Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Avram Piltch, LAPTOP:

Like the ThinkPad X1 before it, the X1 Carbon is built for durability as it has passed eight different MIL-SPEC tests, including those that measure the ability to operate at extreme temperatures, altitudes and when being hit by sand. However, unlike last year’s X1, the X1 Carbon’s screen is not made from scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass.

MIL-SPEC’ed. I’m impressed. Not made from Gorilla Glass? Well, let’s be a bit more technically accurate. Gorilla Glass is merely used as a cover glass, meaning it is an entirely separate layer of hardened glass that sits on top of the LCD. It would be nice though if Gorilla Glass could be used for things such as a polarizer, color filter, or touch panel; we would then not need a separate cover glass. Still, for a MIL-SPEC’ed notebook it seems like an oversight not to have incorporated some sort of cover glass to protect the display.

The X1 Carbon’s 1600 x 900, 14-inch matte display is truly stunning.

That sounds like an oxymoron. 1600×900, 14 inches, truly stunning? The resolution is a paltry 131 ppi. The state of the art—Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina display—sports a resolution of 220 ppi. The phrase “truly stunning” should be reserved for a display like that.

When you hear ‘carbon’ in a name and it refers to genuine carbon fiber you assume it’s going to be a premium top-notch product. To me the most important component in a notebook is the display, but it’s the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s display that’s not at all near the top with a disappointingly low resolution.