12-06-2012 07:47 PM
For the sake of other X1 Carbon owners out there, I thought I'd share the results of hours of browsing forums to determine why this machine is good, but not as great as what I was led to expect by on-line reviews.
1. Some reviewers received machines with specs that are not actually available to the public yet. At least one reviewer had an i7 with 8 GB of RAM. Currently the best available configurations for purchase are an i5 with 8GB or an i7 with 4GB. There is no i7 4GB option shipping (as of early December), though I have seen hints they are on the way.
2. The "glass trackpad" that the reviewers rave about has been either replaced or modified with a trackpad covered in a matte, slightly rubberized finish (verified by a Lenovo employee on this forum). This machine was supposed to have a trackpad that finally rivaled the Apple "Magic Trackpad". Reviewers thought Lenovo had nailed it. Unfortunately, the rubber coating removed any reasonable comparisons to the Magic Trackpad. I own a 2012 Macbook Air for personal use, and the X1 Carbon for business use. The X1 has the best trackpad I've seen on a Windows laptop, but is not as smooth as the Air. One theory I have here is whether Apple may have possibly patented the glass trackpad in some way.
3. The X1 Carbon screen has a "screen door" appearance. Meaning, there is a slightly grid-like appearance to the screen image, similar to looking through a screen door. It's difficult to explain, and some in the forums have claimed it's a subconscious effect of people reading about the screen defect and THEN seeing it. I would like to put that theory to rest. I had not read about the affect until AFTER using the X1 for two days. The minute I opened the laptop for the first time I noticed the odd screen appearance. My initial reaction was confusion and disappointment. I had read many reviews stating that the screen was incredible, and I fully expected an improvement on my Macbook Air. The screen seems to have the resolution it needs, but images look muddled and lines are not sharp. I have to wonder if this was another switch between pre-production/review models and what was sold to the general public.
4. The X1 Carbon comes with a 3 year warranty at no extra charge. Review sites mentioned this and it's really incredibly misleading. Considering Apple Care extended warranties are ~$200, this would be an incredible value if true. Unfortunately, it's not. The X1 Carbon comes with a 1 year warranty, and I have seen some mention of an extension to 3 years for the battery. Since the battery cannot be removed easily by the owner, Lenovo may offer a big discount on battery replacement at up to 3 years. I have not verified this.
To summarize, I'm still impressed by this ultrabook, but I do think it's overpriced by about $200 compared to the MacBook Air. The screen is unimpressive but functional, and the trackpad is nice but not stellar. It's still fun to walk around the office and have people remark, "Wow, that is a REALLY thin laptop". The main disappointment here is what seems like a bait-and-switch tactic by Lenovo to get buyers excited about their 20th Anniversary Thinkpad by sending superior machines to reviewers. And to top it off, the unit had incredible shipping delays and exasperated many long-time Lenovo fans.
12-07-2012 01:23 AM
1. An i7 with 8gb is available in certain regions,e.g. UK.
2. Can't comment as I am a nipple user (but can't fault the touchpad).
3. The screen door effect becomes less noticable the more I am using the machine. Also I'd disagree with "images look muddled and lines are not sharp" - I think they look fantastic. Maybe a matter of personal preference?
4. It certainly comes with a 3 year warranty in the UK - maybe a regional thing?
12-07-2012 12:00 PM
1. I've also seen some links to Lenovo inventory tracking showing this config is probably on the way to the US. But still disappointing that the premier configuration is not available here.
2. I'll have to check out that nipple some more. Again, is the best trackpad I've used on a PC.
3. I can understand your disagreement with that wording. I struggled to describe the effect. And I will admit, the screen is growing on me.
4. I'm jealous. One year here, and they still don't seem to be shipping the promised ethernet dongle.
12-07-2012 12:59 PM
i think the biggest mistake they made is underestimating demand (resulting in dealys and rushed out units), and having (certainly stateside) an abysimal customer service. Delays and minor issues with new products are the norm (same with Apple), but how you treat your customers & communicate with them makes a big difference. If Lenovo wants to play in the consumer market they need to address these issues asap, because their products certainly have potential.
12-07-2012 05:49 PM
One thing I agree with op is that putting a rubbish finish on a glass touchpad is certainly very stupid. Probably it is out of fear for Apple legal power. But at least one reviewer said it has a rubbish finish.
But the i7/8GB has been available in many countries: UK, Australia, and the coporate accounts in the US as well. It is just not on sale on the retail website yet.
01-03-2013 09:10 AM
On December 21, I was able to order an i7 with 8GB from the US retail site. Yesterday, they cancelled my order. Today, only i5 with 4GB is available on the site. Something is very wrong... actually more than one thing is very wrong.