Today, Intel unveiled its Core Ultra mobile processors, designed to bring a new level of power efficiency, top-notch compute and graphics performance, and an enhanced AI PC experience to mobile platforms and the edge.
Among the slew of new laptops adopting these new processors is Lenovo, which has introduced the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12 and the ThinkPad X1 2-in-1 Gen 9. These laptops feature the new Intel Core Ultra processors, code-named Meteor Lake, comprising the CPU, GPU, and a novel NPU (neural processing unit). The NPU allows offloading of AI tasks, such as those generated by Windows 11’s CoPilot based on GPT-4, enhancing overall system efficiency.
The visual experience on these laptops has been significantly upgraded with the introduction of a 2.8K OLED touch display supporting up to 120 Hz refresh rate, 400 nit brightness, and HDR500 True Black. Lenovo has also revamped the laptop chassis, reducing bezel thickness for the 14-inch display and integrating an 8 MP camera with computer vision into the “communication bar” at the top of the screen, which doubles as a convenient grip for easy one-handed opening.
Keyboard improvements include a larger full haptic touchpad while retaining the iconic red TrackPoint button option for ThinkPad enthusiasts. The layout sees changes, including the swapping of the FN and CTRL keys, relocation of the power button to the side, and integration of the fingerprint sensor close to the page-up key.
Lenovo’s commitment to accessibility is highlighted through a partnership with the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh, NC, and guidance from Microsoft’s Accessibility Team. This collaboration resulted in the addition of tactile markings on select keys, catering to visually impaired users, including volume up/down, the insert key, the function key, and the enter key.
Beyond aesthetics and input methods, the laptops showcase advancements in thermal management, efficient heat load distribution, and advanced power consumption management. These devices also incorporate Computer Vision 5 functionalities through Lenovo Commercial Vantage, featuring wake-on-approach with face sensing and adaptive dimming on external monitors, contributing to heightened security and power savings.
While the ThinkPad X1 2-in-1 Gen 9 and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12 share many features, the only notable difference, aside from the 360 hinge, lies in the stylus only offered with the X1 2-in-1. Lenovo has redesigned the magnetic stylus with a larger body and a “carpenter” style to prevent the Slim Pen from rolling and falling.
The latest ThinkPad X1 series incorporates recycled materials like Post-Consumer Recycled Content (PCC) plastics, plastic-free bamboo, and sugarcane packaging to reduce the use of virgin materials. Collaborating with Toray Industries, Inc., a carbon fiber supplier with ties to Boeing, Lenovo integrates recycled carbon fiber into the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12. This material is recovered from Boeing 787 wing production, marking a strategic move towards increased post-industrial recycled content (PIC) plastics and a more sustainable product lifecycle.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12 is set to be available in limited configurations starting from December 2023, with an anticipated starting price of $2,989. The complete portfolio is expected to launch in March 2024. Meanwhile, the ThinkPad X1 2-in-1 Gen 9 is scheduled for release in March 2024, starting at $2,639.