Lenovo Offers New ThinkPad Carbon Fiber Ultrabook
Lenovo unwrapped the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon notebook in Beijing on Monday, lighter, thinner and sporting better connectivity options than its earlier model, with design and features inspired by those common to tablets and notebooks, according to a company executive.
The vendor said the unit is the thinnest and lightest 14-inch Ultrabook laptop on the market, a claim this product review supports while noting that the vendor has little competition at that sized notebook.
Here are the X1 Carbon’s main attributes:
- Light and strong. The unit weighs only about 3 lbs., about 3/4 of a lb. less than the prior model, with strong, durable carbon fiber construction.
- Screen size. The 14-inch screen puts it in a notebook class not heavily populated with competitors.
- Connectivity. It’s got embedded 3G wireless connectivity.
- Battery. It’s got RapidCharge, meaning the battery can fill from empty to 80 percent charge in about a half an hour.
Lenovo, which first previewed the X1 Carbon in May, said that the unit will go on sale later in August. The company didn’t hint on pricing but one report indicated a $1,600 price tag in Hong Kong for an X1 Carbon with a 1.7GHz Core i5, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, a figure that could slide down to the $1,100 range for students.
Even in the face of the exploding tablet market, Lenovo, which ranks second in worldwide PC shipments fast on HP’s heels, still believes that there will be a strong demand of notebooks in businesses, education and government, and is aiming the X1 Carbon at those sectors.
Dilip Bhatia, Lenovo vice president, ThinkPad business unit said the X1 Carbon carries a tablet’s convenience and a notebook’s broader functionality. “The clamshell format is going to be around for a long time,” he said. “We see a multi-device environment.” He noted that Lenovo introduced the unit in China because ThinkPads are popular in the fast-growing Chinese market.
According to the NPD Group, a Port Washington, NY-based researcher, ultrabooks are propping up the U.S. notebook market with about 11 percent of all $700+ Windows notebooks sales for the first five months of 2012 amid a market that slid 3 percent during that period.
Expect more Lenovo notebooks and desktops to appear in the next few weeks. Last month the company said that it will be phasing out older products in July and August and replenishing supply with the new ones by September. “We have new products on every product family coming out this quarter,” said Mike White, director, 4P Integration at Lenovo. “We turn over the entire product line once every four or five years.”