back to article Lenovo's 2017 X1 Carbon is a mixed bag

Lenovo's X1 Carbon ThinkPad is the company's flagship business laptop and has just been refreshed for 2017. But the new model may frustrate. The Reg got its claws on the new model for a couple of weeks, equipped with a core i5-7200 at 2.5GHz, 8GB of RAM, Windows 10 Pro build 1607 and a 256GB solid state disk that said it has …

  1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Sounds like reasonable hardware let down by one or more software problems

    On the upside software can be fixed easier.

    If they care enough.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like reasonable hardware let down by one or more software problems

      Sounds like Lenovo driver / software bloat.

      I certainly haven't experience such hangs and windows movement leaving black boxes behind since Windows 3.1 days... My HP Spectre x360 certainly doesn't hang like that.

      Maybe early drivers?

  2. Andrew van der Stock

    Lenovo power management is the reason for the slow wake up

    By default, Lenovo's recent power management has two inter-linked features - Easy Resume and "30 day suspend". If you constantly wake the system up, like it sounds like you do, go to Lenovo Settings, click on the Battery, and turn "30 day standby" off and "Easy Resume" on.

  3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Linux

    Did you try Linux on it?

    I thought that was going to be a more-or-less standard element of laptop reviews these days?

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: Did you try Linux on it?

      The windows 10 new data slurp story is probably just an unfortunate coincidence. It would be nice if there was a linux option, minus the win10 licence fee of course.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Did you try Linux on it?

      I wouldn't touch it unless it COULD run an off-the-shelf (ok randomly downloaded) Linux distro without hardware compatibility problems.

      I don't need a Win-10-nic laptop. But, I _do_ need a laptop. OK it would be best with FreeBSD running on it, but if Linux runs well, chances are FBSD will, too.

  4. Ketlan
    Devil

    Dosh?

    Did I miss the bit where the article said how much it cost?

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Dosh?

      The article misses quite a lot out, to be honest.

      Most new laptops will get the same kind of answers in that kind of review.

      Did you try Linux on it? How much was it? What are the options available for it? When is it available? How does it compare to rivals? What software does it comes with, can I just put Windows 10 on it? Number of ports? All sorts spring to mind.

      Poor "review", more a blog post of a guy with a new laptop.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Dosh?

        According to a "real" review:

        http://www.pcmag.com/review/352469/lenovo-thinkpad-x1-carbon-2017

        The Ethernet requires a mini-dongle.

        One HDMI.

        Two USB-C that support DisplayPort (with adaptor) and Thunderbolt

        Two USB 3.0

        MicroSD

        Optional SIM

        Headphone

        Fingerprint reader

        $1329

        When a rival site's link gives you almost as much information again as the Reg article, in the space of a few seconds, it's time to sack your writers.

        1. dajames Silver badge

          Re: Dosh?

          MicroSD

          MicroSD?

          That's a bit odd ... the only thing I ever use the SD card slot in a laptop for is to read the (full-sized) SD card from my camera. If I wanted to read microSD cards I could use an adaptor ... but there is no adaptor to fit a full-sized SD card into a microSD slot.

          Lenovo seem to have failed to understand why an SD card slot can be useful in a laptop. It's not to add storage, like it is in a phone.

          1. d3vy

            Re: Dosh?

            "Lenovo seem to have failed to understand why an SD card slot can be useful in a laptop. It's not to add storage, like it is in a phone."

            To be fair I can see where they are coming from on this. The YOGA series all had full sized slots but only half depth meaning you couldn't put a card in there and leave it in for storage purposes. This caused people (Myself included) to be very pissed off and vocal about it on the forums (I was pissed because I hadn'd done enough research and spent £100+ on an SD card at the same time as buying the laptop only to find I couldn't use it for its intended purpose)

            It looks like they have gone the other way now - My problem is resolved as I can put a large micro sd card in and go away happy... but they have now pissed off a whole other group of users!

            Ive had my yoga apart... theres room for a full depth slot - Im sure there MUST be room in the BIGGER x1.

          2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

            Re: Dosh?

            "but there is no adaptor to fit a full-sized SD card into a microSD slot."

            Never worked on help desk?

          3. PNGuinn
            Coat

            ... but there is no adaptor to fit a full-sized SD card into a microSD slot.

            Er - Have you tried a large hammer?

            Thanks - mine's the one with the Kango in the pocket. Aka sd card extractor.

          4. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            Re: Dosh?

            An SD reader for USB costs one pound, so, putting an full size SD slot in the PC isn't adding much value.

        2. d3vy

          Re: Dosh?

          "When a rival site's link gives you almost as much information again as the Reg article, in the space of a few seconds, it's time to sack your writers."

          To be fair the article is touted as a real world test not a review, its a description of how the machine stood up during real world use not how it performed in benchmarks.

        3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Dosh?

          $1329

          Which is why Apple's kit compares favourably with the competition.

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            Re: Dosh?

            "Which is why Apple's kit compares favourably with the competition."

            Does it? The latets Apple Macbooks start at $1,299.00, for a 1.1GHz ("up to 2.2GHz") mobile dual-core.

            The Lenovo comes with 2.6GHz proper i5. The 3DMark scores alone beat the Macbook. For the sake of $30, getting beat in all the CPU and graphics benchmarks, and with a smaller screen than the Lenovo, isn't a good showing.

            This is by far not the cheapest PC laptop on the market, either, whereas a Macbook is the ONLY Apple laptop on the market (legally).

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dosh?

          Ethernet with a dongle? what is this, 1997? I think I still have one of those Elink-III PCMCIA cards with the dongle in a junk cabinet somewhere. Does the Lenovo also have a 56K modem built in?

          1. Anguilla
            FAIL

            Damned Ethernet dongles

            I have, on occasion, had to use a USB2 to LAN dongle on a Pipo Win 10 Tablet and a Pipo "Airweight" Laptop, but it seems that such data transfers are little better than 5Mbps.

            I had hoped to try the dongle (at about HK$50 each = GB Pounds ~5) on a USB3, but don't have a device with USB3 available.

            I looked at the Lenovo dongle - in the futile hope that at least one of their various varieties was a real USB plug on the end - but the ones I saw were "customised" to NOT use any USB port at all.

            My tests of my locally purchased [Aplui Street, ShamShuiPo, Kowloon] showed that my Wi-Fi connection to one of my several Wi-Fi Routers was considerably FASTER than this HK$50 dongle to my LAN !

  5. SkippyBing Silver badge

    the Reg content management system

    You're trying to tell us it's managed?

  6. Triggerfish

    Heavy Sleeper

    Isn't it running from an SSD, I thought you weren't suppose to let them sleep?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Heavy Sleeper

      You might be thinking of 'Hibernate' - which writes all RAM to non-volatile disk. 'Sleep' doesn't write to disk, but incurs a low power drain to keep the RAM going.

      1. d3vy

        Re: Heavy Sleeper

        Serious question, Why would hibernate be worse?

        Other than writing a large chunk of data to the disk - which happens regularly anyway?

        1. Do Not Fold Spindle Mutilate

          Re: Heavy Sleeper

          To Hibernate a pc likely requires that a copy of all memory needs to be written to the SSD. So very suddenly, on my machine 8 gb, a lot reads and multiple writes need to happen on the SSD because of the very nature of how a SSD works. Then in a very short period of time the power will be shut off. A couple of years ago on my machine the retail store replaced the SSD twice because of failure. Both failures happened when I told Windows to hibernate. The clerk suggested that the hibernation was the issue and suggested not to do that in the future. I have not done hibernation and the problem has not happened again but that does not prove that hibernation was the problem and newer SSDs may not have the same problem. Oh and by the way, if a SSD fails the whole SSD is unreadable so you need to ensure you have a good working backup and restore procedure.

          1. d3vy

            Re: Heavy Sleeper

            Ah, thats interesting, I hibernate my laptop and desktop all the time (desktop at the end of each day, laptop multiple times each day) Never had a problem. Thats why I asked.

  7. wolfetone Silver badge

    Lenovo really, really need to sort out the keyboard on these new ThinkPads. I would buy a new one in a heartbeat yet I just don't get on with the keyboards. So I'm sticking with my T500 which is pushing 7 years old this year and hoping that it lasts until the day comes when Lenovo bring back the old style keyboard!

    1. Gavin Chester

      My work 2016 T450 keyboard is quite nice, only think missing the "new thinkpad smell" that they used to have...

  8. mickaroo

    Intermittent Freezes

    I was loaned a Lenovo T440s a few years ago that was kitted out pretty much as the X1 in described in the article, except running Win7. It, too, would occasionally freeze for twenty seconds or so, for no obvious reason. It was the first computer I had ever used with an SSD, so I thought it might be the SSD doing some load leveling or trash management, or something.

    However, I liked the T440s enough that when I needed to replace my old laptop, I bought myself the identically spec'd T440s from Lenovo. And until I read your article, I hadn't realized that mine DOESN'T freeze, and never has.

    And it rocks Linux Mint ];-)

    1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Re: Intermittent Freezes

      I recently picked up a nice T440 off eBay (has the 1600x900 screen, 8GB RAM and 500GB hard disk). My first action was to nuke Windows and install Fedora 25 with XFCE. This setup is excellent - no unexpected pauses and about as fast as I'd hoped it would be, so I think your and Simon's long pauses are probably Windows-related. BTW, the SD card slot on this machine is full-size and full depth.

      Parenthetically, I got the T440 to replace a ten year old R61i (CoreDuo, 1GB Ram upgraded to 3GB, 120GB hard disk, which was dieing) after I'd tried and failed to get it to accept a 500GB replacement HDD, but as the biggest disk it was designed for was 200GB and you can't now get new HDDs smaller than 320GB I thought it was stuffed. Then I had second thoughts, swapped in a 128BG Sandisk SSD and installed the same OS (Fedora 25 Workstation / XFCE).

      So a comparison of the two is interesting. The R61i now boots somewhat faster than the T440, but the latter is quicker once its up, logged in and working on the task du jour. It think this is mainly down to the way Linux uses RAM. On the T440 I find that typically 7GB is used for caching and, as the entire contents of /usr are about that size, the difference in speed between HDD and SSD isn't noticeable during normal operation. OTOH, the R61i, which is running with an identical package set, only has 2GB of RAM available for caching, so will gain from the SSD speed during normal operation because it will be pulling a lot more stuff off the SSD than the T440 does off its HDD.

  9. Schultz
    Boffin

    There's also a TrackPoint micro-joystick ...

    It's not a joystick, you should get used to it, and then you'll live happily ever after.

    Touchpads are a nuisance.

  10. Goit

    I deployed one of these today, no Miracast out of the box is shocking. the CEO I was setting it up for was 'underwhelmed' or maybe even disappointed. His old crappity windows 8 Toshiba could do it no sweat and that this 'flagship' top of the range jobby couldn't project to his TV for presentations.

    Well lets just say he wasn't impressed that he would have to buy a separate transmitter.... 'more shite dangling out of the sides'.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well you know, phoning home to Redmond and China takes time.

  12. GrumpyKiwi

    WiGiggityGiG

    Got the top end one of these (i7, 17GB, 512 SSD) for the CFO last month which comes with the WiGig dock. The laptop itself (once purged of Lenovo crapware - itself an epic task) works pretty well - haven't experienced any woes with it going to sleep and waking up.

    The WiGig docking system works well now that I've put the latest and greatest version of Intel's Wireless Connection software on. Before that it was more flakey than Cadbury's best product, constantly flashing up warning messages that connectivity signal was poor (the laptop was 8cm away from the dock at the time).

  13. Buzzword

    8GB?

    Doesn't that feel a bit cheap these days? Granted a road warrior laptop is only supposed to be used for light MS Office use; but anyone who does a bit more might feel short-changed.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    256 GB = 238 GiB

    People get confused about their hard drive size because the OS often reports in GiB (multiples of 1024) whereas the manufacturer lists size in GB (multiples of 1000). 256000000000 / (1024^3) = 238.4, so you should expect a 256 GB drive to show 238 GiB available.

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