Even with the rise of high-functioning tablets, there is still an important space in personal electronics for the business laptop. This is distinguished from the proliferation of ‘creatives’ who are filling the coffee shops making social media content and almost all using MacBooks of one sort or another. For many industries, though, a Mac operating system is not compatible with their firms software. Also, Microsoft is proving to be a resilient and still-dominant player in tech whose operating system is wholly integrated for many enterprise users and not easy to replace.
So that brings us to the mobile business user who either doesn’t want to or is not permitted to use one of Apple’s ubiquitous laptops. The first thing that pops out is the reverse sticker shock. In general, laptops running Microsoft are far cheaper than their Apple competitors. But what if price is not a determining factor? Which of the Microsoft-equipped machines rises to the top.
The answer, not surprisingly, is a Lenovo. For years, Lenovo has made the most of the head start provided by IBM and has taken mobile business computing to the next level. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7 shows that a Windows laptop can have power and sex appeal while covering all the bases needed for integration into Windows-based enterprise.
Let’s start with the material – it’s made of carbon fibre, which has extraordinary stiffness and durability while maintaining incredible lightness. There is a reason that this is the preferred material for Formula One race cars. At 2.4 lbs, the X1 is lighter than comparable offerings from Dell and Apple, but somehow manages to have a 14” screen, compared to the normal 13.3’ used by the competition.
Of course, the matte touch screen means we are in a completely different class compared to the MacBook, which does not offer a touch screen. The matte finish on the X1’s screen keeps the fingerprints to a minimum and provides a consistent feel of quality that goes with the luxurious outer casing.
While the touchpad is somewhat small (maybe that’s how they engineered the bigger screen?) the keyboard is best-of-breed. Battery life, screen performance and processing speed all hit the highest marks that you would expect for a laptop that, fully specced, cost in the neighborhood of $1500. There are two USB-C ports, along with an old-school USB-3, as well as a full sized HDMI. The only thing missing is Ethernet, which will require an adapter.
The X1 gives a top-of-the-line experience that meets (and sometimes exceeds) the MacBook Pro in almost every respect. For a super-powerful laptop that checks all the boxes, make sure you check out the X1.