPEG
 
I'm a TrackPoint user and the first thing I noticed was the more "ballistic" feel of scrolling with the X1C7. It seems to pick up momentum more quickly when scrolling. No problem adjusting. Further investigation reveals that it's an Elan Trackpoint (vs Synaptics in the X1C6). I also note that the TrackPoint is shallower, using an Ultra low cap vs Super low on the X1C6. 
 X1C7vsX1C6Trackpoint.JPEG
 
The X1C7 TrackPoint buttons are flat, and it's a nice simple look. Compare with the ridged X1C6 buttons. At first I thought the flatness was going to be a problem, finding the buttons in the dark (sorry I'm a workoholic), but it's a minor adjustment.
 
X1C7TrackPointButtons.jpeg
X1C6TrackPointButtons.jpeg
 
The UHD display is amazing. I already love the WQHD display but this is a step up. You notice the UHD especially in the rendering of small text. The display is glossy and I have found this is not a problem - sometimes in bright environments I have to adjust the angle of the screen to reduce reflections, but the 500nits punches right through. even in bright sunlight.
 
X1C7HDR.jpg
 
The only feature I can't try yet is WWAN. After some initial quirks the X1C6 WWAN has been very good. The X1C7 will support even higher speeds, but we have to wait for the June release for more details.
 
Overall this the X1C7 is a very solid upgrade. Is it worth anteing up for if you already have an X1C6? That all depends on how much the improvements mean to you. I can say that after a few days, I'm hooked :-).
 
Let me know if you have any questions, and I'll do my best to answer!
I don't work for Lenovo. I'm a crazy volunteer!
Community SeniorMod
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Message 2 of 753

Re: ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen X1C7 - first look

Nice machine.  The upgrade choice might be simpler for anyone with a 5th gen or earlier x1 carbon


Rich


I do not respond to requests for private, one-on-one help. Your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where they may help others as well.

If a response answers your question, please mark it as the accepted solution.

I am not an employee or agent of Lenovo.
psychopomp2
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Message 3 of 753

Re: ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen X1C7 - first look

Any reason why the X1C7 still comes with an Intel 802.11ac (wifi 5) card and not the newer 802.11ax (wifi 6) card? According  to Anandtech, the Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 is available to PC makers and costs less than $17.

 

https://www.anandtech.com/show/14169/intel-launches-wifi-6-ax200-wireless-network-adapter

Community SuperMod
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Message 4 of 753

Re: ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen X1C7 - first look

That's a good question! An AX WLAN card may be a build option. The X1C7 Intel 9560-AC WLAN card is an M.2 1216 module (vs M.2 2230 in the X1C6). We have to watch the detailed information on the X1C7 appear as the product starts shipping. Waiting for lenovo.com to populate...

I don't work for Lenovo. I'm a crazy volunteer!
krismicinski
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Message 5 of 753

Re: ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen X1C7 - first look

Thanks for your taking the time to write this up! I'm sincerely looking forward to this machine. One thing I didn't see covered was battery life. I'm seriously concerned that battery life will be very poor, especially when paired with the 4K screen. What kind of battery life are you getting on moderate settings with the 4K screen on the new X1C7?

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Message 6 of 753

Re: ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen X1C7 - first look

not so sure i like the carbon fiber finish BUT, since it IS an X1 CARBON i suppose it is appropriate..

the question is how tough IS the finish.. scuff or scratch prone..?

just got an extreme refurb X1 C extreme and thus far it is REALLY nice.. Smiley Happy

here for the first time since '08.. the place looks good..

i see my sig needs editing and maybe a few other things..

Bill Morrow, kept by parrots
Sysop - forum.thinkpads.com
30+ thinkpads from 755CDV to S30, tablet 1 to X1C Extreme
----
She was not what you would call refined.
She was not what you would call unrefined.
She was the type of person who kept a parrot.
Mark Twain
Community SuperMod
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Message 7 of 753

Re: ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen X1C7 - first look


@krismicinski wrote:

Thanks for your taking the time to write this up! I'm sincerely looking forward to this machine. One thing I didn't see covered was battery life. I'm seriously concerned that battery life will be very poor, especially when paired with the 4K screen. What kind of battery life are you getting on moderate settings with the 4K screen on the new X1C7?


I'm not measuring battery life, but so far, subjectively, the X1C7 seems on par with my X1C6. I don't want us to get into a battery runtime claims debate, but here's how I do it: Look at the MobileMark 2014 number in the spec, halve it, expect around that. I'm less likely to be disappointed that way Smiley Happy!

I don't work for Lenovo. I'm a crazy volunteer!
krismicinski
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Message 8 of 753

Re: ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen X1C7 - first look

No worries. I didn't need anything hyper-detailed. Subjective impression is fine. I'm more worried about "I can make it through most of a day without constantly needing to be by a charger." I have an external battery for long voyages and such, just was interested as to subjective impressions after using for a while. I'd be totally happy if I could get 5.5-6 hours.
Community SuperMod
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Message 9 of 753

Re: ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen X1C7 - first look


@billmorrow wrote:

not so sure i like the carbon fiber finish BUT, since it IS an X1 CARBON i suppose it is appropriate..

the question is how tough IS the finish.. scuff or scratch prone..?

just got an extreme refurb X1 C extreme and thus far it is REALLY nice.. Smiley Happy

here for the first time since '08.. the place looks good..

i see my sig needs editing and maybe a few other things..


Ho Bill!

 

The carbon finish seems just as tough as the regular black finish. It is like the regular finish in the sense that like hair, when you brush it (clean it), it looks great, but over time it gets mussed up until you clean it again. I follow Lenovo's advice and use a 50-50 mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water (distilled or deionized).

 

The carbon finish may actually help hide smaller scuffs or scratches because of it's weavy appearance, but I'm not up for testing Smiley LOL, at least not deliberately.

I don't work for Lenovo. I'm a crazy volunteer!
Maert
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Message 10 of 753

Re: ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen X1C7 - first look

Hey, a quick question on the carbon weave - is it textured or just visual?

 

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