Hands on with Lenovo's new ThinkPad X1 Carbon and Yoga

Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 lineup is always my favorite, and you might have noticed this by the way I rave about them in reviews. Even now, I'm sitting in a hotel room in Las Vegas, typing this on the OLED variant of the second-generation ThinkPad X1 Yoga.

This year's flagship ThinkPads see some big changes though. For one thing, the X1 Yoga is made out of aluminum now.

What I do like about this change is that Lenovo didn't make it just another aluminum laptop. It still maintains a unique design. What's really cool about it is that while aluminum is a heavier material than carbon fiber, this year's model is its lightest ever, but it still maintains its MIL-STD-810G toughness, which is found in all ThinkPads.

There is a sacrifice though, as the Lift and Lock keyboard is gone.

In previous generations, those keys would retract to become flush with the palm rest, making it smooth when holding it as a tablet. I'm told that the reason for this was to fit the device in a smaller footprint, and the change in material has nothing to do with it. While I did love the feature, I do understand. The PC weighs in at 2.99 pounds now, so it's very portable, and that's important too.

You'll notice that the keyboard is sunken in around the keys though, so they're actually still flush with the palm rest, just not in the same way as before.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon also got some design changes. You'll notice that the carbon fiber finish on the body now looks textured, although it's still smooth. It's definitely a nice touch.

Another interesting thing about the X1 Carbon is that the power button has moved to the side. It's a minor change that few will notice, but I found it interesting. Traditionally, the power button is placed on the sides on convertibles, and there's a round power button on the keyboard for clamshells.

There are some changes to the display too. The 14-inch ThinkPad X1 PCs now come in a 4K UHD variant for the first time. The 4K model is offered with Dolby Vision, and while a QHD model does remain in the lineup, it's no longer offered with Dolby Vision HDR. The FHD option is there, but there was never an HDR option for that.

There's also an option for a privacy display, similar to HP's Sure View. Unlike Sure View though, this isn't offered on any options above 1080p, so I didn't actually get to see it in action.

One more thing that I want to add is that Lenovo finally sorted out ThinkShutter and the IR camera. With last year's model, you had to choose between those two great features. Now, they both come standard.

Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 lineup remains best-in-class, for its renowned keyboards and stunning Dolby Vision displays. I do know I'll miss the Lift and Lock keyboard, but such is life. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon now comes in at 2.4 pounds, and the X1 Yoga is 2.99 pounds. These things are light, compact, and portable, and the Whiskey Lake processors don't compromise on performance.

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