Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Linux Edition) Review: A Top-Notch Laptop

For most of eternity, if you wished to run Linux on your laptop computer you acquired a Windows laptop computer, wiped Windows, and installed Linux. This was known as the “Windows tax,” the added income you paid out for an operating procedure you didn’t will need.

About fifteen a long time back, groundbreaking firms like System76 began selling white-label components with Linux preinstalled, alongside with all the important motorists to be certain components compatibility. Linux labored out of the box. They were being seldom what you would phone svelte laptops, but they were being sound devices, and hey, no Windows tax. Today, System76 builds its have Linux-dependent desktop components at a manufacturing unit in Colorado, and even massive manufacturers like Dell sell laptops with Linux.

Lenovo is the most up-to-date maker to want in on the entertaining, releasing its to start with Linux laptop computer in the type of an eighth-era ThinkPad X1 Carbon. There are some quirks, but it’s a person of the ideal laptops all-around for Linux.

Prime-Notch Components

Photograph: Lenovo

Lenovo’s ThinkPad collection laptops are not noteworthy for their reducing-edge design and style. They are sound, perfectly-created, no-nonsense devices built for working day-in, working day-out use, and the X1 Carbon is no exception. 

All the usual ThinkPad standouts are listed here, such as a wonderful keyboard with the pink “nub,” a trackpad with the buttons at the major (where by they belong), a fingerprint reader, and a components deal with for the webcam. The matte black circumstance is built of a delicate plastic content which is wrapped all-around a very sound chassis—there’s no flex or bend to it. I want it to aluminum laptops, which have a tendency to have sharp edges. 

There are loads of ports. There are two USB-C Thunderbolt three ports, two USB-A ports, whole-dimensions HDMI, headphone/mic combo, and assistance for Lenovo docks. It even arrives with assistance for Wi-Fi 6. My only authentic dislike is how the electricity button is on the aspect of the circumstance, which normally takes some getting applied to. The other peculiar matter? There was a Windows sticker on the underside of the circumstance.

I examined the base configuration, which arrives with a tenth-era Intel Main i5 CPU, eight gigabytes of RAM, a 256-gigabyte SSD, and a 1080p screen. You can upgrade the processor to an i7, max out the RAM to sixteen gigabytes, and decide for a 4K screen. The base configuration lists for $two,a hundred forty five, while because its start very last yr, Lenovo has run a collection of coupons that have intended the base design is properly all-around $1,300. Totally maxed out, you might be seeking at $three,221, but with Lenovo’s seemly permanent sale selling price, it’s all-around $1,932.

I discover eight gigabytes of RAM to be loads for Linux. The exception is if you might be modifying movie or compiling software package, in which circumstance I’d counsel upgrading to sixteen gigabytes of RAM. I mention this for the reason that the RAM is soldered to the motherboard, meaning you cannot upgrade it you down the street as you can with many Lenovo laptops.