Laptop Review - Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 908 Aug 2021
I needed a new laptop for quite some time as the current one is almost 10 years old. I have been using a 2012 Thinkpad T530 which is very capable and built like a tank. It has survived two drops from 3-4 feets with only minor damage. Unfortunately it weighs like a tank too. The speakers on it were terrible and I had to constantly look for headphones every time I had to attend a meeting.
So after deliberating for some time, I came up wit this list of things which would help me narrow down the choices:
- Light Weight, less than 1.5 kg
- Long battery life, more than 6 hours
- 14’ screen with 1920 x 1200 resolution or more. Touchscreen if possible, because why not :)
- Good processor with at least 16 GB RAM
- Good speakers
- Decent webcam
- Preferably comes pre-installed with Linux
- USB and HDMI ports. I dont like carrying dongle everywhere.
After scanning the forums for a month, I came up with this list of contenders:
- Dell XPS developer edition
- System 76 Lemur pro
- Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 8/9
- Thinkpad T14
I had and inclination towards thinkpad because the last one worked really well. I went to r/thinkpad to figure out the difference between T14 and X1 Carbon. So both these laptops are very similar except X1 Carbon has better speakers and weighs less.
Finally I ordered X1 Carbon with i7 processor, touchscreen and 32 GB RAM. It came to around 2100 USD after taxes. It came preinstalled with Ubuntu 20.04 which I swapped with Elementary 6 preview.
- The speakers are the best that I have seen so far on a Non-Apple laptop.
- It boots under 10 seconds and everything is really fast.
- Keyboard is very good and and have decent travel unlink MacBook pro.
- Trackpad is also very good. Pinch-zoom gestures do not work out of the box.
- Fingerprint login did not work very well on Ubuntu.
- Touchscreen works very well.
- They have placed the fan under the body so you can not place it on the bed for too long.
- The biggest downside the webcam. It is worse than the 10 year old T530. After reading Lenovo forums I feel like Lenovo decided to put really shitty webcam on a 2000 USD premium laptop. It works well only if you have good lighting in your room and that too the video is not that great.
I will still recommend this as a good Linux laptop if the webcam is not a deal breaker for you.