Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon

After almost five years with my previous laptop I was finally given a new one at work. My old HP has been an absolute work horse and I've been very happy with it but it was showing its age in a big way. The battery (my third) was quickly dying, the original hard drive died a couple months back and one of the keyboard's shift keys was failing to register key press about half the time. When I replaced the hard drive a couple months ago I installed Windows 8 only to find out that several hardware components do not have drivers specifically for Windows 8, most notably the ATI Radeon 2600 HD mobile GPU. This had the effect of causing my laptop fan to run at full speed continuously. A little annoying for both myself and my cube mates to put it mildly.

Enter my new laptop, a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon. The first thing that struck me is how beautiful this machine is. It's thin, light and flat black. So much lighter than my HP it's almost like they are from two different eras (sarcasm). It has an Intel i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 220 GB SSD hard drive. This thing screams but it's quiet as a mouse. It gives me a warm happy feeling just holding it. That's the good, now for the bad.

Within just a couple of hours of use the enter key began sticking. It quickly reached a point that every time I hit enter it would stick in the down position from a half second to as long as fives seconds. Lenovo is currently sending a replacement keyboard but I'm very concerned about the long term durability of this keyboard now.

There's no network port on the machine. I guess they think everyone exclusively uses WiFi now. I have a USB network dongle coming because that's a terrible assumption. Hard connections are still MUCH faster.

The port replicator is just that a port replicator. There is no available docking station so to "dock" my laptop at work I have to plug the port replicator into the USB 3 port AND plug the power into the power adapter. This means I either need a second power adapter or I have to carry it with me every time I leave work.

The X1 has no internal DVD drive. This is only a minor annoyance because I don't use DVD's too often. Lenovo was trying to keep everything as small as possible and a DVD drive would be a significant increase in bulk for the overall device. I received an external USB DVD device but I'm sure I'll forget it as a matter of routine and then not have it when I need it. Add to that the fact that the first DVD drive I got was non-functional and it puts this squarely in the "bad" category.

Overall I'm happy with the new machine and hopeful that the issues I've encountered early on are just flukes that won't repeat. If the keyboard holds up for the long term I can easily live with the other quirks and consider this the best laptop I've ever had. Only time will tell though.