home CES, Laptop, News, Reviews, Ultrabook Closer look at: 2016 X-Series – X260, X1 Carbon Gen 4

Closer look at: 2016 X-Series – X260, X1 Carbon Gen 4

2016 X-Series

In this article we will cover both X260 and X1 Carbon (Gen 4). If you want to know more about the X1 Yoga and the X1 Tablet, please follow these links:

Closer look at: X1 Tablet (2016)

Closer look at: X1 Yoga (2016)

X1 Carbon (Gen 4): The Best got better

The venerable X1 Carbon, Lenovo´s aspirational device since 2012, just got its 4th iteration. As we now got the X1 Yoga, this may not be Lenovo´s most exciting thin&light ThinkPad anymore, but its still a great option for people who want the thinnest and lightest option and don´t care for the convertible function. The X1 Carbon Gen 4 is also more affordable then the X1 Yoga.

Unlike the X1 Carbon Gen 3, which used largely the same chassis as X1 Carbon Gen 2 (except the switch back to normal F keys and dedicated TrackPoint buttons), X1 Carbon Gen 4 is based on a new chassis. As always with the X1 Carbon line the new iteration is of course thinner and lighter now. With just 1.209 kg / 2.6 lbs and 16.45 mm, its the thinnest and lightest 14″ ThinkPad yet. Like the X1 Yoga, the chassis of the X1 Carbon is built on Super Magnesium, Lenovo´s newest advancement in chassis material – and of course, its partly made out of Carbon fiber, as the name suggests. Another design change: The hinges of the X1 Carbon are now designed very much like the X1 Yoga hinges, minus the 360° ability. Of course nearly every aspect of the X1 Carbon Gen 4 chassis is slightly different then the X1 Carbon Gen 3, but these changes are so small it would be pointless to list them all here. X1 Carbon Gen 3 had some small criticisms regarding its build quality, lets hope this won´t happen with this new chassis.

X1 carbon1

Regarding the display, only small changes this year. The high-end option still is a 2560×1440 IPS screen. X1 Carbon Gen 4 won´t be available with the amazing OLED option Lenovo has introduced with the X1 Yoga. The 2560×1440 IPS screen used in the Gen 4 X1 Carbon however is a different one then the one Lenovo used in the X1 Carbon Gen 3, so we will see how the new screen performs. Notably, Lenovo says this screen will cover a larger color gamut of around 100 % of sRGB. A bigger change is happening in the low-end area, as the 1920×1080 TN screen used in last years model is exchanged for a 1920×1080 IPS screen, promising superior viewing angles and contrast levels. Also, unlike last years model, there is no more touchscreen option, which is logical considering there is the X1 Yoga now which is very much a convertible version of the X1 Carbon with a touchscreen.

X1 carbon2

Regarding ports, the new X1 Carbon gains one more USB 3.0 port, which means it has three USB 3.0 ports now. The new model now also features a microSD card slot, as Lenovo got feedback from customers that they wanted a SD card option. To gain some room for the new ports the new model looses the proprietary Mini-Ethernet the X1 Carbon Gen 3 featured. Native RJ45 Ethernet can be provided over the new Onelink+ dockingport (which replaces the older Onelink standard), with an adapter of course. As the X1 Carbon Gen 3, the new model features mDP and HDMI, nothing changed there. The next gen X1 Carbon also features LTE-A (with a Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 or a Sierra Wireless EM7455 WWAN modem), as well as WiGig for docking options without the need for a connection via a cable. As the X1 Tablet and X1 Yoga, the new X1 Carbon offers a new 1 TB PCIe NVMe option, 16 GB of solered down DDR3L memory and the newest Intel Skylake processors. Another small change: The battery is slightly bigger now (52 Wh).

Here are the full specs of the X1 Carbon 2016:

  • Processor: Up to Intel Core i7-6600U
  • GPU: Intel HD 520
  • Memory: Up to 16 GB DDR3 RAM (soldered down)
  • Storage: Up to 1 TB PCIe SSD, 2280 M.2
  • Battery: 52 Wh, internal battery
  • Display: 14″ 1920×1080 IPS (300 nits)  /  14″ 2560×1440 IPS (300 nits), 72 % of NTSC gamut
  • Footprint: 333 x 229 x 16.45 mm
  • Weight: Starting at 1.209 kg / 2.8 lbs
  • Ports: HDMI, mDP, 3x USB 3.0, Micro-SD card reader, Combo Audio-jack, Onelink+ docking port
  • Communication: Intel 8260 (2 x 2, 802.11 a/c), Intel Douglas Peak card (WiGig/Wifi combo), Sierra EM7455 LTE (optional), Snapdragon X7 LTE (optional), Bluetooth 4.1, 720p webcam
  • Security: Touch Fingerprint sensor (optional), TPM, Kensington Lock, vPro (optional)
  • Audio: Dolby Home Theater v4

X1 Carbon Gen 4 will be available in February, starting at 1299 $ in the US.

X260: The traditional ThinkPad subnotebook

The X260 is a small update of the X250, similar to T460 and T560, which are small updates of T450 and T550. It gains one USB port, which means it also sports three USB 3.0 ports now. Other new features: WiGig, LTE-A, HDMI instead of VGA and the 256 GB PCIe SSD option T460 and T560 also have. One thing the X260 doesn´t seem to offer anymore is a touchscreen option.

x2601

Here are the full-specs of the X260:

  • Processor: i3-6100U / i5-6200U / i5-6300U / i7-6500U / i7-6600U
  • GPU: Intel HD 520
  • Memory: Up to 16 GB RAM (1 DIMM slot)
  • Storage: 2.5″ HDD/SSD, up to 512 GB SSD / 1 TB HDD, M.2: Up to 256 GB PCIe
  • Battery: Up to 95 Wh, 23 Wh internal battery, 72 Wh external battery
  • Display: 12.5″ 1366×768 TN / 12.5″ 1366×768 IPS / 12.5″ 1920×1080 IPS
  • Footprint: 305.5 x 208.5 x 20.3 mm
  • Weight: Starting at 1.3 kg / 2.9 lbs
  • Ports: RJ45, HDMI, mDP, 3x USB 3.0, 4-in-1 SD card, Combo Audio-jack, Mechanical Dock-Port (CS13)
  • Communication: Intel 8260 (2 x 2, 802.11 a/c), Broadcom WLAN card (2 x 2, a/c), Sierra EM7455 LTE (optional), WiGig (optional), Bluetooth 4.1, 720p webcam
  • Security: Swipe Fingerprint sensor (optional), Smartcard reader (optional), TPM, Kensington Lock, vPro
  • Audio: Dolby Advanced Audio v2

X260 will be available in February, starting at 929 $.


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  • Apathetic

    No Ethernet options for this device, make for difficult enterprise deployments.

    • ImThink

      For which device?

      X260 has Ethernet. X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga can have native Ethernet via Onelink+