Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Strives to Be Industry's Thinnest 14-Inch Laptop

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a sub-3-pound laptop in a carbon fiber chassis that Lenovo is calling the lightest 14-inch notebook that is available. The company is also showing off new ThinkPad X, T, W and L Series offerings.

Lenovo May 15 took the covers off the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, a 14-inch, sub-3-pound Ultrabook that the PC maker is calling the lightest laptop in the industry.

Constructed of light and durable carbon fiber, it includes embedded 3G, making mobile broadband a pay-as-you-go option; Lenovo RapidCharge, getting users to a near-full battery in 30 minutes; and Intel vPro technology, which has security and manageability capabilities built in.

The North Carolina-based branch of the company introduced the X1, along with new T, X, L and W Series ThinkPad laptops€”very different models, with emphases ranging from portability to mobile workstation performance€”from a Lenovo conference in Las Vegas.

Lu Yan, Lenovo senior vice president, described the new ThinkPad portfolio as embodying €œmuch of the innovative thinking exemplified in the X1 Carbon, such as a backlit keyboard, super-bright high-definition display, Dolby Home Theatre and rich communications features that balance business performance with personal use.€

All of them include third-generation Intel Core processors, Lenovo Enhanced Experience 3.0 with RapidBoot technology€”said to result in a boot-up time that€™s 40 percent faster than a typical Windows 7 computer€”Precision keyboards, Dolby audio and 300 nit HD+ displays. (A nit is a unit of visible-light intensity.)

All of these new PCs will be available starting in early June, except for the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook, which will arrive €œstarting this summer,€ says Lenovo.

A bit more detail on the others:

The ThinkPad X230 Ultraportable was designed for consistently on-the-go workers. It boasts 24 hours of battery life (with a nine-cell battery option and a bottom battery slice, that is), a backlit keyboard, a 12.5-inch, 300-nit, In-Plane Switching (IPS) wide-viewing display and 4G mobile broadband€”a first for ThinkPad laptops. Pricing will begin at $1,179.

The ThinkPad X230t Ultraportable Tablet shares a lot of features with the above-mentioned X230, but it can also, as you may have guessed, convert itself into a tablet with a 12-inch display and a pen-like stylus. There€™s also the options of a touch-screen and a laser mouse. Pricing will start at $1,479.

Crazy-good battery life€”up to 32.5 hours, depending on the configuration€”is a major selling point of the new ThinkPad T430/430s/530 laptops. Lenovo would argue that so are their Optional Nvidia discreet graphics. The ThinkPad 430s is the lightest 14-inch model in the ThinkPad line with docking and vPro, while the compact T430 is the best-selling. The T530 offers a 15-inch full high-definition display with a 95 percent color gamut, and other T Series features include USB 3.0 ports, RapidCharge and 4G mobile broadband.

The T430 will start around $879, the T430s around $1,399 and the L430 and L530 at $879.

Moving on, the ThinkPad W530 is an independent software vendor (ISV) certified workstation that can be paired with four additional displays when docked. The full HD, 270-nit wide-viewing angle display, with a built-in color calibrator and 95 percent color gamut, meets GPU requirements. The W530 includes Quadro mobile graphics processors with second-generation Optimus power management technology and, with included CAD/CAM, GIS and 3D modeling software, is ready to use out of the box. Pricing will start at $1,529.

Lenovo preceeded its ThinkPad introductions with the May 14 intro of its new ThinkStation E31. Featuring the Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 v2 product family or third-generation Intel Core i7 Processors, the E31 comes in small-form-factor (SFF) and mini-tower options. Starting at $629, Lenovo calls it a €œdesktop workstation with a PC budget.€ The mini tower will be available starting June 5, and the SFF will follow on July 13.

Earlier this month Lenovo introduced a lineup of new ThinkCentre and Edge Series PCs, all featuring third-generation Intel Core processors, smart cooling technologies, multi-screen functionality and speedy boot-up times.

The world€™s No. 2 PC maker, fast-growing Lenovo, has found success in what it has described as a €œprotect and attack€ strategy. It€™s protecting its enterprise business and strong base in China while attacking the growing smartphone and tablet markets. While the overall PC industry remained flat, Lenovo reported in February that during its quarter that ended Dec. 31, it saw PC shipments increase by 37 percent.

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