Want a high-end ultrabook that embraces the touch-centric nature of Windows 8? Lenovo is hoping that you do. We went hands on with the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Touch at CES 2013. Though our time with the machine was limited, it would seem that the Chinese electronics giant has constructed another one of the sturdy, compact machines for which it's known.
If the name Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Touch seems familiar, it's with good reason. It's essentially the touch-enabled version of the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1, a very good ultrabook released last year.
Adding touch support to the Carbon X1 has inflated the machine's dimensions somewhat, though its still quite skinny. It's 20.8mm (0.81in) thick, whereas the non-touch X1 carbon was 19mm (0.75in). It's just a little bit weightier as well, coming in at just under 1587.57 grams (3.5lbs).
Inside, you'll have familiar hardware options. There's a choice of Intel i5 and i7 processor, and either 4GB or 8 GB of SDRAM. There's also a 128 GB SSD.
Most impressive, and important for the on-the-go type Lenovo is after, is the machine's claim of 8.2 hours of battery. Then there's the fact that the machine goes from zero to 80 percent charged in just 35 minutes.
Besides the touchscreen, there's a bevy of interface options right on the keyboard. There's the touch and pressure sensitive trackpad, meaning you tap or full on click with the pad, with support for both left and right click. Above it are physical buttons with the signature Thinkpad red highlights, and a blue scroll button.
Mobile warriors will also appreciate that the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Touch has 3G, in addition to WiFi. There's also a fingerprint scanner for extra security, another Thinkpad signature.
However, like the non-touch Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1, there's no Ethernet port. It also lacks display ports, meaning USB dongles are a must for the inevitable presentation situations. The presence of an SD card slot was appreciated, though.
We did find the matte finished display to be a tad dull. It offered strong viewing angles, and if it's anything like its non-touch brother, it should stand up to direct sunlight very well.
It seems Lenovo has done it again with the ThinkPad Carbon X1 Touch, crafting a long lasting, skinny ultrabook. But we do wonder if the serious business crowd Lenovo often courts has any interest in the touch friendly frills of Windows 8, epsecially since the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 will likely go down in price now that a touch option is hitting the market.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Touch is available to order now, though shipments won't begin until January 29. Prices start at $1,499, with U.K. pricing to come soon.