The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G10 is the product of the decade of laptop design. It is, as the name suggests, the tenth generation of the X1 Carbon series, which was first released in 2012. Many things have changed since the first model, but the ThinkPad X1 Carbon G10 is not a significant upgrade over the ThinkPad X1 Carbon G9.
The focus is clearly on the insides and the new Intel Alder Lake P28 processors. The U15 series, which has fewer cores, is also available. The Intel Core i5-1250P processor in our review device has twelve cores (4 P + 8 E) and supports vPro Enterprise features. It also includes 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD, as well as an FHD Low Power display.
Classic ThinkPad Chassis
The X1 Carbon features a classic ThinkPad design and materials – it’s completely black, and true black at that. It’s not the dark grey seen on other 2022 ThinkPads like the ThinkPad T14 G3. The chassis is also completely rubberized, making the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 resemble the ThinkPad X300 from 2008. The disadvantage of this type of coating is that it is prone to fingerprints and smudges.
Lenovo has released a competing high-end design with the new ThinkPad Z series – is the X1 Carbon outdated in comparison to these “new generation” ThinkPads? We would not say that, but certain aspects of the visual design could be altered. For example, we believe the large X1 logo on the palmrest is unnecessary. Also, the screen hinges could be black again, as they were on older X1 Carbon models, to clean up the design. Finally, smaller screen bezels would be preferable, which could be accomplished by shrinking the chassis or using a larger 14.5-inch display.
Connectivity and Communication
The ports remain unchanged: despite its small size, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2022 supports Thunderbolt 4 as well as legacy ports such as USB A and HDMI. This model does lack an SD card reader.
The Intel Wireless AX211 (2×2) has already been added as a new option compared to the predecessor, and it is also present in our review sample. The AX211, unlike the AX201, supports the new WiFi 6E standard. Although we did not test it, the WiFi module is still faster than the AX201 of the X1 Carbon G9.
Normally, there isn’t much to say about laptop cameras, but the webcam on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G10 is an important part of the conversation. Lenovo has increased the resolution from 720p to 1080p, as well as the X1 Carbon G10 also has an f/2.0 aperture, which should help with low-light performance. The camera has improved over the X1 Carbon Gen 9, but it is still far from a smartphone selfie camera.
Lenovo uses almost the same keyboard as the predecessor X1 Carbon G9, however the chiclet keyboard with the backlight and six rows of keys has been changed in one way: the keys in the first row, as well as the keys on the left and right edges of the keyboard, such as Enter, Ctrl, or Shift, are now square rather than rounded. The typing experience is unaffected; the change is purely cosmetic. With 1.5 mm travel, a good layout, and a very satisfying typing experience, the keyboard remains very comfortable. However, older ThinkPads with more travel are preferable.
The ThinkPad X1 models have a unique position among ThinkPads because they are the only devices with a glass touchpad – though this is no longer true, as the ThinkPad Z series is currently being released, and it also has a glass touchpad. The ThinkPad Z13 differs from the Z series in that it has a new touchpad design without dedicated TrackPoint buttons. The haptic feedback performs this function. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon G10, on the other hand, retains the classic configuration with dedicated TrackPoint buttons as well as a mechanical touchpad that only clicks in the lower part of the trackpad area.
ThinkPads are well-known for their multiple configuration options. Lenovo makes choosing the right model even more difficult with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon G10, as there are now two different classes of CPUs available: Intel Alder Lake in U15 and P28 variants, with vPro Enterprise and vPro Essential versions. AMD CPUs are not an option, nor are dedicated GPUs. The soldered memory has been upgraded to LPDDR5-5200, with a capacity of up to 32 GB. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2022 retains an M.2 2280 slot with a capacity of up to 2 TB.
The Intel Core i5-1250P is a processor with four-plus-eight asymmetrical cores (4 P + 8 E cores) from Intel’s Alder Lake generation. It has a typical TDP of 28 W as a CPU of the P class, though this is only a rough orientation. It is the Intel Core i5-1240P vPro Enterprise variant, which is nearly identical to the i5-1250P. (clock rates: P cores: 1.7 up to 4.4 GHz, E cores: 1.2 up to 3.3 GHz). The CPU list allows for comparisons with other processors.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G10 has a good power consumption; competitors from last year consume more energy. Only at maximum idle consumption does the X1 Carbon G9 consume less. The supplied USB-C charger outputs 65 W, which perfectly covers the maximum power consumption of 63.3 W.
Lenovo does not alter the capacity of the battery. Perhaps it should have been increased because, despite having the same 57 Wh battery, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon G10 does not achieve the same battery life as the X1 Carbon Gen 9. In the WiFi test (150 cd/m2 brightness), the X1 Carbon only lasts slightly more than ten hours, as opposed to nearly twelve hours. This isn’t bad, but it’s not as good as the Tiger Lake laptops from 2021: Intel appears to have forgotten about energy efficiency.
The main focus of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G10 is the platform upgrade to Intel Alder Lake. It is Alder Lake P28 in the case of the reviewed unit. All things considered, we can conclude that the new generation falls short of our expectations. Alder Lake significantly improves performance, but the increased rates are not available under sustained load due to the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2022’s thermal constraints.